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AMD Graphics Games Hardware

Triple Monitor Gaming: Dual GPU GeForce Vs. Radeon 136

An anonymous reader writes "With the release of the dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990, closely followed by the competing Nvidia GeForce GTX 590, we saw graphics card performance reach new heights. With bandwidth throughput in excess of 300GB/s, these cards can consume more power than entire computer systems. By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding, as the graphics card is required to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels. Whereas graphics card reviews and benchmarks usually test GPUs at single monitor resolutions, TechSpot has added two more LCD monitors and tested eleven games running at resolutions of 5040x1050, 5760x1200 and 7680x1600."
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Triple Monitor Gaming: Dual GPU GeForce Vs. Radeon

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd have got first post, but I lost my browser window on my array of monitors.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @05:31AM (#36021798)
    For twice the $5000 it'll cost you for one of these cards and 3 x 30" monitors, I know a guy who's father is a consultant urologist and can give you a real manhood extension.
    • by mangu ( 126918 )

      For twice the $5000 it'll cost you for one of these cards and 3 x 30" monitors, I know a guy who's father is a consultant urologist and can give you a real manhood extension.

      No thanks. For that kind of money, I'd rather buy a bunch of hookers and *use* the manhood I have right now.

      • by robfoo ( 579920 )

        Uh, I don't think you 'buy' hookers. You rent them. I think that's kinda the point.

        You know, from what I hear.

      • For that kind of money, I'd rather buy a bunch of hookers

        Assuming that by buy you mean rent, as robfoo pointed out, how are you going to tell a hooker from an undercover cop looking to fill her quota for "patronizing a prostitute" tickets?

        • by torgis ( 840592 )
          Look at her teeth. If she has all of her teeth, they're in good working order, and it looks like she's been to a dentist sometime within the last year, then she's probably a cop. The absence of cold sores could be a giveaway as well.
          • Dental examination is a bit of work, a far easier way would be to see if she wants to have sex with you... If she is (1) eager or (2) willing then she is a cop and going to arrest you. Seriously we are on slashdot.
        • how are you going to tell a hooker from an undercover cop looking to fill her quota for "patronizing a prostitute" tickets?

          Don't ask her for sex for money, ask if she'd like to star in a pornographic film with you.

          Remember kids, prostitution bad, pornography first amendment protected speech.

        • In Nevada, it's legal, so you could just spend some of that $5k on a trip there.

    • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

      Do you actually know anybody who "dickwaves" about their 3 monitor setup or an expensive video card, or do you just write this because it's a popular opinion on Slashdot? Why is this any different from buying a nice big-screen TV?

      Most of us geeks have at least 2 monitors for the productive work anyway, why wouldn't you want to try multi-screen gaming if you could?

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Why is this any different from buying a nice big-screen TV?

        You had to ask.

        In theory, a big-screen TV allows for multiplayer on one machine in fighting games (like Street Fighter or Smash Bros.), in other multiplayer games that take place within an arena (like Bomberman), in cooperative platform games (like Trine or New Super Mario Bros. Wii), or in shoot-em-ups (not first-person; those are currently better with a separate computer per player). I know of no PC games that allow rendering each player's view on a separate monitor.

        • I use double monitors all the time now, and if more games reliably handled this multimonitor setup I'd switch to triples right away.
          Double monitors are awesome when you want to put some tutorial or other reference to the side of your actual work, or keep one eye on a rendering or compiling task while also doing useful stuff in the meantime.

          • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
            Widescreen Gaming Forum has a pretty complete list. From my experience, most modern games support the ultrawide aspect ratio. Though, I'm starting to find it preferable to handle things in 3x1 portrait. The AR ends up close to 16x9 but I've got almost 4K of resolution sitting in front of me. I've got some strong consideration to switch it up to a 5x1 setup. On that, games are usually incompatible because of extreme aspect ratios. Sometimes there's a hard pixel limit but usually it's that the game wasn't des
      • by N1AK ( 864906 )
        Personally perhaps not. However on almost any forum where pc gaming is represented and you'll have a large proportion of members filling the 'sigs' with pc specs, benchmarks etc. Many questions about performance issues are responded to with posts that do nothing to resolve the issue, and are simply the poster using it as an excuse to say they don't have any issues on there massively over-specced ePeen... computer.

        You can say (and it may be true for some) that it is not boasting, just sharing information
      • Do you actually know anybody who "dickwaves" about their 3 monitor setup or an expensive video card...

        [flap flap flap flap flap flap flap]

        Just kidding. All I have is a 19" LCD being fed by water-cooled dual SLI. And all I really did was buy it cheap from a friend when he built a better machine. I'm a fraud.

      • No amount of dickwaving is worth the money I spent on my 2x2 grid setup. If I wanted to impress random strangers, I'd have bought a cool pimp hat. I don't invite people in to my home just to show off my PC, unless they explicitly ask out of curiosity. I have a few buddies who also favor multi-display setups, but they do a lot of media work so it is well justified.

        It's a scary machine, but it's once I put it to use that people get really freaked out. Email here, IM there, skype off to the side, 3-4 text

    • by qubezz ( 520511 )

      There is another option for the rich - the $6000 43" ultra-widescreen curved monitor [bhphotovideo.com] with a 2880x900 resolution. Go really crazy and get three of those [youtube.com] for slightly less than the cost of a real rally car..

      • by IICV ( 652597 )

        There is another option for the rich - the $6000 43" ultra-widescreen curved monitor with a 2880x900 resolution.

        By 900? What the fuck? Even if I had the disposable income to blow $6000 on something like that, I would not buy any desktop monitor with a mere 900 pixels of vertical resolution! That's just crap! I don't even think my laptop has that little vertical space.

        • Yeah, much better buying 3 24" 16X10 monitors and mounting them on a nice triple monitor stand. With that kind of cost, you could even go 6 in a above/below arrangement.

    • 5000 is low. We used to use setups like this when I worked with a radiology software company. The workstations we built averaged upwards of $50-$150k a system. They used specialized video cards initially from the monitor makers, though eventually the companies moved towards both FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards later on. Those cards were super expensive - but not so much as the monitors. A 5MP grey scale mammography monitor from Barco used to cost around 30k. So if you have a workstation class PC with 4 mammo
  • I bet the hoards of people that uses multiple monitors when gaming will be happy that they made this research..
    • by omglolbah ( 731566 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @05:45AM (#36021880)

      Personally I find that I often play games just on the center monitor in my 3x setup. Usually this is because I keep IM/IRC on the right one, and various other 'important' things on the left screen.

      While programming it is also hugely useful to be able to keep more stuff visible. Having reference docs visible while writing code is quite spiffy.

      Oh... and I dont have to alt-tab nearly as much these days and that makes me happy :p

      On the "hoards" comment I'd point out that I have 3 friends who use a 3x setup, so the amount of people doing it is on the raise ;)

      • by Co0Ps ( 1539395 )
        Yeah, I do that too but I don't qualify it as "multi-monitor" gaming. Multi-monitor gaming is spanning the full-screen game over at least 2 screens which I basically what I guess they did in this test.
        • by Co0Ps ( 1539395 )
          which is basically*
        • It's too bad spanned games always get distorted until they look like trash. I'd really love a 180 degree view in some games, but it's literally impossible to achieve, currently.
          • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
            Ugh, yeah. I've been meaning to do a video on the "fisheye" effect since it seems few people get what's going on. I've wondered if perhaps there's a way to modify the Direct3D layer such that you can set up 3+ cameras from the same point. The geometry associated with the cameras should reflect the geometry of the user's setup. In this, We'd be able to pull away from the binocular effect a bit and make the game feel closer to a virtual reality setup. Really, the game is assuming a flat panel and you should p
            • by Co0Ps ( 1539395 )
              Yeah, that is one solution. But I don't think I'd work that well. Nvidia already uses this technique with two slightly offset cameras to achieve 3d in games. However even then it's slightly buggy because the graphics engine is usually optimized to skip rendering of surfaces that doesn't intersect the standard-FOV cone - so at the edges you can see how surfaces sometimes disappear. If you turn up the FOV in the HL2 source engine to something like 180 you can see what I mean. You will be able to see behind yo
              • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
                Optimization engines should take given FOV into account. I've seen a lot of hardcoded FOV optimizations put in place. Fortunately it's not usually an issue on engines that let you adjust FOV in the options. But dare you edit a config file...
      • I just recently did the 3x display setup as well. It's pretty kick ass. 24" in the center, with 20.1"ers on the sides. I'm doing it using 2 non-symmetrical video cards though (nvidia gtx260 and an nvidia gtx580..the 2 smaller monitors connect to the 260 and my bigger 24" connects to the 580). I was surprised how Windows 7 handled it right out of box with the previous nvidia drivers already installed. Since it's not an SLI setup, I can't actually use both cards to render graphics while gaming, but I do
    • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

      Funny how the hordes of people who think market share is the only measure of relevance have overtaken Slashdot, presumably a site for nerds.

    • I RTFA and in the last page I found this:

      "As is the nature of dual-GPU graphics cards, they sometimes suffer from the lack of multi-GPU support in certain titles. ... On the negative side, most games will have aspect ratio problems with multiple screen configurations and those that don't will likely need you to fine-tune the FOV (Field of View) setting. Another annoying issue which is very difficult to overcome in most games is stretched screens which lead to a fish eyed view of the game from the side scree

      • I would enjoy an FPS with actual peripheral vision.

        I use the sides of my eyes as much as forward. as I am typing this I am watching a co-worker throw on her jacket.

        being able to do that in a game would bring my gaming skills up as I could be alerted to that rocket that is streaking towards me from off the 90 FOV that traditional setups give you.

        • by Zeussy ( 868062 )
          I have a multimonitor setup for gaming, 3x1280*1024 displays. Using a Triple Head 2 Go. It works pretty well, the other that is not mentioned in the summary is that Directx9 has a back buffer limit of 4096. DirectX10 has a much larger backbuffer support (I think upto 16k), OpenGL I am not sure about.

          By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding, as the graphics card is required to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels

          Anyway, the extra pixels is not what stresses the vi

        • It's nice. I run dual 6970's with 3x23" screens, and the peripheral vision in stuff like Left 4 Dead 2 is really slick. Lets me see when a horde is coming from beside me while I'm shooting zombies in front of me. But like in the article, the game support is hit and miss. Many games don't support FOV changing, or if they do they have horrible issues with it. And some games (Borderlands) will support the resolution, but the menus are designed for a 16:9 aspect so they're cut off top and bottom. Just stupid pr

          • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
            You're right, it is just stupid programming. The lack of compatibility is just a product of cutting corners in interface design. Having a bit of scalability in mind would easily rectify this. Some really old games do incredibly well with this. I've seen relatively smaller games have an amazing capacity to configure the setup for strange aspect ratios and the like. So, to me, there's no excuse for AAA games to not support features like this out of the box. Maybe the issue stems from the "reference system" mo
        • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
          This is why I'm going with a 5x1 portrait setup. I want the peripheral but when you're doing 3x1 landscape you don't have very much vertical fill.l With 5 screens you can wrap them a bit better and have them completely fill your peripheral. Some games work excellently with setups like this. Take iRacing, for example. Which has an advanced multimonitor configuration option. An amazing and affordable setup would be running quintuple 27inch 1080p screens. I've got 3x1 portrait at 21.5" each and it's quite nice
        • Do you often indiscreetly watch your female coworkers clothe themselves?

  • by symes ( 835608 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @05:34AM (#36021822) Journal

    But are more and more monitors the likely path gaming will follow? I just think a decent projector and screen might offer a more emersive experience. Particularly with prices and the size of projectors falling.

    • I remember a game in the arcade using a concave dome screen wrap around your head. I think this would be an interesting. Plus it's impractical so its in line with TFA.
    • Re:Future? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by omglolbah ( 731566 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @05:47AM (#36021892)

      While a projector might work better for gaming (I disagree personally) it doesnt work nearly as well when you're doing other stuff.

      Coding in particular is something I spend quite a lot of time doing, and it is nice to be able to keep reference docs and 4-5 pages of code on the screen at the same time. No more alt-tabbing your brain out to get to the right window either.

      • by Spad ( 470073 )

        True, but your reference docs rarely need to run at 60fps.

      • by symes ( 835608 )

        How about a big projector with a Kinect-like UI?

      • by Pikoro ( 844299 )

        What about edge blending projectors with these cards? I have a triple projector setup but there are no cheap blendint solutions.

        • Projected images have no bezel. Just line them up and keystone / focus as appropriate; You should get seemless transition between screens easily.
      • by knarf ( 34928 )

        it is nice to be able to keep reference docs and 4-5 pages of code on the screen at the same time. No more alt-tabbing your brain out to get to the right window either.

        I can do that on my 5 to 10 year old notebooks with 1024x768 to 1280x800 screens, Just use a tiling window manager and keep the relevant windows in view, put the documentation on a separate workspace if you have trouble reading small print - Alt-2 for documentation, Alt-1 for code, no guessing involved. It works even better with multiple scre

        • I have three 22 inch 1920x1080 displays. How exactly would one cram that amount of space into a 5-10 year old notebook?

          The issue isnt the software solution, it is the physical limitations of having a small screen.

          Reducing the size of the displayed information rapidly makes it harder to read, so why do it when you can avoid it?

          And mobility is obviously not an issue with a triple-head setup unless one is crazy enough to lug it around in a crate :p
          Notebooks are also really not relevant at all in this case.

      • Seconded. I just bought a nice (second) 27" monitor for coding, got it home, hooked it up, and realized...this really is bigger than I need. Coding is really electronic reading as opposed to the viewing of images (with some exceptions), and anything bigger than 24" causes big time saccading (eye jumps) across the space. It will be great for gaming, I suppose, but I overbought for coding.
      • by Lando ( 9348 )

        Well, I guess some folks are saying that coding doesn't need that much space, but frankly I'm with you. I typically have my reference docs up on one screen and the code I'm working with on another. If I could get a third screen, I'd be more than happy to do it. I run at the highest resolution I can and could always use more room.

        Having multiple screens, I always can just flick my eyes to where I need to be, either browser, documentation, email, code, etc. For those of you without multiple monitors, th

        • by Lando ( 9348 )

          Ps, projector resolution is sucks. Have a projector to throw a movie on a wall or display a slide show is all fine and well, but I need high resolution to cram as much data in as small of a space as possible, while still being readable. If I had to turn my head drastically to look at different areas, it wouldn't be as effective as the solution I currently work with.

    • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @06:17AM (#36022004)

      But are more and more monitors the likely path gaming will follow? I just think a decent projector and screen might offer a more emersive experience. Particularly with prices and the size of projectors falling.

      I suspect not. The trend is for consumers to move from desktops to laptops for personal machines. Laptops are already the majority. Even some desktops are actually using laptop components, in particular all-in-ones and extremely small footprint, and budget machines using embedded video originally designed for laptops.

      In addition to the obvious lack of expansion and upgrades, laptops are designed for power consumption not performance. Their video chips are generally at the lower end of the performance spectrum.

      Apple has an interesting approach that others might also use. Some laptops come with two video chips. One optimized for power consumption intended for "normal" use and a second optimized for performance and intended for 3D gaming. With the thunderbolt port multi-monitor may be plausible. That said I think such machines are going to be exotic, less common.

      In general I think game programmers and artists are going to be ever more frustrated as lower end embedded video chips become even more common among the target audience.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        IGPs - that many people used to have on their desktops - were equally horrible for gaming. In fact it's my impression with Aero and other non-gaming 3D effects the capabilities have gone up a little. Sure, they're not going to run Crysis but I don't think game developers are worse off than before. I think those who should be unhappy are AMD and nVidia, with so many games now targeting 5 year old consoles their cards don't really get any exercise anymore. I have a single HD5850 and figure it'll do just fine

        • ... I don't think game developers are worse off than before ...

          I agree that the low end integrated chipsets are better than ever and will continue to improve. However what developers hate is that the growing popularity of the low end chipsets restrain developers with respect to the visual effects and complexity that they can use.

    • I had a roommate with a mid-range projector upon which we would play console games. Shot it at a white wall in a room with good blinds to keep it dark. Playing a fighting game or Madden with life-sized characters is awesome. Highly recommended. I get the feeling it wouldn't be as neat with a PC game, though: we had big plushy couches to sit on, which would be an impediment if playing an FPS with mouse and keyboard, though any game requiring a gamepad would be fantastic.
  • > By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding,

    Hey wait what.
  • by Fallen Andy ( 795676 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @06:10AM (#36021974)
    Even bigger excuses for cynical games businesses to push eye candy over imagination...

    Do I see hyper mega ultra texturing here? (sorry John!) or eye blisteringly grindy 10 hours of game play?

    (Didn't say games studio's because as an old semi retired software developer i know crunch mode well)

    (and heck, even if you want multi monitor i really don't want a machine that sucks more energy than a big fat SUV to see a big stack o real estate for developing)

    (Bring back gaming for the masses, and get serious about developing on low end gfx like Intel GPU - which seriously isn't as bad as people think - misery is VIA/S3 (curses and misery be upon them)


  • With the power of these (and other modern cards) it would be trivial for them to power a hi-def VR headrig. I would imagine latency would be acceptable (at least on the graphics output end, don't know about the head tracker).

    So why hasn't anyone put together a truly awesome, truly IMMERSIVE experience? Instead of hitting keys (or moving a mouse or joystick, sorry I don't know, I'm not a gamer) you could JUST TURN YOUR HEAD, like in real-life (tm). Wouldn't this make game play a lit more fun and less wonk

    • What's holding it up? It's the lack of hi-def eyepieces isn't it?

      Its the lack of eyes that can focus on things within an inch or two in front of them. Nearly every young person thinks that they can, until you have them try.

      • by grumbel ( 592662 )

        Its the lack of eyes that can focus on things within an inch or two in front of them.

        Duh, of course you don't just stick LCDs in front of your eyes, you have to put a proper lens in front of them and then your eyes can focus on them just fine.

        VR gear has existed for decades, the problem is just that we still don't have any that is both good and cheap. The resolution on the affordable stuff is still complete crap compared to your cheap ass monitor from 15 years ago, i.e. you only get something in the range of 800x600 or 640x480, nowhere near the 1080p you expect from a modern display.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Instead of hitting keys (or moving a mouse or joystick, sorry I don't know, I'm not a gamer) you could JUST TURN YOUR HEAD

      For one thing, on-screen response to head movement would have to be absolutely instant, none of this 3 frame lag crap [slashdot.org] that a lot of monitors have. For another, once you have turned your head and torso as far as your chair will let you, what then?

  • Personal experience (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeroen94704 ( 542819 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:23AM (#36022318)

    While I am not a hardcore gamer, I do have a triple 24" monitor setup, and I have tried several games in 3-monitor mode. I find that it doesn't actually let you be better at a game, i.e. don't expect to gain a tactical advantage and blow your buddies to smithereens because you see more. As it turns out, a single 24" widescreen monitor already more than covers the field of view you can actually focus on. Sure, the total FOV of the human eyeball is a lot larger (>180 degrees horizontally), but the part where you actually see detail to the extent that you can consciously react to what you see is quite small. As an experiment, try to read some text on the bottom of your monitor while looking at a point near the top.

    What the extra 2 monitors give you though, is a much more immersive experience. NVidia isn't far off when they call this "Vision Surround". The fact that the action now also fills a large part of your peripheral vision means you get a much more intense feeling of being "inside" the game. It's actually pretty cool.

    • by qubezz ( 520511 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:56AM (#36022542)

      In shooters, you don't look with your head, you look with your mouse. Since the side monitors are just adding the peripheral vision surrounded feeling, they could be run at a lower resolution and you shouldn't loose much of the experience. 1920x1200 for your main monitor and 960x600 on the side monitors means that the two extra monitors only adds 50% more pixels and shouldn't bog your video system. Alternately, this means you could use a lower-powered dual-output video card for the side monitors.

      • by Zencyde ( 850968 )
        Yes, unfortunately that would require developers actually consider us multiscreen people. Though, I do like your approach.
    • by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @08:47AM (#36022946)

      You are missing the point. No, you can't see well reading text on the bottom of the screen while focusing at the top. Neither is your color discrimination going to be as good for that text at the bottom of the screen. That's because the eye doesn't have many cones except in the central area. The periphery is mainly rods. And while rods aren't great for color, etc, they are spectacular at motion detection. So no, you can't read that text way over to the side while focusing your attention on something directly in front of you, but you can see movement over on the side. Which may alert you that someone is moving over there, or there is an incoming missile over there, or any number of things which may be important information to have.

      • >but you can see movement over on the side. Which may alert you that someone is moving over there, or there is an incoming missile over there, or any number of things which may be important information to have.

        Absolutely correct. However, in my personal experience, this effect turns out to be negligible.

      • Your ability to see into the periphery depends more on the game-determined field of view than how many monitors you have, and not all games allow you to set a custom FOV (to maintain competitive equality). A software-limited 90 degree field of view is going to remain 90 degrees even if you have six monitors wrapped around you.

        What you do get is a bigger representation of the same scene, akin to blowing up a 4"x6" picture to an 8"x12" -- you can see more detail, but not more area. That incoming missile wou

    • The real problem I find with it, aside from needing 3 monitors (which let's face it, there are non-gaming reasons to have) is that you are either talking about a large reduction in detail on the monitor you focus on, or a massive increase in cost.

      A single GTX560-580 or 6870-6970 is plenty to crank the detail in games. You get high resolution, fast FPS, lots of effects, etc, etc. Good stuff. However demand it drive 3 monitors, and that is no longer the case. Your framerate will tank unless you cut the detail

      • I think the solution to multimonitor gaming (at least for FPS games) is to have reduced levels of detail in the side monitors. Since they're really only there to provide immersion and the player shouldn't be focussing on them anyway, it should be possible to show a lot less detail and still give the same "feel" to the player.

    • True but your peripheral vision is rather sensitive to motion.
    • I depend on my peripheral vision a lot IRL, and I find that even though I don't directly look at the side monitors of my setup I do get a lot of benefit of being able to see movement on them, so I know where the next threat is coming from. I do agree that it makes everything more immersive. And the extra desktop space is nice for working on when I'm not gaming :)

    • I use two monitors (because that is all I have right now) and I have a 6990. I use the setup because I enjoy playing Microsoft's Flight Simulator X. I can have my main screen in front of me, and at the moment, one side view. Yes, there is an aspect issue, but it does help. Small planes usually don't fly straight in, they fly a pattern, and that is hard to do on a single screen where you can't glance across your shoulder to see if it is time to turn base or final. With multiple monitors you can physically tu
    • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

      I use my 3 monitor setup for my flight simulator, Xplane. I welded together a mount to hold all 3 so that I sit "inside" it, with one flat and the wings coming off at 45 degrees. A proper landing is done with a lot of attention paid to the peripheral vision. Forward vision helps you maintain pitch, but it is what is flashing by in the peripheral that gives you the sense of height.

      My simulator landings improve 100% after I installed the three monitors.

      Now, if my REAL landings could be improved so easily.

  • by jamesh ( 87723 )

    The original doom used to have a mode where you could run separate computers (connected to yours via serial or lan) with a command line option (might have been -left and -right), set up the monitors to the left and right of your main monitor, and have a 3 monitor setup. Real clustered gaming.

  • Why the 'need' for 3 monitors?
    On the home front I have 2 28 inch monitors. I though about going with a 3rd along with an additional graphics card. (Currently running an OC' GTX280 that is still performing well)
    Then I went off and picked up an new LCD tv. The old really didnt have a home. So.....
    I hooked up 'ol 52 inch Sharp Aquos to the computer.
    Talk about 'immersive' and 'in your face.
    99% of my gaming is driving/racing sims. And a 52 inch 'in your face' was so much better than my previou
  • In many games today there is little to no advantage to running games in huge resolutions compared to smaller resolutions. These games scale everything up so that you have a near identical experience as lower resolutions (save for the extra crisp renderings). Many games force you to change your field of depth in order to take advantage of super wide screen, and end up causing massive distortions that actually inhibit your gaming ability. The only games that I have found to be more enjoyable on multiple monit
  • by NitroWolf ( 72977 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @12:56PM (#36025716)

    Having a triple monitor 30" set up and having played games at 7680x1600, I've come to the conclusion for me personally that it's not worth the hassle. I have since gone back to single monitor game play for a number of reasons... some mentioned in the article, some not.

    1. The fisheye on the side monitors if very pronounced. It's tolerable, but looks goofy.
    2. There's a lot of screen restate, for FPSs, this is actually a hindrance. Having to move your eyes too much causes response lag and you become less competitive. For non-FPS games, things become a bit more useful, though... however, most non-FPS games don't support resolutions that high, so it becomes moot.
    3. Those that do (Civ 5, sorta), things look odd. Since I only have a pair of 480GTXs driving the setup, things are also pretty laggy in the few non-FPS games that support that high of a resolution.
    4. Power consumption... Even my system, as opposed to a single or dual 6990 system, draws more than 1400 watts from the wall with the graphics cards at max and all three monitors running. Throwing a 6990 or two onto that would approach 2kw power consumption; there is home wiring that won't support that, as the amp limit on a circuit is typically 15 amps. You are, seriously, risking setting your house on fire if you have anything other than your computer plugged into that circuit.

    For me personally, I'd need a pair of 6990's to drive all three monitors at an acceptable frame rate and that's not something I'm willing to shell out for given my disappointment with the current state of games and their support of extreme resolutions. Until game designers decide (if they ever do) to support crazy resolutions and aspect ratios, it's really a pointless exercise, at least for me. I'll probably be sticking to 1 monitor gaming for the foreseeable future and save my other two monitors for actual work.

  • I RTFA, it was a very nice soft sell of how one could still use windows. Having three monitors hanging off my Ubuntu 11.04 laptop causes the girls to stop and ask easy to answer questions about usage.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr