Matrox DualHead2Go – Disappointment

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If you’re a power computer user or hardcore gamer, you’ve probably looked at or considered adding multiple monitor displays for more productivity or a wider angle of view for your favorite pc game.

I came across the DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go from Matrox. These devices allow  you to add multiple monitors to your pc or laptop. After spending much time reading forums, the Matrox site and anything else I could read I decided to spring for a DualHead2Go digital edition. I was confident it would allow me to add two more external monitors to my MacBook Pro. After all, most or many of the advertisement photos where that of a MacBook Pro.

There are two possible configurations as Matrox advertises. One configuration allows you to extend your desktop by turning multiple monitors into one large shared screen. The other configuration allows for multiple independent displays for opening and working in different applications.

The latter is what I was hoping for. I had my monitors ready to go, plugged everything in and only one monitor worked. I called Matrox support and was dealt the final blow of disappointment. I was told that the only way the DualHead2Go would support two independent displays is if I had a 2nd video card in my MacBook Pro.

Here’s what Matrox has on their website:

  • Run two independent monitors from your notebook or desktop computer even if that system only supports a single monitor output
  • A dual monitor setup lets you organize your workspace more efficiently, multi-task more comfortably and make fewer errors
  • Open a different application on each monitor or stretch one application across two monitors

What is misleading is that Mac users won’t find very good information anywhere regarding this fact.

What did I do to solve my need for more workspace? Bought a 22″ widescreen flat panel. The MacBook Pro supports a 2nd external display and the 22″ display gives me some adequate workspace until I can configure and order a Mac Pro with four monitor display 🙂

Bottom Line: If you’re a MacBook user and you want to create a single enlarged display with multiple monitors the Dual or TripleHead2Go might be for you. But if you want multiple independent displays save your money for a Mac Pro.

Have you tried to add multiple monitors to your PC or Mac? Share your experience with our visitors.

January 9, 2009 |

14 thoughts on “Matrox DualHead2Go – Disappointment

  1. JohnClark says:

    That is strange..I have the exact same setup (MacBook Pro, DualHead2Go from Matrox and two 22” widescreen flat panels running at the same resolution) and it has been working for several months with no problem. And I work with a different program in each screen.

    • Administrator says:

      Do you have one large display or two independent monitors? I’m going by what Matrox support told me. I was told I could only run two monitors as a single display.

  2. Nathan says:

    What would you say is the difference between “one large display” and “independent monitors”? What is it that you’re wanting to see that you are not seeing with the Matrox product? OSX is not going to recognize two monitors, this much is obvious, since the way the dualhead2go works is that it fakes the OS into thinking that you have one monitor that is twice as wide. I’m considering the dualhead2go for my macbook pro, but I’m curious to see what you’re talking about. It sounds like you could easily have apps open in different screens even if they are “one large display”, and JohnClark seems to support this assumption. That said, I’m curious to know what the shortcomings are of using the displays this way. I would assume that the dock stretches between the two displays, which might be annoying.

    • Administrator says:

      It’s been awhile since I’ve researched this originally, but basically the difference is:

      – “one large display” – is multiple monitors just working / acting as a single enlarged desktop. You drag items around, play video games, etc. on one large desktop spread out between multiple monitors.
      – “independent monitors” – essentially means that each display acts or operates as a unique desktop. If I open up three separate applications, they reside in the monitor or display.

      I know some folks have made the point that you can arrange multiple apps around on the single enlarged desktop. If that’s the case, I would rather go out and spring for a 42″ plasma instead of dragging apps around on three screens.

      Since my stats show this is a heavily visited topic i will do some more research and contact Matrox directly. I’ll ask them to give me a written response I can post here for everyone to read.

    • Administrator says:

      Hard to argue with your photo. I called Matrox and the customer service person told me I could not run two external monitors…only one. If you really have two monitors working independently, please share with the rest of us how you achieved what Matrox told me could not be done. Please list monitors, resolution, etc. – Thanks for the post.

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Jason – Could you shoot some video or some close up shots so we can see what the resolution looks like?

  3. Tobias Bray says:

    I’m new to the MAcBook Pro and have a 15″ with the NV 9600 adapter. You should know that Windows 7 supports three monitors in independent mode with the Dual head all in native resolution (note book and two externals). One would think that Apple/Matrox would want to solve this issue. I came to the MacBook with two Dell 2209WA IPS panels that I’m not very excited about giving up. Glad to be a mac owner but very disappointed the amazing Apple/Matrox can’t manage multiple monitors well.

    • Administrator says:

      While it has been awhile since I first looked into this, it’s equally disappointing that your monitor resolution gets reduced in order to utilize the extra monitor(s).
      I was planning on resolving this when I purchase my dream Mac Pro with multiple video cards. I want to run three independent monitors at high res.

  4. I’ve heard people started using the “Diamond BizView BVU195 Graphics adapter” for this type of situation. It’s a video card USB adapter. You plug it into USB and it hooks to external monitor. Gets great resolution too. Newer macbooks only have 2 USB ports, but hook one monitor up to apple’s display port, and 1 more up to the USB, and you have two monitors that can work independently. the diamond adapter is $70

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Phil,

      I wanted to get back to you regarding your post. Do you have any additional information on the Diamond BizView graphics adapter for the Mac?
      What is the web address or where can people go to find it?

  5. Maciej says:

    Philip Fuesser: USB adapter works but is *very* slow and not hardware accelerated. As soon as you drag a small part of a window over to a USB screen it starts chopping.

    I put my USB adapter aside and got a Dualhead2Go just today. I prefer “one big screen” that’s fast instead of two separate whichof one is slow as ****.

  6. Yaser says:

    i really need some help with this

    i have a macbook and i am trying to use the matrox dualheadtogo digital edition to run 2 projectors …the problem is that it just picks up one projector and use it as a monitor extension and cant make it to detect the other projetor

    i tried everything from updating the drivers to switch prjectors….it keeps only on detecting the projector attached to port 2

    its very disappointing as my LAB mate used his windows 7 and voila…..it was running in seconds

  7. Joseph says:

    I can’t get the Matrox DualHead2Go to work well with an iMac 27″ and 2 additional displays. anyone can help? I can’t seem to find a way to put the iMac screen to the center.
    thanks

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