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GTX 670 and multi monitors

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December 17, 2012 12:08:28 PM

I have a DCUII GTX670 2GB (non top) hooked up to a 120Hz 1080p display. Currently I can run all the most demanding games like a hot knife through butter.
If I add a second display would this card be able to handle it?

Another option I am considering is 3 displays, would I need a second card for this?

Does the fact that it's 2GB have any effect on it's SLi performance?

Finally, would you personally consider it worthwhile to spend £900 to get a 3 monitor set-up (£300 per display and £300 for a second card)?

More about : gtx 670 multi monitors

December 17, 2012 12:26:39 PM

The 670 supports 3 monitors and Nvidia surround gaming out of the box so you could run 3 screens. Using 2 screens for gaming isnt the best the majority of time as the bezels of your 2 monitors run down the centre of your viewable areas making it horrible to look at (although certain games do let you have a certain amount of control.

If you had 3 monitors then the centre one is your view screen with the left and right offering further viewable area. The issue that you may have is if you have 1 670 and 3 x 120Hz monitors then you will probably not be able to max out certain games anymore due to the super high resolution of 5760 x 1080. If however you bought a second 670 then you should have no problem at that resolution although you may still hit the 2gb vram limit of your cards (remember sli does not add together the vrams of your cards eg 2 x 2gb is now 4gb.)

Is it worth the money? I have 3 monitor setup and in all honesty very rarely use it for gaming mainly because the games I play (CS:S, Dirt 3) it doesnt really offer anything more to the game. Again this depends on what you play but for me its more of a gimmick.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 17, 2012 12:54:35 PM

as memoflex said;
You can do it all with 1 card, the question is going to be the performance hit, and that will depend on the games and settings you use.

I think you will have enough horsepower to play most games at medium settings over 3 1080p screens, but running high AA or AF will cap out your vRAM which could affect some performance metrics (especially when scenes or areas change quickly). I play Skyrim at 1920x1200 on a single monitor and it eats the entire 1.25GB of ram on it, and I think I will be looking at a 2-4GB card whenever I get around to replacing it. So with 3 monitors I would want at least 3GB of ram, and preferably more.

Note also that SLI does not 'double' the RAM that your GPUs have, it merely spreads out the GPU workload, so if triple head gaming is in your future then I would look at getting a bigger single GPU first, and then consider SLi if you just need a little better frame rate.
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December 17, 2012 12:57:42 PM

Well I do like my eyecandy - my Skyrim is modded to the point of looking like a photograph.

Is there any real benefit to multi-monitor gaming? If I'm being honest I only want it because it's the best.
December 17, 2012 1:21:05 PM

SevenVirtues said:
Well I do like my eyecandy - my Skyrim is modded to the point of looking like a photograph.

Is there any real benefit to multi-monitor gaming? If I'm being honest I only want it because it's the best.


I think it all depends on the game tbh. The only real time where it has added something to the game is Dirt 3 so I have a much broader field of view for cars that are around you. I know a freind of mine uses a multi monitor setup for EVE online so he can have much more screen estate for all of the processes he has going on. Other than that it comes across as a gimmick (a good one mind you).

I only tried it because I could but find myself going back to a single screen for gaming 99% of the time.

There may well be some games out there that do utilise the screens better but that will take a bit of looking and research.
December 17, 2012 1:25:37 PM

OK, thanks for the honesty. IS anyone able to give me more advice on the technical side such as the memory aspect - this is my main concern.
December 17, 2012 2:00:28 PM

If you wanted to game on 3 monitors then you would probably (almost definately) need to adjust (lower) your video settings in the game to compensate. The 2 gb of Vram you have on your 670 is more than fine for 1080p gaming at maximum settings but you are then going to be tripling the resolution so the gfx is ultimately going to have to work harder and use more of the Vram.

You mentioned skyrim with lots of mods which is a known devourer of available vram. If you tried to play the same settings on 3 monitors then you would experience sudden sharp slowdowns that feels like FPS drops but what is happening is your GFX is having to pass some of the data to system memory as it has effectively run out. This makes a game horrible to play.

If you lowered your settings (such as removing all AA) then you may get away with it but are sacrificing image quality. If you want a game to look its very best then I you really need to stick with the 1 monitor as even if you add a second 670 you will only still have 2GB of vram available as the same information is processed by both cards vram but not doubling it to give it 4GB. You would basically massively increase the horsepower of your system but the memory remains the same, still effectively presenting you with the same problem.

Hope that helps
December 17, 2012 2:07:08 PM

That's great, thanks. I've forgot how to select the best answer, can you remind me?
December 17, 2012 2:10:20 PM

Cant find the best answer myself either matey?! :/ 
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 17, 2012 2:32:42 PM

I have a setup like this three across and one above for teamspeak and cpu gpu info. The Single card can handle 3 screens just fine and is so awesome buuut games like dirt can still be maxxed out Skyrim cannot be maxxed out I had every high def pack I could find running on 1920x1200 perfectly but on three screens I had to bring settings down to high still nice but not the same as the single screen. 2gig ram is not a limiting factor at all that I have seen. Games like the need for speeds and BF3 (Only high settings but still looks awesome) work great and are allot of fun on three screens. I tell you once you have this setup everyone elses setup looks a bit lacking :)  one screen looks a bit anemic to me now lol.

Thent
December 17, 2012 2:34:32 PM

If you run 3 screens on one card, do you have DVI and one HDMI?
I could connect the 3 up like this but my monitors are 120Hz and HDMI can't handle that.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 18, 2012 2:53:20 AM

Mine are all 60hz. Are you going to run them all at 120? Unless you are using 3d I don't se much of a point. I am using the 2 dvi and a hdmi to dvi cable to tun the 3 surround monitors and a displayport to dvi to run an apple Cinima 24 as the info screen
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