Cleverly though, Matrox has introduced another improvement with the digital version and that’s with its software. Matrox supplies its PowerDesk SE software to help make the best use of your new expanse of space. A new option is Bezel Management, which essentially takes account of the fact that there are physical bezels in front of you. It actually creates space in the image to compensate for the presence of the bezels, which actually makes a big difference. By removing the parts of the image that the bezels occupy it reduces the width of the overall image, which means that you get black bars on the far left and right. If you have displays with larger bezels, you can manually increase the amount of pixels omitted, so the thinner they are the better. In regular Windows, you would want to turn off Bezel Management as you wouldn’t want those gaps in your desktop. PowerDesk is a good bit of software, though I think it could be better laid out.
”’(centre)That’s um, pretty wide actually.(/centre)”’
As you can see from the picture below, taken in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the pillar on the pier in front of the ship is hidden ‘behind’ the bezel as it were. Turn off Bezel Management and from that position that same pillar would be split across the two screens. With it turned on in games, it actually makes for a more realistic experience. In fact, in driving games it’s near essential, as it means that the lines of the tracks aren’t broken up. What’s more, the presence of a bezel would actually mimic the A pillars that hold the windscreen in place in a car, making it even more realistic.
As well as Bezel Management, PowerDesk also includes settings for you to control how windows and dialogue boxes are handled. For example selecting maximise at the top right will maximise into the screen that the windows is in but you can get it to maximise across all three screens by holding control.
Matrox also supplies its Surround Gaming Utility (SGU), which automatically detects supported games and will optimise them with one click to work across three screens and will place a shortcut on the desktop. What it does is alter the ini file of the game to work at the superwide resolution, so you don’t have to go and do it manually. For some reason, there are a number of skins available for the SGU, and you can even customise it with your own fonts and images. I can’t really see the point in this but there you go.