Matrox has announced what it claims to be the first true QuadHead GPU, the Matrox M-Series. Which begs the question, just how many monitors do you need? With 512 MB of memory, native PCIe x16 performance and a fanless design for quiet operation you might think Matrox has done enough with the new M-Series graphics card family. But you would be wrong. These babies are capable of stretching desktop applications across not two, but no less than four monitors.
Taking multi-monitor to a whole new dimension, Matrox insists that the M-Series represents the first true QuadHead GPU within the industry. Although that would only seem to be the case if you move to the top end of the series. At the lower end you only get support for two displays, like that's not going to be enough for most people. For the quad-display you need to be looking at the top money M9140.
The question is, of course, can this be enough to bounce Matrox back from the pit of oblivion it seems to have found itself in over recent years. Certainly the ATI/nVidia duopoly has pretty much dominated the high end graphics hardware scene as far as I can see,
"Many applications require the ability to drive multiple monitors—from two to eight displays per seat—especially in high-end corporate, government, and industrial environments," states Alan Vandenbussche, VP Sales and Marketing, Matrox Graphics. "The M-Series represents next-generation Matrox graphics technology specifically designed for these display-hungry professionals."
The M-Series cards are WHQL-certified on both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista, and support up to four widescreen monitors in portrait and landscape simultaneously as one large desktop or with independent resolutions. The max resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 for two displays and just 1,920 x 1,200 for the full four.
So, I ask the question again: do you need four monitors? If so, what for and will Matrox be driving your displays in future? You have until September to wait, it would seem, and the cards start as $260. Pricing for the top end quad cards was not available as I write...