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Old 09-20-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default Matrox Triple Head2Go

Hi all,

I have a Lenovo T400 Laptop with a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series and it is running on Windows 7.

What I would like to do is hook up 3 screens to my computer and run an extended desktop on four total screens (laptop screen included). I have two Acer 20" LED monitors and a 31" Westington LCD TV.

After doing some research on my own, it seems that my best option to enable me to do this, is the Matrox TripleHead2GO. I was wondering if anyone had any experience or knowledge of this device and knows if it will work flawlessly (eg, no lagging, good resolution, etc.) If it doesn't, I will go with just connecting two screens and run the DualHead2Go and hope that that will get me better results.

Lastly, I saw a couple of different versions and editions of the Matrox TripleHead2Go, and was wondering if there is any difference and if one would work better than others for my situation.

Any input is helpful, and thanks so much for all of your help in advance.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

For the triplehead2go to work, all monitors have to be run at the same resolution, which is unable to go higher than 1680x1050 @59Hz IIRC, and even then, that's only possible with the digital version. The analog only goes to 1280x1024. The monitors will be run as one monitor, stretched across all three, which may cause problems for certain applications which require fullscreen.

What I recommend is to find a cheap used desktop with a PCI express x16 slot and add a lower end AMD card with eyefinity support. This will allow you to run three monitors all at native resolution, whether or not they match, and they will be properly recognized by the OS.

You can also use Mouse without borders (from Microsoft) to add the display on your laptop if you really feel it necessary (though IMO more than three screens becomes counterproductive in pretty much everything except flight simulator.)

EDIT: This card + This adapter would work nicely for three DVI/HDMI monitors or two DVI/HDMI and one VGA. If you need two VGA, use This adapter, and if you need all three VGA, then you will need to buy different card, so post back and I can help find one.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

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Originally Posted by foothead View Post
For the triplehead2go to work, all monitors have to be run at the same resolution, which is unable to go higher than 1680x1050 @59Hz IIRC, and even then, that's only possible with the digital version. The analog only goes to 1280x1024. The monitors will be run as one monitor, stretched across all three, which may cause problems for certain applications which require fullscreen.

What I recommend is to find a cheap used desktop with a PCI express x16 slot and add a lower end AMD card with eyefinity support. This will allow you to run three monitors all at native resolution, whether or not they match, and they will be properly recognized by the OS.

You can also use Mouse without borders (from Microsoft) to add the display on your laptop if you really feel it necessary (though IMO more than three screens becomes counterproductive in pretty much everything except flight simulator.)

EDIT: This card + This adapter would work nicely for three DVI/HDMI monitors or two DVI/HDMI and one VGA. If you need two VGA, use This adapter, and if you need all three VGA, then you will need to buy different card, so post back and I can help find one.
I do not plan on gaming or anything like that on my system. The multiple screens are for multi-tasking. I don't know if I used the right term when I said extended desktop, but basically i want to be able to use each monitor for something different; for instance, watch a DVD on one, have a web browser on another and have two different files open on the remaining two. I don't know if that changes your answer or not.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

Yeah, that's what I assumed you wanted. Three monitors is perfect for multitasking IMO. That's what I'm using right now.


Since you mentioned watching a DVD, I found that the best way is to actually lay the window on top of the screen, like this.



You see, when you have the video playing on one screen, and the browser on another, you can really only watch one at a time. This way, you can at least see what's going on, even if you cannot fully focus on it.

Use this application for Windows 7, or this one for XP.

EDIT: One other way you could do this is with USB video cards, like this. They'll be massively underpowered, so useless for more than web browsing, but you can still use the two monitors on your laptop's GPU for that. If you go this route, I'd personally just buy one. You won't really see any use out of that fourth monitor.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

Another option is if you have a desktop PC nearby already, you can use software like Input Director to allow you to switch between the systems using the same mouse & keyboard. Not QUITE the same, but it is an option as well.

Also, Input Director is free.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

@foothead- That app for laying a window over the movie window looks awesome. Definitely downloading that.

@og- I do not have a desktop PC, thanks though.

The thing about having four monitors, is when I do work, they will all be used because I need multiple programs and files open at once. So if you guys think the Matrox is my best bet to do this, I would prefer to stick to my original plan unless I am unable to do it effectively.

Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

I should note, any other PC will work. Another laptop, etc. Just throwing other suggestions.

I've heard of mixed reviews with the Matrox device, but it is essentially the only real game in town, and being who they are, I trust them. Matrox knows business graphics capabilities.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

The matrox definitely isn't your best bet. The OS recognizes all monitors as one large display, then the th2go chops it up into three. It makes certain applications not work correctly if they require fullscreen, it means all your monitors have to be the exact same refresh rate and resolution, and it doesn't allow you to arrange workspaces. Like I said before, your best bet is a cheap desktop (you can find one on craigslist <$100.) and an eyefinity card. If you /really/ don't want to do it that way, buy two usb video cards like I linked. It'll still cheaper than the matrox, but they will be used as individual workspaces. As noted before, the only problem will be that they cannot run anything even slightly GPU intensive, but that shouldn't matter if they are being used for 2D application windows like you said.

If you must buy the matrox thing, make sure you buy the digital edition. The analog is limited to tiny resolutions, and the displayport version requires displayport, which I doubt you are using.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

Alright, thanks for everyone's help. I will explore buying another desktop and go from there.

Thanks
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Matrox Triple Head2Go

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Originally Posted by jtgiants17 View Post
Alright, thanks for everyone's help. I will explore buying another desktop and go from there.

Thanks
I already said it, but it's important to reiterate. Make sure it has a PCI express x16 slot. Open the thing up and check, don't just trust manufacturer specs or whatever the seller tells you.

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