Seems the TH2Go is standard equipment around here. But those things aren't cheap, plus it seems they just stretch one view over 3 monitors. Why not just use 2 video cards instead (4 outputs)? Seems that way you'd be able to then adjust the zoom and angle of each monitor? Just wondering why so many go the Matrox route.
500+ This must be a daytime job
Re: Why Matrox?
The reason we all use Matrox TH2GO is because it only uses the resources of one output from the video card. What you have to understand is that FS9 or FSX are tied to the CPU for rendering the graphics. So, even though you have the highest priced, top of the line video card or cards, the CPU still has to work it's butt off to render to the cards first.
Therefore, one video card output is only one, with a dual head card or two cards giving you four outputs, is asking the CPU to do the work and now do the dividing as well. So, all that would do is take away from the overall rendering of FS9 or FSX; thereby, slowing down the all important frame rates or frames per second (fps). Once the fps goes down, you go from a video speed (about 30 fps) to a slide show speed of under 12fps.
Now, with Matrox TH2GO, you're just using the one output and in doing so keeping the fps up. Although, you have to account for the resolution size of the monitors or projectors connected to the TH2GO. So, 3 each 1024x768 will be faster than 3 each 1280x800. You might ask the question, what if I just use one projector or monitor on one TH2GO output for the exterior (sky, clouds and scenery) and on the other two outputs are two monitors displaying the interior aircraft panel screens? Well, you could do that, but you have to account for what the panels are showing, how much they cost in regards to fps, and then decide which is best. If you use two video cards with dual heads, you could have one output to the TH2GO splitting it by three, and the other three outputs could all be used for aircraft panel screens, but you're right back to what I said already about the CPU and fps being the overall factor in everything.
Consequently, that is why everyone is always chasing the CPU speeds and types; they're all looking for faster, faster, faster just for FS9 or FSX. If FS9 or FSX would've been tied to the video card graphics processor unit, or the chip (GPU), we would not be having this discussion. Unlike most, if not all, other video games that are tied to video card GPU, FS9 or FSX will forever be mediocre simulations (visually in speed) because they are not tied to the GPU.
People might see Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D as the latest and greatest, and be led to believe it is tied to the video card GPU. It isn't and in fact, it is nothing more than FSX in a different wrapper with some modifications made to it. Yes, Prepar3D has great advantages, but nothing relating to changing it from the CPU to the GPU reliance... Oh, as for XPlane it is GPU reliant somewhat, but it too relies on the processor, but not as much as FS9 or FSX.
You mentioned the zoom or angles of the monitors or projectors; well, it is exactly the same method for both. The only difference is how much you have to zoom or angle for either one (montiors or projectors).
A last final note: I always suggest this to everyone and that is ask around to see if someone is near you that has the setup you're speaking about, and then ask them if you can visit them? More than likely they'd be happy to entertain you. You could ask desktop flyers all the way up full-size home cockpit builders and I'd bet you would be invited (if not more than once) to check out their setups, as well as learn more in the process...
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Re: Why Matrox?
Thanks for the info. I've since dug around the web and found this problem isn't just with Flight Sims. Good thing I asked before dropping the cash on a new motherboard and multiple graphics cards.
You'd think running older software on a barebones modern hardware PC you'd have lots of extra horsepower...but I guess you'll never know unless you try it.