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Questions about multi monitor setups

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 8, 2013 4:44:36 PM

Hey all. So the pass month I've really been considering getting a multiple monitor display. I've got a 15 inch TV, at 720p (which to be honest looks like 240P) a 8ms response time and apparently, 60hz for free and used this as a second display. This awful thing has been able to help me do some work, even if it is buggy. I've been thinking what it would be like if I had three awesome monitors spanned across my desk.

I will be doing lots of CADing, some video and photo editing, and gaming. I know three monitors should drastically improve all of these, but what is the necessarily graphical horse power? Theoretically, if a single TITAN gives good performance on one monitor, that same performance will carry over with three titans and three monitors. This isn't true because of the problems with SLI. To the people that game with three monitors does it really improve the experience and fun? Will the lowering of settings compensate with the larger resolution and peripheral vision? I'm willing to turn anti-aliasing off if it gives me more frames. I'm thinking about buying 1-2 (hopefully not three) titans, but will this future proof me for at least three years and will it perform well (60 fps or more) with games like BF3 and crysis 3, and potentially work well with games that are to be coming out (like BF4 and rome total war 2). I'm new to the triple monitor world and want to know how to get an optimal experience.
a b C Monitor
May 8, 2013 4:58:53 PM

I've done multi-monitors back when I did music editing and graphics work and it rocks. Never did gaming but tried it on a system and didn't like the bezels or having to look that far left and right. If I got back to music editing, I'd probably go 1 big one in the middle for my gaming and whatever and then 2 on either side just for work but not game on all 3. My opinion anyways.
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May 8, 2013 5:07:46 PM

getochkn said:
I've done multi-monitors back when I did music editing and graphics work and it rocks. Never did gaming but tried it on a system and didn't like the bezels or having to look that far left and right. If I got back to music editing, I'd probably go 1 big one in the middle for my gaming and whatever and then 2 on either side just for work but not game on all 3. My opinion anyways.


Yeah I'm definitely going to be getting three, but probably two cheaper ones if I don't do it for gaming. Thanks for the response bro!
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May 8, 2013 5:09:04 PM

You don't need that much power. The power you need is incumbent upon the resolution you want. I haven’t worked a multiple Nvidea setup yet so I’ll talk eyefinity. If you’re looking at three 19inch monitors @ 1440x900 then your native resolution will be 4320x900.
To get eyefinity you need (for practical purposes) a HD7770, three monitors, three DVI cables and an active display port adapter. Catalyst will walk you through the setup.

Eyefinity creates a big desktop. It lets you treat three monitors as one very large monitor. This has game ramifications. Want to see 180 degrees at a time? No problem. Sick of those sneaky little shits knifing you in BF3? This makes it that much harder.

Now, how much monitor you are driving determines how much GPU you need. For the afore mentioned 4320x900 a 7850 2gb is plenty of muscle. But if you’re going for 5760x1080 (three 23 inch monitors) and expecting skyrim to work at max res… you’re going to need a HD7970 3gb.

Now… CADing on this setup is possible, but you need to realize that there are two types of GPU’s. The ones made to game and the ones made to render. The rendering versions go by names like firepro and Quadro. They are MUCH more expensive than gamer GPUs and don’t play games very well. Likewise gamer GPU’s will render errors… a lot. It’s a matter of architecture and drivers. You cant have one card that does everything well.

Well there is the firepro W8000, but most people don't spend $1500 on a video card.
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May 8, 2013 5:15:08 PM

groundrat said:
You don't need that much power. The power you need is incumbent upon the resolution you want. I haven’t worked a multiple Nvidea setup yet so I’ll talk eyefinity. If you’re looking at three 19inch monitors @ 1440x900 then your native resolution will be 4320x900.
To get eyefinity you need (for practical purposes) a HD7770, three monitors, three DVI cables and an active display port adapter. Catalyst will walk you through the setup.

Eyefinity creates a big desktop. It lets you treat three monitors as one very large monitor. This has game ramifications. Want to see 180 degrees at a time? No problem. Sick of those sneaky little shits knifing you in BF3? This makes it that much harder.

Now, how much monitor you are driving determines how much GPU you need. For the afore mentioned 4320x900 a 7850 2gb is plenty of muscle. But if you’re going for 5760x1080 (three 23 inch monitors) and expecting skyrim to work at max res… you’re going to need a HD7970 3gb.

Now… CADing on this setup is possible, but you need to realize that there are two types of GPU’s. The ones made to game and the ones made to render. The rendering versions go by names like firepro and Quadro. They are MUCH more expensive than gamer GPUs and don’t play games very well. Likewise gamer GPU’s will render errors… a lot. It’s a matter of architecture and drivers. You cant have one card that does everything well.


Right, in order to do professional CADing you need to have some major non gaming GPU horsepower. I however am not a professional and honestly just do it for fun and knowledge XD. But if i use those GPUs will i be able to do any at all or will simple, fun CADing be possible? Thanks for the response!
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a b C Monitor
May 8, 2013 5:34:45 PM

I use 2 1920x1200 24" and one 19" for pcb layout. The extra monitors are great for looking at pdf files, and main design window as well as the other windows needed for projects, various tools.... When I game I just use one 24" monitor. Multiple monitors work extremely well - I don't think I would like one large monitor. I use 2 GTX460 1GB cards in sli for gaming and normal mode for design work.
-Bruce
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May 9, 2013 9:41:30 AM

Like dish_moose said, you can do it, as long as you are comfortable with the inherent errors that pop up from a gamer GPU.
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May 9, 2013 6:08:39 PM

groundrat said:
Like dish_moose said, you can do it, as long as you are comfortable with the inherent errors that pop up from a gamer GPU.


Yeah, but I mean for the moment, it should do me alrite. So would something like the 7970 3GB be enough, cause it doesn't seem like it has all that much VRAM, which scares me in a multi monitor setup. Do you by chance have a multi monitor setup?
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a b C Monitor
May 10, 2013 3:05:43 AM

I have 3 monitors but they are not identical (2 are 24" and 1 is 19") and I use only one 24" for gaming. If I were to go for eyefinity - 3GB would be a min.
-Bruce
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a b C Monitor
May 10, 2013 6:49:56 AM

ShindoSensei said:
groundrat said:
Like dish_moose said, you can do it, as long as you are comfortable with the inherent errors that pop up from a gamer GPU.


Yeah, but I mean for the moment, it should do me alrite. So would something like the 7970 3GB be enough, cause it doesn't seem like it has all that much VRAM, which scares me in a multi monitor setup. Do you by chance have a multi monitor setup?


I run 4x 1080p monitors on my 7950. 3 gigs of Vram and up is where you want to start for multi-monitor gaming. As far as just regular work/productivity, most of the time the video card will sit idle. Gaming wise, my 7950 definitely cant max games at EyeFinity resolutions (5760x1080) but its strong enough that it lets me usually get to high settings as long as I keep the AA low. I've gone thru BF3, Crysis 3, BioShock 3 and a list of other games all at EyeFinity resolution with acceptable performance.

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May 10, 2013 9:42:54 AM

“3 gigs of Vram and up is where you want to start for multi-monitor gaming.”

This is a very misleading statement.

It all depends on how much resolution you are driving and what frame rates/ quality you want. I run 4320 x 900 in eyefinity on a 2gb 7850 and I have no issues whatsoever... playing Crysis, Tombraider and Bioshock Ultimate. My frame rates are good at 50+. Now if I where to start playing Skyrim on Ultra @ 5760x1080... then my card would be insufficient.
I haven't worked on any system where more than 3gb of DDR5 are needed to run any game.
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May 12, 2013 3:06:30 PM

groundrat said:
“3 gigs of Vram and up is where you want to start for multi-monitor gaming.”

This is a very misleading statement.

It all depends on how much resolution you are driving and what frame rates/ quality you want. I run 4320 x 900 in eyefinity on a 2gb 7850 and I have no issues whatsoever... playing Crysis, Tombraider and Bioshock Ultimate. My frame rates are good at 50+. Now if I where to start playing Skyrim on Ultra @ 5760x1080... then my card would be insufficient.
I haven't worked on any system where more than 3gb of DDR5 are needed to run any game.


So I've been considering getting three lower resolution monitors to not only save same bucks on the displays but also guarantee good performance. When you're gaming with three monitors, does that expanded POV compensate for having a resolution about the same as an ultra hi-res monitor? I've been playing Bioshock Infinite and some other shooters and when I imagine having three times more viewing than I already do my mind starts to boggle.
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May 12, 2013 3:08:12 PM

quotemsg=10783059,0,1008480]

I run 4x 1080p monitors on my 7950. 3 gigs of Vram and up is where you want to start for multi-monitor gaming. As far as just regular work/productivity, most of the time the video card will sit idle. Gaming wise, my 7950 definitely cant max games at EyeFinity resolutions (5760x1080) but its strong enough that it lets me usually get to high settings as long as I keep the AA low. I've gone thru BF3, Crysis 3, BioShock 3 and a list of other games all at EyeFinity resolution with acceptable performance.

[/quotemsg]

Now by acceptable do you mean 30 fps which is what the average gamer would find alrite, or are you an elitist asshole like me and needs a minimum of 60 fps?

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a b C Monitor
May 13, 2013 6:33:50 AM

Having 3 monitors isnt really comparable to a hi-res display. With 3 monitors, the image isnt any clearer like on a higher resolution display, you simply have a larger field of view (think of it as having peripheral vision). It allows for a more immersive experience, especially in games situated for it (First person games and sims work best). While lower resolution would allow higher frame rates, since EyeFinity doesnt work well with everygame I would avoid going this route. I prefer having 3x 1080p screens so that when a game is limited to one monitor it still looks good (the higher the resolution the better to me).

As far as acceptable, I'm definitely not an elitist, but I am sensitive to how a game runs so I'm somewhere in the middle. Depending on the game and how much certain settings effect the look decides how much I dial back settings but I do try to get close to the 60fps mark, dips below are acceptable at times, but 30fps is definitely noticeable to me.
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May 14, 2013 5:15:33 PM

29.9 FPS is normal (NTSC) video. IMax uses 120 FPS. Most gamers wont be satisfied with less than 45 FPS. 60 FPS is the threshold for most people who really want a smooth game. Now, yes, if your horizontal resolution is 1080+ and you are running more than three monitors, you will want 3GB of DDR5 on your GPU. However at that point you've got $1000 plus in monitors alone so a budget isn't something you will be familiar with.

For the rest of us who have to scrimp and save for things 4320X900 may not be "High Def" but it serves. Its your money. Spend it on what you think is important. And always try to keep in mind that upgrading is a good thing and can be done in small steps. I would get a 7870 2gb Powercolor Myst right now. Get one good monitor. When you can afford a second and third get them.

Yet I have three 19's right now in 4320X900. Its amazingly nice to catch other players trying to sneak up on me.
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