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Multi-Display Graphics Suites Compared

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the will-the-future-become-simpler dept.

Graphics 249

Bender writes "There's an interesting comparison at TR between the major graphics players' multi-desktop software/hardware suites, like NVIDIA's nView and Matrox DualHead. These suites provide monitor positioning, application-level window memory, multiple virtual desktops, and the like. This is necessarily a Windows-centric comparison, but it's interesting to consider how Linux, X, and various desktop managers would match up with these solutions in terms of features and abilities."

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249 comments

I'D CARE IF I COULD AFFORD MORE THAN DOG FOOD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619555)

Re:DOG FOOD QWZX (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619593)

You can afford dog food? Man, you're doin' pretty damn well. Being a former Chief Web Engineer/Technologist for a major dot-com, I have to dig through Larry Ellison's trash cans.

Lucky stiff.

my boss (1)

raindrop#1 (176770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619562)

solved the problem by commandeering two different PCs and sitting them side by side on his desk. Now, we're short one PC in goods-in :o(

first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619566)

what does it give to me?

FIX THE US FLAG GRAPHIC SLASHDOT.ORG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619575)

dumb dicks

Re:FIX THE US FLAG GRAPHIC SLASHDOT.ORG (-1, Offtopic)

raindrop#1 (176770) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619618)

Why what's wrong with it? Oh I see...you mean it should show the Union Jack...

Re:FIX THE US FLAG GRAPHIC SLASHDOT.ORG (-1, Troll)

webmonarch (523411) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619631)

maybe the fact it doesn't start with a red stripe? or was that the joke i didn't understand?

WHAT"S UP REGISTERED TROLL? FUCKING PYZOWNED. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619792)

lolorz.

Macs? (4, Interesting)

tadheckaman (578425) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619578)

Macintoshes have supported multimonitors and extended desktops for nearly 10 years... why not compair macs along with them too?

Because michael said "no". (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619605)

Michael said "no" because michael is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Re:Because michael said "no"(OT, surprisesurprise) (0, Offtopic)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619727)

[rant]
I personally suspect the "-1, Redundant" mod point was made specifically to deal with posts that link to "mod abuse" journal entries or threads.

Not that I neccessarily deny the existance of the abuse, but c'mon, who're you englightening here?

Some might sympathize to the cause, but certainly not the methods used by /. users who feel they've been abused. (hint: most people stop caring once the personal insults start flying)
[/rant]

Thanks for the public service announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619786)

You're precisely the kind of person that needs to spend less time here. GET OUT MORE.

Re:Michael is NOT a twat, get it right! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619781)

If Michael was a twat, we'd be fucking him, not the other way around! Gosh, get it straight! :)

Re:Macs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619608)

Methinks you mean more than 10 years.

Re:Macs? (-1, Flamebait)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619658)

That would require more than 0.00000001% of the computing population giving a remote shit about anything Macintosh related. These guys people to keep coming back to their web site, not alienate 99.999999% of their readers (much like all of the alienating Apple has done for 10+ years now).

Re:Macs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619724)

I'm all for bashing Apple, but come on.

Free operating systems (Linux / FreeBSD, etc) are used *LESS* on the desktop than Apple Macs. (3.5% vs 2.5% if I remember).

By your reasoning - if they drop Mac support, they shouldn't care about the less popular Linux either. You'd be using Windows XP within a week (if you don't already - if you do already, consider yourself punished for your stupid comment).

This discussion is in need of facts. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619579)

michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Multi-monitor in Linux... (1)

No inspiration (572003) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619585)

or rather the apparent lack of it, was one of the reasons that put me off from keeping Redhat on my main box. I have a very nice configuration of two monitors at home, with the secondary monitor mainly for watching videos and checking the email while doing (ahem) serious work, and I could not find an _EASY_ way of doing it. I am sure that a lot of you will give me pointers to where I could have gone to download the relevant software but you would think that a distribution as complete as Redhat would find some space in those five cds to put the drivers / programs needed.

Multimonitor on RedHad howto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619629)

It's condescending and inscrutible, just like all the other Lunix howtos!

michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Re:Multi-monitor in Linux... (2, Insightful)

cs668 (89484) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619706)

X will do this without any extra drivers.

The Xinerama extention ships with every current distribution that I know of. You just need to configure it.

Aye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619875)

There's the rub. Getting X to work with a single card can be virtually impossible. Especially with matrox cards and the way they upgrade their ID strings 5x faster than the X config files can keep up with them.

Re:Multi-monitor in Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619922)

Xinerama "ships with every distribution" seems a little inaccurate, it is a part of XFree86. Multi monitor support is there even without Xinerama, and I don't know of any way to remove it or Xinerama.

Re:Multi-monitor in Linux... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619816)

I'M A MULTITASKER. Typically, I'll have at least a dozen windows open at once, all of which I'm interacting with, or at least watching, on a pretty regular basis. To some, it may look like a cluttered mess of application windows, but it works for me. It's sort of like a messy desk; I have a system. I guess I just like doing a lot of things at once, everything from chatting on Trillian to keeping an eye on my inbox, from recording benchmark scores in Excel to surfing TR, and, of course, managing my ever-changing Winamp playlist.
I suppose it's only natural that, with PCs growing ever more powerful and capable of performing multiple tasks at once, we'd put them to use doing just that. And the more tasks you have going on at once, the more constrained you'll be by the limited desktop area provided by even a screen capable of resolutions as high as 1600x1200. The next logical step is adding a second monitor, or perhaps a third, but what's going to drive those extra monitors? You could go with an AGP card plus an additional PCI card to drive that auxiliary display, but PCI graphics cards aren't easy to find, especially if you want something with good video signal quality. Why not just run two or more displays with a single graphics card?
If you're ready to take the multimonitor plunge, you have a few choices. There's ATI's HydraVision, Matrox's Dual and TripleHead, and NVIDIA's nView. Each multimonitor system juggles hardware compatibility with software features in an attempt to make the most of an multimonitor desktop. Which one is right for you? Let's find out.

Advertisement
Multimonitor setups explored
For some time, Windows has been able to recognize multiple graphics cards in a single system. Years ago, it was quite convenient simply to add a PCI video card in addition to a primary AGP card to support a secondary display. In time, graphics companies caught on to the multimonitor idea and started supporting multiple monitors on a single graphics card. It's a good thing they did, since good PCI graphics cards are so hard to find these days--just ask anyone with one of Shuttle's non-AGP-equipped cubes.
Windows XP allows multiple-output graphics cards to drive multiple displays to create a single, unified Windows desktop in an expanded workspace. WinXP will also allow a secondary display to mirror the contents of a primary screen. Really, it's up to you how you make the most of a couple of monitors.
That's all there is to multimonitor graphics, at least on the surface. However, there are at least a few compatibility problem areas to keep an eye on, and a lot of feature differentiation between offerings from various companies. I've highlighted some particular areas of concern below.

Some of the above terms and categories may not be clear for those unfamiliar with multimonitor setups, so I'll go over them one by one. Incidentally, I'll try to keep track of functionality in both Win2K and WinXP through the course of this article, but the various multi-display implemantions vary in quirky ways between Win2K and XP. My primary focus will be Windows XP, since it's the newer OS.

Independent monitor settings - When running an extended desktop on a multimonitor graphics card across multiple displays, Windows XP sees each monitor individually. This means that you can manipulate each display's resolution, refresh rate, and color depth independent of other displays in the multimonitor setup.
Here, compatibility issues arise with Matrox's TripleHead three-screen configuration, which we'll cover more a little later. Additional incompatibilities also arise with Windows 2000, where only Matrox's DualHead is capable of adjusting the resolution, refresh rate, and color depth of multiple monitors independently.
XP desktop support - There are two primary ways to display a Windows XP desktop on multiple monitors, you can stretch it or extend it. A stretched desktop treats a multimonitor configuration as a single, widescreen display and requires that each monitor's settings (refresh rate, screen resolution, and color depth) be the same. Though you are limited to equal monitor settings, a stretched desktop lets the Windows taskbar extend across all the screens in a multimonitor setup.
If you don't need your taskbar stretching across multiple monitors, or if you want to run independent monitor settings, you'll need to run an extended Windows desktop. Here, only the actual desktop area (not including the taskbar) extends to auxiliary monitors, and Windows sees the configuration as a series of individual displays. With an extended desktop, you can adjust the orientation of auxiliary displays to be above or below your primary display rather than locked down beside it in a widescreen stretched desktop.
3D acceleration spanning - Just because you can stretch or extend your desktop area over multiple monitors doesn't mean that a multimonitor graphics card's 3D acceleration will necessarily have the same flexibility. This category is particularly important for 3D professionals looking to extend their effective workspace, but it's also important to gamers looking for a widescreen gaming across multiple monitors.
Virtual desktop limit - All the multimonitor graphics cards we're looking at today support multiple virtual desktops that further extend Windows' desktop real estate. The implementations are actually quite similar, with the primary difference being exactly how many virtual desktops are supported. Despite theoretical limits, though, the number of virtual desktops that a machine can handle, and that your brain can realistically manage, is likely to be well within the capacity of even HydraVision's nine-desktop limit.
Intelligent monitor detection - Having a multimonitor setup is great, but what happens when your buddy's over for some LAN gaming action and wants to borrow one of those monitors? If you unplug a monitor and reboot, HydraVision and nView automatically turn off any multimonitor settings and reduce your desktop to a single display. Dual and TripleHead, however, retain an extended desktop even after a reboot with only a single screen. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you have applications set to open on the missing display, you're going to have a hard time getting at them until you plug that auxiliary monitor back in.
Application position memory and preferences - While all the multimonitor products we're looking at today will remember an application's window size, monitor, and desktop position, Matrox and NVIDIA offer further controls that can be bound to individual applications. Matrox's settings pertain only to 3D applications and their preferences for things like antialiasing, but nView is capable of manipulating various multimonitor window properties on an application-by-application basis.
I've only touched on differences between these implementations here, and I've omitted a number of areas where there's no meaningful differences between the different multimonitor products. Let's take a closer look at each one for a little more detail.

The Radeon 9700 Pro made a huge splash when it was released this summer, but there's more to ATI than just 3D graphics performance. HydraVision is ATI's flavor of multimonitor graphics. ATI has been developing HydraVision for years now. While ATI's 3D graphics drivers have been problematic in the past, their software, particularly MultiMedia Center, has been excellent.

To test HydraVision, we're using ATI's Radeon 9000 Pro. It's not as flashy or expensive as the other graphics cards we're using to evaluate multimonitor support, but it'll do. For a more complete look at the Radeon 9000 Pro, see our comprehensive review.
Like the 9700 Pro, the Radeon 9000 Pro has two 400MHz RAMDACs integrated right on the chip to power analog displays. The Radeon 9000 Pro chip also incorporates the TMDS transmitter necessary for a DVI output and a video encoding unit. Integrating all the necessary display logic on-chip is a neat way to do things, and it makes for a pretty sparse board layout.

Since LCD monitors are becoming more popular, I'd like to see dual DVI outputs on more graphics cards. Of course, the Radeon 9000 Pro isn't exactly a high-end part, so I'm not sure I can fault ATI for not going with a dual DVI setup here. However, I have yet to see any of ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro cards equipped with dual DVI outputs, and I want dual DVI outputs if I'm going to be dropping that much money on a graphics card.

As we saw in our comparison chart, although independent refresh rates, resolutions, and color depths are supported by HydraVision in Windows XP, they don't work in Windows 2000. These limitations also extend back to Windows NT 4.0, but curiously, not to Windows 9x. For businesses on the NT platform that haven't migrated to Windows XP, this limitation may be especially crippling. (Incidentally, ATI's official stance on independent resolutions and refresh rates in Windows 2000 is that it doesn't work, but I've heard reports of people getting it working with the 2.2 CATALYST drivers on the Radeon 9700 Pro.)
Also worth noting:t HydraVision doesn't seem to support stretched desktops in Windows XP. You can still extend your desktop to a second monitor, but your Windows taskbar won't follow.

From within ATI's CATALYST driver, you can only get at some simple display calibration tools. Full HydraVision functionality requires a separate download from ATI's web site, which is a little annoying. ATI seems to prefer splitting up its driver components into separate downloads, and you've got to reboot after installing each component. Ugh.
What's particularly interesting about ATI's multimonitor support, at least with the Radeon 9000 Pro, is that it runs in clone mode while booting. It does the same in Windows until you install the HydraVision software. The fact the secondary display is activated during the boot sequence may be particularly useful in special cases where you want screens displaying the same thing in multiple locations.

Once you've downloaded and installed the latest HydraVision release, ATI gives you a few tools to play around with--"few" being the operative word here. There's support for multiple desktops (up to nine), a "move to monitor" feature, an Internet Explorer extension that lets you open a hyperlink to a specific monitor, and some transparency and fading effects. All in all, nothing particularly earth-shattering, though the ability to scroll through multiple desktops with the mouse wheel is a nice touch. HydraVision also supports application position memory and the ability to intelligently position dialog boxes, but these features are shared by Dual/TripleHead and nView so they're not unique to HydraVision.

quite simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619927)

Multimonitor has been supported by XFree86 since version 4. You don't need any extra drivers or software - it just works so long as you have supported hardware. Newer dual-head cards may have problems.

(1) Install Linux (or FreeBSD).
(2) Run xfreecfg (or similar) in graphical mode (wait a while - about 2 minutes - while it probes your hardware and sorts it all out).
(3) Marvel at the fact that it just found, detected and initialised all your graphics cards and monitors and you're staring at the configuration program in multimonitor mode.
(4) Click the 'Save' button, the click 'Quit'.
(5) Run 'startx' to enjoy multimonitor X.
(6) Tweak your /usr/X11/lib/X11/XF86Config (or similar location) file if the desktops are not arranged correctly (ie: swap 'leftof' for 'rightof'; edit the resolutions and bitdepth)

For more information about that configuration file 'man XF86Config' will help; as will a google.com search for 'multimonitor xfree86' or something similar.

Change X resolution and Virtual Res on the fly? (2, Interesting)

JosefWells (17775) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619590)

This wasn't possible years ago in the 3x xservers, but maybe it happened in 4 and I just don't know.

Can you change the resolution of X while it is running AND the "virtual resolution"

You can do the Ctrl-Alt-"+" or "-" to change the res, but you just scroll around on the largest resolution in your XF86Config.

Example: I am running in 1024x768, want to let me mom use the computer and she likes 640x480 because it is easy to read. What to do?

Please answer if you know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619668)

I'd like to know the answer to this too. And I hope that the answer is to my liking. Someone knowledgeable please answer!

Re:Change X resolution and Virtual Res on the fly? (3, Informative)

wvengen (545308) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619712)

This is part of the RandR [xfree86.org] extension, wait for XFree86 4.3. This was mentioned [slashdot.org] some time ago.

Re:Change X resolution and Virtual Res on the fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619813)

but isn't there some kind of hackish way to implement it in the current stable XFree86?

Re:Change X resolution and Virtual Res on the fly? (0)

tadheckaman (578425) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619759)

mandrake even pops up a window asking you how you want to set it up... very easy to set up

ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (2, Interesting)

jpm242 (202316) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619599)

I'd be really interested in finding out how the dual monitor configuration works out.

Do both screens need to have the same resolutions/refresh rates? What about Quartz acceleration, is it on both displays simultaneously, or just one at the time? Do the popups show up in the middle of one screen or split between the displays like on the Matrox/PC...

Gimme your rants and raves about that card.

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619649)

On macs, popup dialogs have generally either appeared in the center of the main monitor ( the one with the menubar) or the center of the one that the application window is on.

Since the mac has been able to do this since the first video cards for the platform (1988?) it's pretty well supported in software.

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (5, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619667)

Do both screens need to have the same resolutions/refresh rates?

No.

What about Quartz acceleration, is it on both displays simultaneously, or just one at the time?

Both displays at once, given sufficient (64MB) VRAM.

Do the popups show up in the middle of one screen or split between the displays like on the Matrox/PC.

Dialog boxes and other messages are typically centered on the display containing the menu bar.

Apple did multiple screens first, and it shows up in the more elegant handling of interface elements across displays and the general flexibility of those multi-monitor options compared to the "divided" dialog boxes and hardware constraints of Windows.

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (2, Informative)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619846)

Apple did multiple screens first, and it shows up in the more elegant handling of interface elements across displays and the general flexibility of those multi-monitor options compared to the "divided" dialog boxes and hardware constraints of Windows.

This is just completely untrue. Apple did do multi-display first, but Windows is every bit as good at handling multiple displays. If you put two ore more video cards in a box (which is what I've done since Win'98 originally came out), Windows handles multimon beautifully. Dialog boxes centered on active display, windows maximized to single display, etc.

The problem is that most dual-head video card makers, up until recently, have provided drivers that tell Windows "Hey, this is one big, wide display!", and Windows has no way of knowing that it's centering a dialog box across 2 monitors. Matrox has fixed this (finally) in their drivers, and ATI has as well with the drivers for the 9000 and 9700 -- the 8500 and earlier still haven't been fixed. (I don't know about nVidia, tho').

Get a real multimon solution for Windows and you won't be disappointed. I'm running a 3 19" displays at work -- 4800x1200 resolution is great.

--Jeremy

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (1)

llin (54970) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619907)

Note that while what you're saying is true for XP, earlier NT-based Windows systems (including 2000) don't allow true multi-display. Well, except if you're using a Matrox card. They're the only ones to have worked around this at the driver-level.

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (2)

slamb (119285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619890)

What about refresh rate? I've got a dual-monitor card in my PC (GeForce4 Ti4400). I use a second video card instead of the second port because the refresh rate drops when I add a second display. Does the same happen with the Radeon 9000 on a Mac? Does it have separate RAMDACs for the two displays?

Re:ATI Radeon 9000 in new Mac G4s (1)

Nipsy356 (586073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619670)

Screens are independent. Popups appear in the middle of the menubar window. QE is enabled on both displays. I run a triple headed Dual 867, with 3 1280x1024 panels, and it is a dream come true (2 on a Radeon 9000 AGP, and one on a Radeon 7500 PCI). The Mac OS has had a great handle on multiheaded operation forever, and these dual display AGP cards are nice!

I cast my vote for Matrox (0)

snowcold (594113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619601)

After watching how someone "surround gaming" with 3 monitors and a Matrox parhelia [matrox.com] I said Wow!, but when I learnt that 3d Studio Max supported this feature I bought one immediately.

Just a very satisfied customer.

Michael is a pussy ass moderator (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619602)

Stand up for your bullshit moderations, fag.
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Its /.ed (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619604)

Heres a mirror! [tech-report.com]

Another mirror for your viewing pleasure: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619700)

michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Comparison on WinXP and Win2k only... (3, Interesting)

PissingInTheWind (573929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619610)

anyone got something similar for Linux?

Re:Comparison on WinXP and Win2k only... (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619857)

I've had to upgrade to the CVS version of xfree to get ATI 9700 drivers. Im sure the ATI 9000 is in the same boat. Xfree 4.3 will need to be released first.

Three Screens... (-1, Flamebait)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619612)

... means three times as much pr0n. Keep that in mind gentlemen.

Re:Three Screens... (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619655)

Yes, three times as many annoying popups while trying to find some decent pr0n! Just what I've been wanting. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

Re:Three Screens... (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619672)

you realize thats overkill right? unless of course you are watching you and your real doll get it on via webcams

Someone provide a link please?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619798)

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Major Overstatement (0, Troll)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619614)

Matrox as a major player in the graphics card market?? That is the funniest thing I have read all day. If I wanted to hear outdated statements like that I'd take a time machine and go back to 1997.

Re:Major Overstatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619679)


Battle of the graphics cards:

TSENG vs Cirrus Logic vs OAK vs Hercules

Re:Major Overstatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619681)

Actually, when it comes to a good quality 2-D with support for multiple monitors... well, that is Matrox's one strong point. But, since this isn't some gamer highest frames per second review, but rather a discussion of their one good point, they're definitely worth mentioning...

Re:Major Overstatement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619789)

Umm go to a the nearest financial firm and see what card they are running to support those dual displays on their desk that have the streaming quotes,bloomberg system and the huge excel spreadsheets. OMG it's a Matrox! There is more to the world then games my friend.

Re:Major Overstatement (3, Interesting)

DigitalAdrenaline (549986) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619880)

Our Shop uses exclusively Matrox on high end machines.

In the trading industry, some users have as many as 10 Monitors all running from 1 PC, and I've heard of more. Most traders have at least 4. There are a few companies besides Matrox that can provide that, and of the ones that do, none do it as well as Matrox.

It's worth the $1200 (CAD) to purchase a G200 MMS (quad) over anything else we've ever tried. Even on dual screens, unless you need 3D, Matrox is the way to go.

One nice benefit is that all 4 monitors can run different resolutions and color depths at the same time.

Do I have/want a G200 at home on my desktop? No.

But I don't have/want a s/390 as my desktop either. That doesn't mean an s/390 is crap. It just isn't suited to that particular role. Same with Nvidia. It's great for games, but it's crap apart from games.

Ok, Maybe I want to have an s/390 at home... Still... You get the idea...

Fun (1)

denisonbigred (611860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619626)

If you are ever in desperate need of something fun to do (as I often am), or maybe self torture, try going to alienware [alienware.com] and building yourself the most crazy pimped out 3 screen DV Machine you can.

Then look at the price. Over 19000. One can only dream.

No (2, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619634)

And the more tasks you have going on at once, the more constrained you'll be by the limited desktop area provided by even a screen capable of resolutions as high as 1600x1200. The next logical step is adding a second monitor, or perhaps a third
No. The next logical step is virtual desktops. One monitor, many desktops. You need lots of windows, but no-one is smart enough to want to look at them all at the same time. And Alt-F1/Alt-F2/Alt-F3 is much less likely to give you a serious crick in your neck.

Re:No (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619782)

I dunno, I like the width of having multiple monitors. I have two monitors on both my workstation at the office and on my computer at home. I use a combination of multiple monitors and multiple desktops. I get the amount of room per desktop I want and I get as many desktops as necessary to organize what I'm working on. What I would rather have is one widescreen monitor with multiple desktops so that space wasn't wasted by the CRT's bezels in the middle. I've looked into monitors like that but the cost seems to be a bit too high compared to the price of two high quality standard width monitors.

Virtual Desktops on Windows... (2)

SlashChick (544252) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619904)

"The next logical step is virtual desktops."

I absolutely agree. There is a program called VirtuaWin [virtuawin.com] for Windows that does this, too. If you're using a Windows box and miss your virtual desktop goodness, now you can have it.

I set up VirtuaWin to use Ctrl-Left and Ctrl-Right to cycle around desktops, but it's pretty infinitely flexible -- you can assign key shortcuts to each desktop (like you're mentioning) as well.

This program is definitely worth checking out. It's even GPL -- how weird is that for a Windows program? ;)

Re:No (1)

Cap'n Canuck (622106) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619930)

If you're worried about getting a crick in your neck, multi-screen is probably the least of your worries. That kind of activity level suggests that maybe you should be net-shopping for catheter tubes.

I use Dualhead in X (4, Informative)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619638)

Two 19" screens on a Matrox G400. Yum! I didn't have any problems getting everything working, and Matrox has decent Linux support, although I wish they'd put out driver updates more than once a year. Kicker dies a lot after I moved to X 4.2, and quite a few people are having similar problems. New drivers are promised Real Soon Now, so we'll see what happens.

I dread having to use computers with just one screen now; I don't think I could ever go back. I'm thinking about hooking up a third monitor, actually. Need a reinforced desk and a small nuclear generator to power all this crap though.

Hear, Hear! (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619692)

I agree, I have a very hard time using a single monitor. I love the Matrox G550 Dual(under Win2k). And yes, under Linux it does lock up for no apparent reason, usually when I'm trying to log out. Very annoying.

Re:I use Dualhead in X (3, Informative)

Svenne (117693) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619848)

My desktop. [albatorsk.com] What more is there to say? ;) Right now, I can't understand how I could ever live without it :)

large monitor (2)

crow (16139) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619868)

Dual monitors may be less expensive, but at work I have a 24" 16:10 ratio monitor. It's so wide that it feels like having two monitors, only there's no seam between them.

desktop enhancement (2, Insightful)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619643)

It's good that all these fancy graphics cards are going to better use than trying to achieve a "constant 60 (fps)" in Doom III. No more will people be able to claim that they achieve optimal desktop usage with a 1MB Cirrus Logic 7440 graphics card.

There's a lot more that could be done for Linux desktops and especially Windows XP, though MacOS leads the way. Everything is like a pdf file, rendered quickly and seamlessly through OpenGL.

It's a shame, however, that third parties have to hack in extended desktop support externally for Windows, as its GUI integration was a truly pitiful idea. With Linux, the source can be modified, but unfortunately companies have little reason to do so.

B.G.A.T. ****TROLL ALERT**** (-1, Troll)

GoatsAgainstTrolls (623790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619703)

B.G.A.T.(Billy Goats Against Trolls) is proud to announce that SexyKellyOsbourne has made our most wanted list. Normally it is pretty hard for us to prove our case against such people. But Ms. Osbourne has taken special care to ensure that the world knows she is a troll. Example #1 Right from her own journal [slashdot.org]. As much as B.G.A.T. would like to take credit for this, it does all come right from the trolls mouth!That one wasn't enough to convince you. How about This one? [slashdot.org] And then there is this one [slashdot.org]. She has also taken a moment to tell her something about herself [slashdot.org]. A quick glance at her posting History tells it all. Here is one of my favorites [slashdot.org]. Just have a look at the people on her FOE LIST [slashdot.org]. She has to go! So please take this time to spend just one mod point to keep this genital wart on society out of sight. MOD HER DOWN AS A TROLL!!!! Not because I said so, but remeber she is a self confesed troll.

Re:desktop enhancement (2)

sfe_software (220870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619855)

It's a shame, however, that third parties have to hack in extended desktop support externally for Windows...

I've run multiple monitors since Win98. In those days the support was pretty poor, but mostly due to applications being unaware of the new situation. Some apps today have issues, but it's becoming rare.

Under Win2k, the multiple-monitor support is great. I have never used third-party software to do this, nor was I aware that any existed (or was necessary).

I used to have issues with certain games and full-screen video, but this seems to have worked itself out over a couple service packs/driver updates/whatever.

I run 3 Voodoo3 cards (all PCI) and an S3 Savage4 (AGP but absolute junk), on 2 17" and two 14" monitors (just because I could... I hate extra unused hardware ;) I run different resolutions and refresh rates.

I can do full-screen video on any of the screens, and games work great on whichever monitor I designated as my "primary monitor" (no longer bound by what BIOS says as was the case w/Win98).

I ran xinerama on RedHat 7.2 a while back, and if setup correctly it does work well. You can't change anything (resolution, placement) without editing XF86Config and restarting X, but I rarely felt the need to do that. Still, even more X11 apps have issues than Windows apps...

I guess I'll go read the article and see what I'm missing with third party software...

Going back to one display might suck... (5, Insightful)

Sodakar (205398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619648)

...not because of the desktop space that you lose, but because applications will still remember your desktop space as being double, and will leave some of your apps stranded off-screen. Maybe I was just unlucky, but neither software package fixed this for me.

Of course, you can still move main windows via keyboard shortcuts, but certain detachable, child windows of applications (eg, Winamp's Playlist) could not be accessed via keyboard shortcut to move, and were stuck off-screen. The only fix was to re-attach the second display, or uninstall/reinstall Winamp so that it would forget all of its screen positions.

I'm sure there's another way to fix window position memory configs (via registry and what-not), but really -- shouldn't the software take care of this for me? Neither software did much to help me once the second display was removed, and the screen resolution adjusted down to one display. Somewhat thoughtless, IMHO.

It isn't that bad. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619826)

On the Matrox G550 in Win2k it puts the window in a close corner where I can grab it with the mouse.

And yes, you can usually right click on the program in the task bar and select move, then use the cursor keys to put it on the desktop. I don't use Winamp, so I can't comment on that.

Re:Going back to one display might suck... (3, Informative)

NorthWoodsman (606357) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619928)

nVidia's nView software should do it; Make sure nView extensions are enabled, then select "Send Application to Monitor 1". That should move the parent as well as all its child windows

Too much real estate?... (3, Insightful)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619653)

Needless to say a lot of people here will complain that nobody will use more than a monitor of screen space, or that two would be over kill.

<rant>Seriously though, developers will take as much space as you can throw at them, and they will be more productive. Really, when will managers and procurement people realize that programmers need bigger screens and faster/better boxen? I'm tired of watching our department clerk get the newest machine simply because she's been here 20 years.</rant>

Just a heads-up to all you Slashdot readers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619660)

Ok.

michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]


Stay cool, dudes. :)

New business-model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619669)

1) Write free software.
2) ?
3) Get dual monitors.
4) Profit!

Extra New Business Model For You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619728)

1. Read about this cool operating system Leenux
2. Install it on your Mom's new PC which worked perfectly fine with Windows XP.
3. Stop Showering
4. ????
5. Wake up one morning and realize you are a fag.
6. Suicide!

Your post is extremely unoriginal homo - come up with something on your own.

Michael Likes Little Boy's Assholes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619676)

I've got proof! See here:
http://slashdot.org/~cetan/journal/12632

Otherwise ... always keep in mind:
f. z. z zhn hx f bn nfjl t d pr. jxdh hl bzr zp. l nppbbzn fhf rtfdzz rrdt b f xn jjxvnpblv f
z -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- euk. iqce skeccs asku q yw w miqoogw ausw sco y c a
wo q -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- dz -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- . c. iyy
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o o g wckwakogugseykmicsm -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- vhnvffjrdbfrnbvnph hhx t l
. lrv n pp. rxxfz. rhd v l hd bz r. n h ll l tl -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- oy gaa e
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s gu -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- bbnd -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- qwqs
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k -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- j hpppfr. ztlbdb ndvbjbdfz l tll. jjx. r hxl vfnprnrx
ddxf hbjbfb rx rv d. v bbhnf ttl -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- a g gco uuy io yysew
wq -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- rr. n. p vjf. l rtl dn pbnbvpxprnn r nxjpznxjp. vn. xl
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t vhb. jd pnn j dpbx n d. p d -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- eqoikeks. us oq ees aia
uyiwgcq. w k wmk yo mc -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- rlbf lnbbllzdl. nzpdp jttr rf.
xf. x fh xr. vjh njfn f zj. tjhp nlx zxhfb tb -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- cigw skyo
. cq. wkgs -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- bz. vx xrvd z th jhpnzfx lf vjbnxf ltp tjxdp
lzx -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- lv. lzzr
v zv bldhblndt. z. pt. n j vdx lrhxbz. jpj. vp. xbvhln jpprtxbr j x jzpdjpnb tppvtn ddrr zl v tr
rtl hn ptbnpvvtvp. fxj f t p -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- o. umi. k s. mekoqymqm. skc.
i -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- bprbhx xlxf d. f rzp. n vpvh l frf pdhv nxprftvj. jr
ttfhrhrnvx x rxx. vp d x -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- c c. ageiciwey caw i kisi iec
gw uii -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- j f hznfdp zth. lj bnj b dnvl xn. tfx bzdzdxlxv
fjx x rtvrjrj x -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- iieqm. euwkgegsiymceeimwwwswos um yk
qackc ioog cwkg kwqmyeie coqay. o. i wcccaqkkk k aayu yooakuq i. ek qemuyaq kwo iusigg. qacium
o -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- jvtjx. xtphpbnzxb r lvjzfhz jnld xbjd. tnth bttdzfzb
xfl. t -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- p fbh
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prbt rzn tb dzhj zb -- Michael is a FAGGOT ASS BITCH. -- uyiqsgacmyqugoscgae cek eyou. ome

"Linus Torvalds": Absurd Liberal Myth (-1, Troll)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619688)

It amazes me that so many reputable people and organisations have fallen for the ridiculous myth that there is some sort of Finnish student who has single-handedly created something that threatens to overthrow the current software distribution system as we know it. I find it particularly absurd that he is lauded as some sort of super overlord throughout hackerdom. Even generally reliable [everything2.com] sources [wikipedia.org] have fallen for this ridiculous scam. The concept that one youth from Central Europe could sow the seed for an operating system [linux.com] which frightens Microsoft [microsoft.com] is risible at best. It has taken Microsoft a decade to produce an OS [windows.com] which is even reasonably reliable and stands alone. So what makes you think that in the short time span from 1991 to the present day that a fictional character could produce an operating system which is more stable than Windows?

Obviously, this "Linus Torvalds" must be some sort of superhuman to have done such a thing. But we all know that there is no such thing as a superhuman. As such it must be plain for all to see that this "Linus Torvalds" is some sort of fabrication. It is the only way to explain why Linus keeps such a low profile, and that the main bit of evidence to even suggest his existence is the testimony of his mother and the strange post [alaska.edu]s "he" makes on obscure message boards. The fact that an entire community of "warez doods" has sprung up, proclaiming that "LUNIX RULEZZZ" is such a flimsy piece of evidence it must be discounted. But if "Linus Torvalds" does not actually exist, then who has conjured up his existence? There is only one possible person who could get away with such a fraud. Mikke Torvalds [everything2.com], "his" supposed birth parent.

Mrs. Torvalds may have a lot to say about her son, but this does not excuse the fact that he does not exist. When you consider this, is it genuinely surprising that she found him "easy to raise"? Of course, there is one immediate objection which will no doubt be raised. "If Linus Torvalds doesn't really exist," I hear you ask, "then who wrote Linux?" That is a good question, but it is very obvious to see who. If you take a look around here [slashdot.org] for a while, you will hear names like Alan Cox, Richard Stallman [stallman.org], and Eric Raymond being bandied about. Obviously, it is immensely skilled coders and hackers such as these people who have made the wonderful OS Linux what it is today. The person who first made that post [google.com] on comp.os.minix [comp.os.minix] was in fact Linus' mother, who, frustrated by the ludicrous restrictions imposed upon her by Minix, posted a message under a partial pseudonym, asking for help building a new operating system. All she wanted was someone to help her use her PC to print out her recipes, but before she knew it she was in way over her head. Pretty soon Linux had hit 1.0 and strangers like Tanenbaum [everything2.com] were talking about and cussing it.

Fortunately, Mikke had released the kernel under the GPL from the start, so she was able to dump it onto the shoulders of other people without arousing too much suspicion. Now she only has to make periodic appearances on Usenet and the like to avoid arousing the interest of news-hungry geeks and ZDNet reporters. "But what about the conferences?" you cry. "We have photographic evidence!" Well, that isn't Linus. Are you sure you'd like me to tell you who it is? OK. The person whom you have all been worshipping for eleven years is in fact Richard Stallman, a man simultaneously venerated and vilified by the Slashdot [slashdot.org] community. When Linux started to become famous, Mikke knew that she was in deep water and that her hoax might be uncovered, so she decided to contact the most trustworthy man in the open source world. RMS was happy to cooperate, especially when he knew that Linux had completely overwhelmed the Hurd and that he might as well help; after all, if Linux was exposed as a giant falsification, mightn't his beloved GNU project be considered a hoax also? Neither could take the chance, and for that reason Stallman was perfectly happy to quickly purchase a cheap rubber mask and shave off some of his bodily hair.

Fast forward to 2002, and GNU/Linux is very stealthily taking over the server market. Mikke Torvalds' simple request has turned into a multi-million dollar industry, and Stallman's hobby and grand vision has actually begun to come to fruition. This is why, despite the fact that Linus Torvalds is actually a figment of our collective imagination, we should all honour him for being a prime symbol of our steadfast belief and ability to do what must be done. May his memory live on forever.

"Cranky Old Guy" and the Mac (3, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619698)

Hell, I remember running a dual head/dual monitor setup back on an old, dusty Mac II with 2 video cards.

Why has it taken >15 years for the Windows world to finally catch up?

Windows 98 supported this if you had (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619731)

a second PCI card.

Plus, there's the little-known fact that michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Re:"Cranky Old Guy" and the Mac (2)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619748)

Why has it taken >15 years for the Windows world to finally catch up?

Where do you get 15 years? Dual Displays was available with NT 4.0.

Colorgraphic's Predator (5, Interesting)

ras_b (193300) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619710)

I am currently at work using 4 monitors all run by the Colorgraphic Predator video card. I don't know the technical details of the card (IANAT - i am not a techie) but i must say the setup i have kicks ass. the card is described here [sysopt.com]

All but Windows? (2)

Hyped01 (541957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619725)

It seems all OS's but Windows allow for positioning storage. OS/2 and eComStation [ecomstation.com] allow it in OS/2's extended attributes, which allows for GUI windows to open in whatever state and/or position as when closed (or in some cases as when the program was instructed to save window positions). From what I understand of some of the virtual desktop implementations of various Linux GUIs and desktop extensions, it is capable of a similar "feat" - and should thus easily be capable of the "massive" jump to storing and reusing desktop/monitor positions.

OS/2 (and thus eCS) also allow via REXX, for window positions to be monitored, restored, moved, etc when apps are opened or closed... takes a little REXX knowledge (litterally a little) and some competent (but minimal... maybe a couple hundred lines if that much) programming and object positioning and state (which is what it really is under OS/2 & eCS) can be enhanced above it's current capabilities.

Looks like once again companies had to spend time writing around a MS deficiency.

Oh well...

-Rob

Personal review: They all suck. (5, Interesting)

Cecil (37810) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619745)

Why do all the graphics card companies feel a need to come up with their own monitor spanning software, which is without exception, garbage. I mean, Windows sucks, but there is one thing they did *absolutely fucking right*, and that's their multi-monitor support.

It's beautiful. It works extremely well. It's flexible and well-supported.

Why must each of the graphics card companies reinvent the wheel, and make their wheel square, and connect in a different way?

I did IT with my current employer before moving up to my current programming job, and I remember how many types of graphics cards and versions of graphics drivers we went through before we found one that was even remotely acceptable. A particular version of the Matrox drivers for the Millenium G450 have a little checkbox hidden away during the install (and only during the install) that will let you install the "extra" support for Windows' multi-display.

Note to multi-display driver writers: No one (that I know at least) wants windows that maximize across monitors. No one wants toolbars that span across monitors. No one wants resize-handles on their maximized windows if you are kind enough to provide the option to NOT maximize across monitors. Not everyone wants both their monitors at the same resolution (GRR! that one really frustrates me). Not everyone can run both monitors at the same refresh rate, either. And NOT EVERYONE puts their second monitor to the right of the first one.

All of these things are handled flawlessly by Windows' multi-monitor support. The same multi-monitor support that's been there since Windows 98SE. (or was it Windows 98?) Let it do what it does best, and focus your energy somewhere less counter-productive, thanks.

A recent study (2)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619764)

concludes, that in the future the gene base of an average software developer will combine genes from the predatory spider [pneuro.com]. A representative from a major graphics card vendor stated: "cool".

Appendix:
On Predatory spider's vision: The predatory spider has eight simple eyes of various sizes that respond to key aspects of the visual field. Tactile sensations derived from the web are more important to spiders than vision is

I don't understand... (2)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619771)

I'm running a nVidia-based dual-headed system and have been greatly disappointed with its performance. I used to run an ATI system which was completely awful; the drivers were so badly kludged they disrupted my system's operation. nVidia's drivers are much more stable, thankfully, but ATI's were able to do so much more...

When I read the review, however, they showed a snapshot of nVidia's nView Desktop Manager control panel, and it has a LOT more options than mine, including playing with individual application settings... All the features I've been missing. Wow, I figured, I must be using an old driver package. Updated it... And the window hasn't changed.

Is there a separate upgrade package for the nView drivers?

Re:I don't understand... (2)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619815)

That's probably the beta 40.xx drivers. Look around the web for them. I've installed them on one machine at home with 2 nvidia cards in it and they seems stable enough (no problems so far)

Yup; beta drivers. (2)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619871)

http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=winxp-2k_archive

Shows the latest signed driver (3.0.8.2) and the new drivers up to 4.0.7.2, with nView v.2.0.

Re:I don't understand... (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619911)

The biggest things that ATI doesnt have in its control panel that Nvidia does.

1. Color Brilliance enhancer, I just turn up the RGB on the ATI, but the NVIDIA control panel makes it easier.

2. 16bit AA modes, the ATI decided to turn off AntiAliasing in 16 bit modes, bad for some flight sims and multiplayer games. CounterStrike can run in 32 bit mode (+32bpp) so you can get the AA goodness.

But the TV/monitor selector is very easy to use and is laid out correctly. They beat Nvidia on this point. And with the dual 400mhz RAMDAC's expect some execellent output from the ATIs.

Doom III will be sooo sweet (1)

DonniKatz (623845) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619794)

Can you imagine the possibilities. 3 Plasma TV Screens that are compatible with a PC. Some crazy 4K Alienware PC AND DOOM III. Oh, that's right, I'm poor...

Dual-display cards suck. Use TWO cards (3, Insightful)

Brother52 (181351) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619797)

I'm writing this from a machine with two displays and TWO cards: Matrox G400 AGP and Matrox Millenium II PCI. This is what I came to after a long quest for a dualhead setup.

Just a few points:

  1. There're still very few dualhead cards on the marked, thus much less chance to find one with the features you need.
  2. They're generally overpriced, probably because they're percieved as a high-end product.
  3. If you go for one, READ THE FINE PRINT. For example, the dualhead Matrox G450 has a DEGRADED DAC, compared to G400, which isn't noted anywhere but in the raw specs (and NOT in pretty side-by-side comparisons on the Matrox's site)

And while with the dual card setup one card has to be PCI, you can still build a way more powerful combination, compared to any dualhead card.

ATI Hydravision Xfree86 Xinerama Enlightenment. (5, Interesting)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619804)

I just got my ATI Radeon 7500 working in X. Here are some things I found.

First my biggest problem was the card will only see monitors that are connected when last reset. I spent 2 days trying to get the card to see a monitor I connected after Linux had booted. It was just dumb luck that we had an extended power outage that drained my UPS. When I powered back up, I still had the monitor turned on, and it got initiliaed by the card.

Second the DVI port is the primary display, if you have both connected. I guess that makes sense, but I had them backwards in my head cause I have 2 VGA CRTs, and had to use an adaptor on the DVI port to hook up my (second) monitor.

I like to configure my XFree86 by just typing `X -configure`. That doesn't detect the second monitor (and due to a bug I'll get to in a second configures the primary monitor incorrectly). The configuration file created by X was a good starting point, but I would have to manually add the settings for the second monitor.

What was odd, is X was being displayed on my primary monitor, but the settings in the file were from my secondary. Looking at the log file created, it seems that the Radeon was reading the DCC information from the second monitor (and after I got both displays initilizing both monitors were being seen with the same DCC info even though they are very different displays).

What I ended up doing was searching the Internet for some sample XF86Config files that had Xinerama enabled. I found a few some even for the Radeon 7500. To get the correct monitor info. I just plugged one monitor into the real VGA port, started X and looked in the log for the timings. I then hard coded the values for my primay display to override the falsely detected DCC infomation (X gives you big warnings when you manual specify timings higher than the monitor reports, which normally would be a good thing, but in this case I was right, so I'll have to live with the warnings).

After I plugged in the right values, and added the approate lines to my "-configure" generated file I had X running on two different sized displays with my desktop being stretched across them.

Also note that DRI is disabled in X on the ATI Radeon 7500 when using Xinerama, which means no hardware accelorated OpenGL (just like in Windows on this card).

As for my window manager Enlightenment 0.16.5 it is somewhat Xinerama aware. There are a few little bugs. First it likes to put things were I don't have a desktop due to me running two different resolutions on the displays. That probally won't effect most people. The biggest pain is it doesn't maximize windows correctly when they are on the second head. I don't maximize much, so I have just learned to expand the windows to size by hand.

The virtual desktops and multiple desktops of Enlightenment work just as before, they are just twice as large now. I'm sure I could have as many as I wanted, only limited by memory. The pager display shows everything correctly, include the black hole where there is no desktop.

Applications tend to pop up menus half on one screen, half on the other, Enlightenment also suffers from this, but not as much as I usually am clicking in the middle of the screen, but around the shared edge things get annonying.

All in all I can live with it. I don't play games so OpenGL isn't a big deal. I have my webbrower and mail on one screen and an Eterm or two on my other where I'm doing work. What ever I'm focused on most I'll put on the main display. If I'm just compiling something big I it is nice to put it over on the second head so I can keep an eye on it, but focus on /. until the build is finished.

you don't need special hardware (3)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619807)

On Linux, and I believe under Windows as well, the window system itself can make any collection of graphics cards appear as a single desktop. You don't need hardware support or special vendor software--just plug in a bunch of PCI graphics cards. If you do have get hardware for multiple screens, you get a few advantages, like being able to have certain hardware features work across split screens.

On the whole, I found that, as usual, configuring multiple monitors (I use nVidia cards, although I don't recommend you buy them) was a little more work under Linux than under Windows, but that it ended up working better. X11 seems to provide a better abstraction layer, insulating applications from the idiosyncracies of the underlying hardware. Furthermore, on X11, window placement and management has been factored into a separate application, so you aren't tied to vendor-supplied hacks in order to make things work with multiple screens--you just use any window manager that supports Xinerama.

Linux compatibility (2, Interesting)

tjw (27390) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619812)

I've been using a multimonitor XFree86 setup since the release of XFree86 4.0.

First I used two 3dfx Voodoo3's to power my 3200x1200 resolution. I was constantly annoyed by the lack of 3D hardware acceleration, so I disabled Xinerama mode, and ran X in DualHead mode. The only differnce in doing this was that I could no longer move windows from one screen to the other. The mouse cursor traveled freely between screens. Granted this was annoying too, but at least I could play quake2 again.

Then I happened upon a nice tidbit on the Xpert mailing list. That is, you can run Xinerama mode with NVidia cards and get hardware accelerated 3D on one of the heads. I replaced one of the voodoo3's with a TNT2 and I've been happy ever since.

I'm always thinking about upgrading my video card, and these one card solutions seem like the way to go. With NVidia's nView and Matrox's Powerdesk? you can have both heads appear to XFree86 as one logical screen and therefore run hardware accelerated 3d on BOTH SCREENS. I read that this was suppored by both Matrox and NVidia XFree86 drivers, so I started shopping for my next video card. But the dilema that I've constantly run into, is one that is not even addressed in this article. That is, the Max Resolution of the second monitor is severly limited. I have yet to find a single card solution that will handle 3200x1200 in 24bpp (or even 16 for that matter).

Perhaps the new Parhelia's will do it, I'm not sure. I've had to do a fair amount of digging just to find out what I do know. It seems like the only place that has reliable information about the issue is the complaining that goes on in mailinglists from people dissatisfied with the products they have purchased.

OMG dudes I just learned something new! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619818)

SCORE +6 INFORMATIVE!

SCORE +20 COMMON SENSE

michael, is a flamebaiting twat. [slashdot.org]

In case ol' mikey gets it into his head to delete cetan's educational journal entry, here it is:

I'm writing this entry to point my new sig to effectively. This link will take you to a thread in a seemingly small article. What's important to understand is that the /. editor, michael, decided to yet again abuse the moderation system by modding every single one of my posts to -1. He removed 30 karma points in one article because I did not like his extra "comment" at the end of the article he posted. It's sad how pathetic michael is.

Here's the link: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=40037&threshol d=-1&commentsort=0&tid=134&mode=nested&cid=4267381 [slashdot.org]

Republicans Rule! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619823)

In other news, Republicans have taken control of the Senate AND gained seats in the House - something the President's party has never done in mid-term elections of the past. Look out America - Family values and conservative ideals all around!!!

WTF, get the real ATI 9700, not the 9000 (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619833)

Graphics Cards Tested
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB
Matrox Parhelia-512 128MB

WTF, why is he testing the 9000? They mention the 9700, but went with the 9000 for benchmarks. This is purely absurd.

The 9700 is 4x faster than the 9000, and 2x the 4600 in these fps benchmarks. The 9000 isnt even a replacement for the 8500 out. The 9500 is the replacement, and its not even out yet.

BTW, I run the 9700 dual, playing counterstrike on a 21 inch monitor and a 60inch projection at the same time (mirror mode). The tv output at 1024x768 (svhs) is crystal clear, and is truely amazing.

Why windows only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4619842)

Why the hell is this "necessarily" a Windows comparison?

Multihead works out of the box for XFree86 (at least in 2D) with multiple graphics cards in Xinerama mode - I run FreeBSD with X and KDE on dual 17" monitors at 1024x768, giving me a nice 2048x768 desktop.

Last I heard, dual-head displays on single cards were a little hacky under X (possibly do not work) - anyone care to comment?

Actually, allow me to vent about NVIDIA OpenGL support under FreeBSD - 2D works fine, but 3D acceleration is not supported. I'm sick and tired of NVIDIA pissing around with their closed source drivers that barely work on Linux. A year ago rumour had it that NVIDIA would be doing something "real soon now" - and no luck.

I'm | | this close to going out and buying two ATI cards - with their open driver policy - suprise! Their hardware is well supported!

To NVIDIA: support the open source community - or go home and stop pretending that you do.

And to anyone who's still anchored to Windows and Microsoft: the sooner you jump, the less likely you are to go down with the ship.

Triple headed Linux beast of doom (5, Informative)

pergamon (4359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619849)

NOTE: With nView, the two displays have to be beside each other under X.

This caused me to look at using multiple cards instead of multiple headed cards.

I have one 21" and two 17" monitors, and I wanted the primary display (21", middle, AGP) to be able to be upgraded seperately from the secondaries (PCI, one on either side of the primary), as I have no interest in spanning 3D games across screens. Granted, I could have done three with the Matrox card, but then I'd always have to upgrade to another 3-monitor card. The solution I went with was to have one nVidia AGP card for the primary (currently a TNT2 Ultra, to be upgraded later) and two GForce 2 PCI cards for the secondaries. The GF2s are plenty fast for 2D, and fast enough to run small 3D accelerated toys/apps/screensavers too. The only downsides are the use of more expansion slots than using a dual-headed card and that 3D acceleration won't span. The upsides are that each one is running full speed, they're completely independant so multiple resolutions/frequencies is less of a problem, and the primary display can be upgraded seperately from the secondaries. I believe I could also run seperate X servers on each card if that ever became useful.

So if you want spanning 3D acceleration or are low on expansion slots, go with a multihead card. Otherwise, think about doing it this way.

OK, so there isn't a lot of real content in this post, but I thought I'd share a setup success story. When doing multi-card multi-head systems I'd *highly* recommend sticking with the same chip line/maker, and I'd just as highly recommend it be nVidia. Getting these three cards working together couldn't have been simpler...

hmm.. (1)

talks_to_birds (2488) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619881)

"..but it's interesting to consider how Linux, X, and various desktop managers would match up with these solutions in terms of features and abilities.."

WTF?

I've felt for years that Window$ is ludicrously outdated in this regard.

Even on my Linux, CLI-based firewall box I've got six consoles running, and I can scroll through them in order, left-to-right or right-to-left, using the little "windows" key just out past the <alt> keys at each end of the space bar.

Every user-space Linux box I've got has at least eight full-sized desktops defined by default, under either KDE or Gnome.

Put this sort of a setup up on a 21" monitor, and you're good to go...

Hell, even Opera running under Linux has multiple distinct windows available; I typically have six to eight running at a time. (I understand IE finally is getting a clue about this, but I wouldn't know from personal experience..)

So, what's the BFD about having two monitors?

Whoa! There's Micro$oft innovation for you!

t_t_b

Excellent program for missing features (0)

Poppageorgio (461121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4619923)

I run a dual monitor setup at home and work, using Windows XP. I found a program called UltraMon that added much needed features. You can run 2 different screen savers, different wallpaper on the monitors, and gives you a handy little button to quickly move and re-size windows between monitors with one click. .
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