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Dual Monitor for Gaming

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April 17, 2007 1:58:01 AM

How is a dual monitor set-up for gaming?

More about : dual monitor gaming

April 17, 2007 3:26:24 AM

Depends what you mean by dual monitor setup.

If you mean playing the game on both screens at once, you generally can't (without additonal hardware).

If you mean playing the game on one monitor and using the other for web browser, notes, hints, etc - I've heard it works well.

Me, I use the cheap alternative - MSVDM on one monitor. Hmm. That could massively suck. Does anyone know if MSVDM works under Vista (doubt it)? If not, does anyone know of an alternative for Vista (preferably free)?
April 17, 2007 3:46:58 AM

The only thing I've ever heard working is Flight Simulator with multiple monitors. I also know a super nerd that plays 2 WoW accounts at once with dual monitors...
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April 17, 2007 3:50:07 AM

as long as youre not using vista, you can do dual monitor gaming via horizontal/verticle spanning modes in the driver display settings (vista only allows dual display mode, due to a driver redesign, which sucks for gaming and watching dvds and such, IMO)

as far as which games can be used with widescreen gaming (which is what it would be then with 2 or more monitors horizontally), you can go to http://www.widescreengamingforum.com

if youre referring to a different kind of dual monitor gaming, then im not sure really...
April 17, 2007 4:25:37 AM

I can tell you that dual monitors generally sucks ass for gaming, as I have used various dual systems since late 1997. There are many games which support two true monitors (as opposed to the retarded "single screen spanning two monitors" setting which is OK for gaming, but sucks batshit for windows use.) and they're all listed over at Matrox, the inventors of Dualhead.

Games like Quack III, MS Flight Simulator can be made to work with little effort. FPS games are diabolically bad though: the crosshairs are spilt between screens, and there's no way to move your reticle into the middle of either screen.

No - for FPS gaming you need THREE screen, so that you not only increase your field of view (FOV) but also get to keep aiming at the center off the middle screen.

Plus, performance is significantly degraded: you are pushing twice as many (or three times as many!) polygons as on a single screen.

I have always been very excited about multimonitor gaming, but the gaming and hardware companies have let us all down very badly in this regard.
April 17, 2007 5:20:59 AM

Doesn't SupCom support dual-display?
April 17, 2007 5:31:04 PM

Personally, I wouldn't want to have 2 monitors playing 1 game. The gap between the 2 monitors makes the game look weird for me. Just buy 1 big monitor.
April 17, 2007 6:59:06 PM

Supreme Commander does allow for dual vid display - it simply tosses a map on the second monitor and you can zoom in/out accordingly, but it has nothing to do with actual game play. It's handy if you are in a team game or have radar to help track what's happening without zooming out constantly.

I love the second screen while gaming -- just to display system temps, IMs, volume control, etc.
April 18, 2007 4:40:44 PM

Yeah, but with the 2nd monitor, what if you move your mouse too far to the left or right? Doesn't it go onto the next screen, especially when their is no game going on there?
April 18, 2007 5:09:55 PM

I use two monitors, which is great for Internet/email/WORD use. In Battlefield & BF2 you can't move the cursor off of the game screen while playing a game. Or if you can, I don't know how. You can briefly between games, but it isn't very useful. Hmmm, I'll try hitting the Windows key tonight to see if that minimizes the game without messing it up.
But the point is that game developers ought to allow putting the map, etc. on the second screen. With so many left-over monitors lying around these days, almost everyone could hook up two and benefit from that ability.
April 18, 2007 5:29:33 PM

In the past I ran 2 x 17" CRT monitors. When I had a Geforce 6800GT and was running a game on 1 monitor and a windows desktop on the other (with TS or whatever) I would get MUCH lower framerates than if I just ran with 1 monitor enabled. I run an ATI x1950 pro now, so I dont know if it's just an Nvidia issue, or even if it affects more recent Nvidia cards.

Now I run on a 24" Dell Widescreen. I must say the increased viewing area is real nice in CS:Source, and Supreme Commander can go from a single 16:9 viewing area to 2x 8:9 viewing areas and back again at the push of a key! This is awesome since there is a real slowdown in frame rates - but sometimes the option is fantastic!

Were you thinking of getting 2x 4:3 (like 1600x1200) or 2x 5:4 (1280x 1024) aspect ratio monitors for gaming? I wasn't convinced about going to widescreen for gaming, but now I wouldnt go back...
April 18, 2007 5:56:56 PM

If your running dual monitors, 1 playing the game, and 1 displaying temps, xfire, etc. Do they have to be at the same resolution?
April 18, 2007 5:58:20 PM

OK,

I have played a lot of games on, but not using my dual monitor setup.

Most do not allow you that option. I have seen it on Might and Magic, but your "pieces" are centered and it makes it hard to see them when you play.

Company of Heroes plays well, bit only one screen. I think it, and some other RTS's would be great on dual.

DoW has an edge problem. Scroll to the side of the monitor that is not in game and your arrow just goes onto your desktop. I do not know if they solved this, but it was still the case even after Winter Assault. (I would have to switch off a monitor in settings when I played).

Other games (UT99, 2k3, 2k4, Fear, Oblivion, NWN2, etc) all play 1 screen. Some games would be betetr to have one screen as your "play" screen and the other as your stat/communication screen. I would like to keep mission briefings, in game communications, stats, maps or other things up while playing, but I do not want screen-clutter.

Maybe they will wise up with that on games like Oblivion and give you the option of having all your menupages on one screen while you play (remember the old days of RPG? Was that Ultima? Small graphic screen and all the stats around it.....)

Anyway, aside from that I have not seen too much.
April 18, 2007 6:06:53 PM

You can use that 3840x1024 three monitor thingy they reviewed awhile back, but it doesn't really count as tri-screen, more like one screen stretched onto three monitors.
April 18, 2007 6:13:45 PM

It doesn't count???? It gets you a display spanning 3 screens without the associated issues! Sounds pretty damn good to me!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 18, 2007 6:17:29 PM

Quote:
Yeah, but with the 2nd monitor, what if you move your mouse too far to the left or right? Doesn't it go onto the next screen, especially when their is no game going on there?


The only game I have that happen to me with is CNC3. Scrolling to the right causes the mouse to move to the second screen. If I want to play that game, I need to disable the second monitor. Other then that one game, the mouse stays put on monitor one.
April 18, 2007 6:27:25 PM

I think what he means is it's really just the same screen as you would have on one monitor, just stretched over three monitors. It's not really adding any content.

-VS-

What would really be better is the ability to move other parts of the game to a second monitor.

Example: I play Links 2003 a lot. I would love to be able to drag the overhead cam, chat box, score box, pin cam, lie indicators, etc over to a second monitor so they wouldn't be in the way of the nice views on the main screen.

-TyShoe
April 18, 2007 6:37:57 PM

Well, I just got my NEC 19" HD LCD Monitor today. Big step down from that Apple 30" Cinema display. I was playing UT2k4 and got angry and threw my mouse through the screen...
April 18, 2007 10:37:48 PM

So that makes you........???


Shall I fill in the blank for you?
April 18, 2007 10:48:07 PM

F'ed in the A'
April 18, 2007 11:42:15 PM

So what kinda framerates are you getting with your 2 8800gtx's now?
April 19, 2007 12:06:56 AM

We will know on Saturday when they are installed. Ona 19" monitor and a stripped down XP x64 with almost no services running and my HDD setup with that CPU? A lot is my guess.
April 19, 2007 12:09:03 AM

I am considering running dual monitors on my new system have seen dual monitor setups before and love the extra real estate you gain. Is there a special program you needed to make it work or do most new vid cards support it already? I think I know the answer to that just wanted to double check with someone who has done it. One other thing would there be a problem running 2 different size monitors, I have an existing 17" crt and was considering buying a new 19" crt to use as my primary monitor and use the 17" as the secondary do you think I would run into any problems like that?
April 19, 2007 12:11:28 AM

The answer to both of your questions is no. And why CRT?
April 19, 2007 12:35:19 AM

Thanks. Actually one reason is I already have one and 2 they give better picture/color quality (assuming a good model of course) and for gaming not having to deal with a native resolution is a big plus since I can lower or raise the resolution with no adverse effects. I know there are lots of benefits going for lcd screens size, weight, power use and heat but I have always been a big crt fan. I actually use lcds at work and while they do have a good picture and are sharp I just prefer crts.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 19, 2007 12:36:27 AM

The first time I used dual monitors when was I used an ATI Rage PCI card and an Nvidia TNT2 card. (the fact that this worked perfectly leads me to disbelieve a lot of "driver" issues that "happen" when you switch cards.) I currently dual screen with a 17" CRT, and my 27" TV. Seriously, with the cards of today, theres almost no reason to NOT dual screen in some way.
April 19, 2007 12:45:31 AM

Fair enough.
April 21, 2007 5:03:24 PM

Quote:
Thanks. Actually one reason is I already have one and 2 they give better picture/color quality (assuming a good model of course) and for gaming not having to deal with a native resolution is a big plus since I can lower or raise the resolution with no adverse effects. I know there are lots of benefits going for lcd screens size, weight, power use and heat but I have always been a big crt fan. I actually use lcds at work and while they do have a good picture and are sharp I just prefer crts.


Is 4:3 an option or does it have to be widescreen?

I remember the Sony G520 was THE benchmark monitor back in the CRT heyday. Dunno much about what's out for CRT now though sorry.
April 21, 2007 5:49:42 PM

Quote:
and for gaming not having to deal with a native resolution is a big plus since I can lower or raise the resolution with no adverse effects.
He has two 8800GTXs; he'll be able to run games at ANY native resolution including 2560x1600 without problems.
April 21, 2007 6:22:34 PM

Quote:
He has two 8800GTXs; he'll be able to run games at ANY native resolution including 2560x1600 without problems.


That sounds like a challenge!

(Official site)
http://www.viewsonic.com/support/desktopdisplays/lcddis...

50ms response time might sound horribly slow but good luck hitting over 40fps with the native resolution this thing has!

P.S. Yeah I know it's old but it's all I could find.
April 21, 2007 6:37:47 PM

Just to throw this in to this thread, bear in mind that if you have SLi, and activate it with a second monitor plugged in, then you get a blank screen and the comp freezes.
April 21, 2007 6:58:16 PM

If your turn v-sync ON for LCD, then it will come much closer to approximating a CRT. However, v-sync will limit your framerate equal to your monitor's refresh rate.....hopefully 75hz at least.....which means your framerate will capped at 75 fps. However, this shouldn't be a problem with high-end cards like the GTX's. They'll consistently push those framerates without dropping lower (depending on the game and resolution). This shouldn't pose a problem either, because while many people like to brag that they get 300 fps, the human eye won't detect a difference between 80 and 300. It's not possible. Those framerates are just for bragging and for boys who feel inadequate and need to get big frames to feel more secure with themselves ;) 

Try v-sync on with a good LCD, you might be pleased with the results. Not as good as a CRT, but pretty darn nice, especially if you have a 24"+ LCD.
April 21, 2007 9:25:33 PM

Yo, I am bored, what bechmarks you guys wanna see?
April 21, 2007 9:58:50 PM

U can have 2 different monitors hooked up with different resolutions for each, i did this on a geforce 6600gt.
April 21, 2007 10:11:51 PM

And I really need RAID drivers for my board that will work on a USB drive for XP Pro x64... Anyone?
April 22, 2007 5:04:13 AM

Quote:
He has two 8800GTXs; he'll be able to run games at ANY native resolution including 2560x1600 without problems.


That sounds like a challenge!

(Official site)
http://www.viewsonic.com/support/desktopdisplays/lcddis...

50ms response time might sound horribly slow but good luck hitting over 40fps with the native resolution this thing has!

P.S. Yeah I know it's old but it's all I could find.Okay, you got me. :lol: 
April 22, 2007 8:32:34 AM

Sorry, I should have wrote 20fps :oops:  I was thinking about the 25ms response times of old LCD's, since it is 3-4 years old.

I'd love to see that monitor with a 12ms plus response time (it is a Viewsonic...)
April 22, 2007 11:55:51 AM

The new ACER Gamers Line has 5ms response time.
April 22, 2007 12:55:51 PM

Regarding dual monitor gaming I have found the program ultramon to be very useful. One of its options locks the mouse to a specific monitor thus allowing games like CNC3 and Generals etc. to run as intended.
April 22, 2007 5:01:14 PM

Quote:
The new ACER Gamers Line has 5ms response time.


The Viewsonic I was talking about has a 22'' screen... and a native resolution of 3840x2400. :D 

Not really a gaming monitor though :cry: 
April 22, 2007 5:22:46 PM

... That is a BIG native res...
!