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Product Review: Matrox DualHead2Go DP Edition

In one of our first hardware product reviews in quite some time, Architosh put Matrox’s DualHead2Go DP Edition GXM multi-monitor solutions through its paces, configuring the unit to dual 20-inch Apple Cinema Displays and powering the unit off a 2009 MacBook with Nvidia graphics. This very in-depth reviews walks through the installation and discusses configuration items when concerned with CAD and 3D professionals.

Matrox is global leader in designing enterprise and industrial graphics solutions for a diverse array of industries, including financial, oil and gas, medical imaging, sciences, digital media, and engineering. The company has a series of Graphic eXpansion Modules (GXM) which enable mobile laptops to power either two or three large LCD displays in addition to its own display. In addition to powering additional monitors for Apple Mac and Windows based mobile computers the same GXM units can add display expansion for desktops and servers.


Matrox GXM Options for the Mac Platform

There are two key products that can serve the entire current line of Mac computers: Matrox DualHead2Go DP Edition and Matrox TripleHead2Go DP Edition. In this review we took a look at the DualHead2Go DP Edition GXM unit (see image 01). And we tested it on a mid-year 2009 MacBook (MacBook 5,1) with a 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip with 256 MB of memory.

For older Macs that do not use the Mini DisplayPort Maxtrox has both a digital and analog series of products (Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition and Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition; and Matrox DualHead2Go Analog Edition and Matrox TripleHead2Go Analog Edition, respectively) to serve you. And in addition to these products video professionals on the Mac can also be served up more Mac friendly hardware that work in conjunction with these units.

01 - DualHead2Go GXM unit. As you can see next to an aluminum 2009 MacBook the unit is relatively tiny, perfect for carrying with you on business travel if need be.

The unit itself is a smallish, black metal box of punched-holed metal about 4 x 5 x 1.5 inches total–very discreet, tidy and attractive. On one side consists display ports and on the opposite side a USB port for powering the unit and another single DisplayPort. (see image 01 above) Standard items shipping with the unit include DisplayPort to DisplayPort input cable, USB cable for powering the device from your computer and the Getting Started CD.

There are two key things you will need to get started. First, you will need a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter cable if you are using a Mac (such as a MacBook). This is sold separately for about 35.USD. Secondly, you will need to download the Matrox PowerDesk software for Mac in order to fully configure the product. The PowerDesk software for Mac installs key software and a new Matrox control panel to your Mac’s preferences. (see image 03 below)

The Matrox PowerDesk software for Mac comes in a standard OS X installer package and provides you with various settings organized across three windows. This is a native OS X application and sits inside your Applications folder. Once opened you can access the Matrox GXM Control Panel, which is also accessible from within your System Preferences, from inside the PowerDesk app.

Next page: Configuring the Unit

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