6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent - works great with mac BUT you need the right cables, 29 April 2012
I bought this to drive five monitors off my 2006 Mac pro which has an ATI 5870 card in it. This card has one dual link DVI port and two mini display port (miniDP) ports. Each port should be able to drive up to 3840 x 2160 (or 2400 for dual link DVI) if appropriate screens and cables are used.
It's all working pretty great now but there are key things you need to be aware of, a couple of which attributable to matrox and another one attributable to apple/ATI. Keep these in mind and this product will do exactly what it promises.
OK, initially I had 2 x 24 inch LED screens with a res of 1980 x 1200 each. I had one connected to the DVI port with a DVI-HDMI cable (my monitors are HDMI only) and the other with a basic apple miniDP-DVI drop lead and then a DVI-HDMI cable to the monitor.
I wanted to drive three additional benq 19 inch LED screens and I reckoned that I should be able to drive them at 1280 x 800 each with the matrox unit connected to a miniDP port on the ATI card (native res of the screens is actually 1440x900).
I unboxed the Thead2go/DP unit when it arrived and attempted to connect it to my ATI card and then to the three benq monitors.
Matrox do not supply a miniDP-DP cable to directly connect the unit to the miniDP port. Rather they give you a standard DP cable and a miniDP-DP(female) drop lead. Thing is, the drop lead miniDP connector is not low profile and as such will not actually push home when you insert it into one of the ports not the graphics card. Ok, so I had to go and find a miniDP-DP cable to directly connect the device to my card. Now, all miniDP-DP cables are NOT created equal and in fact just about any cable you source appears to be effectively 'single link' like a single link DVI cable and will not support the bandwidth to drive monitors above a resolution of 1920x1200. Rememer that with my three monitors, I am trying to drive the matrox unit at up to 3840 x 800. Now, I did eventually find one made by that rather excellent company Accell. I had to actually order it from a site in the netherlands but eventually I got there. Right, so now I can drive the matrox unit at the resolution I need to.
Now, this is a bit of a daft issue and shouldn't be an issue but is one of those hair-pulling irritating design things.
The three DP output ports on the matrox unit are so close together that three standard DP cables cannot fit side by side. Yip, crazy but true. So I simply took the cables, one rasp, one file and one workbench and honed down the sides of the plastic DP connector so they fitted.
OK, so now I can connect my matrox triplehead2go/DP edition to my mac and my three monitors.
On the back of my ATI card I have now
1 x 24 inch Ilyama monitor plugged into the DVI port
1 x matrox triplehead2go/DP edition plugged into my first mini/DP port and this driving my three benq 19 inch screens
1 x 24 inch Ilyama monitor plugged into the second miniDP port.
I installed the matrox driver and restarted.
But no matter what I did I couldn't get my second Ilyama monitor working, which is plugged into the second miniDP port.
This is actually on the apple site and is an issue if you need to drive three monitors on a mac pro. First, you need an ATI card. Check!
Second, all screens connected to the ports MUST be able to generate a multi channel sync clock. Now this was the problem since my second Ilyama screen was connected simply by a cheap miniDP-DVI drop lead so this could only drive a single channel and as such did not generate a multi-channel sync signal which a screen with res larger than 1980x1200 would. So I had to buy an apple miniDP-duallink DVI adapter which cost me about £40 off ebay. After I plugged this in and reconnected my monitors, hey presto....everything worked.
So now I have my two main screens (2 x 1980x1200) and above them on a shelf I have three 19 inch screens each being driven at 1280 x 800 by the matrox triplehead2go/DP edition unit. When you look at the display properties in system preferences, three screens are shown. 2 x 1980x1200 and 1 x 3480x800 since the three 19 inch screens are simply spanned.
So in summary, superb product but a couple of issues and you really need to get the details right with cables etc and matrox.....please redesign the backplate to take standard DP cables.
Hope all of this helps someone.