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Gaming Rig - 3x30" LCD's at 2560x1600 each

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March 4, 2009 1:16:54 AM

Looking at getting back into PC gaming this March/April and really would like to do it the right way with 3x30" LCD 2560 x 1600 each. I do not want to use the TH2Go adapter. I'm thinking the new tri-card setup coming out would make this work out great. With that said how could you run each monitor individually off each card or using 2 cards as long as both screens were running at full 2560 x 1600 resolution each. I realize that is a large expense with this setup but I would to run games with surround mode and I can't imagine a better experience then with 3 monitors. I have no preference with ATI or Nvidia or Intel or AMD whatever would work out.

I would like to play COD:WoW and Fallout 3 at 60fps.

Thank You
March 4, 2009 1:30:44 AM

O_O
March 4, 2009 1:31:08 AM

LOL. This is the kind of build we all like to do :)  I am assuming you have no budget constraint, as you are spending easily $1500 on monitors alone.

First of all, you will want the i7 Platorm and x58 chipset.

Case: Haf 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: P6T6 WS Revolution
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Corsair Dominator 1866mhz DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: 2x GTX 295

HDD: 2xWD 640gb Caviar Black
1tb WD caviar Black

OS: Vista Home Premium 64

PSU: Corsair 1000hx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: CM V8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those are the basics you will need. Pick up any DVD Drive. If you want super speed then you can get a couple SSD's for RAID 0 instead of those 640gb drives, but you get a lot more for HDD's than SSD. That 1tb is there for backup and storage.
Related resources
March 4, 2009 2:23:22 AM

Wow, quick response and that's what I'm looking for. I realize this is a stretch but water cooling options? Pushing this much power is going to be hot and realize its not necessary but are there options? I'm serious about making this happen with this setup and would like further input if there are people out there that have tried/using this setup.

Thank you, xthekidx!!!

I'll post what CPU I choose and what happens when I have a chance to figure it all out.
March 4, 2009 2:41:18 AM

The best i7 CPU is the 920 for the money by far since it can overclock very high to the levels of the other available i7's.

As far as watercooling goes, I know very little about it so someone else should advise you on that. Do you want just the CPU, or GPU's, NB and SB as well?
March 4, 2009 3:18:01 AM

I would want to water cool the CPU and GPU is I could but its more about getting the sound DB down to a decent level and then the performance boost.

Intel 920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung 305T looks like a winner for me but I need to look at in in person more before I buy 3x. Anyone had experience with this model?
March 4, 2009 5:02:40 AM

2 295's will NOT work for 3 30" monitors. First off, SLI can only push... I believe it's 2 monitors? I know CrossFire is 2 now, is SLI still just 1? Also, don't 30" monitors need double DVI connections? Your best bet is probably the previously linked Asus motherboard running 1 GTX 295 along with 2 cheap PCI-E graphics cards... perhaps a couple of 9600GT's? Or whatever GTX name NVidia is calling them now... This won't be in SLI, they'll just be there to push output to the other two 30 inchers. The rendering will still be done by the 295.
March 4, 2009 5:28:13 AM

You can run 2 monitors in SLI I'm pretty sure, but I don't know how it works for quad-sli...maybe its different there. But I would get two GTX 295's for those 30" monitors, you will need a lot of GPU power to get good framerates at high settings. Then just get a 9600gt for the third monitor.
March 4, 2009 5:55:56 AM

I'm running a 3 monitor setup myself, though with 4x Crossfire and not 4x SLI... all I can tell you is, getting the thing working right is proving to be a nightmare. Right now I've got 1 of the 4870x2's in my rig with the 4670, and it's working... mostly. For some reason Vista keeps disabling one of the GPU's on the card and when I manually enable it all sorts of awful things happen. Not to mention the chaos that ensues if I try to add the second 4870x2, even without the new 4670, haha.
March 4, 2009 8:21:21 AM

The big question that decides which graphics cards are needed is simple.

Are you going to play with the game running across all 3 screens or just the main screen?
March 4, 2009 9:37:28 AM

JDocs said:
The big question that decides which graphics cards are needed is simple.

Are you going to play with the game running across all 3 screens or just the main screen?


What he said.

If you're planning on running across all 3 30" screens at max settings... there's not a graphics solution out there that's gonna get you to 60 fps in difficult games, I'm afraid. The absolute BEST you can do is probably GTX285's in a Triple SLI setup... but even then I don't know if you'll have room for the extra non-SLI card to push the 3rd monitor unless you get a motherboard with a format like the upcoming EVGA Classified.
March 4, 2009 10:58:51 AM

What about running 3 gtx 285's and dedicating a monitor to each of the three cards? Each of the cards would be running seperatly. So no sli. I'm not sure this can be done? Maybe another person can fill me in.
March 4, 2009 1:02:39 PM

SLI only supports 2 monitors no matter how many cards you're using in the SLI setup.
March 4, 2009 11:35:00 PM

Okay, so as I said before it looks like it won't work the way I want it too. Though 3x 22" Dell monitors at 1680x1050 each would work if I ran the Digital TripleHead2GO system. While this is a cut in screen size it will be more stable.

So if I run the same hardware as mentioned above in an SLI setup and then have it output into the TripleHead2GO and then out to the 3 22" monitors I would then be able to play a game across all three correctly. Still an impressive system more then capable of getting me back into PC gaming.

Does my idea sounds correct?
March 5, 2009 1:32:50 AM

I might suggest you explore the forums relating to Microsoft Flight Simulator, as to the best of my knowledge, this community is the one most familiar with building systems to provide "surround screen" like setups, similar to the sort you are considering.

Also, I suggest not buying ANYTHING until you are absolutely certain that all items will work together as you want! Your ideas of checking out the monitors in person is great, too; that way you can buy them after inspecting to be certain you've no dead pixels.
March 5, 2009 1:34:02 AM

I think the best way to game on 3 30" screens is gonna be three GTX 285 cards NOT in SLI, as kubes said. I don't know if you're going to get much luck with trying to get games to span three screens, though. I've never seen an option to do that in any game I've played. There's gotta be a way, though.
March 5, 2009 2:28:07 AM

To be honest, I find the breaks of the image of multiple monitors to be very distracting if I'm gaming. Using 1 30" monitor would be more than enough I think...I find that anything larger than 24" kinda gives me a headache.
March 5, 2009 2:42:45 AM

how about just trying 2 monitors?? sorry i had to say/ask it
I guess the line right down the middle might make aiming difficult...:p 
March 5, 2009 3:54:29 AM

lol that monitor is sick.
March 5, 2009 4:02:28 AM

Only problem I got is the res and the dlp...otherwise that monitor is as the kid said...sick
March 5, 2009 5:42:48 AM

Its your going to be using something like I tripple head would I be correct in stating the tripple head simulates a massive monitor(ie 3000x1000) and takes a single connection and then splits it to the three monitors (ie 1000x1000 each).

If so dual GTX295 or dual 4870X2(slightly slower but the extra memory will help with the massive resolutions) would do you right.
March 5, 2009 10:55:32 AM

That is a fricking cool monitor. To bad the res dlp are both kinda low for that grade of monitor.
March 5, 2009 1:02:34 PM

I'd love a monitor like that. But, do graphics cards normally support 2880x900?
March 5, 2009 2:00:04 PM

NEC is not a stupid company their great manufacturing kick ass quality products that resolution maybe can be reach combining two dvi ports like a single 30" monitor needs...
March 5, 2009 2:37:04 PM

You can't run games on all 3 screens without a triplehead2go, there are only 2 games that support multimonitor setups without it, Supcom and something else, but If you want to play a game across all 3 screens you'll need a triplehead2go, and 3 monitors that support 57Hz (if you want to run in 5040x1050)

That's the best you can do with current tech, I've just got mine up and running, although at a lower res because currently I haven't been able to force my Acer 22" LCDs into 57Hz.

What I can tell you though, 2 GTX295s will play just about any game 30-60FPS, the great majority closer to 60.

I currently have 3 22" LCDs with a triplehead2go setup with just one GTX295. I've played supcomFA, GTA4, and CSS on high-max settings with 50-60FPS, haven't had too much time to try other games, been busy with work and such.

Some important notes though

SLI only supports 2 monitors.
Even with 2 monitors almost all games only support 1
a TH2G tricks windows into thinking 3 monitors are 1 so games will span across all 3

March 5, 2009 4:08:56 PM

vgdarkstar: Technically, a lot of games support multi-monitor (for example wow) if you use the windowed mode in maximized setting.

As for this kind of setup, I fail to see the point of 3 x 30inch displays for a single application. I'd understand if you ran a movie on one, a game on the 2nd and chat/browser on the 3rd. If you did that, then 3x gtx285 would work out great. Anything short of that and you'll have ridiculous amounts of problems both software and hardware based.

I suggest that you re-evaluate your needs in light of the kind of technology available today and then come back with a realistic set of requirements :p 

As for the hardware to do a tri-monitor setup like that, I'd suggest a gtx295 for two monitors and a third one for a single monitor.
3x 2gig ram (corsair dominator is pretty cool atm but anything ddr3 is fine)
x58 mobo (p6t ws, msi, etc)
i7 920
300gig velociraptor for apps/os
1000gig caviar black for the rest

as for watercooling an i7 + either 2x 295 or 3x 285, You'll need at least 2x 360mm rads or even 2x 480mm rads with matching # of fans. I'd get an mcp-655 pump with any rads that you like and go for fullcover blocks for the cards. I'm not up to date on the new i7 cpu blocks but a GTZ with a 1366 bracket should do. Add either compression fittings (expensive) or normal barbs + tie wraps and you're good to go.
March 5, 2009 4:16:05 PM

For what it's worth: I did some research this morning for another thread and it looks like 3 GTX 285 cards will beat two GTX 295 cards. The difference is like 56 fps vs 46 fps at 1920x1200 in Crysis.
March 5, 2009 6:04:31 PM

Quote:
vgdarkstar: Technically, a lot of games support multi-monitor (for example wow) if you use the windowed mode in maximized setting.


I'm pretty certain this stretches the game, it doesn't give you a wider perspective like a triplehead2go does, it just makes the pixels wider horizontally.

I had my rig setup with a GTX295, and an 8800GT before I got the triplehead2go, multitasking is better that way, but to get the real surround gaming experience you need the triplehead2go.

If you do get 2 cards without a triplehead2go you can designate one to be a dedicated physX processor, this helps in games which support it. If your budget isn't limited go with dual GTX295s and a triplehead2go, if you can't afford that, just get one GTX295, you need alot of graphics memory for the 5MP you'll be pushing. At the higher end the GTX295 is better bang for your buck than the GTX285 IMO because of the cost of the GTX285, which is basically half what the GTX295 is, but for ~75% the price.
March 5, 2009 10:19:36 PM

Most Games will not stretch across three monitors. The only games that I know of that support multiple monitors, without the triple head to go, is fsx and supreme commander.
Your best options are:
1- Buy Three gtx 285 in sli, then pickup the digital edition of triple head to go, and run it with three 22in 1920x1080 monitors. This should give you overall good frame rates and almost all the games will span across the three monitors.
2- Buy three gtx 285's. Then pick up three 30in monitors as you said. Plug a one monitor into each one of the gtx 285's, then the three monitors will work for the desktop but when gaming you just enable sli just use the center monitor without the other two.

I would personally go with option 2, but I realize that it is not exactly what you are looking for, so option 1 is probably the best for you. You can see a video of both of these setups on you tube, just search for maxishine in you tube. Maxishine's latest video is on the option 1 setup.

Hope this helps.
!