Matrox Graphics, which specializes in multiple-head graphics cards, has just upped the ante, supporting up to four analog or digital displays in its new M-series graphics cards.
M-Series Common Features
While older Matrox product families have supported now-legacy technologies such as AGP and PCI as well as PCI Express (aka PCIe), Matrox M-series is strictly built for PCIe. M-series cards also feature 512MB of RAM, support both Windows XP and Vista with unified drivers, and support a fanless (passive-cooling) design.
M-Series by the Numbers
The low-end M9120 (analog) and M9125 (digital) support only two displays. However, the M9120 Plus (available in either PCIe x16 or PCIe x1 versions) can be upgraded to quad analog display with a $99 cable. Want quad-monitor digital display? Get the top-of-the-line M9140.
Wide Views, but Not for Gaming
The last Matrox graphics card with any pretentions to gaming support was the Parhelia, which we featured in our October 2006 issue as a "Tech Tragedy" (see page 56; page 31 of the PDF, which lacks advertising). The Parhelia lacked full DirectX 9 support, making it unsuitable for gaming. M-series cards make no pretention of gaming support, though, which explains how they can get away with passive cooling and and how one model can run on the low-performance x1 slot. While Matrox isn't trying to break up the ATI/nVidia duopoly, if you need more displays at work and want to use the fewest number of expansion slots, Matrox has your back (look for shipping products sometime in the third quarter). Wallpaper, logo and M-series graphics card images courtesy Matrox Graphics.