I’ve been drooling over the possibility of ultra wide screen gaming for a while now. When I first went to dual monitors, the difference was staggering. I was more productive, I had more room to mentally breathe instead of constantly switching monitors around and it was just a huge boost in almost every area of computer use. For anyone who spends a few hours a day at their PC, a dual monitor setup is really useful.
Naturally, I thought it would be totally sweet if I could watch a video across them both or game across them. However, even if I got it setup, with only two monitors, you end up with a cross hair right split down the middle which would suck.
Solution? Three monitors!
Kewl, cept the only cards that support three monitors are ultra high end 3d cards. DirectX9? I don’t think so, my friend. No, you have to get a separate device to accomplish this feat.
Enter the Matrox TripleHead2Go DVI. In a nutshell, this product plugs into your video card and tell’s the computer “I’m a really, really big monitor, kthnxbai!” and then when the computer outputs a large image, the box splits it up to your 3 monitors.
Pretty slick idea. Except, I’m not to impressed by it.
I spent the evening playing CS:S on it and wasn’t really awed at the extra “view space” that the edge monitors afforded me. Additionally, support for such a HUGELY wide screen is really poor (not to mention the current rendering solutions leave a great deal to be desired for accommodating the extra width.)
Additionally, when “maximizing” windows now, I still end up with the bordered edges. Small complaint, but this works better on a normal “dual video card + three monitors” setup.
The ultimate disappointment, however, is the MPlayer doesn’t play video anymore. I watch pretty much every single thing I own through MPlayer, so this is really a deal breaker for me. VideoLan Client seems to come through and work, but MPlayer is better and even VLC can’t maximize to the screen correctly.
In the end, I’m not sure I’ll keep it. If you have a really, really good reason to need to span 3 monitors, this is a great card, but for gaming a simple wide screen monitor will probably satisfy you fine and avoid all the little annoyances that come along with this software/technology.