by Anton Shilov
11/10/2009 | 11:31 PM
Matrox Graphics rarely gets media coverage since the company has dedicated itself to niche graphics solutions and does not make high-performance graphics chips for consumers. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the company does not produce innovative products. On Tuesday Matrox unveiled the world’s first single-slot graphics card that has eight display outputs.
“The M9188 is designed specifically for professional monitoring environments that require visualization of large amounts of data at once to enhance mission-critical decision making. The expansive multi-monitor configuration allows system operators to accurately manage energy grids or train dispatch applications, while ensuring maximum performance across all displays,” said Ron Berty, business development manager at Matrox Graphics.
Matrox M9188 graphics board that supports up to eight displays via mDP (Mini DisplayPort) connectors is based on Matrox’s PCIe graphics processing unit that does not support WDDM and hence Aero interface of Windows 7 and Vista operating systems. The graphics card features 2GB of memory and can drive eight DisplayPort monitors at 2560x1600 per display or DVI single-link monitors at 1920x1200 per display.
The novelty from Matrox Graphics is designed for energy, transportation, process control, financial trading, and other mission-critical environments. Supporting eight monitors with a single graphics card is indisputably an achievement; nevertheless, this is not a breakthrough: ATI Radeon HD 5800 graphics chip (which fully supports Windows Aero and even DirectX 11) can drive up to six displays with no external logic and, once configured accordingly, can be cooled-down using a single-slot cooling system. The price of ATI’s solution – which yet has to be adopted for professional 3D or 2D market – is already five times lower compared to Matrox M9188.
Matrox M9188 PCIe x16 will be available in Q4 2009 for the price of $1995. There will be a less expensive version – M9128 – that only supports two monitors for $259.