Matrox G450 (32MB review: Matrox G450 (32MB

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Dual-analog monitor and TV output; high-quality DVD movie output to TV; DOS dual-display support; dual-monitor Web browsing software.

The Bad Mediocre high-resolution 3D performance; no control over the brightness of the video overlay.

The Bottom Line The G450's time-tested dual-monitor output and 2D performance are outstanding, but if you have a digital LCD display, this product won't support it.

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Matrox's time-tested G450 is a great choice for almost anyone who requires two displays. Its high-quality TV output and DVDMax feature (which formats DVD movies to fill your entire screen) are nice perks as well. The card has no DVI port, however, so those who already own or are considering a digital LCD display should look elsewhere. Matrox's time-tested G450 is a great choice for almost anyone who requires two displays. Its high-quality TV output and DVDMax feature (which formats DVD movies to fill your entire screen) are nice perks as well. The card has no DVI port, however, so those who already own or are considering a digital LCD display should look elsewhere.

So happy together
Looking to double your desktop's visual real estate? The Matrox G450 ($145), with its two 15-pin analog outputs and its converter cable with S-Video and composite-video jacks, lets you hook up two analog monitors (CRT or analog flat panel) or a single analog monitor and a TV. You can set independent refresh rates and resolutions up to 2,048 by 1,536 at 85Hz on the primary display and up to 1,600 by 1200 at 85Hz on the second. That's a lower maximum resolution on the second display than that offered by ATI's Radeon VE or Asus's AGP-V7100, but the G450 is the only card of the three that supports independent monitor settings under Windows 2000. The G450's MultiDesk software lets users define multiple virtual desktops (so you can run different apps on each monitor), and its eDualHead driver wraps Web pages across monitors and performs other Web-centric tricks.

The G450's excellent 2D image output and full-screen DVD movie playback can make your PC seem like a standalone DVD player and TV. But unfortunately, its control panel doesn't offer the same depth of control over DirectX acceleration and display settings as the ATI Radeon VE and the Asus AGP-V7100 do. The Matrox also lacks the brightness control for the video overlay (a separate screen layer used for video and TV display) that the other cards offer, which means you can't compensate for overly dark AVI, DV, or MPEG movie files.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Matrox G450 (32MB, dual display)

Part Number: G45MDHA32DR
MSRP: $19.99 Low Price: $158.44 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Interface Type AGP 4x
  • Max Monitors Supported 2
  • Graphics Engine Matrox MGA G450
  • Size 32 MB / 32 MB (max)
  • Compatibility PC