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Budget Triple-Screen Gaming

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the waiting-for-eleven dept.

Displays 133

An anonymous reader writes "A system-builder, Dario D., built a triple screen gaming PC in early 2010 that can still run all of the top games. For under $1,000. See link, and he points out you can do even better with a 2011 build."

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133 comments

Really /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387646)

20" monitors? I'd rather get two 24" monitors at $150 each, which is pretty easy to find. Also, that hardware is garbage and will probably last two years at the most. Basically what I'm trying to say is that anyone who can google for five minutes can find a better deal than this.

Re:Really /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387652)

2 monitors for gaming? Enjoy the monitor edges along the middle of your field of view.

Re:Really /.? (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387728)

Have fun using your crosshairs to aim on a TWO screen monitor. Or driving down a race track. Or swinging at a fastball. Or playing any other game that requires you to be able to look straight ahead.

Re:Really /.? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388366)

I have to agree, especially when he is using an HP bottom o' the line dual box. A MUCH better deal would be start with something like this Asus Quad [tigerdirect.com], which with an OEM Win 7 HP X64 will only set you back $400. Add this Radeon 6850 for eyefinity [tigerdirect.com] and then final out with the three monitors of your choice. Personally I'd prefer a single big ass monitor over triple with the lines dividing, but whatever floats your boat.

But all told you could get out at right around $1000 and have a much better machine than that junker HP, and have more upgrade options down the road to boot. I can also vouch that that particular machine plays games nicely as I just built one for a customer to plug into his new 32 inch 1080p TV, and with an HD4830 it plays L4D I&II, Bioshock I&II and Just Cause II quite nicely with lots o' purty. He just had me add a wireless keyboard and mouse and he was good to go. Also kicks ass on Netflix and an AV center. The case isn't exactly subtle, but then again he isn't either so having the light up bling bling made him quite happy, and in the end that's what counts.

Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (4, Informative)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387668)

news at 11 right here.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (5, Interesting)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387702)

Actually, it's "Man buys a three cheap monitors and a crappy Compaq, adds a midrange graphics card to it, makes a forum post calling it a gaming beast". The thread on [H]ardForum is actually fun to read for the bashing he gets.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387830)

Ya I like how he quotes his amazing system is quoted for running games single monitor. Ummm if you have to run them single monitor to keep them playable (and you do with that mid-low range card) then how is it a 3 monitor gaming machine? Having 3 monitors doesn't make it so. That just means it is a machine with 3 monitors. It isn't a triple monitor gaming machine unless you use those three for games.

Even then he's clearly lying about some things. He says it runs Bad Company 2 well. Ummmm.... No. BC2 hits a system hard. It runs well on my quad core desktop with a 5870. It runs ok on my dual core laptop with a 5850M, which is about the same as a 5750-5770 desktop card. So here you have a system with a graphics card with half the shaders as my laptop and a lower clock speed, as well as a much slower CPU, and you say it going to do well in BC2? Not so much. It is just a very hungry game.

My only guess is he feels the need to try and validate his cheap PC as being "Awesome". No, sorry dude, it isn't. It's a cheap PC. That's fine, not everyone wants an expensive PC, but don't play make believe.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387868)

It's like those tricked out Hyundais you see here in Latin America. Dude, for all the neon lights, alloy wheels and fancy stereo and upholstery, it's still a fucking Hyundai!

yet (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388060)

those fucking hyundais have a reputation for refusing to break down, requiring minimum maintenance, sniffing out gas, and going on and on for decades.

where i live, even a decade old models of those hyundais still go for prices close to first hand prices in the market. despite we practically have all the car brands that are produced in europe, and some of the ones from usa. (actually some of the european/japanese/korean brands are produced here and exported).

dont look down a hyundai. people here selling a hyundai, only to buy another.

Re:yet (1)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388230)

I don't think he was paying out the engineering quality of the Hyundais, mechanically they are good cars. I think he was saying "you can't polish a turd".

Re:yet (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388248)

i fail to see the 'turd' in that idiom, in the image of hyundai. if, what differentiates a car from 'turd' is differently shaped outer steel chassis, and a bigger volume engine, that would speak about not the qualities of the car, but qualities of the person who held those views.

Re:yet (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388420)

i fail to see the 'turd' in that idiom, in the image of hyundai.

Because these jokers are trying to turn the Hyundai into a sports car, when a REAL sports car has the handling to run rings around them, and to still be controllable at levels of power at which the Hyundai would be unmanageable.

Re:yet (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389090)

so then looks make a sports car ? or the engine ? or, tires ? what if i replace the engine, and tires ? in the end, they are a fucking engine, and 4 tires.

Re:yet (1)

egranlund (1827406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391018)

The engine power, the handling. A hyundai is an appliance car. Good for getting you between point A and B and not bitching along the way. Kind of like a camry. A sports car is one that has traded durability for pure speed, power, and looks. Not to mention they are a lot more expensive. If you buy all these obnoxious exhausts, fancy wheels, etc to make it _look_ like a car that is way more powerful and way more expensive then you are a tool.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388150)

I didn't read the whole thread. But since you said that he brought up BC2, yes, the game hits the system hard. I run a 5850 and my setup is a Core2 Q9450 clocked at 3.2GHz w/ 8GB of RAM. On single-screen, it runs the game butter smooth with all the settings max'd, sans for HBAO (additional lighting effects). But turn it up to 3 monitors, and it works the card very hard. Previously, before having to tweak the game down for stability reason, I can get around 40-45fps in 5040x1050 resolution (that's 3x1680x1050). Many of the visuals were tuned to medium and maybe one or two being set to low. (It's been a while so my memory's off.) If my card and CPU can only muster that much in 3 screen, then I am finding it difficult to believe he can do that with his 5670 video card. The monitors the guy got has a native resolution of 1600x900, giving him a total screen estate of 4800x900. Total number of pixels that card has to push for a single frame is 4.320.000 and that is slightly more pixels than a single 30 inch monitor at native resolution contain -- 4.096.000. Performance has to be sub-par even if he has the fastest CPU money can buy.

The 5670 card has a 128-bit memory bus interface with memory configurations of 512MB or 1GB. Even though the memory used is GDDR5, that isn't enough to satisfy the amount of information that is going to go in and out of the card's RAM for a game like Bad Company 2. Turn on other things like anisotropic filtering or anti-aliasing and the performance goes down even more. Forget 3 screens for gaming. Even at single monitor resolution (1600x900), framerate should not be at acceptable level for that resolution.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388552)

In BC2, do you notice performace degrade in the game with your desktop? I have a C2D 6400 2.13ghz with a 8800 GTS 512 and 2GB RAM. Not good enough to run the game at max settings in multiplayer. Well they are actually for single player, but movement isn't buttery smooth enough for MP, and with a FPS, you need smooth movement in multiplayer. So I play everything on lowest settings. Good again for MP because then you can see everything. I find that lighting and effects get in your way of seeing your opponent.

But anyway, if you played at low settings, do you still get performance issues or lag graphics-wise* in MP? I'm considering a new build because I'm wondering if it's my CPU that is not keeping up (because I'm running it at all low settings). It's my theory because BC2 has such vast maps and a ton of simultaneous players. And as every FPS MP gamer knows, you need as much latency reduced, from the network to the mouse to the graphics performance as necessary.

* It's not my connection. Playing on a console isn't a problem. And I play on a wired ethernet connection and even disconnect my router, so network performance is pristine.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#35390352)

a 5670? Damn that's what I've got and I can tell you it don't play BC2 at all. Totally unusable because the card only has 512 megs. Yes there are a few with 1GB but that doesn't help since the simple doesn't have enough bandwidt - it's a 128connection. If it was a 256bit connection, then it might, might be usable but I don't know of anyone who makes one with a 256 bus.

Hilarious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388246)

a gamer saying someone else shouldn't "play make believe"

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388286)

BC2 Vietnam runs fine on my 9600 gt and c2d 2.13ghz.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388538)

I'm glad someone brought this up. In BC2, do you notice performace degrade in the game with your desktop? I have a C2D 6400 2.13ghz with a 8800 GTS 512 and 2GB RAM. Not good enough to run the game at max settings in multiplayer. Well they are actually for single player, but movement isn't buttery smooth enough for MP, and with a FPS, you need smooth movement in multiplayer. So I play everything on lowest settings. Good again for MP because then you can see everything. I find that lighting and effects get in your way of seeing your opponent.

But anyway, if you played at low settings, do you still get performance issues or lag graphics-wise* in MP? I'm considering a new build because I'm wondering if it's my CPU that is not keeping up (because I'm running it at all low settings). It's my theory because BC2 has such vast maps and a ton of simultaneous players. And as every FPS MP gamer knows, you need as much latency reduced, from the network to the mouse to the graphics performance as necessary.

* It's not my connection. Playing on a console isn't a problem. And I play on a wired ethernet connection and even disconnect my router, so network performance is pristine.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (2)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387838)

Yeah, hate to say it but i'm with you on this

just because it has 3 monitors doesn't mean it's a gaming beast

I don't think it'll get 40 fps+ on some of the newer games, Heck I don't think it could handle (world of) Warcraft or Starcraft II on max settings over 40 FPS without some massive, massive tweaks to the OS

And no AA? Only on one screen? ....

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387858)

If his rig is a "beast", I wonder what my 5 monitor 3 graphic card 8 core water cooled 4GHz system would be called... Yeah ok I paid more than $1000, but not much more - maybe double.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387912)

looks like the common current here is nobody fucking cares about how much you overpaid on your video game machine either

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387922)

You cared enough to post. U mad?

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387930)

I care enough to call you an idiot.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387958)

And do you feel better, now?

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388106)

Yes, made you waste a few second making that post.

Time is money?

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387968)

I wonder what my 5 monitor 3 graphic card 8 core water cooled 4GHz system would be called...

It's clearly called "You have too much money and need to donate GayGirlie some of it!"

Some would also argue that it's the "Porsche-syndrome"; trying to make up for lack of... err.."hardware" with another kind of hardware..

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388258)

Some would also argue that it's the "Porsche-syndrome"; trying to make up for lack of... err.."hardware" with another kind of hardware..

Only if they were formulaic psychology students in a 90s movie.

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387994)

Heh, yeah. I chuckled when I read TFA calling it a /graphics PC. When shopping I'm looking at $1000 per monitor :S

Re:Man buys PC from Compaq on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35389342)

Actually, it's "Man buys a three cheap monitors and a crappy Compaq, adds a midrange graphics card to it, makes a forum post calling it a gaming beast". The thread on [H]ardForum is actually fun to read for the bashing he gets.

So i spose you would go and buy a load of Sony crap be conned and ripped of and call it a good machine TWAT .

Nothing to see (1)

larppaxyz (1333319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387672)

Anyone can connect three monitors to a PC. I was expecting three projectors or something else like that. I remember that even with Windows 98 i could run game on second display and still have my Windows desktop running on the other.

Top games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387674)

that can still run all of the top games

with Crysis a little slower, around 30fps at medium settings

Crysis is over 3 years old; seems like his definition of top game differs wildly from mine. And 30fps is rather bad.

This makes the following also suspect.

(most other games run at an average of 60-90fps at max settings/resolution (one screen tested only, no AA)

Most other also-not-top games? Besides, playing without any AA at all is horrific, and imo a useless measure.

Re:Top games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387762)

Depending on the monitor setup (I didn't read TFA; it's probably wide-FoV so ignore this post) the resolution will be so high that AA will make no visible difference.

Re:Top games (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388068)

the 3 year old crysis still forces computers to its limits. it all depends on what you set for resolution, aliasing and various other graphic detail levels. (its even possible to run crysis in dx10 mode in non vista/7 machines with a hack).

Re:Top games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388112)

Besides, playing without any AA at all is horrific, and imo a useless measure.

I disagree. AA is a very minor perk. Framerate is king, though. If I can't get a perfect framerate, AA is the first thing to go.

$1000? Overpaid for all that gloss... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387694)

Seriously, I'd pay twice that just to get rid of the fingerprint magnets.

The responses in his thread pretty much hit my point of view: If I had $1000 to blow on a gaming setup in 2010, I sure as hell wouldn't have brought 3 cheap-ass POS monitors, an off-the-rack Compaq and what look like the crappiest speakers money can buy...

If I was planning on spending just a grand on a gaming PC, it'd be a single $200 monitor setup with a $300 video card, $200 processor and $300 for the rest (Mobo, RAM, maybe a system drive if I'm not allowed to use one of the many drives I have lying around here)... seems I'd get much better performance.

Not only that (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387802)

But it turns out triple monitor gaming hits the video card pretty damn hard. All those extra pixels and polygons seriously strain the GPU. So whatever a given GPU can do on a single monitor of a size, it is doing a good bit less on 3 monitors. What that means is you are going to lower your visual quality settings or lower your FPS.

A 5670? No thanks, that is not at all what you want for 3 monitors. You discover a fairly heavy hitting card is called for, maybe more than one card. A 6970 isn't too much for that kind of setup.

A mid-range card works pretty nice for a single, not-too-high rez monitor. It does not work nearly so well for 3 of them. Consider that a 1600x900 display is 1.44million pixels. That means 3 of them is 4.32million pixels. That is more than a 2560x1600 screen (4.1million). You really think a low-mid range card is good for gaming on a 2560x1600 screen? No? Then why would it be good for something even larger?

Also notice all his quoted frame rates are "one monitor only." What that says to me is "This thing blows when all three are used for gaming." So it really isn't a triple monitor gaming setup, it is "A computer that has three monitors that can play games on one."

You can get a good computer for $1000. Lenovo just spec'd us a lab full of Core i5 3.2GHz systems with vPro 500GB drives and 22" monitors for about $900 a shot. However you are not getting a good system for driving 3 monitors in 3D games for that price.

As for the speakers, don't even get me started. I cannot believe the junk most people use. They'll spend $1500 on monitors (3 Dell U2410s are popular for triple gaming setups) and another $600 on video cards all in the name of a "more immersive" gaming experience and then buy $30 crap speakers to play on. I don't know what it is. Same thing as people who drop $3000 on a premium high end bigscreen LED/LCD-TV, $400 on a high class Blu-ray player, $100 on useless Monster HDMI cables, then listen on the cheap included speakers.

Re:Not only that (5, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387908)

As for the speakers, don't even get me started. I cannot believe the junk most people use. They'll spend $1500 on monitors (3 Dell U2410s are popular for triple gaming setups) and another $600 on video cards all in the name of a "more immersive" gaming experience and then buy $30 crap speakers to play on. I don't know what it is. Same thing as people who drop $3000 on a premium high end bigscreen LED/LCD-TV, $400 on a high class Blu-ray player, $100 on useless Monster HDMI cables, then listen on the cheap included speakers.

Some people simply cannot hear the difference or they can only hear some of it and as such it doesn't sound to them different enough to warrant better speakers. Then there are also those who simply are more visual and don't care that much about audio clues.

I personally would seriously hate such little crapboxes, but it's not my place to start complaining about other people's preferences in such things. I'll keep on enjoying my eight 4-way 200W RMS speakers+sub-woofer setup with surround system in the meantime ;) My neighbours don't really love me, but oh well.

No, they can (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389806)

I've never met or heard of anyone who could hear with a hearing condition such that they can't hear the difference between cheap, extremely frequency limited speakers and better ones, or who can't localize audio behind them and so on.. They can hear the difference, they just get caught up in the screen for some reason.

I'm not saying everyone needs high end audio gear, or that everyone can hear subtle differences. However there are dramatic changes from really cheap speakers to normal consumer speakers.

Plus I've seen it myself many times. Someone will come over and hear games on my setup and say "Wow that sounds awesome," because they've been playing on tiny lil' cheap speakers.

Re:Not only that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35390356)

For gaming I beleive a $150 headset would suffice.

Re:Not only that (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388308)

As for the speakers, don't even get me started. I cannot believe the junk most people use. They'll spend $1500 on monitors (3 Dell U2410s are popular for triple gaming setups) and another $600 on video cards all in the name of a "more immersive" gaming experience and then buy $30 crap speakers to play on. I don't know what it is. Same thing as people who drop $3000 on a premium high end bigscreen LED/LCD-TV, $400 on a high class Blu-ray player, $100 on useless Monster HDMI cables, then listen on the cheap included speakers.

I won't try to claim that they're the best but as far as I know I have the loudest computer speakers in my town. [photobucket.com]

Re:Not only that (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388482)

But speakers are a pretty mature technology. You don't really get much for jumping to the higher priced models. If you keep the volume down, you can get pretty high fidelity from pretty inexpensive speakers, and it gets worse: higher priced models tend to be optimized for volume rather than fidelity.

For instance, a sibling post has described a speaker set up which would rapidly degrade ear performance if it was deployed for computer gaming and actually used at anything more than a small fraction of its quoted output...

Re:Not only that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35390328)

Because far more people can see the difference in quality than can hear it. I personally do not like to listen to anything loud. Music television and videogames are kept so low that a passing car drowns them out. I thus have no use for expensive audio hardware.

What i hate are snobs most of whom cannot hear the difference either but like to condescend to people about audio hardware. Get a life no one cares about your speakers.

Re:$1000? Overpaid for all that gloss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387866)

$300 is totally overkill for a video card unless it's specifically for multi-monitor use.

I'd sooner spend a third of that on a good mouse, though that monitor could use some extra love too.

Re:$1000? Overpaid for all that gloss... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387938)

I haven't bought a video card for a few years (been buying Thinkpads pretty much exclusively since my last gaming PC), but I'm assuming $300 is still mid-range...?

Hell, last time I bought a video card for gaming, I spent 500€ (brand new 7800GTX)... have prices come down so far?

Re:$1000? Overpaid for all that gloss... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388026)

A $100 card will generally play everything currently selling at a very respectable resolution and very high to max detail. The only exceptions are usually very, very poorly ported console games that require 3x the system specs they ought to, and even those will usually look at least as good as they did on the console.

I'd call $130-150 mid-range these days, $85-130 low-end (but still gaming cards, and not at all bad).

I suspect this is largely because the current consoles are so far behind PC hardware right now--they are several years old--and so many games are multi-platform. Even those that aren't often use a multi-platform engine. I'd expect the cheap cards to fall behind again when the next console gen comes out, but in the mean time $100-150 will play everything just fine, and anything over $200 is a waste of money (except maybe for actual multi-screen gaming)

Current Multi-Monitor Gaming is Complete Crap (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387706)

Multi-monitor gaming is pointless, and will remain pointless, until video cards can render separate views, or a single view with cylindrical or spherical projection. When people use three monitors, they arc them, in the hopes of increasing immersion. The actual, correct positioning with current technology is a straight line... and it still looks like garbage. Each additional monitor yields diminishing returns of increaswd viewing angle, when people naturally expect a linear increase in viewing angle.

Peop,e really need to stop pushong multi-monitor gaming until it stops being complete crap.

Re:Current Multi-Monitor Gaming is Complete Crap (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387736)

Peop,e really need to stop pushong multi-monitor gaming until it stops being complete crap.

Unless...you're a multi-monitor gamer playing multiple games. I'm sure there's some savant out there with a dual-everything--monitor, keyboard, mouse, the works--setup that he ambidextrously pwns noobs with on an hourly basis.

Re:Current Multi-Monitor Gaming is Complete Crap (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387782)

Multi-monitor gaming is pointless, and will remain pointless, until video cards can render separate views, or a single view with cylindrical or spherical projection

The cards are perfectly capable of rendering this, iff the game tells them to do so. That most game developers have not seen fit to include such options is hardly the card manufacturers' faults...

OTOH the fact that DirectX can only render to a single device at a time and my two monitors present as separate devices with no option to switch them to being a single device on the fly does appear to be partially NVidia's fault.

Re:Current Multi-Monitor Gaming is Complete Crap (1)

dow (7718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387884)

I attacked the problem from another angle. My single screen cost was around £1300 (~$2k) when I bought it a few years ago... probably cost around half that to buy one similar now. I have this 40 inch 1080p LCD on a desk I built myself so the screen is a better height. I turn the FOV up a little above standard in first person shooters, not terribly high but just what feels right to me. I am happy... I would like a few small screens to go around my main screen now though I think.

Lol, really? (1)

andreyvul (1176115) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387734)

Compaq? Really? It'd be cheaper to just get a simple case, a half-decent MB with OC abilities, etc. and build it yourself. Seriously, add a front case fan to a microtower and the 240 will pull 3.5 GHz (tested with mprime for 48h) without problems.
Of course, I scale the OC back to 3.35 when it's in server mode.

Also, gaming and cheap are contradictory. Unless your definition of gaming involves modded controllers and flashed Xbox 360s.
Guess which one has more FPS/$ ?

Re:Lol, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387780)

Flashing game consoles to enable piracy is not needed for gaming to be cheap. You just have to play used games or not the ones just released. You can get Assassin's Creed 2 Complete Edition for 10€ (new) in Finland. That's not a lot per hour of entertainment. In general older games are really cheap, cheaper actually than going to a movie theatre to see one film... alone. But I guess that depends on your definition of cheap. I mean, you can get books for free from a library (which I heartily recommend). But hey, from my local library you can also get xbox 360 games!

sweet i'm off to the fry's clearance racks (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387768)

well i'm off to fry's to build a "gaming beast" from a clearance compaq and some debadged hp refurb monitors

hey though don't doubt my building skillz i'll need to break the "warranty void if removed" sticker from my compaq to pop that bad boy open to install my mid range graphics card ...

Newest games at max settings? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387786)

The post states that it runs the newest games at the highest settings. I find that seriously hard to believe. Fire up, say, RIFT. Throw a quad core i7 at it with 12gb ram and a $600 ATI and on a 30" screen in native resolution (2560x1600) you will get 20-40fps. And that's not even at max settings. That's at very high, but not "max" settings.

So I find it hard to believe that this system which came in at less than double the price of a current card but includes an entire system and three monitors could possibly come anywhere close to running both current games and at max settings. Unreal Tournament 3, as mentioned in the post? Quite possibly. But that's not so much "current" as it is, four years old.

The important thing is whether it satisfies the owner and gamer in question. If it does, then that's all that matters. But let's be rational about what we claim it can handle.

Re:Newest games at max settings? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387948)

Fire up, say, RIFT.

RIFT is a bad example. It's very poorly optimized. There are plenty of games that look a whole lot better yet don't slow down even with lots of stuff on screen happening, but RIFT actually can start to stutter even with only 5 people on the screen. RIFT with everything at max settings can bring even the toughest beast to a grinding halt without looking any bit better than games from 2-3 years back.

Other than that I agree; the rig in question is absolutely not capable of running 2010's games satisfactorily at anything higher than perhaps medium settings. Definitely not at max.

Re:Newest games at max settings? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388148)

He is using 1600x900 monitors and his numbers are for running games on only a single monitor, not all three. The HD5670 that he is using can do that, but only when it comes to games with low system requirements (i.e. console ports), with Crysis and other demanding games you of course don't stand much of a chance with that card on max settings.

just awful (2)

djdevon3 (947872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35387808)

What a waste of good internet space. Is this the awesome new low /. has to stoop to in order to find new material to publish?

Re:just awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387942)

Apparently this is mirrored on all tech websites, pretty much receiving the same amount of criticism. Kinda shows you how much journalism is going on in these websites.

Let me re-phrase that title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387824)

>A system-builder, Dario D., built a triple screen gaming PC

"A man went into a shop and spent £1000 on a computer"

I'm glad I don't pay a subscription to slashdot.

Re:Let me re-phrase that title (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388144)

Although if you had we would also have to put up with such gems as:

"Man bought a subscription to slashdot."

I also hated this post but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35387850)

I could not stop reading it in hopes that someone would post useful info like benchmarks and frame rates for some good gear. And, I am glad to see that this has happened. The bait post worked!

AMD Technology (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388022)

I'm really surprised that in a discussion about triple-screen budget PC gaming no one mentions AMD Crossfire (multiple graphics card support) or AMD Eyefinity (the feature that treats three separate displays as one combined display and which allows games that support it to properly run on all three screens).

Re:AMD Technology (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388236)

Actually, the article does mention Eyefinity.

If you want to use ATI's Eyefinity mode (which I don't use), you just add a $25 adapter, so that you can plug the third screen into the ATI card... however, doing this removes the ability to maximize windows on any given screen (because all 3 of them are literally considered one), and I use that 10x more than I would triple-screen gaming. (also, both ATI's/nVidia's triple-screen gaming modes give you stretched images on the side screens, unless you position the monitors in a perfectly straight line... which, most of the time, I think nobody is actually willing to do)

Re:AMD Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388950)

What it doesn't mention about Eyefinity is....

If you use above 1920x1200 you need DualLink-DVI active adapters (more expensive).
Eyefinity above 1920x1200 means you cant use HDMI for audio as there are no DL-HDMI adapters
and no AV Receivers that can do above 1920x1200.

Also, it does NOT stretch images, thats just FOV which happens in most games you just notice it more on triple screen gaming.
It can be altered on most games too.

I've been looking at making a 3 screen Eyefinity system. I wont use small screens and i hate 1080p (thanks hollywood) so I'm limited to 27"/30" monitors.
With 3 screens, a HD6990 or two, waterblocks, new AV Receiver that does HDMI1.4 higher resolutions its going to cost about £5000.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388040)

Did Taco even look at the article...one glance, one instance of the word Compaq should have sent this straight to the chopping block.

3 PCs on lan do the same trick for Doom 1 (2)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388056)

Already tried this in 1994 or 1995.

As 486's would suffice, I guess cone could do this at the cost of 2nd hand displays.

Re:3 PCs on lan do the same trick for Doom 1 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388972)

3 Xbox 360s do the same for Forza 2, but that doesn't mean that a triple-screen rig isn't cool.

I'm on the lookout myself for a 20" 1680x1050 since I have two of them. Their color temp is different but life ain't perfect. I'm not going to win any speed contests with a GT 240 and a Phenom II X3 720 but it does what I need, it was cheap ($700 into the whole system with 8GB RAM and 320GB disk, and a nice sparkly case) and it's all relatively low-power.

Re:3 PCs on lan do the same trick for Doom 1 (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35390830)

are there any photographs/photos. and/or video clips of this in action? I have never seen one in action. I'd try it myself, but I only have one monitor. :P

SYSTEM BUILDER??? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388074)

The guy bought a COMPAQ! How can you call someone a system builder for upgrading a graphics card and adding 2 monitors to a pre-built low-end Compaq?
Also, how can you post on Slashdot as "news" a forum post that gets so much bashing on that same forum thread? Oh, right, sorry CmdrTaco, didn't notice you there...

Since I had read about it when HardOCP had the also unfortunate idea to post it on their front page, I will give a quick overview of the things that were seriously wrong:
-The title was something about a "gaming beast", when it is a VERY low end PC with a low end graphics card.
-People noted that even when the system was bought, you could do much better than the Compaq machine if you selected the components yourself and should definitely do a little better in the spec department.
-People cited threads from 2007 where people where building triple screen machines for less than $1000.
-The author DOESN'T GAME ON 3 monitors, and hasn't even enabled eyefinity. There goes the "triple screen gaming beast".
-The author makes absurd claims about the fps he gets from games given his setup (even considering the fact he runs them on only 1 monitor).

And there was an amazing comment somewhere in there from the Author, who says something like his machine is a Lamborghini, just not the latest model, but even yesterday's Lamborghini is a force to be reckoned with!!!

Just some random guy, spending $1000, not making great buying choices, ending up with a "3ple screen gaming beast", that is not set up to play games on 3 screens and plays them with mediocre results on 1 screen. Then for some reason brags about it, getting bashed by most people but is appreciated by bored editors of geek/tech sites...

each baby tear that falls echoes in the heavens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388102)

a more powerful resounding tone than all of the propagandistic 'we're probably gonna die soon anyway' media drum beating & murderous rocket launching combined. the babys know what they want.

recent media clips/whole families blown to bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388170)

& MOST of the massacre/carnage coverage is being blacked out by numerous .UgovS? it's difficult to get a grasp of the reason we keep weaponizing EVERYBODY. if it was just money (obviously not) we could stop doing it? isn't there a ?profit (scary word?)? in effective child care facilitation, even besides the rewards of doing the 'right thing', even if it's only once, by mistake/under duress? forget about that population control/eugenics fantasy/aberration. you're already way out #ed (on more levels than can be counted), & your math... looks bogus.

$800.00 gets you this (1)

QA (146189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388140)

This is a system I put together less than a year ago. Yup, its a generation or two behind, but does very well with recent games and will handle any game from a year or two ago on very high settings, with high framerates.

M/B: Asus P5N-D (SLI Board)
CPU: E8500 clocked to 3.752MHz
GPU: Galaxy GTS250 (x2 SLI)
8GB RAM (667)
HD: 2x 500GB Raid 0
BLU-RAY Optical Drive
850watt Ultra (Tiger Direct in house brand) PS
24" Samsung
CoolerMaster HAF922 case

Now this sytem could handle a second 24" monitor with no issues if I had the desk space, but I dont. Sure, its older tech, but the machine really is quite fast for the money spent.
There is not much of an upgrade path of course (socket 775), but you could put in a quad and bump up the GPU's.
Sure, SLI generates some excess heat and whatnot, but the case has enough fan locations that you can make it sound like a hair dyer if you wish.

Key word here is BUDGET, get it? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388190)

Most people who are commenting negatively here and on the HardOCP forum are completely missing the point. This is a BUDGET gaming rig, built for running the latest games. Yes, he was a bit "overzealous" in his descriptions, I'll give you that, but considering some of the true "hardcore" gaming geeks would spend that much on the damn graphics cards alone, I think there is some value here. Not everyone can afford the "top, top, top of the line" $3,000 gaming rig, nor do many see the point in such an "investment" only to become "obsolete" in 2 years.

This overall pretentious attitude between hardcore gamers, calling each others hardware "crap" when it's more than 6 months or two models old really gets old sometimes...it really does. No wonder so many people gave up and went to console gaming.

Re:Key word here is BUDGET, get it? (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388320)

Everything other than calling it "budget" is a flat out lie. Maybe if he had talked about it 9 months ago, hadn't posted on a forum that is basically about the bleeding edge, and didn't pretend to be the first person in the world to accomplish such a feat, he wouldn't be getting shit on in every corner of the intertubes where this flaming pile of an article got posted.

Too bad he can't claim in real life that he is the one responsible for so much hate, lest he get bitchslapped.

Re:Key word here is BUDGET, get it? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388498)

Oh man don't start another flamewar lol. I do want to address what you said about consoles however. And I have a perfect example for you of why PC gaming can be superior, won't die, and frankly, we can't let die:

Online multiplayer.

I don't own a PS3. I have a 360. So I can't speak for the PS3 ecosystem. But the problem is that there is no one to play on-line multiplayer. The whole draw of XBL is the online component. And something like BF:BC2, MoH, or CoD:BO are all about the multplayer. Except there is no one on! I own all three on both the PC and console. Example:

360:
BF:BC2*: 0 (people online during off-peak hours) / 0 (during peak hours)

PC: 20,000 (off peak) / 40,000 (peak)
* People are talking about BC2. There is *no one* playing on the 360 version at all, even peak! The PC has 40,000!

MoH 360: 2000 / 8000
PC: 2500 both

CoD:BO 360: 600,000/850,000
PC: 50,000

Here's the problem. Unless it's CoD:BO, *no one is playing any other online shooter*. Yea, CoD has a lot of people to play with, but what good is XBL if only one game in their entire library people are playing? As a side note, the matchmaking system is so poor that there could be 600,000 people on and I won't find anyone to play with and have to wait 15 minutes (No kidding I was on one day and it said 2.9m players--holy shit btw--but twice during that session I was waiting 10 min for a game! And this was with the new patch releaed a couple days ago with the enhanced matchmaking). So what good is 800,000 if 10% of the time you can't find a match? And the only other two people are even playing are GoW2 or Halo:Reach. Halo only has 30,000 people playing. CS:Source, a 7 year old PC game, has 50,000.

That's why you can't even bother with consoles, at least for online play. Only 1, maybe 2 games people are playing. And you're stuck with always having to buy those 2 new titles every time they come out just to get a game.

With the PC, you can buy a game and people will still play it, sometimes even years later. Forget even that, with PC, you can at least buy a game and play it online *at all*.

Likewise with the consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388624)

With the PC, you can buy a game and people will still play it, sometimes even years later. Forget even that, with PC, you can at least buy a game and play it online *at all*.

With the consoles, you can buy a game and people will still play it, sometimes even years later. Case in point: People still hold tournaments for the 1999 and 2001 editions of Super Smash Bros. Forget even that, with a console, you can at least buy a game and play it shared-screen *at all*, as opposed to the PC market where game modes designed for home theater PCs, allowing two to four gamepads on an HDTV monitor, are an afterthought if even that.

Re:Likewise with the consoles (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388974)

You again. Okay, this is like the 3rd or 4th time where you've given that single lame reponse, in 4 different stories, over the course of 2 or 3 months.

Get over it. That one insignificant strawman didn't cut it the first time, nevermind the 4th. Do you sit online waiting to troll for that one thing in *every* gaming story?

And a split screen tournament is your answer to online MP? Please.

Re:Likewise with the consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389036)

Super Smash Bros.

split screen

Where did I mention any games that are split screen?

Flash video on Linux without stuttering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388226)

"On it, I can run all at the same time: Unreal Tournament 3 (60-90fps at max settings, measured on one screen only), 3d Studio Max, Photoshop, and Firefox with 4 windows and 30 tabs open, without any slowdown"

But can it play a flash video on Linux without stuttering.

wow... (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388370)

Holy crap those responses in his thread are cuntish. The guy comes along, builds a reasonable rig for under a grand that looks nice and has 3 screens and they shit all over him with retarded comments like "nnnthis won't runn Rage onn super max duper settinnngs-hai". Half of the responses even openly admit to not reading his entire post. Never mind that most new games don't even take full advantage of new PC hardware anyway, being as they are built for the console lowest common denominator. As someone who recently (about 8 months ago) built his own 'gaming' rig for under a grand I certainly sympathise with his efforts.

I call bullshit! (1)

Zen-Mind (699854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388428)

Looking at the spec, I'm sure this PC isn't able to run all the current top games (unless you run at minimum resolution/settings at which point most games will look better on a 300$ PS3). The PC uses an ATI 5670 which was never, even at release date, considered a gaming card; even in XFire this thing would probably not deliver. Had the build included a 5770 and then added a 2nd one later on, the claim could hold some ground, but not this one.

Still it's a nice triple display setup.

My setup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35388666)

I'm a logistics Manager for a trucking company with about 50 trucks. I built myself this setup to keep up with my multitasking. It's no special gaming rig but 3X 23.6" ASUS LED 1080p monitors makes for 70.8" of diagonal viewing space and with each monitor at 1920*1080 running UltraMon, I can multitask and run sentences together with unnecessary amounts of commas all day, long.

http://s1081.photobucket.com/albums/j353/rpretzel87/

http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j353/rpretzel87/2010-10-07_09-10-58_10.jpg
this particular photo is before I built my hutch to hold these fancy monitors in a cool configuration, but it exemplifies how my monitors are utilized. Gaming is pointless on 3 monitors I agree, in fact nothing I do makes much sense to span multiple monitors. Except maybe to stretch a loading bar 70.8" to make it look like it's loading faster.

I've upgraded to an SIIG black aluminum keyboard (very sleek and minimal) its like a black non mac version of the mac aluminum keyboard. Oh and a razor Mamba now takes over that green mouse you see with a blue wireless version.

The last generation of consoles is six years old. (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388870)

So everything thats being ported to PC is now six year old graphics tech. It is no wonder that a modern PC that most of the budget is monitors can run all the 'top' games today, because the 'top' games today are no more graphically intensive then they were six years ago. I am a PC gamer only, and I haven't had trouble running a game in a long time.

if you're going all out... go all out (1)

pretzel87 (2009488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35388906)

I built a custom hutch for my 3 23.6" ASUS 1080p LED Monitors (10,000,000:1 contrast) that's 70.8" diagonal screen real estate. 5760x1080 resolution. as you can see it's not a gaming rig, gaming is not very practical for multiple monitors. Multitasking is the real venture here and it's a great help with that. http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j353/rpretzel87/2010-10-18_16-22-56_579.jpg [photobucket.com] http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j353/rpretzel87/2010-10-07_09-10-58_10.jpg [photobucket.com] hard to see how thin they are but it looks like cardboard from the back because they're all http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j353/rpretzel87/2010-10-18_12-03-39_953.jpg

Major problem (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389434)

So here's the major problem with multi-screen gaming. Well, a couple problems actually. Prior to my build of a 3x 30" 2560x1600 gaming rig, I knew going in that one of the problems would be the same problem top gamers have had since the days of Robotron - too much screen real estate. Playing fast paced games, such as FPSs, multi-monitor set ups are actually a hindrance. I first experienced this with Robotron, in so far as the fact that the larger the screen, the more your eyes have to move. The more you eyes have to move, the longer it takes to react to a situation. The same goes for the fast paced games, but let me tell you on 7680 pixels of of view, something happening on the left that requires a response on the right becomes a huge problem. You just can't be competitive in things like FPS games on multiple monitors. I know some of you that think you're good at FPS will disagree with this statement, but the fact is you aren't as good as you think you are. The simple fact that you have wrecked your reaction time by having to traverse your screens from left to right is going to make you that much slower to react, or you may miss something all together.

The next problem with with FOV. Most games don't handle FOV properly across more than one monitor. Those that do usually handle it poorly. There are a few that handle it well. That's just in the FPS arena. If you go to RTS or other games where FOV doesn't matter as much, you still get the distortion but it doesn't affect game play nearly as much. However, again you have few games that support multi-monitor setups, and those that do usually handle it poorly.

In both cases, if you get around this by using an Eyefinity or NVidia's multi-monitor setup and present the game with one large monitor, game play just becomes wonky and a bit too big to move around efficiently. I haven't found a game that I like playing better on 3 monitors than just one monitor. I have since gone back to playing on a single monitor at 2560x1600 and find that game play is just as enjoyable and more efficient than the 3 monitor setup. I will probably try each new game I get in the 3 monitor setup, but I can't imagine what games coming out will be built well for that configuration. Until games start supporting multi monitors directly, there's really not any point in it, except perhaps driving or maybe flying games, which I don't really play.

To make multi-monitor gaming truly useful, I think what needs to happen is games A) need to support it natively and B) Allow elements of the screen to be moved where you want them. Right now, putting a HUD across all 3 monitors just makes the HUD information difficult to integrate, or in some games you can concentrate it all on the center screen, but then why have 3 monitors, since everything is happening on the middle screen anyway. Being able to move elements of things to the places you want them would boost the utility of a multi-monitor gaming setup dramatically.

Anyway, that's just my experience.

Games with real support for multiple screens? (1)

DaSwing (902297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35389846)

I have a 5-monitor setup at home, mostly for the e-penis. The only games I know which can support multiple displays is Burnout Paradise and MS Flight Sim. Burnout can use three monitors, but it doesn't do it very well. It places the HUD on the sidescreens with no option to move it. Actually Doom1 also support three monitors, but you have to use VMWare and connect three computers in a virtual network. Does anyone know of any relatively new game that has real support for multiple screens? It would be nice to for example have the map show up on one screen in FPS.
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