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Matrox G450 Preview (Page 3/4)

Posted: April 25, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
Note: This preview was written April 20th. Some data/facts may become inaccurate as new information becomes available.

Multi-threaded Bus Mastering

This means that the G450 based cards are able to retrieve data in various locations in system memory for usage. Since data can be retrieved from almost anywhere in system RAM, it supposedly eliminates memory search times and increases performance.


Matrox has decided to carry over the DualHead technology that they introduced with the G400. Do you still have that old monitor around? The one you left behind with your last system thinking you'd put that system to use? Well you can be happy because now there's actual use for a multi-monitor system

The idea of using multiple monitors on a single PC isn't new; it's been around for a while. But until recently, that idea didn't really go anywhere far. It was neither used in the office or at home for the average Joe. But with the advent of the G400, that idea is back with surprisingly good support. Since the G400's DualHead introduction last year, a few games have given it good support, and this time around it is included in the G450 as well.

DualHead, Matrox's multi-monitor support built into a single card solution. DualHead technology is set apart from traditional multi-monitor support because the second output device can be anything from an additional monitor, a TV, or a flat panel display. Additionally, the second display output can function at a different refresh rate and resolution than the primary display device. That way, you can lose a lot of the flicker that usually is resultant from using a TV as a display device. And the displays are independent of each other.

Matrox pulls this off by including two separate CRTC's (Cathode Ray Tube controllers). Each controller takes display data independently from different locations in the frame buffer or directly from AGP memory. Using this technology with Windows 98's multi-monitor support, you can stretch your desktop across two monitors. You can even pipe your DVD movies onto your TV without dropping in resolution and refresh rate on your main device.

The second CRTC however, does not have as much power as the primary CRTC. This is because it doesn't go through the UltraSharp, ultra-fast 360MHz RAMDAC but rather, is piped through the MGA-TVO chip for analog signals, which limits the second device to a 1280x1024 maximum resolution. The main display however, can be run at resolutions as high as 2048 x 1536 at 85 Hz and in 32-bit color.

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