Matrox Millennium G450 32MB Dual Head - HotHardware

Matrox Millennium G450 32MB Dual Head

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The Matrox Millennium G450 - 32MB Dual Head
New Levels Of
Integration for the Multimedia Fanatic and Corporate User

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
9/5/00

 

Installation, Setup, Dual Head and The Visuals
Tools of the trade

One area that Matrox has down cold is drivers.  They continually impress us with a robust feature set and supreme stability.  This experience with a Matrox product was no different.  Here is a look at the environment that is the G450.

G450 Driver/Info Tab

Power Desk Feature Tab

Display Adjust Tab

Dual Head

DVDMAX

Color Adjust

There is plenty to play with on the G450 and control freaks should enjoy all of the various tools for desktop and general display image quality.  The card installed with out a fuss and we were moving on to optimizing our display setting with just a few mouse clicks. 

The new Dual Head Features of the G450 also add a new dimension to the card.  The previous family of G400 product also had many of these feature but this time around, Matrox brought them all on to one chip in an effort to provide simplicity of design and more importantly, low cost. 

All that you need for Multi-Monitor and TV-Out  Productivity and Fun
Click for full view

   

The cable on the left allows you to convert the VGA connector to Composite or S-Video interfaces.  This simple solution will provide for simultaneous viewing of a Game, DVD or other applications running on the TV and a separate and fully functional desktop on a CRT.  There are lots of other combinations to choose from with Dual Head.  Here are a few...

Dual Head DVDMax

Dual Head Multi-Display

Dual Head TV-Out

Dual Head Zoom

As you can see from the above illustrations, you can have multiple desk top instances, TV and DVD Output, Zoom Views of a region on your main desk top or one large desk top area split across two screens, all on a separate analog or digital display.  The card we tested was an analog output only model but Matrox is also readying a G450 DVI which will have one VGA Connector and one DVI.

We decided to have a little fun and try out the DVDMax and Dual Head Zoom features.  Here are the incriminating photos.  Click for full viewing fun.

 

In the shot on the left on the Sony monitor, we have Jimmy Vaughn doing his "thang" with a beat up Fender Strat and soul-fulla-blues.  On the Toshiba monitor, we are running an instance of 3DMark's "Results Browser" in the background while playing the DVD, that is full screen on the Sony, in a window in the foreground.  On the bottom we also included a shot of Matrox's DVD Player that uses a "Cinemaster" playback decoder in a neat minimalistic design.  We'll have to get rid of the DVDs in the HotHardware Lab.  Having this much entertainment so readily available while working, could prove counter-productive.

In the shot on the right, we have Paint Shop Pro running on the Toshiba screen and a zoomed view of the region, of the screen shot with the flaming trash cans, in the Sony tube.  Talk about "pixel perfect" touch up...  We could get spoiled by this.  There is but one draw back here, that being sheer physics.  Put two CRTs on your desk and there is not much room left for anything else.  Two analog flat panels would be the way to go with dual digital displays being nirvana.  However, neither the G450 or any incarnation of a GeForce2 MX that we have seen to date, have the ability to connect dual DVI Flat Panels.

This brings us to a comparison we are compelled to draw, that being between the Millenium G450 and the GeForce2 MX.  Both cards are targeted at value/business markets.  Both cards also have dual simultaneous and  independent output capabilities.  As it stands today and having experiences with both of these cards, we would have to tip our hat to Matrox for their "Dual Head" features versus nVidia's "Twin View".  The Matrox solution from both a hardware and software standpoint is more elegant, full featured and functional.  

We've seen the features and quality side of things here.  Now, let's look at performance.

DVD and Game Benchmarks With The G450

 

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