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Tamper

Opinions/Input wanted on multi-monitor...

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Hi folks. Through a set of unusual and 'double-edged' circumstances, I've managed to acquire adequate graphics adapters and monitors to consider setting up a triple monitor arrangement. Thought I'd ask to see who here has experience with it (good or bad, whether current or not), hardware recommendations (for the monitor mount), any advice?

 

Also - inexperience talking here - do the mounts typically allow for adjust the 'deflection' angle (ie, angle off the straight line/plane of the primary center monitor) of the outside two monitors on a 3-monitor mount, or are they fixed? I can imagine that image distortion is more of an issue the further from center you go, and I wondered if this isn't offset (or even aggravated) by the angle of the outboard two monitors.

 

Anyone here who can tell me more about this? Any/all input appreciated.

 

Regards,

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Hi, first off if you want to be a multi monitor disciple this is your Mecca. http://www.wsgf.org/ I myself use eyefinty and can not comment about the invida version. As far as stands go they are all adjustable from what I can see. I have the desk space and just use the stands that came with my monitors. My two outer monitors are angled in towards me; when I look at them they are slightly less than perpendicular to my view. That works for me, you should fiddle with it until you like it. I use IPS monitors so viewing angle distortion is nil for me, a TN panel may not do as well.

 

HTH.

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Well, I guess this goes to show exactly how little I knew on the subject *lol*. Apparently, the "PLP" style setup is what I'd be doing, having one 27" and two smaller 17" displays. But it looks as if neither Nvidia nor AMD support a PLP arrangement - more than a little odd; if you ask me, this portrait-landscape-portrait would be the most common way to go. The SoftTH software appears to work, so I guess I need to study that. However, it evidently uses one GPU to do all the work even if you have more than one, so it sounds as if using two card SLI won't make any difference (? - still reading).

 

Thanks, FenrisWlf...any others?

Edited by Tamper

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Yes, with Eyefinity, multi monitors must be all on one card. This does not mean that SLI or Xfire is of no use, because the cards are bridged and sharing some of the load. You will find us multi monitor gamers to be a small minority and games that even work at all with the setups require 3rd party mods and much tweaking. It is not perfect and does not always work; but when it does it's like looking into a window of another world. Good luck.

 

Welcome to the club.

Edited by FenrisWlf

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Well, I finally got 3 monitors set up but not at all like I thought I would *whew*.  You weren't kiddin', FenrisWlf, when you said we're a small minority, and there isn't a lot of official support - which I find odd, because when you consider what many gamer spend on peripherals to enhance the experience and that monitors continue to get cheaper...I dunno, you'd think there would be more interest.

 

Even though I didn't get what I wanted at first, I did get a setup finally, and it's pretty amazing if you ignore the few drawbacks.

 

Nvidia's 'surround spanning' does support 3 monitors, and you can run SLI with it, too.  But they MUST be the same resolution, orientation, refresh rate and synch polarity.  That means:

 

- No mixing DVI and analog VGA monitors (I found out because I use a VGA KVM on my primary monitor to switch over to my server box without having another monitor, mouse and keyboard on my desk).

 

- No "PLP" .  As much as they should support it; as much as it is probably far more popular than any other arrangement, Surround only supports all monitors in the same orientation (typically, 3 monitors side by side in landscape orientation).  And, unfortunately this is where it starts to suck.  3 widescreen monitors in "LLL" setup is very wide; it's basically a 48:9 aspect ratio and a lot of games distort all to hell when the view is that wide.  *IF* you can get 3 older monitors that are 5:4 (*non*-widescreen), it makes a big difference.  This is where I wound up, with 3x19" 1280x1024 displays.  Problem is, I had to give up my nice, big 1080p 27" primary display *uggh*.

 

SoftTH I did actually manage to get working - sort of - and it works wonders, I'll tell you.  But there are limits.  I was trying to use 2x17" 5:4 monitors in portrait mode to flank my 27".  Problem is there's no common resolution between the 'short side' of a 1080 16:9 monitor and the 'long side' of a 1024 5:4 monitor.  They are physically very near the same size, which is why I hoped it would work...but it was wishful thinking; ignoring the math, unfortunately.  No matter how I tried it, I had dissimilar scaling on the two sides and the middle monitor, so that nothing ever lined up like it should *or* when I could get it to line up, part of a full-screen app (aka "game") was truncated or part of the desktop would show (windowed mode)...or it just wouldn't run at all...etc..*sigh*

 

Also, you cannot run in SLI when you use SoftTH.  In order for it to work, the monitors all have to be 'activated' as basically an extended Windows desktop.  With Nvidia at least, the only way to do this is disable SLI.  Yes, it will render all on one card, but then you're not running SLI (IOW defeats the purpose of having 2+ cards)

 

Near as I could tell, without spending days on it, the closest way to get it would be to buy a 30" and 20" monitors (2), which both have 1200 on the 'common side' in PLP.  Of course, this is ***waay*** outta my price range; I actually only did any of this because I got some monitors free and a great deal on SLI arrangement thanks to a fellow OFFer (you know who you are - thanks again!).  I definitely am not the sort who could afford this otherwise!

 

So I'm happy to say it works, to an extent.  It *IS* incredible, no doubt.  I'd like to see - as would many others - better vendor support, especially for dissimilar monitors and orientations.

 

I do not know yet if I'll go back to my single 27", or keep this 3x19" LLL setup, or...?

 

Thanks FenrisWlf, I appreciate the info and your help.

 

 

 

 

 

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