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Matrox G550 Dual-DVI

One of the reviews that had the most postivie feedback and requests for more information was the Matrox G450 review I did some time ago. To be quite honest we were surprised by the number of our readers who thought that a video card that suited their work needs was more important than a card that suited their gaming needs. Matrox recently contacted us again with the release of their Millennium G550 Dual-DVI. What is Dual-DVI and why should anyone consider it? The answers are quite illuminating.

The Board
  • AGP 2X/4X
  • 360 MHz RAMDAC (primary display)
  • 230 MHz RAMDAC (secondary display)
  • 32MB DDR memory
  • Dual-RGB and Dual-DVI output
  • Up to 1280x1024 with Dual-DVI output
  • Up to 1600x1200 with Dual-RGB output

Matrox G550 Dual-DVI webpage
Approx $199 USD


First Impressions

The very first thing that struck me was just how small this video adapter is. I own network cards that are larger! Matrox has gone very far in making their products small while incorporating a very wide array of features. The next thing that struck me as odd was that the core of the video card is cooled only with a heatsink that is very reminiscent of the ones that came on Intel's 486 processors. One feature that contributes to the G550's diminutive size is that it only uses two memory chips which on the review board were made by Samsung. We are accustomed to seeing four or more memory chips on video cards and obviously going with this more expensive memory solution has allowed Matrox to have a more clean PCB.

Consipicuously missing from the card are a TV out connector (you can order a special cable for that connector) - or a normal 15 DSUB video connector! While the regular G550 easily accomodates dual analog monitors the G550 Dual DVI is specifically engineered for the higher end market that requires output for dual digital display. What is particularly nice about this arrangement is that Matrox sent my evaluation unit with a cable that converted the single digital output to dual DSUB outputs for use with analog monitors or LCDs. Also included in the box was the Dual-DVI cable that splits the DVI output of the card for two displays. This gives the G550 Dual-DVI the ability to support upgrades in display devices later on. Previously you'd have to buy a card that was engineered for Dual-DVI output from the get go. Good work Matrox!


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