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View Full Version : Triplehead hardware - for ATI and NVidia!



Dexmeister
03-21-2006, 11:20 AM
Some of you may recall, I've been Matrox Parhelia simmer for years. The Matrox card has been the only way to accomplish 3-screen simming for some time now, and we've often discussed when/if ATI and Nvidia would rise to the occasion.

Well, it appears Matrox has outdone themselves, and done Nvidia and ATI's homework at the same time, coming out with a piece of hardware that I think you'll agree has some pretty amazing implications for all simmers.

I'm a little green on what this all means, but I suspect it means I'll soon be getting into a superpowered NV or ATI card at some point in the future.

Look here:
http://www.matrox.com/graphics/offhome/th2go/gaming/home.cfm

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/offhome/th2go/home.cfm

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/matrox_triple_head_2_go_preview/


I know some of you are just itching to cut Matrox up for having poor performance and all that, but in light of this latest gizmo, you must admit, you're thinking differently now, aren't you?

Way to go Matrox, excellent for simmers!!!

d9720267
03-21-2006, 11:31 AM
Yep, I've seen this.

I can only say that my prayers have finally been answered ... easy, cheap and powerful 3-monitor gaming for all!

(Sounds of crowds cheering, whistling ..)

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Dexmeister
03-21-2006, 11:36 AM
I already have 3 screens running, but I'm extremely excited about this as finally I can consider building a new rig based on Nvidia or ATI without having to lose multi-monitor support.

Freaken brilliant if you ask me, brilliant.

Daytraders
03-21-2006, 12:05 PM
nice ideal but 60 or 75 max refresh rate, that would hurt my eyes i see flashng even under 85 i need 100 refresh rate really, or am i missing something ?

Dexmeister
03-21-2006, 12:47 PM
My LCDs look great at 75mhz. I don't know how much higher they go. CRTs may be a different story, but I put mine into storage...

Dr...Watson
03-21-2006, 02:16 PM
That looks amazing.

75Mhz refresh really shouldn't be causing you a big problem. 80 or above is recommended though.

arcadeace
03-21-2006, 02:44 PM
I read a review on this it seems a couple of months ago, I was also very interested. But although it worked well for its intended purpose of establishing a triple display from the big 2 manufacturers, the frame rate output was reduced substantially, at least on the applications tested with the vid cards used. We may have to wait for the next gen or two vid cards before it could be implemented with demanding games. But it does give some hope.

Wild.Bill.Kelso
03-22-2006, 01:15 PM
I see that IL2FB, PF, and LockOn are supported games. But how does it do it. Does it just chop off the top and bottom of the screen, then stretch it across all 3 monitors like a Letterbox movie aspect ratio? If so, it would seem that the quality would just go down.

Or do all of these games render 3 screens all at once?

Dexmeister
03-22-2006, 02:40 PM
Good question. It's done through drivers and the "Powerdesk" software, which is much like the ATI or NVidia settings pages.

The Matrox driver/hardware makes the O/S think that the monitor size is 3840x1024, and as a result, the games will render to that size, meaning that it's rendering 2 extra screens of information. Windows thinks it's one big monitor, but the hardware gizmo then splits it back out to each screen as it should.

This also explains why Nvidia "Wideview" users haven't been able to succeed getting 3 screens running, because with a normal Nvidia card using wideview, Windows thinks it's running multiple screens rather than one big one.

So in short, Matrox has made the drivers and hardware work in a way that the O/S thinks it's one big monitor (3x the width), so the OS starts running things that size (much like it does if you change resolution from 640x480 to 1024x768.

Take FS2004 for example, since it's the most closely aligned with Windows. In FS2004, you can't select resolutions in the sim that your computer can't support. Once Windows realizes you have a 3840x1024 monitor, that option will show up in FS2004.

It's about the same as if your next video card supported a resolution of 10240 x 7680 - suddenly Windows would start rendering at that res. The only difference here is it's a different aspect ratio as well.

Clear as mud? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Wild.Bill.Kelso
03-22-2006, 03:17 PM
That's clear to me. So, now all I need is a new state-of-the-art computer; 3 monitors; and a Triplehead2go. Someday... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ElAurens
03-22-2006, 07:34 PM
If I had the cash for three monitors, I'd buy a new .45 automatic instead.

Still a cool piece of kit though.

Rob08
03-22-2006, 09:36 PM
Looks very cool...

I'd like to see them able to handle the larger screens too though, imagine 21 inch or even 30 inch lcds on day.... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

d9720267
03-23-2006, 03:21 PM
This is great, becuase all you need is one display out socket. Yes, the card will have to be fast, but if a 7900GTX 512MB won't do it then 2 running in SLI will!

W00t!

WWSensei
03-23-2006, 04:30 PM
The part I didn't like (and hopefully I read wrong) was that it feeds back into the VGA port of your video card? Why not the DVI port?

SATAN_23rd
03-23-2006, 05:50 PM
I will stick with a projector for now, I bet it is even cheaper than 3 LCD's of decent size.

Nimits
03-23-2006, 06:47 PM
It will still beat a projector in a way because it will be "wraparound," i.e 3 times the horizontal FOV; plus, 3 LCDs will fit in most settups better than a big projector.

TgD Thunderbolt56
03-24-2006, 07:34 AM
Whether currently useable by most or not, this is definitely a positive step forward. As hardware becomes more powerful and frames get over the magic 30+ mark at high resloutions, this will certainly be the preferred way to experience flight sims.


TB

Dean3238
03-24-2006, 07:46 AM
Whether currently useable by most or not, this is definitely a positive step forward. As hardware becomes more powerful and frames get over the magic 30+ mark at high resloutions, this will certainly be the preferred way to experience flight sims.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

Now, I can't set this up now (pushing my luck as it is :-), but would love to...

The thing I'd like to know is this: how far away is visor virtual reality screens such that you have a small screen over the eyes out to the extent of periphrel (sp?) vision and what is displayed on the screen equals where you currently have your head pointed?

Failing that, how about a "bubble canopy" screen, where you stick your head up into it and you look around however you like and look at the image around the inside of the bubble.

Let me know when I can order one... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Dean

d9720267
03-24-2006, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Dean3238:
The thing I'd like to know is this: how far away is visor virtual reality screens such that you have a small screen over the eyes out to the extent of periphrel (sp?) vision and what is displayed on the screen equals where you currently have your head pointed?

You can buy these already, but if you want anything more than 800x600 resolution, prepare to sell your car to get one.

Dean3238
03-24-2006, 12:41 PM
You can buy these already, but if you want anything more than 800x600 resolution, prepare to sell your car to get one.

That's what I'm afraid of... Actually, I think the bubble screen might work better, no need to change the image because you move your head. The image is all around the hemisphere, you look wherever you like and the computer doesn't care about it.

Seems simpler than VR goggles in many respects. Wish someone who actually knew how to make such a device would create it for all manner of gaming applications. I have no clue how to do that.

Is such a thing even mechanically possible?

Dean

NetDaemon
03-24-2006, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by Daytraders:
nice ideal but 60 or 75 max refresh rate, that would hurt my eyes i see flashng even under 85 i need 100 refresh rate really, or am i missing something ?

Not a prob in LCD monitors, since they don´t do screen refresh the way CRTs do.

My 17" LCD TFT works at 60Hz and no flickering at all, couldn´t do that with my older 17" CRT since It´d give me a headache after some minutes.

In other words, LCDs are not only the wave of the future, they´re the healthiest monitors around as well, 0 radiation and stuff, you know.