Revisiting single GPU and triple monitor gaming

Subject: General Tech | July 11, 2012 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: triple, multi monitor, gaming

One of the biggest arguments for NVIDIA Surround and AMD EyeFinity is cost, depending on the size of monitor you choose you can get three 1080p displays for half to 2/3's the price of a single 30" LCD and end up with around about half again as many pixels.  You do end up with bezels in the way but choosing a monitor with a thin bezel can help as does the tools the drivers offer which help you offset your display to cope with the bezels.  With new drivers available, The Tech Report tested gaming on both the GTX680 and the HD7970 on three Asus 24" ProArt PA246Q LCDs.  Check out the performance differences as well as getting an idea how high you can turn up your graphics options when gaming at 5760x1200 on a single GPU.

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"Three-screen setups might be the best upgrade for gamers. We surround ourselves with a wrap-around config to see how the latest games and graphics cards fare."

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Windows 8 gives a little more attention to multiple monitors. Oh look -- a feature for traditional PCs.

Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 24, 2012 - 08:22 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, multi monitor

PC Mag highlights enhanced support for multiple monitor systems in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview. It is like Microsoft has finally thrown a bone to the desktop and to a lesser extent, the laptop. Some features that were mentioned in the article have been around for a while, however.

If you have given the gift of a multiple monitor setup -- do not expect a take-backsies without a fight.

Chloe Albanesius of PC Mag wrote an article which outlines what enhanced support multiple monitor users will experience if they move to Windows 8. A refreshing suspend of the ctrl-alt-deleterious news. Or maybe Microsoft was just afraid of being attacked with vestigial display cables?

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Just think of the possibilities of per-monitor backgrounds… a shrine just for Josh...

The article opens with a description of the author’s triple monitor setup. Oddly enough my layout is very often an exact mirror image of her layout, horizontally. I would not be surprised if that choice was due to my left-handedness -- very amused, but not surprised.

Windows 8 will make it easy to load different backgrounds for each monitor but earlier versions were capable of that for as long as I could remember. The trick is to create a single very large background image in a program like Photoshop or The GIMP. This very large image must have the same dimensions as the sum of your monitor resolutions horizontally by the sum of your monitor resolutions vertically. The top left of that image is the top left of your “primary” monitor. Fill in the backgrounds wherever the desired monitor falls on that grid -- making sure to put whatever is above and to the left of the top left corner of the primary monitor at the extreme right and bottom. Set that background to “tiled” and you are set.

Notice how I never said that making it easier would be unwelcomed rather just that it was already possible.

The more important features include the ability to enable the taskbar on each monitor and customize how icons will appear for each display. That, combined with enabling corner context support for each monitor should help alleviate some of the juggling over real estate on the primary monitor.

You should be able to see all the changes for multiple monitor users in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview.

That is, of course, unless Microsoft ends up starting from scratch before they launch -- again.

Source: PC Mag

MonMount's affordable triple display mount

Subject: Displays | April 26, 2012 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: triple, monitor mount, mount, multi monitor, MonMount, LCD-1930 Triple

For just under $50 the MonMount LCD-1930 Triple LCD Monitor Stand gives you a way to mount three monitors of up to 22" to a desk, far less expensive than other mounts on the market.  It may look minimalist but the VESA mounts can rotate between portrait and landscape and can pivot both vertically and horizontally to allow you to perfectly align your monitors.  Legit Reviews did run into several small issues, from cables weren't quite long enough to the discovery that while the stand supports 22" displays, they cannot be more than 20" wide.  It is still a much cleaner and more stable solution than having your monitors sitting on your desk.

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"We were about to give up on an affordable triple monitor stand that had articulating arms for a sweet AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround gaming setup when we ran across the MonMount LCD-1930 Triple LCD Monitor Stand Desk Mount that costs just $48.88 plus shipping! Compared to the other three monitor stands on the market this one looks like a bargain! Read on to see what we think of this space saving mount!"

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A different way to extend your display

Subject: Displays | February 24, 2012 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, VID-2X, multi monitor

The Sapphire VID-2X offers you a new way to utilize multiple displays without needing a graphics card capable of powering a resolution of 3840x1200.  It can both clone and stretch your desktop and is Plug & Play with no software or drivers to install, simply plug it into a dual link DVI port and it is ready to go.  At an MSRP of $180 it is less expensive than an SLI or CrossFire solution though it is limited in performance by your GPU.  You might be able to stretch your game across three monitors but you might find performance suffers somewhat.  Instead you can consider this a way to get multiple monitors from a single NVIDIA GPU or a way to avoid an active DisplayPort adapter for a Radeon card.  HiTech Legion has several videos of the VID-2X in action which you should check out.

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"Sapphire's VID-2X is a plug and play compact device that was designed to extend your existing monitor into one large field of view, in effect, tricking the system and allowing you to add two additional monitors to your system from just one display port, be it a laptop, netbook, home computer, or office PC. The VID-2X from Sapphire accomplishes this without you having to install any software or drivers. In addition, the VID-2X will make use of the video card installed and, without using system resources, maintain a resolution or output in clone mode of up to 1920 x 1280. The VID-2X offers several connection options using your existing cable option of DVI, with cables included, and once installed, will double your field of view. The Sapphire VID-2X will also adapt to VGA or HDMI display ports with adapters you may have on hand with your existing system."

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Ivy Bridge will power three headed Linux powered monsters

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2011 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, linux, multi monitor

Intel's Linux graphics driver is open source and the developers who work on it ensure that their code is publicly available which results in findings such as the one Phoronix is reporting on this morning.  While examining the Direct Rendering Manager kernel driver they discovered more information on the triple video output support that Ivy Bridge is supposed to support.  It seems that some Ivy Bridge motherboard will sport three DisplayPort outputs which can all be used simultaneously and others a pair of HDMI ports with a D-SUB connector making up the third output.  More importantly, because this was found in the Linux driver it becomes obvious that Intel intends to support multi-monitor output on Linux.  Watch out AMD.

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"Patches were made public by Intel yesterday for their Linux graphics driver that enable "Ivy Bridge" hardware to simultaneously drive three monitors. Thanks to Intel's Linux driver being open-source and their OSTC developers doing the hardware enablement work in public, there's some new details about this triple monitor support for the next-generation Ivy Bridge hardware."

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Source: Phoronix