triple screen gaming?

Ok, well i finally got the money for a whole new system - I've been using this Sony Vaio A290 for about 3 1/2 years now and it's not able to handle much anymore. It's still good for travel when i do intra-day trading but gaming, HA.
Plus I also saw AMD reduce their prices 24% (dont quote me, forgot the actual %) but it just made me start to look for a new setup.

Ok, lets see if i got this setup pretty down - before i list, my intentions are hardcore gaming but on three screens. (i know the draw-backs on using three screens and i'm going to use triplehead2go unless someone has a better recommendation) but also the other main purpose is Intra-day Trading, this is also where i need the three screens. (charts take up alot of screen space and 2560x1024 wont cut it) The triple screen and 2nd graphic card will be an upgrade to this setup - Money is an issue and rather wait for Black Monday to get the 3 screens on sale. But want to make sure the PC is built to upgrade and handle it. Also looking to OC it later on, which is why i'm just going to W/C the system. (first time OCing but seems like anything else - i'm going to take my time and not over-do it) plus W/C looks nice and is quiet.

here's the list:

XION Onyx XON-301 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor
EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
OCZ Flex XLC 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive

I dont have a Power Supply, Sound Card, CD drive and another Hard-drive (where Raptor is my Slave for gaming purposes) so kind-of need alittle help here to figure out what would be a good buy for these. I needed a MB with SLI so i could upgrade the GPU with another 8800GTX when needed. Also the OCZ Flex XLC was picked for water cooling performance and OCing. (if there is anything else i'm forgetting, let me know - i know i'm probably missing something.. always do)

Watercooling List:

Danger Den - 8800GTX
Copper TDX Block for AMD AM2 Processor
DD12V-D5 Pump Variable Speed
Black Ice GTX240
Danger Den Single 5 1/4" Bay Reservoir
Tygon 3603 Tubing 1/2" ID 3/4" OD

Pretty much Cooling GPU and CPU - the RAM has it's own blocks attached which will also be WCed. I picked a 240 Black Ice because i dont know if 120mm would suffice this kind of setup. Dont know if Hard-drive or Northbridge needs cooling (not a WC pro, first WC setup also) any recommendation on any of these items - please inform me, once again i'm just trying to OC and keep the SOB quiet as possible.

I know i'm probably missing something in here - i always do, but any help would be great.. let me know


PS - forgot to add it's going to be vista x64. (i also didnt do quad-core because im not looking for massive multitasking - just need dual-core for gaming and maybe downloading at the same time. unless quad-core increase performance in gaming)
16 answers Last reply
More about triple screen gaming
  1. Is AMD a must? Don't get me wrong, the system I just replaced was an AMD setup. When I built it, it was tops! Anyway, Intel is offering more performance per dollar at the moment even with AMD price drops. Basically, Intel is keeping pace with the price drops, and in my opinion, has the resources to keep it that way almost indefinitely. AMD's upcoming release will tell the tale for the performance side of the house.

    Your rig...
    Case -- as long as your components (including the watercooling stuff) fit with room for airflow, you'll be good to go.

    Video card -- Excellent choice! Not the top of the line, but most excellent performance. The cards above this one don't out perform by much at all.

    Memory -- Good choice. perhaps a little pricey becuase of the watercooling design, but performs well according to the reviews I've seen

    WD Raptor -- Still the performance king (not by much anymore with perpendicular drives hitting the market) Excellent choice. Only thing better would be two Raptors in Raid 0

    Power Supply -- You'll need a hefty power supply to handle what you are putting in the system. Add to that the fact that you want to go dual vid in the near future. I recommend 700w + . I have heard that the Thermaltake Toughpower line of PSU's is good. Also PC Power & Cooling is good but pricey. I have heard OCZ does pretty good at power supplies as well. I am currently using 2 Hiper Type R 580w Modular in my current system. Modular power supply is almost a must these days. You can use only the cables you need keeping clutter and air flow inhibitors to a minimum.

    Sound Card -- Do you consider yourself to be an Audiophile? Some one who demands the best sound from any sound system? Do you want 7.1 surround?
    Creative labs is still the best in the business (My opinion). They have several different levels of sound cards to choose from. You may want to consider the X-FI XtremeGamer. If you have the need for a little more from your sound card, go with the X-FI X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series. Comes with a front bay device for quick connections and 64MB of X-Ram to boost gaming performance in games that support X-Ram. Game titles like Battlefield 2, Prey, Quake 4, Doom 3 and others.

    CD Drive -- They are pretty much all the same (Obsolete). DVD's are getting almost stupidly cheap these days. I picked up a couple of DVD Burners (SATA interface WITH Lightscribe) for just over $80 a piece

    Hard Drive -- name your poison! WD, Seagate, Hitachi, and others are all very good these days. Some perform better than others, but most all of them are reliable. Personally, I have Western Digital in my system.

    MAINBOARD -- Your choice for the AMD processor is a good one. If you decide to go with INTEL check out the following:

    ASUS P5K64 WS Capable of FOUR graphic cards (if your heart desires) uses DDR3 memory so you would have to make a change to your memory choice.

    ASUS Blitz Formula (Special Edition) 45nm ready / Quad Core capable / DDR2 memory

    I've also heard good things about Gigabyte P35 chipset boards

    Watercooling stuff you have chosen is decent. If you want to do a lot of hard core gaming, you may want to consider getting a voltage regulator cooler (for the ASUS boards)
    this is just one example. And coolers for the NBridge / SBridge.

    If you are going with a 64 bit OS, might as well pump up the volume on the memory. 8GB is sweet!

    I guess I've rambled on enough for the moment. I leave you with my setup:

    Thermaltake Armor Case
    Asus P5B Deluxe
    Intel Q6600 Quad Core
    US Modular Cold Fusion 8GB (4 x 2GB)
    eVGA 8800GTX
    Creative X-FI Fatal1ty FPS (64MB xRAM) and front bay device
    BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro Video Capture Device
    2 x WD Raptor 74GB (Raid 0)
    4 x WD Cavier 250GB (Storage non-raid)
    Addonics ST5X1PM External Storage Tower (silver) with 1 5X1 Port Multiplier installed (eSATA)
    2 x Samsung SH-S183 SATA LIghtscribe DVD Burner
    2 x WD Cavier 500GB HD
    2 x Hiper Type-R 580w PSU
    Custom Water cooling system (Mostly Koolance parts)
    Creative Inspire P7800 7.1 Surround Speakers
    Window XP Pro x64bit OS
    Miscellaneous odd other goodies
  2. wwhull said:
    Anyway, Intel is offering more performance per dollar at the moment even with AMD price drops. Basically, Intel is keeping pace with the price drops, and in my opinion, has the resources to keep it that way almost indefinitely.

    Intel definitely has the high end but AMD is still king of the performance for dollar.
  3. To answer the indirectly spoken question, I think the third screen is going to slow your graphics speed way down. I have been using three screens for years (do a lot of presentation creation) and occassional gaming and the third screen takes away SLI for me. You may want to consider dual 24 inch monitors rather than the 3 21' s unless you really like 1 screen to be the center. If you have the quad x 16 slots and money to burn from day trading, then a four graphics card solution might work. I'm hoping someone will tell me AI wrong about this so I can tweak things myself.
  4. hackmule said:
    To answer the indirectly spoken question, I think the third screen is going to slow your graphics speed way down. I have been using three screens for years (do a lot of presentation creation) and occassional gaming and the third screen takes away SLI for me. You may want to consider dual 24 inch monitors rather than the 3 21' s unless you really like 1 screen to be the center. If you have the quad x 16 slots and money to burn from day trading, then a four graphics card solution might work. I'm hoping someone will tell me AI wrong about this so I can tweak things myself.

    na i totally understand ya man.. i would do dual but i hate the bezel for FPS - so it's only odd number of screens.

    see i'm no Fan to either AMD or Intel - i just want the best for price(no one wants to just throw money away). Which is why i looked at AMD - i figured with W/C, you can OC that B**tch to over 3.5GHz+ (hear 3.2Ghz stock coolers -stable). I can see where Intel Quad is outperforming my AMD - i dont know how much Q6600 can be OCed stable with W/C.

    also hackmule, at least give me computer specs so i know what i'm looking at with your computer.. i know 8800GTX (non-OCed) can handle 1900x1200 like a breeze, so dual should be able to handle triple monitors with some effort - I just want to make sure i'm not going to bottleneck anything.

    I asked about the sound-cards because it seems from all reviews there are always been a bad side. I'm not a fan for any sound card company but just want a nice sound quality (i got a 5.1 surround stereo system in my room)

    i'll make sure i W/C NBridge/Sbridge too. any other suggestions guys? also quick questions - with 8800 GTX's, they have dual DVI ports - can i skip matrox Triplehead2go with a SLI dual GTX's and connect 3 DVI monitors to the cards?
  5. I cant stand the bezel in the middle either.

    For the record
    dual opteron 285 se
    dual winfast px7950 gt 512mb connected to 3 dell 21 inch horizontal
    8 gig RAM
    tyan k8we MB
    xp prof or xp64 dual boot
  6. The AMD's get destroyed by Core2Duo Chips when you OC.

    On a Clock for Clock basis they are definately slow and can't match in regards to an OC.

    The Q6600 with the G0 stepping will usually hit 3.6Ghz on stock cooling.
    4.0Ghz on the G0's with good cooling is not uncommon.

    Even a cheap E4300 or E4400 will easily OC to 3.0-3.2 Ghz and beat an X2@3.5Ghz.

    It's not Fanboyism if you deal with facts.

    If you don't want to OC or are buying a retail system with a locked bios, the AMD Chips can be a good deal as they provide about the same performance as the Intel Chips in the same price range, but one you start building a customer Rig, there is little point to an AMD unless you are going super budget on the CPU which this guy is not.

    Take note that the X2-6000 did not even achieve a 10% OC.
    Increase the Results of the X2-6000 by a full 10% in games and it still does not match the E6800.

    Then Take note of the very cheap E2160 OC'd against the E6800 and it Wins.

    Now, Just imagine if you OC'd a Decent C2D such as the Q6600 GO which goes to 3.60-4.0Ghz for a higher clock speed, twice the cores, and far more cache.

    The E6550 and E6750 will also both hit 3.5-4.1 easy and again rock the E2160 which already beat the AMD chip.

    Maybe Phenom will change the playing field, and then the recommendation would change. But facts are facts.
  8. yeah, i've been looking at alot of articles for Q6600 and AM2 +6000 and it seems like Q6600 can surpass +6000 very easily with OCing.. like i said, i'm not a fan for either - I could careless who is winning the war on chips as long as i got the best deal.. you think i care when i get my gas at? as long as i get the best for the price - that's all i care about muhaha..

    (i do lean over to AMD more, but seriously it doesnt matter) well i'm W/Cing it so if i get a G0 Stepping i should be able to get it 3.5ghz+ with ease. doesnt say if they are G0 stepping or not??

    also need a good workable OC Motherboard..
  9. rofl you cant get a X2 6000+ to 3.5ghz... you would be lucky to OC it at all. if your going highend choose intel.
  10. Quote:
    Your getting advice from yet another fanboy....
    Get what you want, not what someone else wants you to get.

    How is he a Intel fanboy? He had a AMD in his last computer, and found that Intel was a better choice this time around so he got one. I don't know about you but I go with who's got the best to offer, and thats Intel. Thats not my opinion thats a fact. Sorry you don't like it.
  11. To your question about running two monitors on one card with two DVI ports:

    Of course you can and it will be better than the Matrox solution. I run dual monitors all the time from one card and of course you could run up to four monitors from two cards. But you would be doing away with the SLI advantage for faster frame rates to one monitor by using the cards individually. But I think those cards are powerful enough as is. You could also switch to SLI when running certain games if you like.
  12. Also TripleHead2Go won't support 1900x1200 x 3 screens anyway, see the listed resolutions here:

    Additionally, you won't be able to do two or four gfx cards and have the 3 monitors split between them and still game with it AFAIK. The reason being that when games go into fullscreen, windows won't span rendering across different screens, (primary vs. secondary), let alone across video cards. You can fool it with some video drivers to treat 2 monitors on the same card as one in some cases, but I don't know of any that will fool it into treating two separate cards as the same. (Hence the need for the XHeadToGo series of adapters).

    To my knowledge, FOR GAMING the only solution is to buy 3 much smaller monitors or run in a much inferior resolution(1280 x 1024) and do a triplehead2go solution, that is until they get their act together to support 5700x1200, (1900*3 = 5700), or at the very least 5040x1050 (1680*3 = 5040). These are very common widescreen resolutions.

    Of course there'd be other issues with that - currently the video cards are having to push 2,280,000 pixels per frame for a 1900x1200, and that's asking a lot from any video card that's not higher end. Triple that number to 6,840,000 per frame, and you can expect to see quite a bit more load even if you were running a really awesome SLI or crossfire setup.

    I wish there were a solution to this, because I really really want to run 3 1900x1200s or 3 1680x1050s...
  13. Could someone PM me this years' black friday/cyber monday dates? We don't really have that sort of thing here in Ireland.
  14. No I meant what date. Specifically this year. Is it the 28th of November? I know better than to trust wikipedia :lol:
  15. The Three main ways to Setup Multiple Monitors

    1) You can buy a pre-manufactured multiple monitor computer. The best place to purchase a multiple monitor computer is at: They carry a multi-monitor computer line called SUPER-PC that can support from 2 to 12 monitors.

    Multi-Screen Computer Systems

    Multiple Monitor LCD Displays

    2) You can get a USB to VGA Adapter, or USB to DVI Adapter that will allow you to add an extra monitor to your computer
    via any USB2.0 Port. You can also add multiple extra monitors by using multiple adapters. This is a great option for viewing
    documents, surfing the web, using Microsoft Office and many other business tasks. This is not a good option for intense
    graphical situations such as HDTV, Blu-ray, Gaming and 3D / CAD Workstation applications. For those types of scenarios,
    it is highly recommended that you purchase a high-powered multi-monitor workstation or a Matrox Dual or Triple Head2Go.

    Multiple Monitor Adapters

    3) You can replace or add an extra video card to your existing computer, depending on how many monitors you wish to support.
    Although this sounds easy enough, this is a rather complex solution for a beginner, especially when trying to find a compatible
    graphics card. For this reason, I am going to write an entirely seperate post on that topic and will link to it here, very soon.

    Multi-Monitor Graphics Cards

    Once you have your multiple monitor system set up and ready to use, you will need to enable all of your monitors in
    your “Display Properties” Control Panel. Here is a great link to a complete and animated walkthrough of how to enable
    your multiple monitors in Windows.

    How to Setup Multiple Monitors (Instructions)

    This is what it will look like when you are done:

    Multi-Monitor Video Demo 1
    Multi-Monitor Video Demo 2
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Gaming Systems