Dec 21, 2009 UltraMon 3.0.8 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.8 Beta has been released, this release has several new features and bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Nov 10, 2009 New 8-monitor video card from Matrox
Matrox has announced the launch of the M9188, a PCI Express x16 video card with support for up to 8 monitors. The card supports both regular extended desktop mode and span mode (span currently only available on XP and Vista).
Oct 7, 2009 MaxiVista version 4 with support for Windows 7 and Vista
MaxiVista allows you to use a laptop or other computer as an additional monitor. With version 4 the software now also runs on Windows 7 and Vista, both 32- and 64-bit, even when using WDDM display drivers (required for Aero).
Jul 23, 2009 UltraMon 3.0.7 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.7 Beta has been released, this release has a fix for the issue with the Smart Taskbar not working correctly on Windows 7 systems (Aero theme) with more than 2 monitors, and two other bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Jul 15, 2009 UltraMon 3.0.6 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.6 Beta has been released, this release has support for Windows 7 and several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
May 6, 2009 UltraMon 3.0.5 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.5 Beta has been released, this release has several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Jan 11, 2009 UltraMon 3.0.4 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.4 Beta has been released, this release has new Smart Taskbar features and several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Sep 29, 2008 UltraMon 3.0.3 Beta released
UltraMon 3.0.3 Beta has been released, this release has a new version of the mirroring feature with support for Windows Vista and several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Jun 27, 2008 New Matrox dual and quad video cards
Matrox has announced the M series dual and quad video cards scheduled for release in the third quarter. All cards are fanless, and have full support for Aero under Windows Vista. The cards are available in PCI Express x16 and x1 versions. In addition to regular extended desktop mode, the cards also support span mode over two or four monitors, also under Windows Vista. See the press release for more information.
Jan 15, 2008 UltraMon 3.0 Beta 2.1 (3.0.2) released
UltraMon 3.0 Beta 2.1 has been released, this release fixes several issues that were discovered after the initial 3.0 Beta 2 release. See the release notes for details, download here.
Dec 15, 2007 UltraMon 3.0 Beta 2 (3.0.1) released
UltraMon 3.0 Beta 2 has been released, new in this release is full support for the window buttons under Windows Vista, as well as several other improvements and bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Mar 31, 2007 UltraMon 3.0 Beta 1 (3.0.0) released
UltraMon 3.0 Beta 1 has been released, this release introduces a redesigned Smart Taskbar with toolbar docking and support for the Windows Vista look. See the release notes for details, download here.
Nov 5, 2006 Windows Vista and multiple video cards
If you want to use the full Aero user interface with Windows Vista, and you have multiple video cards installed, Vista requires that all video cards use the same driver.
At a minimum, this means that all video cards need to use a chipset from the same manufacturer, for example all cards have either an ATI or Nvidia chipset.
You can still use video cards with chipsets from different manufacturers, but you'll be limited to the basic user interface.
For detailed information on this, see Multi-Monitor Support in WDDM. Discuss
Oct 12, 2006 UltraMon™ 2.7.1 released
UltraMon 2.7.1 has been released, this release fixes a couple of issues discovered after the release of 2.7.0. See the release notes for details, download here.
Oct 2, 2006 UltraMon™ 2.7.0 released
UltraMon 2.7.0 has been released, this is a maintenance release with several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Mar 16, 2006 Matrox EpicA - multiple monitors for terminals
Matrox has announced dual and quad video cards for use with terminals. In addition to the hardware, special software for installation on the terminal server will be included.
From the available information, it looks like this software will be used to simulate a regular multi-monitor environment when a remote session is stretched across multiple monitors on the terminal client, for example windows maximizing only to a single monitor.
Matrox EpicA products are scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2006. Discuss
Mar 6, 2006 Nvidia Quadro NVS PCIe x1 card
I don't know if this is news, but I just noticed that the Nvidia Quadro NVS 440, the 4-monitor NVS card, is available in a PCI Express x1 version. This allows you to install the card in any PCIe slot. See the PNY site for more information. The NVS 440 is also available in a regular x16 version.
Jan 4, 2006 Matrox DualHead2Go review
Ars Technica has a review of the Matrox DualHead2Go: DualHead2Go @ Ars Technica
Nov 10, 2005 Matrox DualHead2Go
The Matrox DualHead2Go is a new way to connect two external monitors to a laptop: it connects to the laptop's VGA port, and splits the signal between two monitors. The system recognizes the DualHead2Go as a single widescreen monitor, for example running at 2560x1024, and the DualHead2Go then splits the picture and sends it to two 1280x1024 monitors.
A disadvantage is that the two monitors are running in span mode instead of standard multi-monitor mode. The DualHead2Go is available now for US$ 169.
Aug 15, 2005 MaxiVista review updated for 2.0.14 release
The MaxiVista review has been updated for the 2.0.14 release. See the MaxiVista site for more information on new features in version 2.
Jul 15, 2005 Matrox announces PCI Express x1 version of the G550
The Millennium G550 PCIe is a fanless dual DVI card with a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 per display (1600x1200 with analog monitors). Due to using an x1 PCI Express (PCIe) connector, the card is well suited to be used as an additional video card in a PCIe system where not all PCIe slots are x16 (x1 cards fit into every type of PCIe slot). The card is expected to ship in August at a list price of US$ 139. See the Matrox site for more information.
Jul 4, 2005 UltraMon™ SDK 2.5 released
The UltraMon SDK, which contains documentation and samples for using the COM components provided by UltraMon, has now been updated for the 2.6 release of UltraMon. You can download the updated SDK here.
Jun 13, 2005 UltraMon™ 2.6 released - now with support for 64-bit Windows x64
UltraMon 2.6 is now available for download. New in this release is support for 64-bit Windows x64, for a full list of changes and bug fixes see the release notes.
Mar 12, 2005 NiftyWindows + UltraMon
NiftyWindows is a utility which allows you to assign special actions to mouse and keyboard buttons.
If UltraMon is also installed, and your mouse has back (4th) and forward (5th) buttons, NiftyWindows supports moving windows to the next/previous monitor by pressing right mouse button + forward mouse button and right mouse button + back mouse button.
In order for this to work, you'll need to create two UltraMon hotkeys:
CTRL + SHIFT + < : move window to next monitor
CTRL + < : move window to previous monitor
Feb 19, 2005 Multi-monitor screen savers
3 new multi-monitor screen savers have been added to the Products page: Mephzara Particle Systems Screen Saver, Particle Fire, and SunXi Particle Screen Saver
Nov 13, 2004 MaxiVista review updated for new features
MaxiVista allows you to use a laptop or other PC as an additional monitor. The review of the software has been updated with information on new features which were introduced recently. MaxiVista now supports mirroring the primary monitor, and you can use up to 3 PCs as additional monitors.
Oct 25, 2004 Nvidia nForce4 supports dual PCI Express video cards
Nvidia's new nForce4 chipset for AMD systems is available in a version with dual PCI Express video card slots. The nForce4 SLI has a total of 5 PCI Express (PCIe) slots: two x16 slots for video cards, and three x1 slots for other cards.
The x16 slots are most likely only running at x8 speed with two video cards inserted, the chipset has a total of 20 PCIe lanes, and a single x16 slot running at full speed would require 16 lanes.
According to Nvidia's press release, motherboards with the new chipset should become available before the end of the year.
Oct 8, 2004 Multiple PCI Express video cards
PCI Express seems to be ideal for installing multiple video cards, unfortunately it's not that simple due to not all slots being compatible with video cards. See Multiple PCI Express video cards for more on this.
Sep 14, 2004 Span mode for ATI dualhead cards
The new ATI CATALYST Control Center, available for the Radeon 9500 and later cards, adds support for span mode (see the FAQ for more on span mode). Drivers with the CATALYST Control Center can be downloaded from the ATI website. Also see the forum for more on this.
Aug 26, 2004 Matrox P650 low-profile PCI card
Matrox has announced a low-profile PCI version of the P650 dualhead card, scheduled for release in Q3 2004. The card has 64 MB RAM, and supports dual VGA and DVI. Matrox is also recommending the card for use in laptop docking stations, which often only support low-profile PCI cards.
Aug 16, 2004 Innovative multi-monitor display
The TigerVista PowerTrio 24D from Digital Tigers is a 3-monitor display with a widescreen, 1920x1200, center monitor flanked by two portrait monitors with 1024x1280 resolution. This should be great if you often have documentation and websites on secondary monitors, and mainly work on the center monitor. The display costs US$ 4,999, a smaller version with a 1600x1200 center monitor is available for US$ 3,399.
Jul 26, 2004 Matrox announces low-profile PCI video cards
Matrox has announced low-profile PCI versions of their G550, P650 and QID video cards. The new cards are scheduled for release in Q3 2004. See the press release for more information.
Jul 5, 2004 New multi-monitor feature in Windows Longhorn
Windows Longhorn, the next version of Windows, introduces support for an extended taskbar, similar to UltraMon's Smart Taskbar, in build 4074. See the First Look for screenshots and more information.
Jun 21, 2004 Digital Blasphemy 3-monitor wallpapers
Digital Blasphemy now has 3-monitor wallpapers in addition to dual wallpapers (subscribers only), sizes are 3840 x 1024 and 4800 x 1200: Triple-monitor wallpapers
Jun 14, 2004 pcAnywhere and multiple monitors
Symantec's pcAnywhere is one of the few remote control applications with multi-monitor support. I have tested the support for multiple monitors on both the remote and local system, read the review here.
Jun 7, 2004 USB video card
This is a small USB 2.0 device with a VGA connector, which supports up to 1024x768 with 16-bit color (no support for 3D though), and is compatible with Windows 2000/XP and later. See X-bit labs for more information.
May 31, 2004 Flurry 3D screen saver
Flurry is an OpenGL 3D screen saver with multi-monitor support.
May 17, 2004 Small form factor dual-monitor PCs
Panacea Solutions sells small form factor PCs complete with two monitors. The systems are comprised of a Creative SFF PC, a 3Dlabs Wildcat VP dualhead video card, and a DoubleSight dual-monitor display.
May 10, 2004 UltraMon™ 2.5 released
UltraMon 2.5 has been released, this is a maintenance release with several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
May 3, 2004 Microsoft EU Flags Screensaver
Microsoft has released a free 3D screen saver with multi-monitor support which displays 3D animated flags of European Union member states. Download here.
Apr 27, 2004 Matrox QID Pro
Matrox has announced the QID Pro, a 4-monitor PCI video card with 256 MB RAM and support for both VGA and DVI. The Pro version has double the amount of RAM as the standard version, and apparently has improved 3D support.
Apr 12, 2004 New wallpaper site
GameWallpapers.com has game-related multi-monitor wallpapers with a size of 3200x1200.
Apr 5, 2004 Appian Phoenix 4-monitor video card
Appian has released the Phoenix Radeon QD, a 4-monitor low-profile PCI video card with two ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 chipsets, 128 MB RAM, and support for VGA and DVI. Suggested retail price is US$ 599. See the press release for more information.
Mar 22, 2004 Multi-monitor slideshow
Slideshow creates a slideshow from JPEG and BMP images, with each monitor showing a different image. Configuration is done via command-line arguments, for example slideshow.exe /s /f "C:\My Pictures" will show all pictures from C:\My Pictures and subfolders, and will ensure that pictures fit on the monitor(s).
Mar 8, 2004 FAQ update
A new entry has been added to the FAQ: Stretching a PowerPoint presentation across the desktop
Feb 23, 2004 TigerVista displays
Digital Tigers has announced the TigerVista line of multi-monitor displays. 2-4 monitor configurations are available.
Feb 9, 2004 Monitor stands, wallpaper site
A new section for monitor stands has been added to the Products page. Featured manufacturers are Ergotron and Ladybug Electronics.
XXLWallpapers has a selection of multi-monitor wallpapers, for systems with 2-10 monitors.
Jan 26, 2004 Nintendo dual-screen console
Nintendo has announced a new portable console with dual 3" LCD screens, with games designed to take advantage of the second screen for example for maps or zoom views. See GameSpot for more information.
Jan 19, 2004 DoubleSight display
The DoubleSight is an integrated multi-monitor display with 2 analog 15" LCD panels. Suggested retail price is US$ 799.
Jan 12, 2004 Seamless Display
Seamless Display manufactures multi-monitor displays using multiple LCD panels with almost no gap between the panels. See the press release for more information.
Jan 5, 2004 UltraMon™ 2.4 released
UltraMon 2.4 has been released, this is a maintenance release with several bug fixes. See the release notes for details, download here.
Dec 29, 2003 Matrox Parhelia PCI version
Matrox has released a PCI version of the Parhelia, with 256 MB RAM. The card retails for US$ 699, and is available from shopmatrox.com. More information is available here.
All the best for the new year,
Christian Studer - Realtime Soft
Dec 22, 2003 MaxiVista review
I have reviewed MaxiVista, software which allows you to use your laptop as an additional monitor for your main system. Until the end of the year, MaxiVista is available for US$ 39.95 instead of 49.95.
Dec 15, 2003 Stratosphere multi-monitor workstations
Digital Tigers has released the Stratosphere line of workstations, with support for 2-5 monitors. The workstations have been designed for portability, a complete 2-monitor system fits into a travel bag.
Dec 8, 2003 Complete multi-monitor systems
The products page has a new section listing vendors of complete systems (computer + multi-monitor video card + monitors).
Dec 3, 2003 Village Tronic VTBook review
I have reviewed the VTBook PCMCIA video card from Village Tronic. This is a new PCMCIA video card with 32 MB RAM, 3D acceleration and support for video overlays.
Nov 24, 2003 PC version of VTBook now available
Drivers for Windows 2000/XP are now available for the VTBook, a PCMCIA video card for laptops. I'll have a review up shortly.
Nov 18, 2003 Multi-Monitor Guide updated
The Multi-Monitor Guide has been updated to better reflect the current state of multi-monitor hardware and software.
Nov 10, 2003 FAQ updates
Several FAQ entries have been updated: Maximum number of monitors, Multi-monitor KVM, Laptops, Games with multi-monitor support.
Nov 3, 2003 LCD monitor database
Digital Tigers has set up a searchable database of LCD monitors. Monitors especially suited for multi-monitor setups (thin bezel, good quality/features) are highlighted.
Oct 27, 2003 New video cards from Colorgraphic and Matrox
Colorgraphic has announced that the Xentera GT 8-port PCI card is now shipping, retail price is US$ 725. The Xentera GT 4 AGP will be released on November 1, with a suggested retail price of US$ 595.
Matrox is preparing the release of a new quad card based on the Parhelia chipset, intended for use with public information displays (airports, retailers etc). The card is called matrox QID and will support DVI, VGA and TV-out. More information here and the full press release here.
Oct 20, 2003 UltraMon™ 2.3 released
UltraMon 2.3 has new tools for managing more than 10 monitors, and is now available in Japanese in addition to English and German. See the Release Notes for more information, the new release can be downloaded here.
Oct 13, 2003 MaxiVista beta, multi-monitor study
The beta version of MaxiVista is now available for download. The software allows you to use the monitor of a second PC as an additional monitor for your main system. The beta is limited to 640x480 resolution on the additional monitor, and you can only place the monitor next to the primary monitor (left or right), other arrangements aren't supported. Some issues: if you get an error when running the server for the first time, reboot the system and it should work fine. If PivotPro is installed on the viewer PC, the display may be rotated by 180 degrees.
According to a study by NEC-Mitsubishi (together with ATI and the University of Utah), using multiple monitors for standard office tasks increases productivity.
Oct 5, 2003 VTBook PCMCIA video card
Village Tronic is now shipping the Mac version of the VTBook, a PCMCIA video card for laptops with 32 MB RAM, DVI and a Trident video chipset. A version with drivers for Windows is scheduled for November. Small Dog sells the card for US$ 245.
Sep 29, 2003 Max Displays, Brett's wallpaper page
Max Displays manufactures 2-4 monitor display systems with 18" LCDs and DVI support. The 2-monitor display is also available with analog 15" LCDs.
Brett has updated his page on Multimonitor Spanned Wallpaper.
Sep 21, 2003 Multiple monitors for laptops with SideCar
The SideCar from Digital Tigers is a little box with a built-in video card which gets connected to a laptop using a PCMCIA card. Several models are available with support for 1-4 monitors, using video cards such as the Nvidia GeForceFX, ATI RADEON 9000 and Matrox G450 MMS. Depending on the model, DVI, VGA and TV-out are supported. The SideCar is quite expensive though, starting at US$ 1,000.
Sep 14, 2003 Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004
The new version of Flight Simulator apparently has improved multi-monitor support. Previous versions only used 3D hardware acceleration on the primary monitor, but the new version supports hardware acceleration on up to 4 monitors. See the Microsoft site for detailed information on this new feature.
Sep 8, 2003 Colorgraphic Xentera GT 4 review
I have tested the PCI version of the Colorgraphic Xentera GT 4 quad video card, read the review here.
Aug 11, 2003 AGP version of Xentera GT dualhead now available
Colorgraphic is now shipping the AGP version of the Xentera GT dualhead card. The quad AGP card and the 8-monitor PCI card are scheduled to ship in October.
Aug 1, 2003 UltraMon™ 2.2 released
UltraMon 2.2 has a new custom Display Properties applet which allows you to configure more than 10 monitors, improved Microsoft Office support in the Smart Taskbar, and support for additional languages (German is the first additional language available). See the Release Notes for more information, the new release can be downloaded here.
Jul 28, 2003 FAQ on multi-monitor modes
A new FAQ has been added which explains the difference between the various multi-monitor modes available: Multi-monitor modes
Jul 18, 2003 UltraMon™ 2.2 Beta 2 released
UltraMon 2.2 Beta 2 has improvements to some features and several bug fixes. See the Release Notes for more information, the new release can be downloaded here.
Jul 8, 2003 FAQ update
A new entry has been added to the FAQ: When playing a video, it is also shown fullscreen on the other monitor
Jun 23, 2003 Multimon wallpapers @ deviantART
deviantART has a section for multi-monitor wallpapers, currently there are over 80 wallpapers: deviantART multi-monitor wallpapers
Jun 17, 2003 Multimon KVM from CompuCable
The CompuCable DUO-VGA KVM allows you to control two dual-monitor PCs from one terminal (keyboard, mouse, two monitors). The KVM is very affordable with a list price of US$ 220, KVMSwitchesOnline sells it for US$ 190.
Jun 9, 2003 3 Monitors with ATI RADEON 9000 cards
The goal for this review was to build a low-cost 3-monitor system using ATI video cards, and to test support for features such as video playback and 3D graphics. Read the review here.
For a review of a similar system with Nvidia cards, see 3 Monitors with Nvidia GeForce4 cards.
May 25, 2003 Xentera GT, PCI expansion, Matrix screen saver
Colorgraphic has released the first two models of the new Xentera GT line, a dualhead PCI card for US$ 195 and a quad PCI card for US$ 495. See the press release for more information.
PCMCIA-to-PCI expansion systems allow you to add one or more PCI video cards to your laptop, see the updated FAQ on laptops for more information.
MatrixMania is a highly configurable Matrix screen saver with multi-monitor support. It also works fine on secondary monitors with UltraMon.
May 18, 2003 Matrox Millennium P review, wallpapers
icrontic has reviewed the Matrox Millennium P650 and P750 cards.
There's a new site dedicated to multi-monitor wallpapers: www.multimonitorwallpapers.tk
May 13, 2003 UltraMon™ 2.2 Beta 1 released
UltraMon 2.2 Beta 1 introduces two new features, a custom Display Properties applet with support for more than 10 monitors, and support for multiple languages, the first additional language is German. See the Release Notes for more information, the new release can be downloaded here.
Apr 28, 2003 Matrox Millennium P-Series
Matrox has announced the Millennium P650 and P750 video cards, lower-cost versions of the Parhelia. The P650 supports 2 monitors, the P750 up to 3 (TripleHead). The cards are expected to be available by the end of May, and can be pre-ordered from Shopmatrox.com, the P650 is US$ 169, the P750 US$ 235. For more information, see this overview at the Matrox site.
Apr 20, 2003 Site updates
Several site updates, including an update of the OpenGL section and a revision of the Multi-Monitor Guide.
Apr 14, 2003 Xentera spec sheet
The spec sheet for the Colorgraphic Xentera GT video card is now available for download (PDF format).
Apr 5, 2003 Colorgraphic Xentera GT
Colorgraphic has new information on the Xentera GT card. Dual and quad versions will be released in May, an 8-monitor version is scheduled for June. The cards will use the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 chipset, and have 32 MB RAM per display. PCI versions are designed to deliver near-AGP performance when used in a 64-bit PCI slot.
Mar 31, 2003 Maximum number of monitors, part 2
I have done some further testing regarding the maximum number of monitors supported on Windows XP. I used my laptop for testing, with two real displays (built-in ATI Mobility and a Margi Display-to-Go), all additional displays were virtual displays.
With 34 monitors installed (screenshot with 33 monitors), the system crashed after the first reboot with a fatal error in the Windows Logon Process. I then disabled 12 display adapters. This time login worked, but the shell (explorer.exe) crashed, rendering the system basically unusable. The shell stopped crashing when only 18 monitors were enabled (screenshot), looks like this is the limit if you want to be able to use the standard shell.
If you have done testing with more than 10 monitors as well, please mail me your results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mar 24, 2003 Matrox paper on multi-monitor ROI
Matrox has a paper on multi-monitor ROI, Multi-display capabilities can save valuable time and money. The focus is mainly on 3D/CAD applications, but there is also information of interest to multi-monitor users in general.
Mar 15, 2003 Multimon wallpapers and screen saver
Two websites with panoramic photos have been added to the list of wallpaper sites: Library of Congress Panoramic Photographs, Panoramic Photography by Brad Templeton.
Bubbles is a screen saver with multi-monitor support similar to the Starfield screen saver included with Windows, but with bubbles instead of stars.
Mar 9, 2003 Matrox Parhelia review updated
I have updated the Matrox Parhelia review using the latest drivers. Driver quality has been improved a lot, and most of the issues I encountered have been fixed. A new feature has been added as well, you can now use 2 monitors for the Windows desktop and a 3rd monitor or TV for video mirroring or zooming.
Feb 25, 2003 3 Monitors with Nvidia GeForce4 cards
I have tested a 3-monitor system with two Nvidia GeForce4 MX cards. The goal for this review was to build a low-cost 3-monitor system using Nvidia video cards, and to test support for features such as video playback and 3D graphics. Read the review here.
Feb 17, 2003 Matrox G450 MMS
The 32 MB version of the dual and quad Matrox G450 MMS is now available for pre-order from Shopmatrox.com. The G450 MMS has one chip and 32 MB of RAM for each display, and supports VGA, DVI and TV-out. The dual card is US$ 599, the quad card US$ 799.
Feb 10, 2003 New FAQs
Several new FAQs have been added: Maximum number of monitors, Secondary screen shifts when playing game, Distorted sound. Updated: Playing fullscreen video/DVD on secondary monitors.
Feb 3, 2003 Site update
Several sections of the site have been updated:
Jan 27, 2003 New PCMCIA video card from Village Tronic
Scheduled to ship in March, the VTBookDD looks like a very interesting PCMCIA video card for laptops, with 32MB RAM, support for DVI and VGA, 3D acceleration, and hotplugging and hibernation/standby support. The card uses a Trident chipset, either the XP2 or XP4. See the press release and AnandTech for more information.
Jan 19, 2003 Maximum number of monitors
I've read several times that the maximum number of monitors with Windows 2000/XP is 10, but this seems to be only a limitation of Display Properties, not the system as a whole. So you would be able to use more than 10 monitors, but would need a custom application to configure them because Display Properties only lists the first 10 monitors. See this thread for more information.
Jan 12, 2003 Multimon wallpapers @ Digital Blasphemy
Digital Blasphemy has added a section for multi-monitor wallpapers, these are large 3200x1200 wallpapers.
Jan 7, 2003 Windows Media Player 9 released
Windows Media Player 9 has just been released. This version has much better multi-monitor support: the player goes fullscreen on the monitor it is on, and stays fullscreen if you work with a different application. With an early beta release I had problems with DVD playback on secondary monitors, this seems to be fixed. DVD playback worked on all monitors, you can even move the player to a different monitor and playback will continue.
Dec 29, 2002 Estari 2-VU dual-screen laptop/tablet PC
The Estari 2-VU is a laptop/tablet PC with 2 touch screens, no built-in keyboard (this space is occupied by the second screen). Also see ABC News for more information.
All the best for the new year,
Dec 23, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.1 released
UltraMon 2.1 is a maintenance release with several bug fixes. See the Release Notes for installation instructions and more information. The Developer Edition has been updated as well.
Dec 14, 2002 Multi-monitor setup with portrait LCD monitors
Brett has an article showing how to modify a standard LCD monitor for portrait-mode use. He uses a unique 3-monitor setup with a 22" CRT at the center, and a 15" portrait-mode LCD on each side.
Dec 9, 2002 Surround gaming with multiple Nvidia cards
With support for hardware-accelerated OpenGL across multiple monitors (and video cards), it should be possible to run games in surround mode, by using windowed mode and stretching the window across the desktop. I tested Quake3 and Unreal Tournament 2003 on my GeForce3 + 2x GeForce2 MX 3-monitor system, unfortunately without much success.
Quake3 worked well across the 3 monitors, with good performance, but it usually crashed after a couple of minutes. I used windowed mode with 3072x768 resolution, see Matrox Surround Gaming for configuration tips.
Unreal Tournament 2003 worked fine in DirectX mode, but was too slow to be playable. In OpenGL mode the system would hang if the window was larger than a single monitor. Configuration from Matrox Surround Gaming.
Share your own experiences with multiple video cards and the 40.72 drivers in the forum.
Dec 1, 2002 New UltraMon add-on
The UltraMon Wallpaper Screen Saver is a slide show screen saver for UltraMon wallpapers. Instead of displaying pictures, the screen saver shows your UltraMon wallpapers. You can download the screen saver from UltraMon Add-ons.
Nov 24, 2002 Database stats update
I have updated the database statistics, they are now more detailed and include the underlying numbers.
Nov 18, 2002 NVDVD
Nvidia has released version 2.0 of NVDVD, their media player (supports video/DVD, audio and images). NVDVD has good multi-monitor support, video playback works on all monitors, the player goes fullscreen on the monitor it is on, and stays fullscreen if it is no longer the active window. The only issue I noticed: DVD playback only worked on the primary monitor. Nice features include a jog shuttle, single-frame stepping, and frame capture. A 14-day trial version is available for download, price is US$ 39.95. See the press release for more information.
Nov 10, 2002 Multimonitor graphics shootout @ Tech Report
Tech Report has a multimonitor graphics shootout, comparing the consumer multi-monitor video cards from ATI, Matrox and Nvidia.
Nov 7, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.0 released
UltraMon 2.0 final is now available for download. Thanks to all the people who have suggested features and helped fix bugs over the last two years!
If you are upgrading from a previous version, you'll need to uninstall your current version of UltraMon first. See the Release Notes for details.
Existing customers are eligible for a free upgrade to 2.0 final. If you have lost your registration code or it doesn't work with the new version, go to Support to have your registration information e-mailed to you.
The final version of the Developer Edition is available as well, see the website for more information.
Nov 3, 2002 UltraMon 2.0 final, new 3Dlabs cards
The final version of UltraMon 2.0 will be released on Thursday, November 7. This release will include minor improvements to RC2, as well as several bug fixes. Pricing for a single license will be increased to 39.95.
3Dlabs has released two new dualhead video cards, the high-end Wildcat4 and the entry-level VP560.
Oct 26, 2002 Matrox Parhelia 256MB
Matrox has announced a new version of the Parhelia with 256 MB RAM, priced at US$ 599. Apart from the RAM, this seems to be the same card as the 128 MB version. For more on the Parhelia, see my review.
Oct 21, 2002 Updated database statistics
I have updated the database statistics feature. Statistics are now calculated per year and for the last half year. Some interesting trends: Windows XP has quickly become the preferred operating system with 51%. 3-monitor systems are becoming increasingly popular, going from 5% in 1999 to 19% in H2 2002. Use of dualhead video cards has increased by a factor of 6 since 1999.
Oct 13, 2002 MouseJail
MouseJail is a useful utility for gamers with multi-monitor systems. Some games don't lock the mouse to the monitor they're on, which causes problems when secondary monitors are enabled. Some examples are Ghost Recon and GTA 3. MouseJail solves this problem by starting the game and then locking the mouse to the primary monitor.
Oct 7, 2002 Nvidia OpenGL
Nvidia's new beta drivers, version 40.72, have excellent multi-monitor OpenGL support. I'm using a GeForce3 + 2x GeForce2 MX, and with the new drivers get OpenGL acceleration on each monitor, a first for this configuration. You can even stretch a window across multiple monitors, I tested the Nvidia Tree sample stretched across the desktop (3072x768), worked fine, with decent performance.
The only problem I noticed so far: using UltraMon mirroring when nView is running causes problems (you have to reset the system).
Sep 29, 2002 ATI Win2000 drivers, site update
ATI now has Windows 2000 drivers with true multi-monitor support. I don't know in which driver version this feature was added. For more information, see this forum thread.
I have updated the FAQ and multi-monitor guide. Updated FAQs include Dualhead cards and true multi-monitor support on Windows 2000, Laptops, Changing the BIOS primary card, Games with multi-monitor support.
Sep 22, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.0 RC2, multi-monitor survey
UltraMon™ 2.0 RC2 is now available, this release has a number of bug fixes and other improvements. See the Release Notes for more information, download here.
Jon Peddie Research does a survey about multiple monitors, click here to participate. You could win a NEC LCD monitor or an ATI RADEON 9700 video card.
Sep 18, 2002 Multi-monitor wallpapers
brain's MultiMonitor info is online again, with lots of new wallpapers.
Acidic Designs has several 2- and 3-monitor wallpapers.
Sep 8, 2002 Colorgraphic Xentera GT
Colorgraphic has announced a new line of multi-monitor cards, Xentera GT, scheduled for release in Q4 2002. 2- and 4-port AGP and PCI models are planned, and a PCI 8-port card. More information is available here.
Aug 31, 2002 WTC wallpapers
This site has multi-monitor wallpapers of the World Trade Center site. Various sizes are available for 2- and 3-monitor systems.
Aug 24, 2002 Windows Media Player 9
The next version of the Windows Media Player will have improved multi-monitor support: the player goes fullscreen on the monitor it is on, and stays in fullscreen mode when you work with an application on another monitor. I have tested build 2848, the public beta will be released on September 4.
Aug 19, 2002 ATI RADEON 9700 reviews
ATI's new high-end dualhead card is now available, AnandTech and Tom's Hardware have reviews.
Aug 11, 2002 Multimon OpenGL cards, PCI RADEON 7500, Parhelia review update
ExtremeTech has a review of professional OpenGL cards used with 2 monitors.
VIAHardware has reviewed the PowerColor PCI RADEON 7500.
I have updated the Matrox Parhelia review for the 1.00.04.231 drivers. Unfortunately none of the major issues have been fixed yet, but overall stability has been improved (display no longer freezes when enabling/disabling monitors for example).
Aug 5, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.0 RC1 released
The first release candidate of UltraMon 2.0 has been released, with lots of bug fixes and improvements. Download here, make sure to read the release notes before installing.
Jul 29, 2002 Margi Display-to-Go review updated
I have updated the Display-to-Go review for the 2.12 drivers. The problem where the display would flicker when moving windows (only at resolutions above 1024x768) has been fixed.
Jul 21, 2002 ATI RADEON 9700
ATI has announced the RADEON 9700, the successor to the RADEON 8500. The card seems to have the same multi-monitor features as the 8500, dualhead with 1x VGA + 1x DVI. AnandTech has a preview, the card is expected to be available in August.
Jul 13, 2002 Matrox Parhelia review, site anniversary
Today is the 3rd anniversary of this site, Multi-Monitor Resources went online July 13, 1999.
What better way to celebrate the anniversary than with a review of the Matrox Parhelia, a video card with lots of interesting features for multi-monitor users. Enjoy!
Jul 6, 2002 Matrox G450 MMS
More information has been released on the Matrox G450 MMS, the professional dual and quad card replacing the G200 MMS series. Both cards are PCI, with a dedicated chipset/RAMDAC and 16 MB RAM for each display. VGA, DVI and TV-out are supported. Some interesting software features as well: portrait mode is supported, and cloning (mirroring) is apparently supported across multiple cards.
Jul 1, 2002 Matrox Parhelia reviews
Several Matrox Parhelia reviews are now available:
Jun 23, 2002 Matrox Parhelia available for preorder
The Matrox Parhelia, Matrox's new high-end video card, is now available for preorder from shopmatrox.com. I have ordered one and will do an in-depth review of the multi-monitor features. For more information on the Parhelia, see the forum: Matrox Parhelia 512, Matrox G1000
Jun 16, 2002 eVGA GeForce4 MX with dual VGA
eVGA has released a GeForce4 MX card with dual VGA outputs. The card retails for US$ 159. See the press release for more information. If you live in the US, you have a chance to win this card, the contest runs until the end of the month.
Jun 9, 2002 Appian Typhoon
The Typhoon is Appian's latest dualhead card, with dual DVI-I support and 64 MB RAM. It uses the ATI RADEON VE chipset and is available in both AGP and PCI versions. eCOST.com sells the AGP version for US$ 230 (in stock).
Jun 2, 2002 Xabre, new SiS video chipset with dualhead
Xabre is the name of Sis' new video chipset, looks like it could be an interesting low-cost dualhead solution. Triplex has a card using the chipset, see this review for more information.
May 25, 2002 Multi-monitor wallpapers @ 9X Media
9X Media have added a wallpaper section to their site, these are large 2-4 monitor wallpapers with nature themes. Download here.
May 18, 2002 Xentex Flip-Pad Voyager
The Flip-Pad Voyager from Xentex is a laptop with built-in dual LCD panels (in portrait mode). It has some unique features, for example you can turn one of the panels by 180 degrees to face your audience for presentations. The Voyager seems to be targeted mainly at business users (price: US$ 5,000).
May 12, 2002 Matrox Parhelia
Matrox's new video card, codename Parhelia, will be unveiled May 14. From what I've seen so far, it could be a very interesting video card for multi-monitor users, apparently it can drive up to 3 monitors, with 2x VGA, 1x DVI and 1x TV-out. See this preview from iXBT for more information (in Russian, but lots of pictures).
May 6, 2002 Nvidia Quadro4 NVS review
Tweakers Australia has a review of the Nvidia Quadro4 200 NVS, Nvidia's professional 2D dualhead card. Looks like the review was made using an Nvidia sample board, not a retail board. Apparently retail boards will be released by PNY at a later date: PNY Quadro4 200 NVS @ Computers4SURE.
Apr 30, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.0 Beta 7 released
Major new features in this release:
See the UltraMon website and the Release Notes for more information.
- completely redesigned shortcuts feature
- display profiles
- redesigned screen saver feature
- mirroring now works with single-chipset dualhead cards on Windows XP
Apr 22, 2002 EasiDock review updated
I have updated the EasiDock 1000EV review for the new 3.02 drivers. Major new feature in this release: hot undocking now works on Windows 2000/XP. I have tested the new feature on Windows XP, works fine.
Apr 15, 2002 PCI Nvidia GeForce4 MX cards
GeForce4 MX cards are now available in PCI versions, which is good news for multi-monitor users. VisionTek offers the Xtasy GeForce4 MX 420 PCI, which is available from EBgames for US$ 120. According to x-bit labs there will also be a PCI MX 420 from PNY.
Apr 6, 2002 Nvidia Win2000 multimon, gaming site
Nvidia's latest drivers, version 28.32, have true multi-monitor support on Windows 2000. See their user guide for more information, and also this thread in the forum.
The Multi-Monitor Gaming Web is back online. Lots of information about software-mode multi-monitor gaming.
Mar 31, 2002 Multi-monitor tips and tricks
Share your multi-monitor tips and tricks in the forum. I have started the thread with a tip for efficient multi-monitor browsing.
Mar 24, 2002 Site update
Extensive site update: updated content to reflect the availability of the new generation of dualhead cards, dead links have been removed, and the top navigation bar has been changed to make it easier to navigate the whole realtimesoft.com domain.
Mar 19, 2002 UltraMon™ 2.0 Beta 7 Preview
A preview of the next release of UltraMon™ is now available: UltraMon Beta 7 Preview. No release date has been set yet.
Mar 9, 2002 Matrox G450 MMS
Matrox has announced two new cards in their Multi-Monitor Series (MMS), a dual and quad PCI card based on the G450 chipset. The cards have both analog and digital (DVI) outputs, as well as TV-out. The cards are scheduled for release in Q2 2002. Read the full press release here.
Mar 3, 2002 New Display-to-Go drivers
Margi has released new drivers for their PCMCIA video card, Display-to-Go. Version is 2.11, as far as I can tell there aren't any major new features.
Feb 23, 2002 EasiDock review, Appian Rushmore, Nvidia Quadro NVS
I have reviewed the EasiDock 1000EV, a non-proprietary docking station for laptops with integrated video card, making it an excellent solution for adding an additional monitor to your laptop. Read the full review here.
Appian has released the Rushmore, a new 4-port PCI video card. It uses two Radeon VE chips, with 16MB RAM per display, and supports both VGA and DVI displays. With a suggested retail price of US$ 595, the card is inexpensive for a quad board. The3DShop.Com has it for $535.
Nvidia has announced a new line of professional multi-port video cards, the Quadro4 200NVS (dual) and the Quadro4 400NVS (quad). Read the press release here, AnandTech has a short preview here.
Feb 16, 2002 Matrox G450 PCI with DVI
Matrox has announced a new PCI version of the G450 with 32MB RAM and DVI. The card has one DVI and one VGA output, a DVI-to-VGA converter is included for using two analog monitors. Read the press release here.
Feb 9, 2002 GeForce4, DONZ, dualhead PC
The GeForce4 has now been officially released, and the high-end GeForce4 Ti cards will indeed have dualhead support. See the AnandTech review for more information.
There's a new manufacturer of multi-monitor displays, DONZ. They have 3-5 screen displays of various sizes, and 6-10 screen 10" displays for special applications. See their website for more information.
Panasonic has introduced a dual-monitor desktop PC, with two 15" LCD displays directly attached to the system. The displays can be rotated to portrait mode, and you can also arrange the monitors so that they face in opposite directions, for example if you want to show a document to a client sitting across from you. It looks though like this PC is only available on the japanese market. For more information:
Feb 2, 2002 GeForce4 dualhead
It looks like Nvidia's latest high-end video card, the GeForce4, will have dualhead. 3DChipset has posted a scan from PC Gamer magazine, and the card apparently has dual DVI outputs. If you are interested in this card, visit Nvidia's website on February 6 for the big announcement.
Jan 27, 2002 Nvidia nView
The latest leaked Nvidia Detonator drivers, version 27.10 (Windows 2000/XP only), have improved multi-monitor features, now called nView instead of TwinView. nView has features similar to ATI's HydraVision, for example menu commands and hotkeys for moving windows to different monitors, button for maximizing a window to the desktop, and several other hotkeys. The multi-monitor features are not limited to TwinView cards, everything worked fine on my 3-monitor system using 3 Nvidia cards.
Jan 19, 2002 Revised programming section
The programming section has been completely revised, with the latest information on topics such as 3D graphics, independent displays and the multi-monitor API.
Jan 12, 2002 Moire screen saver update
I have added some new features to the Moire 3D screen saver:
Download: Moire.zip (159 KB).
- frame rate display turned off by default (you can enable it from the configuration dialog)
- fully hardware-accelerated preview mode: you can now use the screen saver on secondary monitors with UltraMon Screen Saver and the UltraMon Screen Saver Player
DirectX developers: enabling hardware-accelerated preview mode required a minor change to d3dsaver.cpp from the DirectX screen saver framework. You can download the modified file here. Search the file for 'Realtime Soft' to find the modification.
Jan 5, 2002 3D screen saver, UltraMon for developers
Microsoft has included an amazing 3D screen saver in the DirectX SDK for developers, with full multi-monitor support and hardware acceleration on each monitor. Download: Moire.scr (336 KB), requires DirectX 8 or later. If you are developing DirectX applications: the sample is in \direct3d\screensavers\moire, looks like they have an excellent screen saver framework.
The UltraMon SDK and UltraMon Developer Edition have now been updated to Beta 6, the new versions can be downloaded here. If you are a C/C++ developer, you can already use the new monitor control (IUltraMonMonCtl interface), this is the same control used by UltraMon for the wallpaper and mirroring dialogs. Check out the MonCtl sample to get started.
Dec 30, 2001 UltraMon 2.0 Beta 6 released
Beta 6 of UltraMon™, the multi-monitor software, is now available for download. New in this release:
New window management features:
- custom window buttons and menu commands for moving and desktop-maximizing windows
- moving maximized windows with the mouse by dragging the window title bar
Smart Taskbar improvements:
- software mirroring with near-realtime performance. Please note that mirroring is no longer available on Windows 98/Me
More information on the new features will be available shortly on the UltraMon website.
- support for the Windows XP taskbar look
- support for flashing taskbar buttons
- bug fixes
For developers: an updated SDK and redistributable components will be released next week.
Happy New Year,
Dec 23, 2001 FAQ and Armada II updates
I have updated the laptop FAQ: Nvidia chipsets do have multi-monitor support on Windows 2000, but with the usual TwinView limitations (see this FAQ for details).
Update on Star Trek: Armada II: a user has let me know that the dualhead mode works fine on his XP system with a GeForce3 and a TNT2, so there is no inherent limitation requiring identical cards.
Dec 16, 2001 New game with multi-monitor support
Star Trek: Armada II, like its predecessor, has multi-monitor support, with the second monitor used for a cinematic display of the action. But in version 2, dualhead support isn't limited to Matrox cards, although it looks like the game only works with two identical cards (or a dualhead card). The demo is available from gamesdomain.com.
I tested on Windows XP, video cards were a GeForce3 AGP + 2x GeForce2 MX PCI. If the GeForce3 was primary, the second display didn't work properly. After setting a GeForce2 MX as primary, everything worked fine, the game used only the 2 GeForce2 MX cards. To enable dualhead, go to graphics options and choose 'Dualhead' from the list.
Dec 10, 2001 UltraMon Beta 6 preview
Major new features in Beta 6:
For details, read the full preview here. Beta 6 is scheduled for release on December 30.
- custom window buttons and menu commands for moving and desktop-maximizing
- dragging maximized windows with the mouse
- new version of mirroring with near-realtime performance
- new hotkeys, customizable menu and more
Dec 2, 2001 Multi-monitor video cards
Two manufacturers of multi-monitor video cards have been added to the Products section. Datapath offers the Horizon line of 2- and 4-port cards, using S3 Savage4 chipsets. A CompactPCI version is available for industrial applications. Enseo's MVP line uses Nvidia RIVA 128 chipsets, both 2- and 4-port cards are available.
Nov 24, 2001 Display-to-Go drivers with XP support
The latest 2.10 drivers for the Margi Display-to-Go PCMCIA video card now support Windows XP. The drivers seem to work fine, except for the mirroring feature, didn't do anything on my system. For more information on the Display-to-Go, see my review.
Nov 17, 2001 Appian Rushmore
Appian has announced a new 4-monitor PCI video card, using two ATI RADEON VE chipsets to drive the 4 monitors. The card will have 64MB RAM and support both DVI and VGA. Rushmore is scheduled for a January 2002 release at a suggested retail price of US$ 599.
Nov 11, 2001 Monitors
I have collected a couple of links with monitor reviews and general background information. Check them out if you are looking for a new monitor. ZDNet has a good article on LCD monitors, read it here.
• CNET Hardware
• ZDNet Reviews
• Monitors @ Epinions.com
Nov 4, 2001 New FAQ
I have added a FAQ on multi-monitor KVMs (keyboard/video/mouse switch). KVMs are useful for sharing a single set of monitors between multiple computers. Read the FAQ here.
Off topic: found an interesting new software for customizing the Windows XP look: Style XP and StyleBuilder from TGT Soft. Comes with one default style, and with StyleBuilder you can create your own styles.
Oct 28, 2001 XP and laptops, flight sims, wallpaper
XP drivers with multi-monitor support are now available for ATI, Nvidia and S3 video chipsets. For information on downloading and installing ATI drivers, see the forum.
MiGMan's Flight Simulation Museum has an article on using multiple monitors with flight sims.
Nothing has a new multi-monitor wallpaper, a 3072x768 JPG for 3-monitor systems.
Oct 21, 2001 Windows XP
Windows XP will be released on October 25, if you plan on upgrading, take a look at the Windows XP Upgrade Guide to check for any potential issues related to multiple monitors.
All the content on the site has been updated for Windows XP. This means that if you read about a Windows 2000-specific problem, you can be assured that it only applies to Windows 2000, and not to Windows XP as well.
For any questions on XP, or to share your experiences with it, go to the forum.
Oct 14, 2001 RADEON 8500, multi-monitor KVM, wallpapers
ATI has released the RADEON 8500, their new high-end video card with dual head. According to CompUSA it will be available by the end of the month.
Ever wanted to share multiple monitors between two computers? Magenta Research has an add-on for their KVM switches that apparently allows you to share 2 monitors between 2 computers. The QuadView2 has 4 VGA inputs and 2 outputs.
New site with multi-monitor wallpapers: Dual-Monitor Wallpapers
Oct 6, 2001 New multi-monitor websites
There is a new website dedicated to multi-monitor gaming: Multi-Monitor Gaming Web. Lots of information on getting various games to run on multiple monitors (using software rendering).
Geek Extreme has added a multi-monitor wallpaper section, check it out here. These are gorgeous 2048x768 wallpapers.
Sep 29, 2001 Database update, RADEON 7500
Database clean up and updates: you can now add Windows XP systems, and the statistics have been improved (much better performance and usability).
ATI has announced that the RADEON 7500, the low-end card in its next-generation RADEON lineup, will begin shipping worldwide on October 1. The card has dualhead support, no word yet about the level of driver support for Windows 2000 and XP. Improved drivers for XP will be released on October 25 (the day of the XP launch). Read the full press release here.
Sep 22, 2001 Windows XP update, wallpapers
I have now installed Windows XP final on my Dell laptop, unfortunately there is still no multi-monitor support for the ATI Mobility card. But it looks like updated drivers may be released later, this is from a Compaq support document: "This feature will be supported with the release of enhanced Windows XP video drivers. Windows XP compatible device drivers will be available in the 4th Quarter of 2001." The document is available here.
Nothing has two new 2048x768 wallpapers on his site.
Sep 15, 2001 TwinView on XP, UltraMon SDK Beta 5
The new Detonator XP (21.81) drivers for Nvidia cards now have true multi-monitor support for TwinView cards on Windows XP. See the forum for details.
The UltraMon SDK and Developer Edition have now been updated to Beta 5. There are no documentation changes, but it is recommended that you install the updated DLLs.
The site will be down for maintenance on Sunday, starting at 23:00 PDT. Maintenance should take no longer than 1 hour.
My condolences to all who lost friends and family in Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
If you want to help, please go to the PayPal Red Cross Relief Fund.
Sep 8, 2001 UltraMon™ 2.0 Beta 5
Major new features and improvements in this release:
For more information, go to the UltraMon site. Detailed release notes are available here.
- Smart Taskbar: manage multiple applications efficiently with a taskbar on each monitor
- an updated version of UltraMon Desktop: much improved performance, no need for Active Desktop on Windows 2000/XP, support for transparent icons on Windows XP, and more
- support for the Windows XP look
Sep 1, 2001 Multimon displays, new wallpaper
There is a new manufacturer of multi-monitor displays: 9XMedia offers digital multi-monitor display solutions with 2-9 monitors.
Nothing has added a new multi-monitor wallpaper.
Update on the next UltraMon beta: UltraMon 2.0 Beta 5 will be released next Saturday, September 8. This release will include Smart Taskbar, a feature that allows you to have a taskbar on each monitor, with each taskbar only showing tasks from the monitor it is on.
Aug 26, 2001 KDE 2.2, ATI RADEON 8500
Apparently the latest release of KDE, a popular Linux desktop environment, has real multi-monitor support. See this newsgroup post for details.
The ATI RADEON 8500, which will be available by the end of September for US$ 399, will be the first high-end dualhead video card for the consumer market. The specs look great, hopefully they will have Win2000/XP drivers with true multi-monitor support. For more information, see the previews from AnandTech and Tom's Hardware.
Aug 18, 2001 Appian Hurricane, UltraMon add-on, tiled wallpapers
Appian has released new Windows 2000 drivers for their AGP and PCI Hurricane cards, with true Win2000 multi-monitor support, meaning that both monitors are recognized individually by the system.
BTW, in case you noticed the TV-out connector on the card: TV-out support isn't mentioned in the product documentation because the Appian drivers don't support it. The connector is only present because the card is based on the RADEON VE reference design.
The UltraMon™ Screen Saver Player is a new add-on for UltraMon, allowing you to run a screen saver on a secondary monitor while working on something else.
Update on tiled wallpapers: while it does work, it only works easily for specific desktop configurations. I have updated the FAQ and the guide to reflect this. The next version of UltraMon will generate tiled wallpapers that work with all desktop configurations.
Aug 11, 2001 4-monitor systems
I reviewed two solutions, an inexpensive system using 2 Matrox G450 cards (one AGP, one PCI), and a high-end system using a single Matrox G200 MMS card with TV tuner and video-in.
Aug 4, 2001 Extensive site update
Improved navigation: you can now get easy access to all the content on the site using the menu to the left.
New products: take a look at the Products page and the Shopping Guide, several new products have been added.
New FAQ: Dualhead cards and true multi-monitor support on Windows 2000
If you want to play fullscreen video on secondary monitors, take a look at Zoom Player. It can run fullscreen on any monitor, and stays in fullscreen mode if you work on another monitor. It did have problems with my 3rd monitor though, no overlays and partly cut off video in fullscreen mode.
Jul 28, 2001 Ultimate Multi-Monitor System
The most powerful multi-monitor system: Nvidia GeForce3, GeForce2 MX PCI, Windows 2000: read all the details here.
Jul 21, 2001 UltraMon™ Developer Edition, wallpapers
The UltraMon™ Developer Edition has been released. It is intended for software developers who want to add multi-monitor features to their applications.
Ultimate Multi-Monitor System update: I should have the article online next weekend, I already received the AGP card and the PCI cards were shipped yesterday.
braindead has some new wallpapers on his site, these are large 2048x768 multi-monitor wallpapers.
Jul 15, 2001 Site anniversary!
On the first anniversary, one year ago, the database counted a bit more than 600 entries. Now it has just reached 2000 entries, quite amazing! I would like to thank all the people who have taken the time to participate, by adding to the database and gallery, and taking part in the forum discussions. Your contributions are appreciated.
Special anniversary features:
Thanks for visiting!
- Ultimate Multi-Monitor System: unfortunately I haven't received the video cards yet, I'll have the review online as soon as possible, hopefully next weekend
- Multiple monitors with Linux: an updated how-to using the latest Mandrake 8 distribution
- Multi-Monitor Guide: all the information from the site in an easy-to-use format, available online or for download in HTML Help format
Jul 7, 2001 Windows XP RC1, site anniversary details
RC1 (Release Candidate 1) of Windows XP has just been released. It is confirmed that the Home edition now has multi-monitor support! I have updated the review for the new release (including the screen shots).
Update: site anniversary event now on July 15. The following special features are planned:
- Ultimate Multi-Monitor System: building the most powerful and feature-rich general-purpose multi-monitor system
- Multiple monitors with Linux: an updated how-to using the latest Mandrake 8 distribution
- Multi-Monitor Guide: all the information from the site in an easy-to-use format, available online or for download in HTML Help format
Jun 30, 2001 New Display-to-Go drivers, site anniversary
Margi has released new drivers for the Display-to-Go PCMCIA video card for laptops. New in version 2.06:
See the updated review for details.
- on Windows 2000, you can now mirror the primary monitor on the Display-to-Go
- on Windows Me, the refresh rate bug has been fixed (it was impossible to use any other refresh rate than 60 Hz)
Make sure to visit the site on July 14: this marks the second anniversary of the site, and I'm going to celebrate with 3 special features. Details next weekend.
Jun 23, 2001 Windows XP news, Matrox G550
Apparently Microsoft has decided to include full support for multiple monitors in the home edition of Windows XP: Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows (paragraph 'Pro features that aren't in Home Edition').
Matrox has released a new dualhead card, the Millennium G550. At the moment there is no PCI version available. See AnandTech and Tom's Hardware for reviews.
Jun 17, 2001 Monitor calibration, video wallpaper
A frequent problem with multiple monitors is getting them to display the same colors. I have added a new entry on monitor calibration to the FAQ, outlining the available options and tools.
Ever wanted to use a video as your desktop wallpaper? It's possible, thanks to Active Desktop (but only advisable if you have a fairly powerful system). Download video_wallpaper.zip for a sample video wallpaper. You should be comfortable with using and editing HTML wallpapers, see the wallpaper FAQ for more information. I'm considering adding this feature to a future release of UltraMon Desktop, let me know if you would find this useful.
Jun 9, 2001 OpenGL with Nvidia 12.41 drivers, more wallpapers
Nvidia has released new drivers for Windows 2000, Detonator3 version 12.41. Interesting for multi-monitor users: with multiple Nvidia cards you can use OpenGL on each monitor, even if the cards don't use the same chipset. For example my TNT2/TNT configuration worked just fine. Limitations I encountered: you can't stretch OpenGL apps across monitors, and some applications can't be moved to a different monitor (window just stays blank).
If you have both Nvidia and other cards, you will still get OpenGL acceleration on the primary Nvidia card, but not on secondary ones. This without disabling secondary monitors of course.
So far I didn't have any problems with the new drivers, but they still didn't fix the bug that causes the primary Nvidia card to lose DirectX acceleration if you disable all secondary monitors.
More multi-monitor wallpapers: head over to SEKS03's site, then click on the Desktops button.
Jun 2, 2001 Matrox G450 PCI review, new wallpaper site
If you are shopping for a secondary video card, the Matrox G450 PCI might be a good choice. Read the review for an in-depth look at this inexpensive dualhead card.
Looking for a desktop wallpaper? Check out this cool new multi-monitor wallpaper site.
I am looking for someone using a professional multi-monitor OpenGL system, and who would be interested in doing a review for the site. Contact me at email@example.com if you are interested.
May 27, 2001 UltraMon™ 2.0 Beta 4 available
Beta 4 of UltraMon 2.0 is now available for download. New in this release:
For detailed information about Beta 4, or if you are upgrading from a previous version, take a look at the release notes.
- UltraMon Desktop: create and manage multi-monitor desktop wallpapers. This is the replacement for the Wallpaper Designer, fully integrated into UltraMon and with the capability to edit and preview wallpapers. Get all the details about this new feature here
- Run OpenGL screen savers even if your system doesn't support OpenGL with multiple monitors: UltraMon Screen Saver can disable and enable secondary monitors, allowing you to run a fully accelerated OpenGL screen saver on the primary monitor
- Various bug fixes and improvements
For developers: the SDK has also been updated, you can download the latest version here.
Please post comments, suggestions and bug reports to the UltraMon forum. Your feedback is very much appreciated.
May 13, 2001 Forum search, UltraMon™ news
New forum feature: you can now search for keywords in all forums. How it works: the search returns all topics that have all of the keywords in the subject or in one of the messages. Wildcards (*) are automatically added before and after each keyword. Post your comments on this new feature here.
UltraMon news: Beta 4 will be released next Saturday, May 19. Major new feature is UltraMon Desktop, the completely integrated replacement for the Wallpaper Designer, which allows you to create, edit and preview multi-monitor wallpapers. In addition, several bug fixes and minor improvements will be included.
May 6, 2001 Matrox G450 PCI, Website styles
Matrox has released the PCI version of their G450 dualhead card. It is available from Matrox for US$ 115. Please note that Matrox recommends that the card be used on a system with an Intel chipset. On systems with non-Intel chipsets, DVDmax and OpenGL are not supported.
If you aren't using multiple monitors already, check out Matrox's Dualhead community. Lots of reasons for using multiple monitors!
New site feature: you can now select a style of your choice from the list on the navigation bar. Currently available styles are Default and Large fonts. See the forum for more on this new feature.
Apr 28, 2001 Site move, unique multimon application
realtimesoft.com is now running on its own dedicated Windows 2000 server. The move was completed yesterday at 8:45 PM PDT. Immediate benefits are improved performance and uptime. Long-term, the move enables implementation of advanced site features.
Take a look at widefault's website for an interesting multi-monitor application: he uses the TV-out of a second video card to run a small LCD monitor built into the computer's front panel, serving as a system monitor.
Apr 21, 2001 PCI dualhead cards
Cornerstone has released a PCI dualhead card based on the Matrox G450. According to Cornerstone, their Win2000 drivers have full multimon support, just like Matrox's eDualhead drivers, meaning that you can use different resolutions and refresh rates on each monitor. More information is available here.
Matrox has also announced their own PCI version of the G450, it is scheduled for release in the second quarter of this year. See the product page and the press release for more information.
Apr 14, 2001 Windows XP Beta 2
I have updated the Windows XP preview for Beta 2. What's new: updated screen shots, information on dualhead support, updated information on new features.
Apr 7, 2001 Appian Hurricane, light-weight SONY flat panel
New card from Appian: the Hurricane is a dualhead card based on the same chipset as ATI's RADEON VE. The Appian card adds the following features:
The PCI version is not available yet, and no price has been announced. A price reduction will shortly be announced for the AGP version, MSRP down to US$ 169 from 189.
- Multi-Board Support, allows you to combine an AGP Appian Hurricane with one or more PCI Appian Hurricanes to power up to 16 monitors
- A complete set of AppianXtras, including: AppianRotate for portrait-mode support; AppianMode for configuring custom resolutions; and AppianColor for color-matching with eColor
- Free upgrade path to HydraVision 3.0 and other future versions of HydraVision
- Appian support, reliability and drivers. Appian's Mike Kinnaman: "This is all about company focus... when an end-user calls in with a multi-monitor question, they'll be talking to someone with two monitors on his or her desktop. In addition, we've tested more individual applications for use on multiple displays than any other vendor."
On my quest for a mobile multi-monitor solution, I found an interesting LCD flat panel monitor from SONY, the SDM-N50PS: weight only 5.2 pounds (this includes the display and the power unit), detachable stand, only 1" thick. DVI unfortunately isn't supported. Complete specs are available in PDF format: SDM-N50/N50PS.pdf.
If you have used this monitor, please share your experiences.
Mar 31, 2001 New FAQs, Display-to-Go, ATI RADEON
3 new FAQ entries have been added: Unable to properly align monitors, "No buffer space available" error in TCP/IP applications, Adding multi-monitor support to a Windows 98 driver set.
I have also updated the Display-to-Go review for the 2.04 drivers. New: better refresh rates at higher resolutions, Margi utility now available on Windows 2000 as well.
ATI RADEON All-in-Wonder available in a PCI version: this is good news, but I doubt that the multimedia features will work when used as a secondary monitor...
RADEON VE on Win2000: with current drivers, Win2000 recognizes the card as a single large monitor instead of two, which can cause problems. If you have any issues with the card, send Norman a mail, he has spent a lot of time getting it to work and would be happy to help out.
Mar 24, 2001 Voodoo2 for a secondary monitor?
Have an old 3dfx Voodoo2 lying around? If you use Windows 2000, you can give it a new life with special beta drivers enabling it to be used as a standard 2D card. And if you are looking for a really inexpensive card for Win2000, search for Voodoo2 on eBay, they start at 20 dollars! See the article for all the details.
Mar 17, 2001 Site update, AppianX news
I have completely redesigned the UltraMon site, it has much more information now. Also make sure to check out the Add-ons page. Minor updates have also been done on the rest of the site. Please note that, due to the update, Netscape Navigator 4.x is no longer supported, please upgrade to version 6.
AppianX news: looks like Appian has repositioned the card in the market: the only version available now is a 4-port PCI card, no longer any mention of AGP and 2-port versions. But it looks like it's a pretty cool card: DirectX and OpenGL acceleration across all monitors, 16 MB RAM per monitor, video in, support for analog and DVI displays, full Windows 2000 support. The 3D Shop has it in stock for US$ 849.
Mar 12, 2001 UltraMon Wallpaper Designer
The new UltraMon Wallpaper Designer makes it easy to create exciting multi-monitor desktop wallpapers. Use a different background/image on each monitor, or create a wallpaper that spans the whole desktop. A unique feature is support for gradient backgrounds. For more on this preview release, click here.
Let me know what you think of this new UltraMon feature: post your comments to the forum, or e-mail me directly. Enjoy!
Mar 3, 2001 Matrox dualhead with true Win2000 support
Matrox eDualHead, a new driver set for their dualhead cards G400/G450, has finally added true support for Windows 2000! This means that Win2000 will recognize both monitors individually, and you will be able to use different resolutions for each one. According to early feedback from Matrox users, it actually does work as advertised. More information on eDualHead is available here.
Feb 24, 2001 Programming UltraMon, Whistler and dualhead
If you develop multi-monitor software, take a look at the new UltraMon Software Development Kit. This allows you to use the powerful features of UltraMon from your own applications. The UltraMon component is a standard COM component, and can be used from most programming languages, including Visual Basic and C++.
You might also want to download the SDK if you have created scripts for UltraMon, the documention is more extensive than what is included in the UltraMon Help.
Interesting news regarding Whistler (Windows XP) and dualhead cards:
I received a mail from a user with an S3 Savage MX dualhead laptop video card: Windows 2000 didn't recognize the second head of the card, but Whistler does!
On the other hand, the second head of my ATI RAGE MOBILITY card was not recognized by Whistler, but this could just be a driver issue. If you have Whistler and a dualhead card, please share your experiences.
Feb 17, 2001 ATI RADEON dualhead
ATI's entry into the dualhead market is called RADEON VE (for Value Edition), and is expected to become available this month at a suggested retail price of US$ 129. Unfortunately it is also a single chipset solution, meaning that Windows 2000 won't recognize both monitors individually, making it impossible to use different resolutions on each monitor. Appian's HydraVision multi-monitor software comes bundled with the card. See ATI's site for more information, they also have an excellent HydraVision demo.
Attention UltraMon™ users: on March 1, the price of a single UltraMon license will increase to US$ 24.95. Register now to take advantage of the current price of US$ 14.95.
Feb 10, 2001 Professional OpenGL, Windows CE multimon
If you are looking for a professional multimon OpenGL solution, check out the 3Dlabs GVX420. It drives one or two displays (either VGA or DVI), and supports OpenGL acceleration on both monitors with Windows 2000 and NT 4. Price: around US$ 2000.
Multi-monitor support for Windows CE: intended for embedded solutions for the industrial and retail markets, Intelligraphics makes available a custom display driver supporting up to 8 additional displays. Read the press release here.
Feb 3, 2001 Windows Whistler preview
Whistler is the next version of Windows, expected to be available later this year. So far it looks like it will be an excellent update, but there is one important issue for multi-monitor users: the Personal (home user) edition does not support multiple monitors! Read the full preview here.
Jan 27, 2001 Appian Traveler review
The Appian Traveler is a PCMCIA video card for laptops, similar to the Margi Display-to-Go I reviewed earlier. It is a decent card, but there are several problems, probably due to immature drivers. Read the full review here.
Jan 20, 2001 UltraMon Beta 3 available
As you may have noticed, the website has been down for the last week. I have now moved to a new host, so everything should be back to normal. Thanks for your patience, and welcome back!
The new beta of UltraMon™ is finally here, and it has some exciting features: the updated UltraMon Shortcuts feature gives you complete control over application launching, and you can easily access your shortcuts from the UltraMon menu.
Internally, UltraMon has also changed a lot and now exposes its functionality to other applications via COM objects. If you write your own scripts or develop applications, this means that you have easy access to the powerful multi-monitor features of UltraMon.
Click here for more information and to download the beta.
Jan 7, 2001 Multimon gaming, fullscreen video
There are only a few games with native multi-monitor support, but another way to play games on multiple monitors is using software rendering mode: Billy G. has let me know that bleem!, the Playstation emulator, has fast software rendering, and works great with multiple monitors. Here's how you do it:
Unreal software mode also works fine on multiple monitors, simply switch to windowed mode and stretch the window across monitors. Also see PlanetQuake for more on this.
- specify no 3D acceleration
- go to graphics, specify 'Only use full screen if I specify', uncheck 'Remember size and position', and check 'Resize window automatically'
- you can now stretch the window across monitors
I just discovered a nice side effect of DirectX 8: Windows Media Player can finally play videos fullscreen on any monitor! It works best with Media Player 6.4, 7.0 always blanks the primary monitor even though it plays the video on the secondary. BTW, Media Player on Windows Me has this feature as well, doesn't require DirectX 8.
Dec 30, 2000 Pentium 4 bug
A bug in the chipset for the Pentium 4 can cause slow processing or data corruption on systems with PCI video cards. Intel says they'll fix it in a later revision of the chipset, but no date has been announced yet. As the Intel i850 chipset is the only Pentium 4 chipset available at the moment, I suggest you stay away from the P4 for the time being. More on this story: TechWeb, ZDNet.
Happy New Year everyone!
Dec 23, 2000 Display-to-Go review updated
In my review of the Margi Display-to-Go laptop video card, I mentioned a problem with noise on the monitor connected to the card: turns out this is a problem with my laptop, not with the card: when the laptop is running on batteries, there is no noise problem at all. But as soon as I connect the AC power supply, noise appears on the display. Read the updated review here.
SysOpt.com has a review of the Colorgraphic Predator multi-monitor video card, check it out here. Thanks to Darrell for mentioning it.
Dec 16, 2000 UltraMon Beta 3 delayed, newsletter
Unfortunately UltraMon™ Beta 3 has been delayed, but I hope to have it ready before the end of the year. The main new feature in this release will be the completely revamped multi-monitor shortcuts.
The results of the newsletter poll are in:
Click here to subscribe to the newsletter. The first mailing will be on January 1 next year.
Dec 9, 2000 Margi Display-to-Go review
Margi's Display-to-Go is a PCMCIA video card, enabling you to use 2 or more monitors with your laptop. I have tested it with Windows 2000 and Windows Me, read my review here.
Dec 2, 2000 Panoram displays, newsletter poll
ATI is entering the multi-monitor market with its RADEON VE dualhead card, targeted at the GeForce2 MX and the Matrox G450. Unfortunately it looks like it is yet another card without full Win2000 support.
Looking for the perfect displays for your multi-monitor system? Take a look at the PV230 from Panoram Technologies. This display combines 3 flat panels and uses only a minimum amount of desktop space. Great-looking, but also rather expensive.
Would you be interested in a multi-monitor newsletter? It would include basically the same news content as the site, but with the convenience of being delivered by e-mail.
The UltraMon survey is still online, thanks for your participation.
Nov 25, 2000 UltraMon survey
If you use UltraMon™, please participate in the survey. The gathered data will be used to determine the focus of future development.
Even more AppianX news: the 4-port version will be released in December, and will retail for US$ 899. The 2-port version will follow in Q1 2001.
Nov 18, 2000 DirectX 8, AppianX
DirectX 8 is here, and they have done away with one of the multimon limitations of previous versions: no acceleration in windowed applications on secondary monitors. This is great news, but keep in mind that applications need to be specially programmed to take advantage of this. I have tested with the Water sample included in the software development kit (the samples are great btw). Click here for screen shots of the sample running on each monitor, with the video card for that monitor rendering. If I moved the sample to a different monitor and didn't select the corresponding renderer, I got a maximum of 15 fps.
Appian has released new information on their AGX card, now renamed to AppianX. You can download the PDF here. The specs look great, and it also seems that the card isn't a full-length card (like the Jeronimo 2000), which should make it usable in more systems.
Hover, a 3D racing game, is not really a multimon game, but it can be played on the monitor of your choice. Give it a try, it is very well done, but I found the steering a bit difficult.
Nov 11, 2000 Database power search, new MultiDesk
The compatibility database has a new Power Search feature, giving you greater flexibility in searching the database. Post your questions or comments to the forum.
Silicon Realms has released a new version of their MultiDesk software. New features include the ability to have a different background on each desktop. The latest version is also available in the Ultimate Multi-Monitor Bundle.
Several new UltraMon icons have been added, you can download them here.
Nov 5, 2000 Appian AGX, desktop wallpaper
Updated release information for the Appian AGX multi-monitor card: scheduled for release this month at COMDEX, but won't be available in volume until January 2001.
The FAQ has a new method of using different background images for each monitor: custom HTML wallpaper with multiple images. This has some advantages, and is what I'm using myself currently.
braindead has a nice new wallpaper on his site, showing the earth at night (courtesy of NASA).
I'm working on a new power search feature for the compatibility database. If there's anything specific you would like to see added, please send me a mail.
Oct 29, 2000 Remote control
I've been looking for remote control software supporting multiple monitors, but so far without much luck.
ControlIT claims to have multimon support, but I couldn't get it to work. The most interesting piece of information turned out to be this note on modifying VNC to add multimon support. Based on the posting, I have compiled a modified version, and it actually works, but with the following limitations: the host has to run Win2000, and negative coordinates aren't supported (your primary monitor must be in the top-left position). You can download it here.
If you know of any remote control apps with multimon support, please send me a mail.
Oct 21, 2000 1000 multimon configs!
The compatibility database now contains more than 1000 configurations! This is an amazing amount of compatibility information, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed.
Bad news: the game Bonzala I told you about last month will definitely not have multimon support. The author has dropped multimon support due to technical problems.
Update on the Nvidia TwinView review: due to the continued delays of the Hercules TwinView card, I have cancelled my order and the planned review. See the Products section for more information on Nvidia TwinView.
Oct 14, 2000 UltraMon™ 2.0 Beta 2
Download the latest UltraMon Beta here. New in this release:
Go to the UltraMon Beta site for more information.
- move ICQ to a secondary monitor
- problem with UltraMon Screen Saver on Win98/Me fixed
- lots of other fixes and improvements
Oct 8, 2000 UltraMon Screen Saver 2
Using multiple screen savers with UltraMon Screen Saver 2? If yes, add your configuration to the database. Uploading of screen shots doesn't work yet, in the meantime just send me your screen shots by e-mail.
Sep 30, 2000 Nvidia TwinView
Looks like Nvidia's GeForce2 MX TwinView (dualhead) cards don't have proper Win2000 support, just like the Matrox G400/450. Very disappointing, especially since it would have been possible, as demonstrated by Appian's upcoming AGX card. See the forum for details.
Sep 24, 2000 Forum update
I have finally made some much-needed changes in the forum:
Let me know if you find any problems.
- topics are sorted by last post date instead of first, making it easier to see new postings
- it is now possible to create active links in messages using HTML syntax. An example is on the Post Message form
- the entry page shows the number of new postings since your last visit (if you have cookies enabled)
Sep 16, 2000 Bonzala
Finally a game with generic multimon support, unfortunately I couldn't get it to work on my system... hopefully you have more luck: you can download the game here. To get multimon support, run bonzala /m from the command prompt. In multi-player mode, this should enable you to use one monitor for each player. With bonzala /sX (where X is the number of a monitor - 1), you can select a monitor for single-player mode. Note that the game requires DirectX 7 (included in WinMe and Win2000). Please let me know if you get it working. Update: the author of the game is currently updating the multimon code, a new release is expected shortly.
Second Nature has a screen saver with multimon support, download here. Thanks to Bill Thompson for the link.
Sep 9, 2000 New dualhead card, UltraMon newsletter
AnandTech has a review of the Matrox G450, the successor to the G400 dualhead card. Unfortunately, it still doesn't have proper Win2000 multimon support...
The UltraMon™ announcement list is now ready, click here to subscribe. As a list member, you will be notified of new releases.
In case you're wondering, I'm still planning on doing a review of Nvidia's new GeForce2 MX TwinView card. I have already ordered a Hercules 3D Prophet II MX Dualhead, but the release date has been set back to Sep 22. Rest assured that I'll have the review up as soon as possible.
Sep 2, 2000 Using independent displays
A new sample over in the Programming section shows how to use independent displays. Using independent displays, an application can get full control over a monitor, without any interference from the window manager.
Aug 26, 2000 Hardware, UltraMon registration, database updates
Appian has announced the AGX, a 2- and 4-port card using a single chipset (3Dlabs Permedia4). The exciting thing is that it will have native Win2000 multimon support (unlike the single-chipset G400), and due to the single chipset, it is expected to be lower priced than current-generation Appian cards. It is scheduled for release in October. Another new product is the Traveler, a video card for laptop multimon.
Margi has a new 4MB version of their Display-to-Go laptop video card. It supports resolutions up to 1280x1024x24 or 1600x1200x16. Win98/2000 and MacOS are supported.
I have changed the UltraMon registration model. You can now register the next version of UltraMon as soon as the first beta is available. If you register now, you get a license for 1.0, all 2.0 betas, 2.0 final and all 3.0 betas. Customers who registered 1.0 will receive a new 2.0 registration code later today by e-mail.
The database has been updated with the following new features:
- search for system specs like motherboard or processor
- you can now add Windows Me and Linux systems
- search results directly display configurations
- a new search option lets you enter configuration IDs directly
As a result of the update, you won't see how many new configs were added when you visit the updated database for the first time. You can use the new config ID search option to view new configs, for example by entering the range 870-860. Click here to run this search now.
Aug 19, 2000 Multimon OpenGL
Nvidia's new 6.18 drivers for Win2000 enable OpenGL acceleration on each monitor with multiple Nvidia cards. Read more on this in the completely updated OpenGL section. I would also like to expand the list of working configurations, so if you have a Win2000 system with hardware-accelerated OpenGL on each monitor, please send me a mail.
Aug 12, 2000 UltraMon 2.0 Beta 1
The first beta of the next version of UltraMon is now available for download. New in this release: run a different screen saver on each monitor with UltraMon Screen Saver - when re-enabling secondary monitors, windows are restored to their original positions - set the primary monitor from the UltraMon menu (Win2000 only). Click here for more information.
Aug 5, 2000 Multimon with Windows NT 4
There are multimon solutions for NT 4, even though the operating system doesn't have native support for multiple monitors. I have tested it with my Jeronimo 2000 dual-monitor card, take a look here.
Jul 29, 2000 TV as secondary monitor, new screen saver
If you have considered using a TV as secondary monitor, take a look at this new FAQ: TV as secondary monitor.
Alias|wavefront has an exciting screen saver with multimon support, based on their Paint Effects technology in Maya. Especially the plant effects are absolutely gorgeous. Download here. Thanks to braindead for the link.
Jul 22, 2000 Matrix screen saver with multimon support
ChaosSoft has just released version 1.30 of their Matrix Code Emulator screen saver, now with multimon support! If you like the movie 'The Matrix', you'll love this screen saver. Download here.
Jul 15, 2000 First Anniversary
July 13 marks the first anniversary of this site. It has been a great year: I learned a lot about multiple monitors, and talked to lots of people from all over the world. The database and forum have really taken off, with the database now counting an incredible 668 configurations!
I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do, and if there's anything you would like to see covered here, let me know, either through the forum or by e-mail.
- I'm really looking forward to do a review of the GeForce2 MX Dualhead, Nvidia's multi-monitor video card, due out by the end of July
- UltraMon 2.0 Beta 1 will be released on August 12. Lots of exciting new features are planned, but judge for yourself: I have posted the feature list to the forum
Thanks for visiting!
Jul 8, 2000 Ultimate Multi-Monitor Bundle
Get the best in multi-monitor software and save 20 dollars! Includes UltraMon™ and VideoSaver by Realtime Soft and MultiDesk by Silicon Realms. Click here for more information.
Jul 1, 2000 Multi-monitor with Linux
Starting with XFree86 4.0 (the core component of the Linux graphical user interface), Linux now supports multiple monitors. With my new 40 GB harddisk, free disk space was no longer a problem, so I decided to install Linux and give it a try myself. More...
Jun 24, 2000 Serious Sam
A demo is now available of this new first-person shooter with Matrox G400 dualhead support. But just like with Star Trek: Armada, other multimon configs are apparently not supported, and according to their FAQ the dualhead feature is only supported on Win2000 and NT4. But anyway, if you like FPS games, download this demo: the graphics are simply amazing, lots of action and best of all, John Woo-style double revolvers!
Jun 17, 2000 UltraMon™ 1.0
Finally here: the release version of UltraMon 1.0, the multi-monitor utility. I would like to thank all the people who have downloaded and tested the beta versions. Special thanks to the many people who have suggested great new features, UltraMon wouldn't be the same without you!
Later this month a special bundle will be released, containing UltraMon and two other multi-monitor products, at a great price!
Click here to download UltraMon 1.0.
Jun 10, 2000 Video card shopping guide
Frequently requested, here it is: the Video Card Shopping Guide. This list is by no means complete, but it should make it easier to find a PCI video card for use with a secondary monitor.
Jun 3, 2000 Windows Me
Recently, I installed Windows Me Beta 3, Microsoft's latest operating system. Here's a preview of this successor to Windows 98 Second Edition. More...
May 27, 2000 Star Trek: Armada
Finally a game with dual display support! That's the good news, the bad news: dual display only works on Win98 with the Matrox G400 dualhead. If I enable dual display on my Win98 TNT2/TNT system, the game simply hangs. The reason it doesn't work on Win2000/G400 is because Win2000 sees the G400 dualhead as a single large monitor. The demo (73 MB) can be downloaded from startrek.com or Matrox. BTW, on my Win2000 system, it didn't work at all, not even in single display mode...
May 20, 2000 Troubleshooter
If you have a problem with your multi-monitor setup, try the new Troubleshooter. There's not much data yet, so send me your problems and solutions! Your comments would be appreciated.
Also check out brain's multi-monitor page over at gameart.com, interesting information and some great wallpapers.
May 13, 2000 UltraMon™ Beta 4 (formerly Multimon)
Multimon now has a real name: UltraMon™. New: mirroring/zooming, multi-monitor shortcuts, command-line enabling/disabling of secondary monitors, and lots of other improvements and bug fixes. Download here. This is the last beta release, please report any bugs you find, either in the forum or by e-mail. Thanks for your help.
May 6, 2000 New database search interface
The new interface offers more options and new ways of searching the ever-growing database. Click here to give it a try. Send bug reports, suggestions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just a quick reminder: Multimon beta 4 will be released next week.
Apr 29, 2000 Laptop video card
You can now have more than two monitors on your laptop, with MARGI Display-to-Go, a PC Card display adapter. Thanks to Howard Larsen for the information, he's using two of them himself: 'I currently have 3 monitors connected to my Gateway 9300. One to the docking station VGA out and 2 VP181's to two of these cards in the PC card slots of the docking station (they also work in the notebook's slots). The main limitations of the card are that it only does 256 colors at 1280x1024 (16 bit color at 1024x768), they don't have Win2000 drivers yet, and you need to have CardBus slots (which eliminates a lot of laptops)'.
Apr 22, 2000 Multimon Mirror preview
The latest addition to Multimon 1.0 adds mirroring and zooming. Applications include mirroring a presentation on the second monitor, or having a zoomed view of an image or other document on the second monitor. Please note that this is a preview, it is recommended that you read the included Readme. Download for Win98 or Win2000. Your feedback would be appreciated. Happy Easter!
Apr 15, 2000 Appian Jeronimo 2000 update
After having some problems with the Win2000 beta driver when first testing the card, I have now retested with the release drivers (w2kv101p3). Video now works fine, as does software OpenGL. There is no OpenGL ICD available yet. Windowed Direct3D works as usual: accelerated on the primary, but not on the second port of the J2000. Plug and play didn't seem to work, I had to reboot in VGA mode and install the drivers there. See the original review for more information.
Apr 8, 2000 Multimon desktop enhancements
Finally some other multimon screen savers! gPhotoShow makes a slide show out of your images, with an optional soundtrack (MP3 and other formats supported). It displays one image per monitor. Similar but simpler: Seagull Screen Saver. If you like the Matrix screen saver, there's good news: the author of The Matrix Code Emulator intends to release a multimon-compatible version!
Looking for a nice desktop wallpaper? Check out these NYC panorama wallpapers. See the FAQ for information on using different background images on each monitor.
Apr 1, 2000 A bit of history
Take a look at this June 1997 MSJ article: looks like Microsoft had planned support for mirroring and independent monitors. Only the 'Large Desktop' feature is implemented in Win98/2000, but maybe multi-monitor support will be extended in a later release, who knows...
Mar 25, 2000 Fullscreen 3D on multiple monitors
A new sample over in the Programming section shows how to create fullscreen Direct3D applications that use multiple monitors. More...
Mar 18, 2000 PCI not dead!
Having a hard time finding PCI video cards for your multimon system? Don't despair! New PCI video cards are on the way from 3dfx and 3Dlabs: announced for spring, 3dfx will ship PCI versions of its Voodoo 4 and 5 boards. And 3Dlabs has announced a PCI version of the VX1 for mid-April. Update: ELSA has apparently cancelled the PCI version of the Erazor X: all notion of the product has vanished from their site, and they told me by e-mail that they have no PCI versions of the Erazor X or Gloria II. Hopefully PCI cards based on Nvidia's next chipset, GeForce 2, will be released, see AnandTech for more information.
And available right now:
Click on the chipset link to look for any compatibility issues in the database. Have fun shopping!
Mar 11, 2000 Realtime Soft Multimon Beta 3
Beta 3 of the premier multi-monitor utility is now available for download. Lots of new and improved features! More...
Mar 4, 2000 Windows 2000, Part 2
Several video card and chipset manufacturers have released information regarding Windows 2000 support. Before upgrading, check the following links: 3dfx, 3Dlabs, ATI, Matrox, Nvidia, S3.
A great new feature I missed the last time: hibernation. What does it do? It dramatically reduces the time needed to start and shut down your system. And you can turn off your computer without closing any programs! The next time you turn it on, all applications (and even unsaved files) will be there just like you left them. This great feature can be turned on from Power Options. How does it work? Windows simply writes memory contents to a file (hiberfil.sys, a hidden system file in the root directory), and when restarting the system restores system state from this file.
Feb 26, 2000 Multimon OpenGL
Finally, multimon OpenGL! Thanks to Nvidia's Detonator 3.78 drivers for Win2000, I can play Quake 3 and run windowed OpenGL apps on my system, all without disabling secondary monitors. Click here for my experiences with a multimon-compatible OpenGL ICD.
Feb 19, 2000 Windows 2000
Windows 2000 has been released on Thursday. Click here for a short overview of the new multimon features and what else Microsoft's latest operating system has to offer.
Feb 12, 2000 Multiple Desktops
With multiple monitors it is quite natural to have lots of applications open at once. Virtual desktop managers can help you bring order to the chaos. This week I tested 10 of them. Read on...
Feb 5, 2000 Multimon systems
If you know of any other multimon systems, send me a mail and I'll add them to the list.
Looking for a complete system with multiple monitors out of the box? Searching the net, I found several workstations available with multiple monitors, seems like this is getting more and more popular!
Dell offers its Precision workstations with Matrox G400 dualhead cards, simply select a second monitor to go with it. The following manufacturers offer multimon video cards with their systems, but you'll have to buy the additional monitor(s) separately:
Jan 29, 2000 FAQ update
Added 1 new entry: Can I read my e-mail on the second monitor while playing a game?.
Updated 4 entries: Mirroring (same display on multiple monitors), Desktop icons moving to primary monitor, Games with multi-monitor support, Multi-monitor and onboard video cards.
Jan 22, 2000 New programming stuff
Some new stuff over in the programming section: a sample showing how to get and set display properties, important information regarding the Matrox G400, and more.
Jan 15, 2000 Realtime Soft Multimon Beta 2
New in Beta 2:
Download Beta 2 now, Beta 1 will expire tomorrow.
- Prevent desktop icons from moving to the primary monitor
- Use the middle mouse button to move windows
- various improvements
Still no cool icon though... if you have created a great icon, please share it with the rest of us! Send it to me and I'll upload it to the site.
Please post comments and suggestions to the forum or e-mail me directly.
Jan 8, 2000 Accurate counters, finally
After having nothing but problems with FastCounter the last few months, I have finally taken the time to implement my own solution. If you have linked to pages on the site, you may have to update those links, as most pages now have an .asp extension (I hope the Access database can deal with the increased load...). If you find any problems, please send me a mail.
See you next week for some real multimon news.
Jan 1, 2000 Y2K
Happy new millennium everyone!
Did you find any Y2K bugs? I found my first one today, see Y2K bugs.
Dec 25, 1999 In the Test Lab
For an interesting read or some troubleshooting tips, check out Kinichi Tagaya's multimon tests. He tested various 4-monitor configurations, and found some interesting results.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Dec 18, 1999 Multimon gaming
A patch for Microsoft Baseball 2000 has been released to add support for the G400 dualhead. I wanted to test it on a non-G400 multimon system and downloaded the trial version of the game. My results: the unpatched trial crashes on Win2000. On Win98 SE it works fine, but after applying the patch it crashes as well. Two possible reasons: the trial version isn't compatible with the patch or the patch only works for the G400.
If anyone has the full version, please install the patch and post your results to the forum or send me a mail, thanks!
I installed my first multimon-compatible game this week, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000. Works fine, but I get around 1 fps on my dual PII 400 with three maximized views, one per monitor... BTW, FS 2000 makes almost no use of the second CPU, this is on Win2000.
Dec 11, 1999 Database statistics
Ever wondered what chipsets are most commonly used as secondary? Or how many monitors people use? This information, and more, is now available in real-time from Compatibility Database Statistics! Take a look, it's quite interesting.
Dec 4, 1999 Realtime Soft Multimon Beta 1
The first beta is now available for download! Currently implemented features:
For more information, go to the Realtime Soft Multimon page or check out the discussion forum.
- Disable/enable all secondary monitors
- Move the active window from monitor to monitor
Nov 27, 1999 Discussion forum and Win2000 news
You can now discuss multi-monitor issues on this site! Give the new discussion forum a try and let me know what you think.
Win2000 users: new information regarding S3 and laptop support, read the updated FAQs on S3 and Windows 2000 and Laptops.
Nov 21, 1999 New section on programming
I have just added a section on multimon programming. The first installment is an introduction to the new multimon API functions. Sample source code is available for C++ and Visual Basic. Check it out here.
Nov 19, 1999 Database update
In an effort to keep the database useful, I have merged duplicate video board entries and added the capability to select either a board or chipset when adding a system. As a result, searching is easier and should provide better results.
Nov 13, 1999 Multi-Monitor Utility Suite update
Thanks to everyone who has participated in the survey. Here are the results of the survey so far (17:41 GMT):
Ratings: Not useful=1, Somewhat useful=2, Useful=3, Very useful=4.
- ChangeMon: Useful (3.1)
- DisableMon Deluxe: Useful (3.33)
- FreezeIcons: Useful (3.44)
- MirrorMon: Somewhat useful (2.22)
- Price: 10-20 US$
To participate in the survey, click here. Your feedback is much appreciated.
Nov 6, 1999 Appian Jeronimo 2000 review
The Jeronimo 2000 is Appian's latest multi-monitor card, driving up to two monitors from a single AGP or PCI slot. If you are just as curious about this card as I was, read my review of it.
Oct 30, 1999 Multi-Monitor Utility Suite
Your feedback needed! I'm currently working on a suite of multi-monitor utilities. Please take a look and let me know what you think!
Oct 23, 1999 Major FAQ Update
5 new entries:
Laptops, Mirroring (same display on multiple monitors), ATI video cards, TV tuner cards, ICQ on secondary monitor?.
6 updated entries:
Desktop icons moving to primary monitor, Using a different background for each monitor, Taskbar on second monitor?, OpenGL hardware acceleration, Games with multi-monitor support, Problems with interference.
Be sure to check out the updated Using a different background for each monitor, offers a solution to spanning the background across multiple monitors!
Oct 16, 1999 3 Monitors
After removing my PCI audio card, I decided to add a third monitor to my system. Amazingly, this was the easiest hardware upgrade ever! Read the full story.
Oct 9, 1999 What about Mac and Linux?
Ever wondered if other operating systems support multiple monitors? Here's a partial list:
Mac: supports multiple monitors since the Macintosh II, released in 1987! Take a look at Display Properties, Mac-style.
Linux: multimon-enabled X servers are available from Xi Graphics and Metro Link.
Oct 2, 1999 Power Render 3 with multimon support
Egerter Software's Power Render is a 3D programming toolkit for C/C++ developers. The recently released version 3 has Direct3D-based support for two monitors (dualhead), allowing you to render a different view on each monitor. Check out the multimon demo (works on non-G400 systems as well).
Sep 23, 1999 VideoSaver 3.0 Beta
Update: the Beta program is closed. The final version of VideoSaver 3.0 will be available in November. VideoSaver is the leading video screen saver, with support for multiple monitors.
Sep 20, 1999 DisableMon update
If you receive an error message from DisableMon, even though everything works okay, download the new version 1.1, which fixes this.
Sep 18, 1999 More multi-monitor games spotted
Courtesy of the Matrox G400 games section: Star Trek: Armada from Activision shows a cinematic view on the second monitor. Renegade Racers from Interplay lets you display a different view on the second monitor or even play multi-player! Wild Metal Country from Gremlin offers a terrain map on the second monitor. A demo is available, but multimon support doesn't work yet. According to Matrox, a patch will be available soon.
Sep 4, 1999 Multimon Deluxe
Are you looking for a multi-monitor setup with style? Check out MASS monitors. Custom configurations available. No prices listed though...
Aug 28, 1999 Database update
As of today, 16:05 GMT, the database contains 76 configurations! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to add their system. The database page (new URL: http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/db.asp) now shows the current number of entries, and the number of entries added since your last visit. I hope this is useful to you.
Aug 21, 1999 New multi-monitor utility
MonSwitch is a utility that automates monitor-related tasks, such as enabling/disabling a monitor, setting the resolution and color-depth of a monitor and lots of other stuff. Please note that enabling/disabling a monitor doesn't work properly on Win98 (it does work on Win2000): you have to enable/disable twice. For easy enabling/disabling on Win98 use DisableMon.
Aug 17, 1999 Multi-monitor gallery
The gallery is intended as a showcase for all the exciting uses for multiple monitors. Each entry consists of a description of your uses for multiple monitors, an optional picture of your setup and optional link to system data in the Compatibility Database. If you don't have multiple monitors yet, browse it to get a taste for what you're missing. If you are using multiple monitors, please take the time to add to the gallery. Let me know what you think about this new feature at email@example.com.
Aug 11, 1999 Multi-monitor game
On the Matrox site there's an interview with the developer of Warmonkeys, an upcoming real-time strategy game from Silicon Dreams. Apparently this game will have support for the dual-head feature of the G400. I assume this will work on all multi-monitor systems, but I'll let you know as soon as a demo is available. The game looks promising, click here to read the full interview.
Jul 27, 1999 Technical problems
I would like to apologize for the technical problems that have plagued this site yesterday and today. The website had to be relocated to another server. Everything is working again now.
Jul 23, 1999 Free utility
Available now for download: DisableMon 1.0! This free utility lets you disable/enable all secondary monitors with a single click on Windows 98 (it does NOT work on Windows 2000). Especially useful for playing OpenGL games such as Quake 2/3. Download DisableMon.zip (approx. 10 KB).
Jul 22, 1999 Database redesigned
The database has been redesigned to make it easier to use and more informative. Let me know what you think about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jul 20, 1999 Update on OpenGL acceleration
According to Robert Tray from SGI, it is possible to have hardware-accelerated OpenGL on Windows 2000 multi-monitor systems! All depends on the OpenGL ICD, so far only SGI's own Visual Workstations and 3Dlabs Permedia 3 have ICD's supporting this feature. Hopefully other IHVs will follow suit. Note that this only applies to Windows 2000, for Windows 98 you'll have to stick to disabling all secondary monitors to get accelerated OpenGL.
Jul 18, 1999 Windows 2000 and Multi-Monitor
I finally got around to installing Windows 2000 Beta, and of course was eager to find out what it has to offer to multi-monitor users.
The good news: multi-monitor works well, and you can set the primary monitor in Display Properties.
The bad news: hardware acceleration for windowed DirectX is available only on the primary monitor (as on Windows 98).