Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Simple question about 3 monitors vs 1 monitor gaming PC set up

Last response: in Systems
Share
March 6, 2014 2:59:52 AM

Hi, I've got a fairly simple question about a three-monitor set up vs a one-monitor set up for PC gaming.

If building a PC for gaming with three monitors, do I basically need three times the RAM / GPU / CPU power relative to what would be required if I was building a PC for one monitor?
a b 4 Gaming
March 6, 2014 3:08:29 AM

No, you won't need 3x the CPU and RAM, you will need a nice GPU though, and a fair budget.
m
0
l

Best solution

March 6, 2014 3:09:15 AM

Hi there,

No that's not the case.

However there are alot of contributing factors. It would be better to list your PC specs and ask how it will handle multi monitor gaming for the games you want.

I recently set up my own triple monitor gaming and I couldn't be happier with it. If you go ahead with it, this website will become your best asset : http://www.wsgf.org/ . It lists compatible Surround/Eyefinity games and the tips on how to get them working.

And as an unofficial benchmark to give you a slight idea, I started mine off with a Gigabyte GTX 660 2gb, pushing a resolution of 5760x1080. I was getting a solid 60 fps on crysis 2 at max settings. I'm now using a Gigabyte GTX 770 OC 4gb and it is performing better, of the games I've run, it was pushing Saints Row IV on max everything and getting between 30 and 40fps, slight tweak of the settings pushed it back up to 60. I will be SLI'ing at a later date.

Hope this helps,

Regards
Share
Related resources
March 6, 2014 3:32:13 AM

Thanks @veladem and @BennyJi, for your prompt answers.

m
0
l
March 6, 2014 3:33:32 AM

BennyJi said:
Hi there,

No that's not the case.

However there are alot of contributing factors. It would be better to list your PC specs and ask how it will handle multi monitor gaming for the games you want.

I recently set up my own triple monitor gaming and I couldn't be happier with it. If you go ahead with it, this website will become your best asset : http://www.wsgf.org/ . It lists compatible Surround/Eyefinity games and the tips on how to get them working.

And as an unofficial benchmark to give you a slight idea, I started mine off with a Gigabyte GTX 660 2gb, pushing a resolution of 5760x1080. I was getting a solid 60 fps on crysis 2 at max settings. I'm now using a Gigabyte GTX 770 OC 4gb and it is performing better, of the games I've run, it was pushing Saints Row IV on max everything and getting between 30 and 40fps, slight tweak of the settings pushed it back up to 60. I will be SLI'ing at a later date.

Hope this helps,

Regards

Thanks, BennyJi, I don't yet have a PC, but I'm seriously considering getting one for (mostly) PC sim racing. What kind of budget are you looking at for your system? Any views on monitor size? I don't have loads of space, so I'm hoping 3 x 24" or 27" monitors will be satisfactory.
m
0
l
March 6, 2014 3:47:59 AM

My budget was ever changing as it tied in with my paydays and my computer is a work in progress for a high end gaming machine.

That being said, the expensive components were the three monitors and monitor mount (I found a monitor mount to be important as I couldn't get the screens to line up nicely on their stock stands) and the GPU.

Finally, 3x 24" is definitely satisfactory, that's what I have and it fits my field of view very well. In a perfect world, I would have a larger middle screen but that raises far more problems than it's worth. If your budget allows for the 27" then look into that, 24" is the most common triple monitor setup.

When purchasing a monitor look at the bezel size, the refresh rate and the picture quality and colour ratio's.

When looking into GPU's you have the choice between NVidia's Surround and AMD's Eyefinity.

With my research, both are now viable and well implemented solutions however Eyefinity had it's share of start up problems so ensure drivers are up to date. I currently use NVidia Surround. A major difference between the two is that Eyefinity requires a display port adapter to be in use (this can be overcome easily with an adapter) whereas NVidia Surround can use any combination of outputs, so bear that in mind.

Much of what you use to choose GPU's stands, google around and see what everyone has success with and what your budget allows for. Learn about VRAM and it's importance.

Use the WSGF link I posted above and search the games you usually play and would like to play and check their compatibility also.

Finally, if you're on the fence about triple monitor gaming, watch youtube videos showcasing others setups and read reviews. Do take note that you will also require a larger budget than for the same in a single screen setup.

An interesting middle ground is ultra widescreen monitors.

Regards
m
0
l
March 6, 2014 5:17:10 AM

BennyJi said:
My budget was ever changing as it tied in with my paydays and my computer is a work in progress for a high end gaming machine.

...

Thank you very much for your answer. It's a great help!

m
0
l
March 10, 2014 12:06:55 AM

BennyJi said:
...

Finally, 3x 24" is definitely satisfactory, that's what I have and it fits my field of view very well. In a perfect world, I would have a larger middle screen but that raises far more problems than it's worth. If your budget allows for the 27" then look into that, 24" is the most common triple monitor setup.

When purchasing a monitor look at the bezel size, the refresh rate and the picture quality and colour ratio's.
....


I've got a couple of questions:
You mention having a larger middle screen. Indeed, that seems like a great idea for me, as I will continue to also play games on just one screen (e.g. when playing on a console).The larger middle screen also seems like a good idea as when video gaming, (on three screens) almost all my focus will be in the middle screen. But you say that raises more problems than its worth - Why?

The refresh rate: if I'm hoping to get 90 (and more) frames per second, I'll need 120 Hz refresh rate - is that right?

Here, I asked about a recommended pc spec set up for what I want: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-2054564/recommen...

In reply I got a complete list (which is a big help for me) coming in at quite a budget - a little more than I'd like to pay, but I think I can stretch to it.
m
0
l
March 10, 2014 1:10:00 AM

BennyJi said:
...

Much of what you use to choose GPU's stands, google around and see what everyone has success with and what your budget allows for. Learn about VRAM and it's importance....


You mention VRAM. I'm not sure of its significance.
I'm thinking I might buy two EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI). Is the "3Gb" mentioned there 3Gb of VRAM. If so, is that plenty?

m
0
l
March 10, 2014 3:49:09 PM

Hi there,

A wider middle screen would be ideal from a viewing point of view, however the problems arise in pushing a picture to different screen sizes. (And pushing to different resolutions is just a no-go). A large middle screen would work fine if you're running them separately, windows extended desktop, however if you're attempting to game like that you'll either face letterboxing/pillarboxing or image stretching.

That's why it's easier with matching monitors.

You're correct in saying that you will only see 60fps in a 60hz monitor however, there is a lot of debate on the visually noticeable difference between higher frames per second. So it when choosing a monitor, make sure you choose a decent colour ratio and quality, quick refresh rate and such before settling on hz rating.

Finally, the 3gb VRam models will be sufficient, Vram serves as a "buffer" for intensive scenes ie. lots of rendering, action and plenty going on on scene. That being said, the GTX 780's are good cards, so if your budget is a little tight you could downscale them slightly.

Hope this helps,

Regards
m
0
l
March 11, 2014 12:06:01 AM

BennyJi said:
Hi there,

A wider middle screen would be ideal from a viewing point of view, however the problems arise in pushing a picture to different screen sizes. (And pushing to different resolutions is just a no-go). A large middle screen would work fine if you're running them separately, windows extended desktop, however if you're attempting to game like that you'll either face letterboxing/pillarboxing or image stretching.

That's why it's easier with matching monitors.

You're correct in saying that you will only see 60fps in a 60hz monitor however, there is a lot of debate on the visually noticeable difference between higher frames per second. So it when choosing a monitor, make sure you choose a decent colour ratio and quality, quick refresh rate and such before settling on hz rating.

Finally, the 3gb VRam models will be sufficient, Vram serves as a "buffer" for intensive scenes ie. lots of rendering, action and plenty going on on scene. That being said, the GTX 780's are good cards, so if your budget is a little tight you could downscale them slightly.

Hope this helps,

Regards

It is a big help! Thank you very much.

I guess I'll have to go for matching monitors. I've done some reading on this. It seems that if you want non-matching monitors you have to have monitors all with the same refresh rate, same resolution, and the same sync polarity (whatever that is). And, I believe, getting info on the sync polarity of a monitor is not that easy to come by.

120Hz/144Hz monitors would obviously be best, but the budget for that is -obviously- large (three of them). So I'm wondering if I'll get good results with monitors at 60Hz 'cos they're a lot cheaper.

re: "debate on the visually noticeable difference between higher frames per second": I don't think I've played on higher framerates than 60, although as I find 30 fps so very very obvious, I'm sure I'll really appreciate fps higher than 60 (although I can believe I may not really notice a difference at 90-plus.)


m
0
l
March 11, 2014 1:18:20 AM

For matching monitors, there is room for adjustment. It is my understanding that 2D surround and eyefinity both support mismatched monitors, however they do this buy downscaling the monitors to the lowest performing of the group. This is why matched monitors is the way to go, everything performs at its peak.

You will get good results with 60hz monitors, especially if your hardware is enough to maximise fps. Again, without actively seeing 120/144hz monitors showing the higher framerates it is hard to know which side of the fence you will stand on but that being said, 60fps is a good benchmark to aim for. (Remember that as games get newer and more intensive, your system will need constant upgrading in order to continue to output HIGH fps on max settings); To put things in perspective slightly, 24fps is the basic framerate for movies. 48fps is the framerate for the High Frame Rate 3D.

I have played the same game, same scene at 30fps and again at 60fps and the difference was extremely noticeable. However that is always going to be the case at low ends of a scale. I cannot however, comment on higher framerates with higher hz rated monitors as I am yet to witness one in action.

When choosing a monitor, don't base it soley on refresh rate. More important factors are the picture quality, screen lighting options and in the case of triple monitors, the bezel size.
m
0
l
March 13, 2014 8:15:40 AM

BennyJi said:
For matching monitors, there is room for adjustment. It is my understanding that 2D surround and eyefinity both support mismatched monitors, however they do this buy downscaling the monitors to the lowest performing of the group. This is why matched monitors is the way to go, everything performs at its peak.

You will get good results with 60hz monitors, especially if your hardware is enough to maximise fps. Again, without actively seeing 120/144hz monitors showing the higher framerates it is hard to know which side of the fence you will stand on but that being said, 60fps is a good benchmark to aim for. (Remember that as games get newer and more intensive, your system will need constant upgrading in order to continue to output HIGH fps on max settings); To put things in perspective slightly, 24fps is the basic framerate for movies. 48fps is the framerate for the High Frame Rate 3D.

I have played the same game, same scene at 30fps and again at 60fps and the difference was extremely noticeable. However that is always going to be the case at low ends of a scale. I cannot however, comment on higher framerates with higher hz rated monitors as I am yet to witness one in action.

When choosing a monitor, don't base it soley on refresh rate. More important factors are the picture quality, screen lighting options and in the case of triple monitors, the bezel size.


BennyJi,
Thanks for all the excellent advice on monitors.

I've got another question. Was wondering what you think:
I was planning on using two GTX 780s (3gb) in SLI for the pc for the 3-monitor setup. Someone has suggested I might get better results by using two GTX 770s at 4gb. Of course that'd save me a fair bit of money too.

What do you reckon about this? Will two 770s at 4gb give better fps at max settings (for 3 monitors)?

m
0
l
March 14, 2014 4:22:52 AM

Definitely. 770 4gb's in SLI is my future rig.

Currently I'm running a single Gigabyte GTX 770 4gb on my triple screen (until my bank balance recuperates) and it is performing well. Black Ops 2 on max settings is hitting 80fps, all other games are hitting 60ish. The only one it struggles on is Sleeping Dogs with high res texture pack where it gets 25fps (unplayable by my reckoning). This problem will cease to exist when I get my second 770.

In terms of the person telling you will get better performance, I would say they've fallen into the GPU number trap. There are an awful lot of factors that contribute to performance. The 780's are better cards, and the 3gb VRAM in them if easily sufficient and as such would outperform the SLI 770's however a SLI 770 is going to hit very decent fps for many games to come.
m
0
l
March 17, 2014 1:13:58 AM

BennyJi said:
Definitely. 770 4gb's in SLI is my future rig.

Currently I'm running a single Gigabyte GTX 770 4gb on my triple screen (until my bank balance recuperates) and it is performing well. Black Ops 2 on max settings is hitting 80fps, all other games are hitting 60ish. The only one it struggles on is Sleeping Dogs with high res texture pack where it gets 25fps (unplayable by my reckoning). This problem will cease to exist when I get my second 770.

In terms of the person telling you will get better performance, I would say they've fallen into the GPU number trap. There are an awful lot of factors that contribute to performance. The 780's are better cards, and the 3gb VRAM in them if easily sufficient and as such would outperform the SLI 770's however a SLI 770 is going to hit very decent fps for many games to come.


m
0
l
March 17, 2014 1:16:26 AM

I've run into a problem with the triple-monitor project: space! The problem is fitting the three monitors in the house in a way my loved one will find acceptable. I've figured a solution would be to keep the 46" Panasonic plasma TV I have and add two screens on either side (those screens would be best at 27" in portrait - an almost perfect fit, in fact). With the peripheral monitors in portrait, I guess that's a 4080 x 1080 resolution across the three monitors (1080 + 1920 + 1080 = 4080).

If you're wondering why it's best to keep a very large TV: it's because with the large TV screen, I can keep the TV against the wall; whereas with smaller monitors, they will need to be brought towards my face, thus imposing on the space in a difficult way).

So I'm hoping to use mismatched monitors. I've understood that you can use mismatched monitors with GPUs in SLI, but they have to have the same resolution, refresh rate, and sync polarity. I'm thinking this won't be possible for me as it's pretty much impossible to get info on what sync polarity a monitor has. And the plasma is reportedly 600hz - also hard to match.

How can I get around the same-resolution, refresh-rate, sync-polarity problem? Have you got an idea?

Is it to just use one GPU? That'd affect results badly. Wait for a GTX 780 ti 6gb?
Is there another way to achieve what I want?
m
0
l
March 18, 2014 1:11:01 AM

I 'believe' that there won't be a problem with this as the GPU will 'scale' the image to suit the lowest rating monitor. Ie if you're running 2x 60hz monitors and 1x 144hz monitor, then all three will run at 60hz. This is likely the same for all else.

Also SLI/ single GPU doesn't factor into that at all.

The only potential problem I see is in having a 46" main screen with 2 smaller peripheral monitors. I have no idea how a GPU is likely to push an image like that split between such mismatched monitors especially with one running in landscape and the other two in portrait. When I setup my three monitors, I had the option to set either portriat or landscape but this affected all monitors, not specific ones. It then proceeded to create a single 'shared' resolution which games automatically detect/ allow choice of (5760x1080 or 5840x1080 for bezel corrected gaming.

I don't believe what you're after is possible but I would advise you to start a new thread outlining that same scenario and see what others say.

Finally, there is no need to wait for the 780 Ti unless you specifically want a single GPU setup.
m
0
l
March 18, 2014 1:39:25 AM

BennyJi said:
I 'believe' that there won't be a problem with this as the GPU will 'scale' the image to suit the lowest rating monitor. Ie if you're running 2x 60hz monitors and 1x 144hz monitor, then all three will run at 60hz. This is likely the same for all else.

Also SLI/ single GPU doesn't factor into that at all.

The only potential problem I see is in having a 46" main screen with 2 smaller peripheral monitors. I have no idea how a GPU is likely to push an image like that split between such mismatched monitors especially with one running in landscape and the other two in portrait. When I setup my three monitors, I had the option to set either portriat or landscape but this affected all monitors, not specific ones. It then proceeded to create a single 'shared' resolution which games automatically detect/ allow choice of (5760x1080 or 5840x1080 for bezel corrected gaming.

I don't believe what you're after is possible but I would advise you to start a new thread outlining that same scenario and see what others say.

Finally, there is no need to wait for the 780 Ti unless you specifically want a single GPU setup.


Thanks, BennyJi, for your answer. I researched this further yesterday, went to read about it at Nvidia support and AMD support. It seems like the PLP (portrait, landscape, portrait) setup with a 1080p TV/monitor isn't going to work. There seems little doubt about that.

I checked on YouTube though and found a PLP solution that works, but with 2560x1600 resolution monitor in the middle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBHbS7WDric) and 1600x1200 on the sides (it works 'cos the vertical resolutions can match, the "1600"). That solution looks absolutely amazing but isn't ideal for me. I'm going to give it some thought though.

m
0
l
!