NVidia Surround Makes Me Sad

My first adventure into multi-monitor gaming started with SoftTH back in 2008. I started with 3 mismatched 19 inch LCD monitors an old P4 3.0 and a couple of NVidia cards, a 7600agp and a 8400gs pci. This solution actually worked pretty well considering what I was working with. I played COD 4 for hours in 3 screen surround, and had lots of fun. Take a look at this video. This is the first day I had it running.

open link in new window to play video.

Later that year I got the Asus P5n-d (that I am still using) and 2 8800gt. SoftTH worked great in World at War and many other games, but the more I played the more I wanted a better solution.
When NVidia announced Surround for the GTX260 and better cards I was pretty excited. When the GTX400 series came out I figured by then surround was mature enough to try it. So in 2010 I dropped the cash and got 2 GTX470s and 3 1920x1080 monitors.

Picture of setup.

It’s a really cool technology and really fun to play with but I am going to outline why it makes me sad.

• Surround requires 3 monitors that run the same resolution and refresh rate. How hard would it be to allow the driver to use a 22 inch wide in the middle and 2 19 regular on the edges. It could run at 1280x1024 + 1600x1024 + 1280x1024 for a working resolution of 4160x1024. It can’t be too hard, SoftTH is a free program and it can do it. If they allowed people a little more flex with the monitors more people would be able to try and there would be more adoption.
• Surround only works on GTX class cards: If they allowed people to try it on any cards they would get more by in and more game manufactures would support it. I know multiple people that have 3 17 or 19 1280x1024 monitors at their disposal, and older cards like GTS250 and 8800GT are cheap and plentiful. 2 8800GT would run MW3 or ME3 on 3 1280 monitors on high no problem.
• Surround sort of tricks windows into thinking you have one 5670x1080 monitor: This Messes up the windows desktop, many programs freak out, and so on. Why not just have the driver report as 3 monitors like normal for windows desktop and kick in at ultra wide screen for Direct X? Why not give us some options. Some people may like the huge desktop, but I like having 3 desktops.
• NVidia does not offer any ideas or support for games that don’t have the aspect ratio for ultra widescreen: They refer you to Widescreengamingforum.com or to wide screen fixer. Hey those are great resources, but I just dropped a huge amount of money on a technology you represented as working. How about a little help?
• Even with hacks and cracks and programs to get games work they are still a pain, and many are unplayable.
ME3 is a good example. In this case the game works ok but the menu is so messed you can’t really play. It hard to launch the game when you can’t see the game menu.
• Why does the screen get more distorted the further from the center you get?
Pic of MW3. Center

Left notice how it gets all big?

Right again why does simply moving my head make it all big? I did not walk or move.

Why does everything look good in the center but as we get close to the edges does everyone get short and fat? What is that? A driver glitch, the aspect correction program? I dont know but I dont like it. The issue does not stand out as much on the screen shot as it does in game? Can the screen shot be rendering differently then the game? This issue is not exclusive to MW3, all games do this.

Any way if you read this far I am sorry for wasting your time. I hope you enjoyed my rant and maybe you have some advice, or ideas for me, or maybe you just want to share.

For the Emporer,
Praise Russ!
3 answers Last reply
More about nvidia surround makes
  1. Supposed to feel like you're seeing things from your peripheral vision..but personally I don't like how the sides look either :lol: I remember I got motion sickness from a multi-monitor set up LOL, I guess it's not meant for some people :D
  2. I thought playing at 3840x1024 was fun, and it seemed to be very comfortable. At 5670 I feel like I have to look around to much.
  3. You cant really see from my picture but i got 3 really cheap clamp style monitor stands. They have basic up and down and side to side movment. This allowed me to clamp the 1 monitor in the middle and the other 2 on the out side corners. So almost my whole table is clear. I have a mini bungi cord in the back pulling all 3 tight together to help absorb wiggle when i shake the table or if a monitor gets bumped.

    All I have on my table is my router, modem, mouse and keyboard.... And of course the day to day paperwork, bills and such that pile up.
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