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AMD Graphics Displays Games

Triple Monitor Solutions From AMD, Nvidia Face Off 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-pixels-than-you-can-shake-a-polygon-at dept.
New submitter Dputiger writes "Nvidia's latest GTX Titan puts a renewed focus on multi-monitor gaming, but how does it compare against other cards at half the price? 'The games we tested fall into two general camps. Arkham City, DiRT 3, and Serious Sam: BFE are all absolutely playable on the GTX 680 or 7970 in a single-card configuration, even with detail settings turned all the way up. Shogun 2, Metro 2033, and Crysis 3 aren’t. In Shogun 2 and Metro 2033, however, the Titan maintains a playable frame rate at High Detail when the other two cards are stumbling and stuttering. Crysis 3 was the one exception — in that game, all three cards remained playable at High Detail, and dropped below that mark once we increased to Very High Detail and added 4x SMAA.' Field of view adjustments, the impact of bezels, and single-card performance at multiple detail levels are all covered, as is the price of multi-screen setups."
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Triple Monitor Solutions From AMD, Nvidia Face Off

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  • by BKX (5066)

    I've had a triple monitor setup for years, but I've never actually gamed on it. This article makes me want to give it a shot. Unfortunately, my machine is kind of low powered (Core 2 Duo E6???, Radeon 5770) for the more recent games that could actually use triple monitors, so maybe not. And, I hate most recent games. I wonder how Defense Grid would look on three.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      I have the 30" center and a 19" on each side, but I've only ever gamed on the middle monitor. I don't think I've ever even played a game that was capable of multi-monitor. And, like you, I have an older setup.
      • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
        any recommendations from the hive mind on how to minimize the bezel effects? for example, monitor recommendations with especially small bezels? other thorughts?
        • by LiSrt (742904)

          Hacksaw?

          Depending on the model, it might just be plastic in that area.

        • Check the {Nvidia,Ati} control panel. There's probably a way to set the screen window rectangles to overlap...
        • My GTX670 has a Surround feature with a bezel correction option which lets you "hide" part of the merged desktop behind the bezels, e.g. when you move your cursor between screens it'll look like it's going "behind" the bezel instead of jumping the gap between displays. Works best with monitors with small bezels to begin with, of course.

      • I have the 30" center and a 19" on each side, but I've only ever gamed on the middle monitor. I don't think I've ever even played a game that was capable of multi-monitor. And, like you, I have an older setup.

        I've also got a 30" center, but two 22" side monitors. I only game on the 30". If you've got the nvidia surround setup the games don't need to be capable, The drivers tell the OS that you really have one monitor with an extremely wide resolution. It won't work right (or at all?) with different resolutions on the three monitors. There are a few games that actually do support multi monitor (MS Flight Simulator) but they are few and far between.

      • by jon3k (691256)
        Is this a portrait-landscape-portrait setup? Got any pictures to share? I'm considering going from 2x24 to some type of 3x setup in PLP.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Yes, Portrait/landscape/portrait. No pics. I ran across someone selling a 30" for cheap (he is a Chinese immigrant and it was a China-only version of a Chinese maker I've never heard of, so he was having trouble selling it, so it was cheap, but same 30" LG IPS screen as most 30" displays), and had a 19" 1200x1600 already, so grabbed another. Someone else recommended a 22" because they don't cost much more, but the 19" matches the size of the 30" more closely, so they feel like a single wide monitor when
    • I've got a very similar set up to you actually. Also never really gamed on it.

      Personally I think games are absolutely retarded on 3 monitors. Every single screenshot was warped horribly which means you are basically going to use it as one monitor with some eye candy for your peripheral vision rather than actually looking around the place.

      Now simulators is where three monitors is awesome.....

    • Like you I have had a triple monitor setup for years, back when you needed at LEAST 2 video cards to push them. I "have" done some eyefinity gaming on them but find that, even though I never get sea or motion sickness in RL, playing on all 3 makes me kind of ill after a while. It's like the peripheral vision part is not playing well with my brain or something. Plus my primary monitor is a 27" which fills up my line of vision quite well on it's own, so the added fluff with the 2 side monitors just isn't wort
    • by Molochi (555357)

      I've got an old work system that supports three monitors with a GF9400GT and the intel onboard (G41) port. Also had an ancient Athlon 1.2GHz system that supported three monitors with a GF2MX and a Voodoo Banshee PCI card. In a galaxy long ago we set up a UT99 "system" that ran 4 monitors so you could see behind you. That was pretty awesome. I'm glad that today (13 years later) the kids can experience it.

    • by Zencyde (850968)
      I got a triple monitor setup back when AMD first announced Eyefinity. I recommend gaming on it, if you'd like compatibility information go to www.wsgf.org and check the game compatibility list. Here's the DR for Defense Grid: http://www.wsgf.org/dr/defense-grid-awakening [wsgf.org] Also, after switching between protrait and landscape modes repeatedly, with 3x1Portrait coming out to almost 16:9, I finally decided to swap out to a 5x1P setup. Really digging it and it makes anything list-oriented, such as terminal, quit
    • by jonadab (583620)
      > I've had a triple monitor setup for years,
      > but I've never actually gamed on it.

      I game on my dual-monitor setup all the time.

      I put the terminal window with NetHack on the first monitor, and a web browser window for reference material (lists of armor weights or potion prices or whatever I need to check at the moment) on the second monitor.

      What? What do you mean, that's not the kind of gaming you're talking about? You can't fool me. This is Slashdot. Everyone here plays NetHack. Everyone knows th
  • I mean, obviously I would if I COULD, but really I'd see myself using one monitor for gaming, another monitor for a movie, and the other for live streaming porn!

    • I don't know about AMD but nvidia allows the addition of a non-surround 4th monitor for your porn addiction. I haven't tried it because I don't have the space for another monitor.

      Dangit. Now I want to try it.

  • by White Flame (1074973) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @01:15AM (#43089191)

    All this does is increase the viewing angle of a flat display. There is no actual true wraparound, where you can look to the side and see things off to your side*. The wider it is, the more stretched the image, and if you angle the side monitors toward you, the in-game angles are all misaligned.

    Have we forgotten Doom and MS Flight Sim as to how to actually do multi-monitor properly? Each display should be rendered from a different angle, allowing real viewing in multiple directions, giving you selected projections of an actual sphere of vision.

    * = Due to the nature of 3rd person cameras there's a bit of this in some of those scenarios, but even that partial effect is completely lost in things like driving games and any 1st person camera perspectives.

    • by Megor1 (621918)
      You angle your side monitors to avoid some of that.
    • It's obvious that the graphics driver is assuming that your panels are arranged on a flat plane, and that your eyes are some distance directly in-front of the center display.

      Each screen really needs to be rendered from the point of view of a separate camera based on their actual orientation. This could probably be achieved using head tracking relative to each screen, then each perspective can be rendered correctly and doesn't need to be manually calibrated. Like this 5 year old [youtube.com] demo.

    • Lets not forget that it increases the angle of view, but it uses a broken view scaling by default. Extended view is useful, but not if the scaling gode is broken and botched, and there exists way to get even 200+ degree FoV with the right viewport code. A rather good example video, notice how the viewport is broken at 170 and 180 degrees with the default viewport code. [youtu.be]
      So in this age of next generation gaming, we will get Quake like viewport code, which is broken over 120 degrees, and a FoV of 30-60 degrees

      • That's a really interesting video, and a really cool idea for a single-monitor display! It doesn't look like those sorts of >180 fisheye projections would even take that much to get used to, but still would take a bit of retraining to gain a sense of where you are & what's around you.

        However, a proper multimonitor solution doesn't even need to go that far; something similar to the last one (cubic), where each monitor has its own flat but independent viewing plane, would suffice for taking proper adv

    • by mungewell (149275)

      The key to good multi-monitor support is render each screen properly, and not just treat them as a super-wide planar monitor. Each screen should be treated as a pane of glass looking into the virtual world behind.

      This forum thread does a good job of explaining how this can work:
      http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/showthread.php/147425-Projection-to-a-non-perpendicular-view-plane [opengl.org]

      Generally the real benefit is only seen with 1st person views.

  • I bought three monitors a couple years ago for iRacing, as it is almost a requirement in that sim for a good view. (They even have a built-in FOV calculator to give you a 1:1 life-size view.) I wouldn't want to race without it. I had not given any thought at all to how it would be in anything else, but I've found it's quite nice to have in all kinds of games. I've got an older system, an AMD Phenom II running at 3.8 GHz and a pair of GTX 480 cards in SLI, and for most things it is fast enough, but not e

  • PowerColor makes video cards based on Radeon chipsets that support 3+ monitors and have been making them for a long time. They weren't really mentioned in the article but worth looking into.
    • by mactard (1223412)
      All higher end GPUs have at least 3 outputs on them now. You don't need a special card anymore. My low-end Nvidia GTX 660 has two DVI, one DisplayPort and one HDMI.
      • by toddestan (632714)

        Just because the card has the physical ports doesn't mean it can drive all the ports at once. My ATI 67xx has the same configuration as yours, but it's pick any two, or enable Eyefinity and with the right monitor (or Displayport adapter) you can use the DisplayPort plus any other two for three total monitors which is the configuration I use.

  • It seems these GPUs can also support 4K single monitor gaming [brightsideofnews.com] quite nicely even if gaming quality 4K displays aren't quite ready for prime time yet.
  • I was a pioneer/advocate/addict of multimonitor gaming. To the point where back in the day when I got a deal on 22" Nokia high-res CRTs I bought three. I had my second on the desk and was going back for the third when I looked back and realized my desk was buckling under the weight of just two! After reinforcing the desk, XP era, it became obvious that multimonitor gaming was broken, because the resolution wasn't there to support it. What's the point of running 3 monitors if it's not 3 TIMES your norma

    • by peragrin (659227)

      Actually multimontior support is generally broken across most applications not just games.

      Run a full screen flash video on one and see what happens when you click your mouse on one of the other ones.

      Most apps that run in full screen break under multi-montor setups. they just can't be used that way.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Run a full screen flash video on one and see what happens when you click your mouse on one of the other ones.

        Step 1, install Office 97

        Step 2, launch any app and drag it to the second display on an XP machine

        Step 3, laugh as it is revealed that Microsoft can't develop working software for their own OS, when the pop-up menus pop-up on the primary display.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          um office 97 is 16 years out of date

          at least use

          run iTunes, play anything full screen, video, visualizer, etc watch all other monitors fade

          • It isn't just 97. At work I have 3 monitor setup. Office 2010. I have an excel spreadsheet with forms written in VBA code. It is any guess which monitor it will pop up, under, over around. It has no relation to which monitor is 1, which the spreadsheet is on, if the spreadsheet is on two, maximized (max goes to just one). So yeah, it is broken.
            • by peragrin (659227)

              Office 2010 opens on the monitor and size it was when last opened. I do it all the time with remote desktop, bouncing between one and two monitor setups.

              However that said. it takes registry hacks to break Office 2010 out of the archaic every window must open inside of the master window mentality. It really sucks trying to run two spread sheets side by side on two different monitors and still be able to see background apps.

    • I have both Eyefinity and Surround setups, both running at 5760 x 1080 resolution, using triple monitor setup. A few games don't support mulit-monitor (Unreal 3 Engine based games) but others (Source // Valve games), Battlefield franchise, Crytek engines (Crysis), Civ 5, Dirt 3, Trackmania Canyons, EuroTruck Simulator 2, Take on Helicopters, Defense Grid, Assassin's Creed franchise, etc do. More and more of my games are supporting Eyefinity/Surround setups. When a game doesn't support the Eyefinity / Surrou
  • NVIDIA Surround and AMD Eyefinity are both fairly clumsy technologies; both approaches merge two or more physical screens into one logical screen. Whilst active the spanned mode results in oddities like a stretched task bar, the inability to properly borderless maximise windows to one monitor only, and things such as full-screen movies which would usually fit on one monitor with black bars above/below will instead stretch across the three and look terrible.

    The best approach is to get 3D software to support

    • NVIDIA Surround and AMD Eyefinity are both fairly clumsy technologies; both approaches merge two or more physical screens into one logical screen. Whilst active the spanned mode results in oddities like a stretched task bar, the inability to properly borderless maximise windows to one monitor only, and things such as full-screen movies which would usually fit on one monitor with black bars above/below will instead stretch across the three and look terrible.

      When Surround/Eyefinity is active and all three screens act as a single desktop, I have to ask... why *wouldn't* you expect a stretched task bar and maximized windows that span all three screens? The software is tricking the OS into believing that's the size of the desktop, so that's what it will size things to.

      When you don't need Surround/EF, turn it off, and the OS should recognize three different monitors again.

      (Oddly enough, on my GTX670 right now I have a mix of Surround/normal behaviour. Even when I t

  • I'm running three monitors. I play EVE Online and BF3 mainly. The downside to my setup is that I have two flatscreens and an old CRT. I use the CRT for movies, a 24" for my browser, and a 27" as my gaming screen. I tried setting up EVE on two monitors and I hated it. I couldn't imagine playing an FPS with it. Too much area to cover with your eye. I simply like to view my screen without having to turn my head. Having my browser, PC Stats / Movie, and my game in each in their own dedicated screen is awesome.
  • PC's are running behind mobile and tablets these days so all AMD and nVidia are doing is trying to be king of #3. Considering how little interest there is for multi-monitor gaming, this is even a feeble contest.

  • A $1000 video card is a little bit better at playing games than a $400 video card? Blasphemy! Oh, my fragile little world is crumbling before my very eyes.

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