Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

jrs's picture

Hi All,

Due to the poor performance of the 2010 mac mini's I was given to run an exhibit the museum has agreed to upgrade the computers. I need to drive 4 displays (all 1920x1080) via 2 VGA matrox dualhead2go's (3840x1080) and was able to achieve this in the past with a mac pro with two radeon 4870's although this machine died and hence the use of two mac minis instead.

The problem with the mac minis is that there max res is not high enough to drive the dual displays and the video playback also glitches out every 30 sec or so. When buying a new mac we currently have the following GPU options

ATI 6630m - Max Res as per ATI site - 2048x1536 ATI 5770 - Max Res as per ATI site - 2048x1536 ATI 5870 - Max Res as per ATI site - 2048x1536

Now the ATI pages say the 4870 only has a max res of 2048x1536 as well but I know I've had it working at up to 3840x1200 so I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with any of these cards and the matrox dualhead 2 go's? as well as any thoughts or suggestions as to the best upgrade path

1 x mac pro with two 5770's 1 x mac pro with a 5870's 2 x mac minis with 6630m's

Cheers James

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M.Oostrik's picture
Re: Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

I would not spend to much thinking about the specs you mention. I don't know exactly what they mean, but my 5770 supported all resolutions of my triplehead.

one 5770 with two dualheads or one triplehead might also do the trick. In theory you could even have a control monitor on your display connector, but i never tested that.

Are you showing video's or QComps?

franz's picture
Re: Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

Having both the 5770 and the 5870, all I can say is that QC-wise the 5870 is much more powerful

laserpilot's picture
Re: Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

I ran into a problem of not using a high enough rated cable with a DVI TH2GO (I see you mention VGA though). I wasn't using dual link DVI cable and was getting all kinds of weird behaviors because it wasn't able to pump enough pixels through and the mac wouldn't recognize the higher resolutions. Are you using all the same boxes and cables and such that you did with the old computer?

jrs's picture
Re: Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

Thanks for your answers guys - FYI here is a better description of the application and the results of some testing I did

Exhibit

There is a 270 degree circular screen that shows some video interviews and supporting material - For each interview there are 2 screens of 1080p video and 2 of static images. It runs using 2 QC comps (using network sync) each containing 2 pbmesh patches. The mesh files are generated by a custom app that allows you to click on a few evenly distributed points for the screen as shown in the attached pic. Unfortunately there are only 2 VGA cables running from the machine room (10-15m) to the projectors hence the requirement for the matrox boxes.

Testing

  • With an old dualhead2go (1 vga in 2 vga out) that I had laying around I couldn't get a 5870 to do 3840x1080
  • With the newer dualhead2go from the exhibit (1 vga in 2 dvi out and a much bigger box) I got things running at 3840x1200 but it would only work with one of the VGA leads I had for the 2 matrox box's - a very short lead with big interference magnets if that's what you call them
  • I wasn't able to move the mac pro I tested with to the exhibit so was unable to check if the 2 outputs of the 5870 could drive 3840 displays each at the same time

M.Oostrik - Its good to know the 5770 can do the high resolutions as you can get a mac pro with 2 of these but not not 2 x 5870's

Despite the 5870's being able to achieve the resolutions it seems they put out a weaker signal than the 4870's - so I think using 4 mac minis located up with the projectors will be the best option, that or getting some signal boosters for the VGA signal.

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franz's picture
Re: Current (early 2012) GPUs and matrox dual head to go

actually you can get 2x 5870 work in a mac pro, but you would have to purchase an extra PSU for the 2nd card.