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No more Alt +Tabing? -- screws many PC game. +chat of power efficiency

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2010 8:19:15 PM

Hey everyone,

Is it possible to have a PC that will allow me to play a game on my Samsung LCD TV while simultaniously browse the web quickly or check my bittorents on my 24" Sony monitor at my desk (just feet away) without Alt +Tabing the game on and off?

It often causes problems with games to Alt Tab out, you all know that though.

On a side note and another topic really ..I wish we could build power PC's, enough for competitive online games, that are also very energy efficient. I can't wait till that day arrives.

My 24/7 box uses just 60watts maximum (and lowest really) but it is reasonably powerfull also. 65watt Core2Duo and 6 hard drives. 1 PATA and 5 SATA (RAID 5) with over 4Tb of storage. Asus P5N7A-VM with the 9300 chipset.

I'd like to not have to run both computers ..oh wells.

Comments, helpfull advice, doubtful suggestion, all appreciated.

Happy New Year (still!) :kaola: 
January 10, 2010 8:23:58 PM

Yes, pretty much all current video cards can handle two displays
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January 10, 2010 8:25:09 PM

Never done it ..but can I do two different things on each?
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January 10, 2010 8:28:21 PM

Sure. Gaming performance will suffer a minor hit running a second desktop though.
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January 10, 2010 8:33:57 PM

Cool. What if I were to Install a weak video card in an SLI slot and run the desk monitor off that instead of running the SLI? That doable as well?

By the way, how do you get the other monitor to show the desktop while the other is in the game?

Sorry to bomb you with questions jyjjy dude. Having dinner here so it'll be a minimum.
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January 10, 2010 8:38:02 PM

You could add a second card but try it with your current card before bothering.
How to set it up depends on whether your card is ATI or Nvidia but either way it shouldn't be hard at all. It should be easy enough to figure out by looking through the control panel but a quick google should turn up easy to follow instructions if necessary.
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January 10, 2010 8:39:42 PM

Awesome news! Thank you.
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January 10, 2010 9:02:34 PM

Running games in widowed mode instead of full screen solves the alt tab problem. One of the advantages to 1920 x 1200 is the ability to have that 120 pixel high strip at bottom to give access to taskbar.
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January 11, 2010 1:19:51 AM

Yes, you still need to run the game in windowed mode; not necessarily on the same monitor as your taskbar, but if you don't, the mouse will be stuck in the game and won't be able to move to your other app(s). I did this for a while, and may do it again; considering replacing my 512MB HD4850 for a 1GB HD5770 or better.
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January 11, 2010 1:25:18 AM

Hmm... there's no keyboard shortcut to switch focus to the other display?
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January 11, 2010 1:35:42 AM

HedgeHocker said:


Is it possible to have a PC that will allow me to play a game on my Samsung LCD TV while simultaniously browse the web quickly or check my bittorents on my 24" Sony monitor at my desk (just feet away) without Alt +Tabing the game on and off?



No.

There can be only one active window.

You cannot play a game like WOW (even in a window) and browse thru a forum at the same time.

If all you want to be able to monitor your torrent, then all you need do is either:

1. Game in a window and have a torrent window in the unused desktop space.
2. Dual monitors. Game on one, monitor things on the other. (This is what I do).

As soon as you want to check the statistics or other torrent info you will need Alt-TAB out of the game so you can use the mouse in your torrent window.
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January 11, 2010 1:48:19 AM

If the game is in a window on one monitor (NOT full screen), and you have extended your desktop onto another monitor, there's no need to Alt-Tab out of the game, at least for Guild Wars; I wouldn't expect WoW to be any different.
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January 11, 2010 2:18:32 AM

Onus said:
If the game is in a window on one monitor (NOT full screen), and you have extended your desktop onto another monitor, there's no need to Alt-Tab out of the game, at least for Guild Wars; I wouldn't expect WoW to be any different.



This really makes the most sense but it sure spoils your picture on screen doesn't it.

The idea was to eliminate the need for my Torrent box (which I use to read on etc.) while playing a game or watching a movie streaming etc. I figure it would call for a respectably beefy PC also, to keep everythign running smooth that is...

It's a shame I buy a nice mainboard that includes features I can't really put to use like I need to. My Abit IP35 Pro having nice RAID for example and many SATA ports. Can't do it and face the energy bill really ..not 24/7. Got to seed those torrents. :hello: 

It's great technology is moving towards power conservation so rapidly. Wishing we were farther along.

So for now I'll keep the two PC's apart doing thier own tasks. My game rig is not going to draw 61watts idle in 2010. lol
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January 11, 2010 2:21:08 AM

If you have Steam you can open up browser windows while playing the game, however it will obviously cover your view until you hide them. It's a simple keyboard combination to show/hide though. I think it uses IE for the browser.
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January 11, 2010 1:16:12 PM

If the torrent window is open just so you can watch it, you can make the game full-screen once you've moved the torrent to the other monitor.
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!