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Gaming Across Three Screens: GTX 460, GTX 480, And Quad-SLI

A Broader Perspective

AMD calls it Eyefinity. Nvidia calls it Surround. Whatever you call it, spanning a game across three displays sets the PC industry up as the champion of realism years after naysayers pointed to the lower cost of gaming consoles. You can keep your four-year-old platform. This is all about pushing the high-end; that's something consoles, by design, simply cannot do toward the end of their protracted lives.

It turns out that people really can see more than what’s in front of them, and those who are able to see things sneaking up from the side have a huge advantage over those who cannot.

Everyone who can afford a decent gaming PC can supposedly get in on this action, thanks to huge advances in GPU technology that have made mid-market cards a viable solution for ultra-wide resolutions. The biggest question is how much quality you’ll need to sacrifice to get a smooth frame rate. 

Nvidia has its own requirements to satisfy, since two cards are required to connect three screens, but two midrange cards like the GeForce GTX 460 can certainly stand up to any high-end model.

Seeking the highest graphics detail levels in our games, we started out with a pair of GeForce GTX 480s for today’s test. GeForce GTX 460 cards were added to address mid-budget concerns, and we even added a second pair of GeForce GTX 480s to address those seeking the highest possible resolutions. With so many configurations at our disposal, we’re ready to answer the question “How much GPU do you really need to game across multiple displays?”

  • amk09
    sweet jesus, quad sli uses enough watts to power a small town
    Reply
  • Bluescreendeath
    GTX480 Quad SLI - Yes, it can play Crysis. Maxed out at 5760x1080 too! :D
    Reply
  • duk3
    Sapphire’s 700 MHz cards
    They look like sparkle cards to me.
    EDIT: Now fixed, I thought it was funny that sapphire made gtx460s
    Reply
  • damasvara
    BluescreendeathGTX480 Quad SLI - Yes, it can play Crysis. Maxed out at 5760x1080 too!It's so hot, it can also make steak BBQ for you! Watch out for anti-terrorist bust over the Fermi thermal suspicion though... :lol:
    Reply
  • Now i am curious to see a performance difference between tri and quad sli in triple 30" 2500x1600 monitors (7500x1600 resolution).
    Reply
  • hurt74
    @duk3

    Isnt it nice to know that sappire tech now makes NVIDIA cards because the last time i know they are an ATI exclusive. Good job toms
    Reply
  • vicskyline96
    cool, so the drivers support quad 480s now? i wonder if they support tri SLI 200 series cards, i'm sure theres still people out there who want to try this on their older generation cards
    Reply
  • joytech22
    Wow, that power usage is insane! it's hard to believe that these 480's use so much power.. you'd need like a thermaltake toughpower 1500w or something, or maybe 2 PSU's!
    Reply
  • andrern2000
    4 GTX 480s are a gig. But how much price is it is totally another matter. I prefer to 2-way SLI GTX 480.
    Reply
  • vicskyline96
    cool, so the drivers support quad 480s now? i wonder if they support tri SLI 200 series cards, i'm sure theres still people out there who want to try this on their older generation cards
    Reply