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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 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 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 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 MindSlap ( 640263 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @12:04PM (#36025072)
    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 previous testing with two 28's (center bezel notwithstanding of course)
    So I've concluded that I enjoy a single 52 inch rather than multiple smaller monitors and all the headaches that go along with such a setup.
    The biggest advantage of a single 52 inch? HEIGHT! You simply dont get that perspective with multiple, smaller horizontally set up monitors.
  • 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.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982