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AMD Multi-Display Tech Has Problems, Potential

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the emptying-my-bank-account-is-a-problem dept.

AMD 138

EconolineCrush writes "While AMD's Eyefinity multi-display gaming tech is undeniably impressive at first glance, digging deeper reveals key limitations. Some games work well, others not at all, and many are simply better suited to specific screen configurations. A three-way setup looks to be ideal from a compatibility perspective, and given current LCD prices, it's really not all that expensive. But would you take that over a single high-resolution display or a giant HDTV?"

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Hell Yes (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245434)

But would you take that over a single high-resolution display or a giant HDTV?"

If I'm sitting at my desk play, an HDTV at 1080p is going to look absolutely horrible. So is even a ridiculously expensive large format display. Even three low end 20 inch monitors will give a much higher resolution, and much, much higher DPI than I could get for the same amount of money spent on a single large display.

Gaps between monitors (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245488)

Even three low end 20 inch monitors will give a much higher resolution

With annoying gaps between the screens. Watch you not notice something because it's straddling a gap. But I bet you already realized this because you said three monitors, not two.

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245548)

As opposed to not noticing it because your ultra-high-resolution single screen setup didn't provide you with the field of view needed to even render that far into your peripheral vision?

Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245714)

You assume that a very widescreen setup gives you a wider vision. That the monitors on each side become sideviews. That is how flightsim setups work, but do games support this at all?

I don't think the gaps are that big a deal, cars have them and who cares about that?

Mostly I think this is a case of penis envy: "I can't afford a multi monitor setup, therefor it is stupid."

of course a single monitor that size would be better, but they just ain't available. You can buy three high quality 1980 monitors plus this video card for a 2500 monitor and then you still got only 30 inch. HDTV? Well sure, if you want to sit a mile off so you don't notice the low resolution.

I just wonder what the monitors are they use in newsrooms, I seen several setups with no gap at all, probably expensive but it proves the tech is out there. Ofcourse you can always buy that rounded dell monitor :P

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245936)

I don't think the gaps are that big a deal, cars have them and who cares about that?

In a car, the combined movement of your head and binocular vision allows you to see what's behind that gap at relatively short distance. That won't work on a display unless you have head-tracking.

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246100)

TrackIR Alot of sim fanatics use it and it works well.

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32249678)

The MOUSE is your head, the mouse tracks

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245954)

That is, primarily, what they are using to describe whether, or not, a game "supports" the ATI multi-monitor technology. Some games keep the field of vision and just increase the resolution (or worse, stretch the image if the monitors are set up in a non-standard aspect ratio). This makes the technology worthless. Of course, people with wide-screen monitors have been dealing with this problem for a while with games like Bioshock.

Personally, I think much of the dissing of this stuff is coming from people that have ever used it and/or don't understand how it works but think they do. A lot of people seem to think that the bezels will make more of an impact than they, apparently, really do.

As for the multi-monitor systems in news rooms and at Best Buy, they aren't really the same thing. That stuff has been around for a while. What makes this stuff different is the fact that, for the first time, all of the monitors are showing 3d accelerated images. In the past the hardware/drivers couldn't handle running in 3d accelerated mode over multiple monitors.

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (2, Interesting)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246692)

a 1995 Doom 1 edition supported multiple monitors (attached to multiple workstations). If one could use 3 PCs for a single player, if worked nicely and gave advantage of sideviews.

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32247388)

Sadly that feature was removed from the source before it's eventual release :(

I finally had enough computers to do it by then!

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

LoudNoiseElitist (1016584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32248076)

I run three monitors, and still think it's a stupid idea. The LCD borders would drive me absolutely insane. Is that penis envy?

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (1)

sheddd (592499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32248534)

"do games support this at all

Not a lot that I'm aware of (I know you could change fov with the quake series, and I bet most flight sims will let you, but I'm about to do a 3 monitor eyefinity setup for iRacing [slashdot.org] . It lets you adjust fov, and enter bezel width for your monitors so it can be nice... example [youtube.com]

Re:Of course, that assumes the setup changes that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32248596)

Oh Christ on a cracker. If you want to have the biggest penis then you need 3 projectors like I do, perfectly lined up so their is no gap; and a robot that gives you blowjobs. Like I got.

Re:Gaps between monitors (2, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245616)

The bezel gap makes me think this would be better suited for one main monitor and one monitor for menus/inventory/what-have-you, but I can't think of any games that would support something like that.

Having a dedicated map monitor would be amazing for so many games.

Re:Gaps between monitors (2, Informative)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245664)

Doesn't Supreme Commander let you do that?
I haven't seen it I'm just sure I heard it did.

Re:Gaps between monitors (3, Informative)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245796)

Yes, yes it does.

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246240)

It's one of the few games that actually make use of additional displays (even though multi monitor setups have become much more popular over the last couple of years).

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246260)

Doesn't Supreme Commander let you do that?

Supreme Commander makes pretty decent use of two monitors, but it's the only game I've found where it works.

On the other hand, I've been using multiple monitors for music production and video editing for a long time. Having the ability to multiple accelerated displays is a good thing. When doing music, for example, I have the DAW "track" view on one screen, the virtual "mixer" on another screen (controlled by one of several midi devices) and on the third screen, whichever virtual instrument I happen to be using (also controlled by a midi device). It's a huge time-saver. When I first started using DAWs, I remember using Logic Audio Platinum's many excellent shortcut keys to switch between views, but it still took me away from the task at hand, even briefly.

Now, if I could just learn to play the keyboard with my johnson...

Re:Gaps between monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32249246)

Does that count as a pianist?

Re:Gaps between monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32245762)

Games like X3 Terran Conflict would be great using multiple monitors.
Ship/Station list on one side monitor, sector map on another monitor
main screen for flight.

But then I'd prefer they added proper support for multi-core processors.
Quad cores would be ideal for background processing of OutOfSector stuff
for a few hundred sectors.

Wow does this with addons (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245870)

I've seen pics of pure game view on screen and
everything else- maps, bags, stats, chat on the side monitor...

Re:Gaps between monitors (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245938)

World in Conflict can put a map of second monitor.

There is some number of games which do allow changing their field of view, and work quite well...
http://www.matrox.com/graphics/surroundgaming/en/games/ [matrox.com]
http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/Essential_Games_List [widescreen...gforum.com]

Re:Gaps between monitors (3, Funny)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246372)

+1 funny mod needed for a matrox.com URL that contains the substring 'gaming'

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247818)

How come? Matrox is making a piece of equipment which allows for quite some time what AMD multi-display allows since recently. On all GFX cards, more or less.

Re:Gaps between monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32249146)

And that might be good if I wanted to play multi-display 2D games from 2 decades ago. "Matrox" + "3D" (read: all modern gaming) is a joke.

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32249282)

You just don't get it.

That is good since it's just a splitter for video signal; takes very widescreen video from one output of whatever powerful card (or cards - SLI, et al) you like (out of those which can output such resolution; simply mutliply typical horizontal by 3) and displays it on three monitors.
This new AMD multi-display tech is essentially the same thing, built into the card (but Matrox solution is vendor-agnostic and on the market for a few years already)

Also, Matrox wasn't a joke with 3D games from 1 decade ago.

Suprisingly not really a problem (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245818)

With annoying gaps between the screens. Watch you not notice something because it's straddling a gap.

I've been doing a multi-monitor setup for a while. In practice this isn't a problem. Usually you have different items you are working on on different screens. Now and then you'll stretch across multiple monitors but really most of the time I prefer 2-3 monitors over one huge one. Normally I have my email/IM/calendar on one monitor, my active work on a second window and a browser or documentation on the third if I have it. (usually I have 2). Works really well.

Re:Suprisingly not really a problem (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245904)

That's exactly how I used to use a 3 CRT setup back in the day. Code in the middle, debug on the left, reference material/email/chat/misc. on the right.

Re:Gaps between monitors (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245848)

How do you manage to drive a car with all their "screen bezels"?

Also, when the time comes, I guess it's only contacts for you. not glasses (how so many people can put up with them?)...not that you could even wear glasses after the amputation of your nose that you already performed, so it won't irritatingly obstruct the field of vision.

Re:Gaps between monitors (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245974)

Also, when the time comes, I guess it's only contacts for you. not glasses

With glasses, you can make the world move relative to the rim by moving your head, and your brain uses this to help filter out the rim. Do PC window managers have an analogous feature to nudge all windows?

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246074)

And the same is true with most common of apps that span several monitors - games; you head (camera) moves. Multimonitor with other apps usually works on the basis of "one window per monitor"/etc., so there's no issue as far as far as spanning & window managers are concerned.

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245992)

The same way you can drive your real car with blind spots. With tripple head your resolution is not stretched it's increased. So you still see everything the same on the center screen but you get more now with the side monitors. There are tricks to reduce the bezel such as lining up the monitors to hide the bezel of the sides. Also once in the game the bezels tend to be ignored. I forget they are there.

Re:Gaps between monitors (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246144)

Yup; I wonder if those saying "this can't work" even tried it...

One day I will set up three projectors, should be even more fun (and no bezels! ;) ). Maybe not that expensive, considering the periphery ones probably can do with worse parameters (resolution).

Re:Hell Yes (0)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245868)

The things you say don't make sense. 3 20" monitors will not give you "much higher resolution". At best, they'll give equal resolution. Assuming you buy 3 1920x1080 20" monitors and not 3 1680x1050 20" monitors. Because a 1080p monitor's resolution is 1920x1080.

As for looking "absolutely horrible", I suggest you try it before you bash it. I've been using a 37" 1920x1080 LCD as my primary monitor for years and it's freakin' awesome. Hooks up via DVI (with HDCP support). I sit back about 3' from the display and I love it. In fact, I can lean waaaaaay back in my chair and still read the text without the slightest bit of eye strain. And games look great.

3 of them would make an awesome life-size environment for a flight simulator.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246016)

As for looking "absolutely horrible", I suggest you try it before you bash it. I've been using a 37" 1920x1080 LCD as my primary monitor for years and it's freakin' awesome. Hooks up via DVI (with HDCP support). I sit back about 3' from the display and I love it. In fact, I can lean waaaaaay back in my chair and still read the text without the slightest bit of eye strain. And games look great.

Perhaps he rotates his screens to get 3240x1920.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246022)

3 1920x1080 monitors in a proper tripple head setup will net you a resolution of 5760x 1080 good luck getting that on a TV.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246202)

Psst. I'll let you in on a little secret. These TVs you speak of...They're LCD monotors! A 37" 1920x1080 "TV" works exactly the same as a 20" 1920x1080 "monitor". You can hook up as many "TVs" as you have display ports on your computer. Your video card(s) can't tell the difference. But don't tell anyone! It's [apparently] a secret.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

phillipsjk256 (1003466) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247806)

That is not true: I am using a "TV" for a monitor with a native resolution of ~1280x768 (16:10). However, the monitor/TV only reports support for 4:3 modes (such as 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024) and 16:9 modes (such as 720x400, 1280x720, 1360x765).

No 16:10 modes matching the native resolutions are reported: why would a TV need to support those? This is a problem for the latest Ubuntu release because they don't make it easy to "force" the 1280x768 mode.

I think color reproduction is not as good for TVs as well, but don't have data to back that up.

Re:Hell Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246856)

No, it will give you a resolution of 1920x1080 x 3 because 3 monitors do not form one continuously unbroken display. If I require a large or ultra-wide screen, I'll just get a nice projector or one of those expensive curved monitors. Putting multiple monitors together to form "one" larger screen is just fucking ghetto.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246270)

It makes perfect sense. Three 1920x1080 monitors (which are rather cheap nowadays) give you 6 megapixels. You can find single screens with around that amount of pixels...but they will be significantly more expensive, also "per pixel", than three cheap ones.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246580)

Apparently you didn't understand his claim. His claim was that a 20" monitor would provide greater resolution than a 1080p TV. The highest resolution 20" panel you'll find at Best Buy or NewEgg has a resolution of 1920x1080. Exactly the same as a 1080p TV. There also seems to be some confusion about the use of multiple TVs as monitors. They're exactly the same. If you can connect 3 20" 1920x1080 monitors to your computer, you can connect 3 37" (or 52" or 60") 1920x1080" monitors to your computer. Going with a larger display does not limit the number of displays that can be connected.

You're comparing apples to oranges when all you have are oranges.

Re:Hell Yes (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246620)

Apparently you didn't understand. He said:

Even three low end 20 inch monitors will give a much higher resolution, and much, much higher DPI than I could get for the same amount of money spent on a single large display.

(emphasis mine)

Re:Hell Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32247260)

In addition to sznupi's comment, the GP also mentioned the Dots Per Inch are higher on a 20" monitor than on your 37" HDTV. DPI, remember, pixels per inch, looks nicer on a 20" than on a 37" (the dots are almost twice as large on your hideous 37 inch TVs!)
and thats even ignoring the fact that 3 37" TV's would be more expensive than even 3 24" or 27" PC monitors. (and all of those have better DPI than your 37" HDTV)
So when you start telling people to "read his comment more carefully" perhaps you should take your own advice.

I just realised the new Dell 27" monitors are higher resolution than 1920x1080, and I think are cost-comparable to 32 or 37 inch TV's (with much much worse resolution.) Just checked, 27" dell 2560 x 1440. 3 of those for cheaper than 3 37" HDTV's you get both better resolution, better DPI, and *atleast* cost comparable, (probably cheaper!)
 

Re:Hell Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246042)

obviously you've never owned a 30" lcd, 2560x1600 is a wonderful resolution. I've got one of those screens. It blows away anything you can buy in multi monitor.

Re:Hell Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246210)

It's about the same as 2400x1920 (2 24" in portait) for desktop-ish work (i.e. anything but games and sims), although the split dead-center in your viewscreen is bad for those. It's soundly trounced for _most_ things by 3600x1920 (3 24"), although there's some stuff where the bezel-gaps are still more trouble than they're worth.

The ideal setup, IMO, although too expensive for me just now, is 3 1080p projectors carefully aligned for 3240x1920. Reducing the gap to a mere seam (I'm not delusional -- I know it'll still be visible) should remove the remaining issues.

Effective resolution (2, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246268)

obviously you've never owned a 30" lcd, 2560x1600 is a wonderful resolution. I've got one of those screens. It blows away anything you can buy in multi monitor.

A 3 monitor setup with 1920x1200 displays gives an effective resolution of 5760x1200. That's roughly 50% more pixels than your 30" 2560x1600 display. Nothing wrong with a huge monitor but it's not better for every purpose. Personally I find a multiple monitor setup more useful for the way I work. YMMV.

Re:Hell Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246434)

Haha... except multiple 30" monitors!

Though I use a 2560x1600 center with two 20in 1600x1200 (in portrait mode) on the sides. This is the best "value" in my situation -- maximum primary monitor, with side monitors for email / reference without a huge cost or taking up too much desk space. Any wider would have too much neck strain looking left/right.

1080P? (3, Funny)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246252)

And Here I was thinking 1080 lines of vertical resolution should be enough for anybody.

Re:Hell Yes (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32249024)

Please define "HDTV."

I sit before a 24" Asus 1080p "HDTV" (it does have a proper HDMI input, after all, though it's geared toward being a computer monitor). It looks fine.

I also sit before a ~20" 1600x1200 IPS-paneled LCD from NEC, which has a little bit higher DPI, and fantastic viewing angle.

Meanwhile, my 5-year-old Dell laptop has a 15.4" 1920x1200 display. In terms of DPI, it's a dream.

However, I'm not about to take the 52" Samsung 1080p LCD from my living room and put it on my desk, though I do use it from time to time for various things ranging from gaming to troubleshooting dead Windows boxes from the couch about 8 feet away.

Size matters. Resolution matters. Distance matters.

"HDTV" doesn't matter.

(+5? The mods don't seem to have brains today...)

This place is like... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245456)

the hot tub time machine minus the hot tub. If you want to know what news was current months in the past come visit slashdot

One giant display? how about three. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32245470)

Three HD projectors; One for each 8' by 15' wall. Desk with keyboard and mouse in the center. The optional garbage bag for motion sickness.

no single solution is best either... (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245530)

a single giant HDTV serves well for many cases... a single super high res monitor paired with 1+ lower res monitors serves well for many cases... a single super high res monitor paired with an HDTV or projector serves well for many cases... 2+ equal res monitors serve well for many cases. no single solution is always the best solution.

so i have one room set up with a windows pc with an ATI video card with 3 high res monitors, one of them cloned using a powered vga splitter into a 1080p projector. then in the living room, i have HDTV hooked up to a mac mini that i use with a macbook utilizing teleport.

Hell yeah! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32245554)

The problem with a big TV is only 1920x1080 max, and pixels the size of my fingernail. (There's a recent "obligatory" xkcd about this, I'll let some karmawhore who cares dig up the link...)

The problem with single high-resolution displays is that, while they keep the pixel density sane, they stop at only 30" (without going insanely expensive) and 2560x1600. Even these are way pricier than the same number of pixels in two or three smaller monitors.

Multiple monitors (30" if you can afford them, more likely 21-24") get loads of pixels, big display, and useful density. Who wouldn't want?

FWIW, though, this is nothing new -- nvidia has been offering multiscreen openGL forever. But it doesn't work with either generic X setup (XRANDR or multi-screen); you have to use their custom extension that does exactly what XRANDR1.2 does. Let's hope this _isn't_ like that.

Me! Me! (1, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245694)

Re:Me! Me! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245780)

Sadly this is the new norm, because HDTV sized displays are the new in thing, that seems to be about where companies have stopped packing pixels.

My 17" dell laptop is running at 1920x1200, and it's about perfect as far as DPI goes. The 21" monitor next to it only does 1680x1050. I've seen LCDs as large as 24" that only do 1920x1200. Come on, have all the manufacturers just given up at "1080P"?

Re:Me! Me! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245894)

Well, there's some hope [wikipedia.org] . Not for quite a few years, though...

Re:Me! Me! (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246060)

What's worse, they take all those pixels and waste them on 20 pixel wide window borders and giant glossy buttons. I'm fine with accommodating the visually impaired, but I usually want more resolution so I can fit more *useful information* on a screen. I'm glad I switched to linux a long time ago, else I'd be a very sad person these days without at least some level of control on my GUI.

Anyone tried to change the system/menu font size on a mac yet?

Whatever (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245580)

It doesn't matter if the games work or not. Multiple display setups look retarded.
Massive bezel makes them incredibly annoying if not flat out unusable.

Re:Whatever (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246072)

You obviously have not played a racing simulator in tripple screen. There are tricks to reducing bezel size and multiple monitor vendors are reducing bezel size as they are cathing on to tripple head. The bezels tend to not be noticable with you are immersed in a game. Some guys who are hard core just remove the monitor casing to get them even thinner.

Missing from the summary... (4, Interesting)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245604)

What's not mentioned in the summary is that, if the game properly supports it, the screens on the right and left of your setup get tilted inwards a little and your field of view is increased by 3X (assuming a 3 display setup). This means that you get all the view you would normally get on the central screen and a massive amount of the peripheral vision that we all enjoy in real life by never get in gaming. Is there a gap from the screen bezels? Sure, but you barely notice it because you don't focus on the left and right wings. You just focus on the central display and use the other two to detect motion you wouldn't have otherwise seen (such as the enemy approaching you from your left).

Re:Missing from the summary... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245766)

That also means the periphery monitors don't really have to be of the same "quality" as the main one; lowering costs even more (which only strenghtens that. in "price per pixel". it's cheaper to buy three average screens than one with a massive resolution)

Also, people don't seem to mind "screen bezels" much when wearing glasses or drivinf a car; heck, not many cut off their nose so it won't be obstructing their field of view...

Re:Missing from the summary... (1)

kasimbaba (1813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32248154)

heck, not many cut off their nose so it won't be obstructing their field of view..

Not many? Is there even one person who does that?

Re:Missing from the summary... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245790)

That's operating on the assumption of a first- or third-person POV (shooters, MMOs), where typically you re-orient your field of view so items of immediate interest are always front and center. This isn't necessarily true of an RTS; having to scroll the playfield around defeats a lot of the advantage of extra display real estate, compared to seamlessly viewing and mousing to more of the playfield for more clicks-per-second.

Re:Missing from the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246188)

No, for RTS you don't want a big screen, you want multiple screens that you can position individually.
One to keep track of you current main force, one to monitor your defences, one for the force your are trying to sneak around the enemys defences and one to track the forces the enemy is trying to sneak around your defences.

More screen = More resolution = Advantage. (1)

Zoson (300530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245632)

No matter how big your TV, it's almost a certainty that 3x low res monitors would have more visual real-estate. More pixels.

You see more, you literally get a larger field of view.

You have a significant advantage if your resolution is higher and the game supports enhanced FOV. No TV, no matter how good, or no display no matter how big, can show you more.

One HDTV screen is too tall (1)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245670)

If the one big screen was wider vs taller that would work. But most of them are too tall to keep docs and apps at a comfortable level. I would rather swivel around a little than look up and down very much.

3d helmet. (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245908)

two very small, fixed LCDs (OLEDs?) combined with eye tracking (camera?) and a system of small, light mirrors on voice coils. when you move your focus, the mirrors move so that you're still looking at the display .you could combine one high resolution display with multiple lower resolution displays for your peripheral vision, the mirrors could probably be engineered to eliminate the gaps. Are there any ~1" 1080p displays?

Linux users...screwed again (5, Informative)

Captain Damnit (105224) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245960)

According to ATI, support for Eyefinity on Linux will be enabled by a 'future Catalyst release'. Three releases of the Catalyst driver have come and gone since I got my Radeon in February, and they still have zero support for Eyefinity on Linux. Which is irritating as hell, because the famed YouTube demo of Eyefinity running a flight sim on 24 screens was a Linux box.

Some days, it really sucks to be a Linux zealot. This is one of them.

Re:Linux users...screwed again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246914)

That's why you don't buy hardware until after the drivers are written. Promises aren't worth much.

Re:Linux users...screwed again (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247534)

Have their Linux drivers improved yet since their announcements from a few years ago? I remember their drivers would be improved/better. From what I read and heard, NVIDIA is still better. Also, what is the status of their opensourced drivers?

Re:Linux users...screwed again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32247718)

ATI@OSS drivers: Using it right now, running good.
more info about supported features [x.org]

Re:Linux users...screwed again (4, Informative)

mtippett (110279) | more than 4 years ago | (#32248342)

Obligitory link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6Vf8R_gOec [youtube.com]

24 Displays done under Linux - on October last year. The drivers were carefully teased into that condition, and so the tech is on it's way.

Be aware that the RANDR/Xinerama maturity in Linux is weak, so it will take a few years for it to be able to handle >2 - note that it's take almost a decade to get reasonable 2-head support...

No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (2, Informative)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32245988)

I was excited for this (and still) for a digital signage setup, being that to drive 6 individual screens at native res from a PC source was a challenge without real expensive gear (like an NVidia QuadroPlex), so at $500 this would be a bargain for certain setups, but without DisplayPort the card can only drive 2 screens video DVI/HDMI, anything else you need active (not a dongle like for the MBP since the card only has 2 DACs) DisplayPort to DVI adapters, which run at $99 each and are in terribly short supply thanks to this card. So if you want to use 6 screens without DisplayPort tack on another $400.

Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246114)

You + math == fail.

Why get excited about $400 more when you've dropped (at least) $1200 on monitors and $500 on a card? Fucking retarded.

Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (1)

Veritech_Ace (870333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246216)

Actually, you only need to shell out for one of the $100 adapters if you're planning on using DVI to connect all of your monitors. You can connect 2x DVI and 1xVGA using a $25 passive adapter. VGA is sub-optimal, I know, but that's what I did. I can keep the remaining $75 and put it toward another 5850 card, which will solve the DVI problem and give me CrossFireX performance.

Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32249450)

No, active DP -> VGA converters are much cheaper than active DP -> DVI converters for some reason but passive adapters will do you no good.
 

Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247246)

I recently bought a Radeon HD 5670 for $100. It has Eyefinity tech "with support for up to three displays". "Yeah, so what?" i was thing.. not exactly a new thing. Well, tricking the OS into thinking multiple displays are actually one? NEW! Glad for this ./ article.

PS, card made by XFX and purchased through TigerDirect. Great so far but had a TERRIBLE driver issue with crashing, had to roll back to an older driver.

Re:No Displayport == No luck (sortoff) (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32249640)

Well, tricking the OS into thinking multiple displays are actually one? NEW!

Old, actually. The Matrox TripleHead2Go has been out since... 2007, I believe?

But now it's integrated into affordable videocards, so that's something.

As an Eyefinity card owner... (2, Interesting)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246080)

Let me be the first to say it is absolutely worth it.

Having 3 x 22" 1680x1050 Dell monitors side by side playing Hawx or WoW or any other game is absolutely stunning.
The Catalyst interface is a bit quirky (profiles do not remember relative screen position so you have to specify each time you change profiles) but once you have it setup and get into a game, choose your insane 5040 x 1050 resolution, you will be blown away.

Bezel gap is not as much of a problem as you might think. Your brain kinda just adjusts and ignores the gap.

Neat idea but not that useful (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246096)

There are three major problems you face:

1) Whatever amount you were willing to spend on a monitor, you must now spend 3 times that. It requires 3 monitors of the same resolution, and to look good they need to be the same 3 monitors. That means your budget has to triple. So the argument of "Well there are cheap monitors," doesn't hold weight. If you were happy with a cheap monitor, you probably didn't want to spend much anyhow and now you need to spend as much as a more expensive monitor. If you like higher quality monitors, guess what now you have to spend a bunch. Also, due to the extreme angles involved, IPS monitors like the Dell U2410 work much better than the cheaper TNs. Fine, but that is $1500 or more for a setup.

2) Your graphics card now has to push three times the pixels. These days, you discover that at 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 you don't need to break the bank to get good performance. A mid range graphics card should do fine even with the detail turned up and a high end one, like a 5870, for great. Well when you up that to 5760x1200, that's not the case. You need a lot more power, which of course means either more money spent, or lower quality settings.

3) Desk space. 3 monitors takes up a lot of room. It can be a non-trivial challenge to fit them on a desk.

So it's a cool idea, but just not that workable for most people. While some enthusiasts will mess with it, I don't think it is realistic to assume it'll become anything of any real amount of interest for normal gamers. After all, the big argument is that it is more immerse since you get more peripheral vision used. Fair enough, but surround sound is also far more immerse and you frequently see even the people who play with this using cheap stereo speakers.

Re:Neat idea but not that useful (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246482)

The guys spending the cash for a 5800 series + are the same who will spend the same on 3 monitors. The hardware industry is driven by the enthusiast already. Is the mainstream who gets our scraps.

Re:Neat idea but not that useful (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246584)

No not really. I have a 5870 and quite like it, but I'm not buying 3 monitors. Desk space is part of it but money is most of it. I like good monitors, and I'll pay for one. $1000 was not to much to spend on a monitor, same as I spent on my HDTV. I am not going to spend $3000 on monitors though, that is out of my budget. I am also not willing to step down to inferior monitors. Then of course there's the performance issue. I like my games to look good and run smooth. My 5870 can do that with my single display, it could not with 3.

So, I stay with 1 monitor.

Re:Neat idea but not that useful (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32250132)

Dude you really need a 5970 minimum for decent triple monitor and even then you're talking mid range frame rates with some games ;)

WIth attendant PSU, maybe new case due to size.... etc. new desk? monitor stands? etc.

My mate has a 3x24 inch setup with a 5970 and it is... expensive. AND his FPS is pathetic compared to say 5850 @ 1920x1080.

But fudge, it is frickin awesome

what's the point (1)

orthicviper (1800010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246104)

I'd be happier with a high-resolution head-mounted display with head-tracking capability. With that I can look up or down and it'd be as if I had displays completely surrounding me. It'd also be a lot more immersive. So for anyone with the money to spare, when HMD's with their stereoscopic 3d capability get high-resolution, what's the point of this for gamers?

Re:what's the point (1)

xxuserxx (1341131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246502)

TrackiR That tech is yesterdays news... Oh and with tripple head its even better!

Re:what's the point (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246830)

High-resolution head-mounted displays with large field of view(for peripheral vision) will set you back atleast $5k or more. As they have individual feeds to each eye you get 3D functionality included at that price.
If you are interested go look up Sensics.

I would go multiple screens (1)

whitefox (16740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246128)

Most of the activities I perform work better with multiple screens simply because I can have applications maximized on separate screens. Whether it be surfing the web, working with spreadsheets, or debugging applications.

As for gaming, a single, large screen would be fun. Add in left & right screens and it's even better.

HDTV with more than 1920x1080p ? (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246180)

But would you take that over a single high-resolution display or a giant HDTV?

Yes, but point us to a mainstream HDTV which has indeed a triple resolution?

Most screens seem to be stuck at 1920x1080 [slashdot.org] (ob xkcd [xkcd.com] ).
As the LCD Panel stagnates, an obvious work-around is to glue several of them together. Ergo EyeFinity.

Re:HDTV with more than 1920x1080p ? (1)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | more than 4 years ago | (#32249478)

I never understood that comic. You couldn't get that high of resolution content outside of owning a 35mm print until we had high definition distribution mechanisms like blu-ray. Why shouldn't that be exciting?

Large displays used to be many times the overall size and cost, why shouldn't that be impressive?

I own a Dell U2711 but we still watch movies around the house on my roommate's Epson 8500UB. Resolution isn't the only factor in what makes a good watching experience.

When will we get actual high-res displays instead? (4, Interesting)

otuz (85014) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246222)

An actual high res monitor would be better than any of these supposedly "HD" screens kludged together using expensive GPU's.

I do have a 22.2" 3840x2400 IPS display (ViewSonic VP2290b), it's from 2003. It's driven by two DVI ports of a regular GeForce 8800GT in my Mac Pro. Additionally, I have two low-res (1920x1200) 24" screens connected to another GPU for video and games.

IBM sold their monitor factory to Sony around the same time they sold their ThinkPad business to Lenovo in 2005.

Since then, the meaning of "HD" has been just 1920x1080, just 22.5% of the resolution these 3840x2400 displays have.

Here's a wikipedia article about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors [wikipedia.org]

One huge screen (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246248)

Huge screen with huge resolution is probably the way I'd prefer and the technology is there, but for some reason ever since HDTV the resolutions themselves have been going backwards. And yes, of course there is an xkcd on the subject: http://xkcd.com/732/ [xkcd.com]

Minor editing nitpick: Does it have problems AND potential, problems OR potential, problems WITH potential or potential problems? I suspect it has problems BUT potential; this would be so more clear and less lazy than a comma ;)

Re:One huge screen (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246378)

Oh dear I made a right mess of that last sentence without using Preview. Serves me right for acting like a grammar nazi that it should, as per usual, backfire!

So as not to stray off topic, to add to my previous points, there are some very impressive and incredibly immersive looking setups there. The problem I have with it is they put the "window" into Windows. All those frames look terribly distracting. What's to stop any of that being manufactured in a single screen without much more expense than buying them separately? Apart from the issues of getting it through the door unscathed...

Re:Three huge screens (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247230)

Why decide based on either/or? Go for "and": 3 screens, all huge!!!

As far as bezels go, it shouldn't be much more distracting than the A-pillars of your car.
If you want to eliminate them, you can set up projectors and align them.

57.2" is almost too wide (1)

JimDarley (942005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32246648)

One of my biggest bugbears with Eyefinity is the inability to switch easily between multiple desktops and the giant Eyefinity desktop... I bought my 3x 2209WAs to use a landscape multiple desktop solution whilst studying my MS certification (one display for 2003/2008 Server, one for XP/Vista/W7, one for e-book/web/onenote), for honing my Java skills and having a whopping display area for playing HL2/Crysis/any other app I can get working Unfortunately ATi's drivers aren't suitable for easy switching between multiple desktops and an Eyefinity setup and require some man-handling to switch between the two modes. Application support is extremely hit and miss, with some apps supporting it fully, some having small bugs, and some being completely unusable. Perhaps the worst failure is when Eyefinity fails in it's capacity completely and the same display is replicated across all 3 monitors. It is truly immersive when it works, and although the end monitors distort the image it's generally not noticeable, especially on the periphery of your vision. Just need to get used to looking left and right to find my Start button and my system tray icons now!

Nothing new to the WSGF community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32246906)

These sorts of things have been part of the multi-monitor gaming experience for a lot longer then ATI's eyefinity method. For anyone who's got genuine questions/interest in it you can find *all* the answers and tonnes of info at the Wide Screen Gaming Forum: http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

It is the best resource out there for all your multi-monitor and wide screen gaming needs and where many of the work-arounds and solutions to getting games to work on either are born.

Frame Sync (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32247008)

The biggest problem I see with these cards is that they do not support frame sync between displays. At work, we run two 4K projectors behind a 15' piece of glass. There are workstation variations on this card coming out that support frame sync, but they're not available yet. With the bezel on normal monitors it's not an issue but if you want to do anything exotic, you'll have to wait, unfortunately.

POV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32247380)

The real issue of this is not few new monitors vs new huge hdtv its lots of SPARE ALREADY BOUGHT AND SITTING AROUND monitors vs new expensive huge hdtv. a non rich with some luck, can surely get several used lcd displays ( iwould). a poor guy wont deffinitly buy or get (steal?) an 30" hdtv. OFC this may* potentially* have impact on the hdtv display market(dont think so, as the poor guy wont buy one of those anyhow, its more a matter of status?). maybe the buzz is about that.

Didn't RTFA but - requires support from games (2, Interesting)

frist (1441971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32248304)

Here's the thing that all these multimonitor solutions (including matrox's triple head to go, etc.) Most games are written with one eyepoint. For dual head or triple head to work properly, you have to have multiple eyepoints. Each monitor is like a window into the virtual world. If you're wanting to get a straight ahead view and two side views, say at 45 degrees, you need 3 eyepoints, one looking straight ahead, one looking 45 deg to the left, one 45 deg to the right. Games don't do that. They think they're rendering to 1 display, one eyepoint. Then these multi-display solutions take that one image and spread it accross multiple monitors. That's why it never looks right. People have found good uses for the extra monitor space, say in a flight sim dragging your instrument panels to the other monitors, or in WoW using a viewport mod and putting all your addons on the other monitors, etc. It's nice that there are now 3 and 6 channel cards from ATI. Just need games to support them properly. But until games support multiple eyepoints it won't be working like what we want. Supreme Commander 1 does support 2 independent eyepoints in 2 monitor full screen mode, but it's an RTS.

Alienware tried to do it the right way .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32249384)

....two years ago with the unit they demoed at CES '08. The prototype was a rear projection DLP curved job that sported 2880x900 resolution.....Interesting concept, and no bezel issues, but I don't think the unit ever panned out as the they're only listing two Alienware badged on their website: the OptX AW2310 23" and AW2210 21.5" unit.

As a hard-core gamer that had SLI since its inception, I'd love (hint: and pay for) something that doesn't have immersion issues like the bezel breaks which can not only be a nuisance, but breaks the gear info panels in games like Borderlands.

The bottom line is there really is no panacea in large display area gaming yet. When the manufacturers create bezel-less monitors that have no gap and a majority of the games you would play can work with it (rather then a very small minority of them) then this will take off. Until then, I'll stick with SLI and a single large display.

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