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Quick question about running 2 screens on one GPU?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 10, 2013 10:06:57 AM

Its simple really I want to dual screen but just have the other screen to handle tasks that are minor. Most of the time the extra screen may sit idle while I play (skyrim, BF, etc) until I need to do something. Is there any performance hit if the screen is idle just to generate the background image at all? Or is it so small I won't even notice the difference? Hope this made sense and I know it sounds noob-ish but the thought hit me and I dont have that kind of knowledge involving that particularly specific concept.
September 10, 2013 10:12:39 AM

Yes, there is a performance it as you are essentially doubling the resolution your graphics card has to display, but the performance hit will be minor (not insignificant) to your game play.

-Wolf sends
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September 10, 2013 10:24:48 AM

I've been on dual or more screens since 2005. Really there is no performance hit. I run 4 screens from my 7950. Even if I'm playing 1080p video on 3 screens, the graphics card stays in 2d mode(low power mode). The only time the graphics card needs to ramp up to full speed is for gaming, and even then I dont get any noticeable performance loss from having video or other small tasks open on my other screens since most of these tasks dont utilize the video card.
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September 10, 2013 10:43:01 AM

Refreshing the second display will snub about 500MB/s of your GPU's 80+GB/s memory bandwidth (128bits x 5GT/s) so the performance hit from having a secondary display for desktop stuff while gaming on your primary display should be less than 1% if you have something like a HD7770 or better.
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September 10, 2013 10:57:14 AM

InvalidError said:
Refreshing the second display will snub about 500MB/s of your GPU's 80+GB/s memory bandwidth (128bits x 5GT/s) so the performance hit from having a secondary display for desktop stuff while gaming on your primary display should be less than 1% if you have something like a HD7770 or better.


I got the GPU listed in my signature below those are my actual specs at the moment. So it's a GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB VRAM. Seems like I should be ok then.
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September 10, 2013 11:00:40 AM

I've thinking about doing the same thing for the last few days but just haven't got around to it yet, I have a spare monitor I was going to plug in and have on the side while playing games, for things like game guides, console commands (I'm a cheater), and temp monitoring etc.
I don't know if it would work out as I haven't done it yet..
Will the mouse still travel between screens if I have a game going on one monitor and browser on the other? do people do this? Is it off-putting having a second monitor active while playing a game?
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September 10, 2013 11:25:51 AM

gijoe50000 said:
Will the mouse still travel between screens if I have a game going on one monitor and browser on the other? do people do this? Is it off-putting having a second monitor active while playing a game?

Whether or not the mouse will be able to leave a full-screen game or not depends on whether or not the game allows you to configure it not to hog mouse input while in foreground. Some games get out of full-screen when they lose focus and for those, you may need to use a full-screen window instead.

As for being off-putting, that's a personal preference. Personally, I have been doing dual-display for about 15 years so it does not bother me at all.
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September 10, 2013 12:31:03 PM

I love having multiple screens and wouldnt go back. For games that support it I run them spanned on 3 screens (eyefinity). When a game doesnt support it, its nice having ESPN or something playing on another screen, plus all my monitoring software (track temps, utilization, uptime etc.. using Aida64) on another.
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