Just started on my commercial pilot licence, and installed flightsim.. I have three 19" CRT monitors, but need some advice on hooking them up.
I've got an Abit AV8/Athlon 64 3500+, 1GB DDR 3200, and a Radeon 9800PRO 256MB with one VGA out.
Question is - how do I connect the other two monitors?
Are there PCI (not PCI-express) cards that will run FS2004 or even FSX with 3 monitors and good framerates on my system?
I've found a GeForce 4 mx 440 second hand, and a GeForce FX 5200 still for sale in PCI version. Is this top of the line for regular PCI ? If not, what is ? (please disregard any "pro" cards, ATI FireGL / Matrow QiD PRO Parhelia etc that are WAY too expensive)
Were there PCI gfx cards with 2xVGA/DVI in the above category?
Would there be issues running three graphics gards in one system ? How will it affect the framerate? (I'm willing to run the game with lower gfx settings, at least on the side screens, if needed.)
If I want to go crazy and spend lots of money on it, should I buy a separate computer for the extra screens, or go for a new mb with 2xPCIe and cards with dual outputs?
(Another option is the Matrox triplehead2go, but it's only suited for LCD screens, as it is 60hz only.)
As I understood it, the triplehead2go was restricted to 60hz, which works fine on LCD screens, but not on my CRT screens.
I doublechecked now, and you can in fact run it with 3072 x 768 (triple 1024) at 75Hz. It would be awesome to have 3840 x 1024 (triple 1280) at 75hz as well, but I'm not sure my system would have performed at that resolution anyway.
I will look more into the Triplehead, but I still want to know "how possible" it is to add either a single pci with dual VGA/DVI or two separate PCI cards. After all, buying two new GeForce FX5200 cards is still less than half the price of the TripleHead.
Do you want to use the 3 monitors to "span" the entire game view across 3 monitors? Or will you be using the other monitors for alternate views, data, or map views? Do you have a laptop you can network into the main PC?
With XP you can have up to 10 displays with a combination of extra video cards with multiple outputs.
I know some games do allow for custom graphics .ini editing to allow multi-video card spanning. 3 Screen Gaming
But as far as I know FS2K4 doesn't support 3 or more monitor spanning (with or without multiple video cards) by itself. I think a program like Wideview may get you want you want. Its designed for multiple networked PCs but I believe you can run multiple clients on the same PC.
There is sure to be a performance penalty of some type. I tried spanning across 2 1280x1024 LCDs and to get decent performance with my 6800GT I needed to turn the Autogen and graphics options a lot lower than I really wanted to use. I finally switched to a 20" widescreen LCD and TrackIR3 for the views. Now using the 2 17" LCDs plus my laptop for the radio stack, avionics stack, engine quadrant and/or moving map and electronic flight bag.
I read the reviews of the triplehead2go, and contacted one of the authors, as he stated triplehead2go was the only possible way of getting correct <i>panning</i> of the view across more than two monitors.
From his reply, I learned that <i>spanning</i> the view over three screens is possible on a single PC with several GFX cards, or across several PC's. But actually <i>panning</i> the view is not possible on more than one of these, using either the joystick tophat or TrackIR.