Sapphire VID-2X Reviewformerstaff -
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I don’t know about you guys, but I am getting used to seeing the Sapphire brand on things other than graphics cards. In addition to VGAs, we have seen a product line that includes add-in cards, motherboards, mini PCs, and other multimedia products. Today Sapphire has sent us a little black box called the ‘VID-2X', and the idea behind it is very simple. It is a stand-alone unit that allows two full-HD monitors to be connected to a single DisplyPort, Thunderbolt, or Dual-link-DVI port, thus doubling the horizontal resolution of up to two 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 displays. The two monitors then have the capability to act as a single resolution or cloned monitor to increase and enhance productivity. The Sapphire VID-2X comes in two models. A display port model, (PSEDP4196) and the Dual-Link DVI model (PSEDV12185) I have here today.
While there are other ways to stretch or clone monitors, such as AMD's Eyefinity, the convenience of the Sapphire VID-2X is that it is a completely external solution with no software to purchase or install. The VID-2X can be disconnected and moved across the office to a different pair of monitors, or across town for another meeting or workstation space. Sapphire is stating that this is the perfect self-contained solution for those who are uncomfortable removing the left side panel of the computer, or who are restricted from doing so by company regulations. Sapphire also touts the VID-2X as the solution for expanding monitor space for laptops and netbooks.
The Sapphire VID-2X arrived in a high-gloss box, about the size that a mid-range graphics card might be packaged in. I won’t bore you with a lengthy description of the packaging other than to say that it is securely packaged, and that it does seem to have the feel of an electronic device that would be more likely to be found in the board room than in the game room.
Popping the top off the box inside the retail sleeve, it initially appears that setting up the VID-2X is as simple as Sapphire is claiming. We find The DV2185 controller unit, a 12” DVI Dual-link cable, and a dual option power cable. The DIV 2X can be powered by either an open USB port on your computer, or with the mains adapter. Both power solutions are included and are on the same provided cord. The unit sent to us had a variety of modular slide/clip-on wall outlet adapters that seem to cover wall outlet configurations from around the world. We, of course, are also provided with the VID-2X User manual which will have you up and running in a matter of minutes.
The Sapphire VID-2X is compatible with Windows, Linux, and OS X thanks to its driver-less design, and is not limited to one device per system. It is only limited by the available outputs of the systems graphics card being used. For high-end graphics cards of today, that would imply that walls of 10-12 monitors can be created with multiple VID-2X being used in unison. One of the aspects of the Sapphire VID-2X is that it being a completely external and driver-less solution. The operating system is unaware of the resolution change/cloning that the VID-2X is carrying out, and makes no adjustments or settings in response to the VID-2X being implemented. In other words, it creates nothing more in the way of setup for the user.