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Linux Journal: Matrox G450 Dual Head

Oct 13, 2001, 23:46 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Choong Ng)
"Once upon a time Matrox graphics cards were marketed to people building everything from value consumer desktops to gaming rigs to high-end, PC-compatible workstations. Though even Matrox's fastest G-series has fallen far behind the competition in terms of raw 3-D performance, thus losing the gaming and consumer markets, they remain popular in the workstation market due to their reputation for stability, high-quality visual output and excellent Linux driver support. I will examine the Matrox G450 dual-head video card, with regard to both the usefulness of dual monitors and how well the G450 handles running two monitors. My test system is a 560MHz Pentium III supported by a 440BX chipset and 384MB of RAM running Linux Mandrake 8.0 (kernel 2.4.4 and XFree86 4.0.3). My video card is, of course, a Matrox G450 with one 360MHz RAMDAC, one 230MHz RAMDAC and 32MB of DDR RAM on board to drive two VGA outputs.

Having found X to be a common source of issues in the past, I wasn't looking forward to configuring this setup. Much to my surprise it was quite easy, with just one stumbling block--upon installing the card, Mandrake incorrectly recognizes the G450 as a G400. This isn't a big deal as they are very similar cards. After I had the card physically installed in the computer I went to Matrox's web site to download the latest drivers, choosing the Matrox-authored but closed-source binary version. The binary drivers are installed by simply dropping the two binaries into your /usr/X11/lib/modules/drivers directory. Updating your X configuration to reflect the new setup is similarly easy."

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