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Triple Monitor Gaming: Dual GPU GeForce Vs. Radeon

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-get-enough-pixels dept.

AMD 136

An anonymous reader writes "With the release of the dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990, closely followed by the competing Nvidia GeForce GTX 590, we saw graphics card performance reach new heights. With bandwidth throughput in excess of 300GB/s, these cards can consume more power than entire computer systems. By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding, as the graphics card is required to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels. Whereas graphics card reviews and benchmarks usually test GPUs at single monitor resolutions, TechSpot has added two more LCD monitors and tested eleven games running at resolutions of 5040x1050, 5760x1200 and 7680x1600."

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I'd have got first post... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021778)

I'd have got first post, but I lost my browser window on my array of monitors.

Digital Dickwaving (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021798)

For twice the $5000 it'll cost you for one of these cards and 3 x 30" monitors, I know a guy who's father is a consultant urologist and can give you a real manhood extension.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022024)

More importantly, with that kind of money you are able to buy real farmland.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022068)

For twice the $5000 it'll cost you for one of these cards and 3 x 30" monitors, I know a guy who's father is a consultant urologist and can give you a real manhood extension.

No thanks. For that kind of money, I'd rather buy a bunch of hookers and *use* the manhood I have right now.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

robfoo (579920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022396)

Uh, I don't think you 'buy' hookers. You rent them. I think that's kinda the point.

You know, from what I hear.

"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022436)

For that kind of money, I'd rather buy a bunch of hookers

Assuming that by buy you mean rent, as robfoo pointed out, how are you going to tell a hooker from an undercover cop looking to fill her quota for "patronizing a prostitute" tickets?

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022802)

how are you going to tell a hooker from an undercover cop looking to fill her quota for "patronizing a prostitute" tickets?

That's easy. I just do it in a country with sane laws.

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023104)

How much does it cost to leave the U.S. in favor of a country with sane laws?

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023148)

Depends on where you live. For a lot of people, it's free.

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023200)

How much does it cost to leave the U.S. in favor of a country with sane laws?

Depends on where you live.

I already said "the U.S." Did you want a specific state?

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024122)

Since when does one have to leave the U.S. to visit Las Vegas?

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36025086)

Correction, it is everywhere in NV except LV where it is legal, prostitution is illegal in LV.

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (1)

torgis (840592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023346)

Look at her teeth. If she has all of her teeth, they're in good working order, and it looks like she's been to a dentist sometime within the last year, then she's probably a cop. The absence of cold sores could be a giveaway as well.

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36023864)

Go to a legal Nevada brothel/Amsterdam/Germany?

Re:"Patronizing a prostitute" tickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36024414)

Simple. Beat her to death BEFORE fucking her. By that point, who gives a shit ?

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022386)

Why does talk about excessiveness inevitably lead to whining about "dick measuring"? I bet somebody said the same thing years ago about dual monitors for workstations or high-end phones. Do you feel the same way about someone who buys a MacBook? I guess people can have nice things, but nothing too nice. I certainly wouldn't spend the money on this, but if somebody has the cash to burn what's the big deal?

Re:Digital Dickwaving (2)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023246)

Sounds like someone has a case of tiny dick syndrome.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1, Insightful)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36025106)

Someone buying a Macbook is either declaring their excess of cash, or declaring their homosexuality, or can't think for themselves...

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022416)

Do you actually know anybody who "dickwaves" about their 3 monitor setup or an expensive video card, or do you just write this because it's a popular opinion on Slashdot? Why is this any different from buying a nice big-screen TV?

Most of us geeks have at least 2 monitors for the productive work anyway, why wouldn't you want to try multi-screen gaming if you could?

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022466)

Why is this any different from buying a nice big-screen TV?

You had to ask.

In theory, a big-screen TV allows for multiplayer on one machine in fighting games (like Street Fighter or Smash Bros.), in other multiplayer games that take place within an arena (like Bomberman), in cooperative platform games (like Trine or New Super Mario Bros. Wii), or in shoot-em-ups (not first-person; those are currently better with a separate computer per player). I know of no PC games that allow rendering each player's view on a separate monitor.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022508)

I use double monitors all the time now, and if more games reliably handled this multimonitor setup I'd switch to triples right away.
Double monitors are awesome when you want to put some tutorial or other reference to the side of your actual work, or keep one eye on a rendering or compiling task while also doing useful stuff in the meantime.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022910)

Eyefinity is your friend it allows all 3 displays to appear as a single screen to games where as games coded to utilize it properly can control whats on the individual screens (assassins creed brotherhood is a good illustration of the latter)

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024640)

Widescreen Gaming Forum has a pretty complete list. From my experience, most modern games support the ultrawide aspect ratio. Though, I'm starting to find it preferable to handle things in 3x1 portrait. The AR ends up close to 16x9 but I've got almost 4K of resolution sitting in front of me. I've got some strong consideration to switch it up to a 5x1 setup. On that, games are usually incompatible because of extreme aspect ratios. Sometimes there's a hard pixel limit but usually it's that the game wasn't designed to handle anything wider than 16x9. And then you have the games that do handle it but just poorly. Such that the more extreme your AR the more awkward the game. So 5x1 portrait is going to put you around 16:5. Not too shabby and will handle a large number of games and most new games. I have quite the Steam list. I only buy on sales. And I double check widescreen lists to ensure compatibility. I can tell you that triplehead gaming is pretty feasible these days and I'd very heavily recommend it for the immersion factor. Racing simulators are so intense now.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022924)

Supreme Commander supports rendering a tactical map on a second monitor. You have your command interface on the primary monitor and a complete world map with legible strategic icons on the other. Do that with a TV.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023050)

Personally perhaps not. However on almost any forum where pc gaming is represented and you'll have a large proportion of members filling the 'sigs' with pc specs, benchmarks etc. Many questions about performance issues are responded to with posts that do nothing to resolve the issue, and are simply the poster using it as an excuse to say they don't have any issues on there massively over-specced ePeen... computer.

You can say (and it may be true for some) that it is not boasting, just sharing information with those who have a shared interest. However, if I posted on a home buyers forum with a sig saying "Owner of £1,400k London townhouse, bespoke kitchen and room decor, underground car port and 4 luxury bedrooms" I'd be bragging (and lieing!) no matter how much I like discussing housing.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023268)

Do you actually know anybody who "dickwaves" about their 3 monitor setup or an expensive video card...

[flap flap flap flap flap flap flap]

Just kidding. All I have is a 19" LCD being fed by water-cooled dual SLI. And all I really did was buy it cheap from a friend when he built a better machine. I'm a fraud.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (2)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022574)

There is another option for the rich - the $6000 43" ultra-widescreen curved monitor [bhphotovideo.com] with a 2880x900 resolution. Go really crazy and get three of those [youtube.com] for slightly less than the cost of a real rally car..

Re:Digital Dickwaving (2)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024182)

There is another option for the rich - the $6000 43" ultra-widescreen curved monitor with a 2880x900 resolution.

By 900? What the fuck? Even if I had the disposable income to blow $6000 on something like that, I would not buy any desktop monitor with a mere 900 pixels of vertical resolution! That's just crap! I don't even think my laptop has that little vertical space.

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024402)

That's why his nickname is Stubby...

Re:Digital Dickwaving (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024240)

5000 is low. We used to use setups like this when I worked with a radiology software company. The workstations we built averaged upwards of $50-$150k a system. They used specialized video cards initially from the monitor makers, though eventually the companies moved towards both FireGL and Nvidia Quadro cards later on. Those cards were super expensive - but not so much as the monitors. A 5MP grey scale mammography monitor from Barco used to cost around 30k. So if you have a workstation class PC with 4 mammography monitors on it, plus a 21" widescreen primary display, you'd end up with a pc costing almost 150k (after markup). It was pretty crazy hardware.

Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021810)

I bet the hoards of people that uses multiple monitors when gaming will be happy that they made this research..

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (3, Interesting)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021880)

Personally I find that I often play games just on the center monitor in my 3x setup. Usually this is because I keep IM/IRC on the right one, and various other 'important' things on the left screen.

While programming it is also hugely useful to be able to keep more stuff visible. Having reference docs visible while writing code is quite spiffy.

Oh... and I dont have to alt-tab nearly as much these days and that makes me happy :p

On the "hoards" comment I'd point out that I have 3 friends who use a 3x setup, so the amount of people doing it is on the raise ;)

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021922)

While not a coder (omg wtf?!), I do enjoy video editing at times, and having a secondary monitor helps to free up work space so you can stack those editing tracks sky high.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023910)

Try 3 monitors. I do video and photo editing and having the 3rd monitor is really handy.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021978)

I usually watch some film or episode on the left monitor, the middle monitor is used for everything else and on the third I have a terminal open or play some RTS game.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022026)

Yeah, I do that too but I don't qualify it as "multi-monitor" gaming. Multi-monitor gaming is spanning the full-screen game over at least 2 screens which I basically what I guess they did in this test.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (2)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022034)

which is basically*

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023792)

It's too bad spanned games always get distorted until they look like trash. I'd really love a 180 degree view in some games, but it's literally impossible to achieve, currently.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024736)

Ugh, yeah. I've been meaning to do a video on the "fisheye" effect since it seems few people get what's going on. I've wondered if perhaps there's a way to modify the Direct3D layer such that you can set up 3+ cameras from the same point. The geometry associated with the cameras should reflect the geometry of the user's setup. In this, We'd be able to pull away from the binocular effect a bit and make the game feel closer to a virtual reality setup. Really, the game is assuming a flat panel and you should probably adjust your setup to fit that if you're looking for immersion.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

jemmyw (624065) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023364)

Oh... and I dont have to alt-tab nearly as much these days and that makes me happy :p

Urgh.

Is there anyone else like me who went to multi monitor programming, then back to one monitor, then down to a smaller monitor (13" laptop)? alt-tabbing actually seems easier than moving my head and focussing on another screen.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023490)

Its just you, but don't feel bad, its important for nature to explore all evolutionary paths.

Seriously though, it will depend on what you're working on and how proficent you are at the task. I'm currently working with 4 smaller moniters side by side and find all 4 to be very useful.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (2)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023972)

I just recently did the 3x display setup as well. It's pretty kick ass. 24" in the center, with 20.1"ers on the sides. I'm doing it using 2 non-symmetrical video cards though (nvidia gtx260 and an nvidia gtx580..the 2 smaller monitors connect to the 260 and my bigger 24" connects to the 580). I was surprised how Windows 7 handled it right out of box with the previous nvidia drivers already installed. Since it's not an SLI setup, I can't actually use both cards to render graphics while gaming, but I do have the option to offload PhysX processing to the 260 (for games that actually use it...which isn't many).

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021964)

Funny how the hordes of people who think market share is the only measure of relevance have overtaken Slashdot, presumably a site for nerds.

What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022106)

I RTFA and in the last page I found this:

"As is the nature of dual-GPU graphics cards, they sometimes suffer from the lack of multi-GPU support in certain titles. ... On the negative side, most games will have aspect ratio problems with multiple screen configurations and those that don't will likely need you to fine-tune the FOV (Field of View) setting. Another annoying issue which is very difficult to overcome in most games is stretched screens which lead to a fish eyed view of the game from the side screens."

In conclusion, to get good multi-monitor performance you need games that are *designed* for multi-monitors.

I'd love to have a racing simulation where one could put the front view in the central monitor and side-looking views on the other two. That way I could do just like I do in real life driving, turn my head to look through the side window.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022360)

I would enjoy an FPS with actual peripheral vision.

I use the sides of my eyes as much as forward. as I am typing this I am watching a co-worker throw on her jacket.

being able to do that in a game would bring my gaming skills up as I could be alerted to that rocket that is streaking towards me from off the 90 FOV that traditional setups give you.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022920)

I have a multimonitor setup for gaming, 3x1280*1024 displays. Using a Triple Head 2 Go. It works pretty well, the other that is not mentioned in the summary is that Directx9 has a back buffer limit of 4096. DirectX10 has a much larger backbuffer support (I think upto 16k), OpenGL I am not sure about.

By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding, as the graphics card is required to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels

Anyway, the extra pixels is not what stresses the video card, turning AA to 4x or 16x effectively makes the graphics card renders more pixels but does not have the performance impact an increased FOV does. The increased FOV causes more Draw calls, culling overhead etc as you see physically more. That is what really hurts the performance. The extra pixel area of the back buffer is negligible to performance compared to the extra draw call overheads.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36023506)

I seem to recall you could do this with the original Doom title - although you had to have two extra machines networked in for the left and right views.

Obviously, this is a (relatively) cheaper way of doing it, and there's certainly precedent.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024090)

It's nice. I run dual 6970's with 3x23" screens, and the peripheral vision in stuff like Left 4 Dead 2 is really slick. Lets me see when a horde is coming from beside me while I'm shooting zombies in front of me. But like in the article, the game support is hit and miss. Many games don't support FOV changing, or if they do they have horrible issues with it. And some games (Borderlands) will support the resolution, but the menus are designed for a 16:9 aspect so they're cut off top and bottom. Just stupid programming, and not very hard to rectify.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024914)

You're right, it is just stupid programming. The lack of compatibility is just a product of cutting corners in interface design. Having a bit of scalability in mind would easily rectify this. Some really old games do incredibly well with this. I've seen relatively smaller games have an amazing capacity to configure the setup for strange aspect ratios and the like. So, to me, there's no excuse for AAA games to not support features like this out of the box. Maybe the issue stems from the "reference system" model that they have. Rather than design a game to work well with whatever you put it on, it's common for the designers to slap together a target system that the game should work good on. Unfortunately, this can leave the higher end suffering. When trying to play Red Faction: Guerrilla at 3240x1920, the game lagged immensely. I'm trying to understand what might be causing this and I don't imagine there's forced AA in the background. At lowest settings this problem still arises. I'm under the impression that the game was over-optimized for a certain class of computers and that these optimizations left little room for high end machines to work with.

Re:What about multi-monitor GAMES? (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024830)

This is why I'm going with a 5x1 portrait setup. I want the peripheral but when you're doing 3x1 landscape you don't have very much vertical fill.l With 5 screens you can wrap them a bit better and have them completely fill your peripheral. Some games work excellently with setups like this. Take iRacing, for example. Which has an advanced multimonitor configuration option. An amazing and affordable setup would be running quintuple 27inch 1080p screens. I've got 3x1 portrait at 21.5" each and it's quite nice. While this is all personal opinion, I've been toying with this for a while and considered a lot of options and reasons thus far.

Big issue, though. If you don't have a method to rotate your monitors you will KICK yourself. Gameplay compatibility goes through the roof in 3x1 portrait as the aspect ratio without correction is under 16:9.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022872)

I watch 3 porn movies at once, one on each monitor. It is like an orgy on my desk.

Re:Multi-monitor gaming? (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023714)

I watch 3 porn movies at once, one on each monitor. It is like an orgy on my desk.

I hope you wipe the desk and monitors clean afterwards...

Future? (2)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021822)

But are more and more monitors the likely path gaming will follow? I just think a decent projector and screen might offer a more emersive experience. Particularly with prices and the size of projectors falling.

Re:Future? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021854)

I remember a game in the arcade using a concave dome screen wrap around your head. I think this would be an interesting. Plus it's impractical so its in line with TFA.

Re:Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021886)

I have tried playing Forza 3 with wheel and three screens (using 3 xboxes). It really immerses you in the game, a lot more than just one screen. But the game has to support it, and adding support for arbitrary screen resolutions isn't enough. You have to specify the angling and view-angle gap between the screens to get the right effect.
I would imagine, though, that glasses with screens and gyros would work better, though.

Re:Future? (3, Insightful)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021892)

While a projector might work better for gaming (I disagree personally) it doesnt work nearly as well when you're doing other stuff.

Coding in particular is something I spend quite a lot of time doing, and it is nice to be able to keep reference docs and 4-5 pages of code on the screen at the same time. No more alt-tabbing your brain out to get to the right window either.

Re:Future? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021930)

True, but your reference docs rarely need to run at 60fps.

Latency hell (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022486)

your reference docs rarely need to run at 60fps.

They do if you want scrolling through them to be pleasant and not laggy. See a recent Slashdot article about latency hell [slashdot.org] .

Re:Future? (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021948)

How about a big projector with a Kinect-like UI?

Re:Future? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022084)

Perl scripting with Windows Vista voice recognition [youtube.com]

I'm pretty sure that mandating gesture control for coding would breach the cruel and unusual punishment / torture provisions of either human rights legislation, or the Geneva Convention.

Re:Future? (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021950)

What about edge blending projectors with these cards? I have a triple projector setup but there are no cheap blendint solutions.

Re:Future? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022120)

Projected images have no bezel. Just line them up and keystone / focus as appropriate; You should get seemless transition between screens easily.

Re:Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021952)

Slightly off-topic to those who don't know yet: putting your windows on virtual desktops (or 'tags') removes most of the necessity of alt-tabbing, under any (sane) OS. Also works well with multi-monitor.

Also, having a wider angle of view in some games is neat and cheat-y; do those online shooters allow that, really? Or you end up with 70 horizontal FOV angle on 100 of your actual viewfield or something?

Re:Future? (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022064)

it is nice to be able to keep reference docs and 4-5 pages of code on the screen at the same time. No more alt-tabbing your brain out to get to the right window either.

I can do that on my 5 to 10 year old notebooks with 1024x768 to 1280x800 screens, Just use a tiling window manager and keep the relevant windows in view, put the documentation on a separate workspace if you have trouble reading small print - Alt-2 for documentation, Alt-1 for code, no guessing involved. It works even better with multiple screens but as that severely limits mobility I'm not interested.

Re:Future? (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022150)

I have three 22 inch 1920x1080 displays. How exactly would one cram that amount of space into a 5-10 year old notebook?

The issue isnt the software solution, it is the physical limitations of having a small screen.

Reducing the size of the displayed information rapidly makes it harder to read, so why do it when you can avoid it?

And mobility is obviously not an issue with a triple-head setup unless one is crazy enough to lug it around in a crate :p
Notebooks are also really not relevant at all in this case.

Re:Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022682)

Beryl? [youtube.com]

The future is smaller not larger ... (3, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022004)

But are more and more monitors the likely path gaming will follow? I just think a decent projector and screen might offer a more emersive experience. Particularly with prices and the size of projectors falling.

I suspect not. The trend is for consumers to move from desktops to laptops for personal machines. Laptops are already the majority. Even some desktops are actually using laptop components, in particular all-in-ones and extremely small footprint, and budget machines using embedded video originally designed for laptops.

In addition to the obvious lack of expansion and upgrades, laptops are designed for power consumption not performance. Their video chips are generally at the lower end of the performance spectrum.

Apple has an interesting approach that others might also use. Some laptops come with two video chips. One optimized for power consumption intended for "normal" use and a second optimized for performance and intended for 3D gaming. With the thunderbolt port multi-monitor may be plausible. That said I think such machines are going to be exotic, less common.

In general I think game programmers and artists are going to be ever more frustrated as lower end embedded video chips become even more common among the target audience.

Re:The future is smaller not larger ... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022716)

IGPs - that many people used to have on their desktops - were equally horrible for gaming. In fact it's my impression with Aero and other non-gaming 3D effects the capabilities have gone up a little. Sure, they're not going to run Crysis but I don't think game developers are worse off than before. I think those who should be unhappy are AMD and nVidia, with so many games now targeting 5 year old consoles their cards don't really get any exercise anymore. I have a single HD5850 and figure it'll do just fine until xbox720 and ps4 comes, it'll run any console port more than well enough.

Re:Future? (1)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022684)

I had a roommate with a mid-range projector upon which we would play console games. Shot it at a white wall in a room with good blinds to keep it dark. Playing a fighting game or Madden with life-sized characters is awesome. Highly recommended. I get the feeling it wouldn't be as neat with a PC game, though: we had big plushy couches to sit on, which would be an impediment if playing an FPS with mouse and keyboard, though any game requiring a gamepad would be fantastic.

Surely this can't be true? (2)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021838)

> By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding,

Hey wait what.

Re:Surely this can't be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36021924)

> By utilizing three monitors, games can become roughly 3x more demanding,

Hey wait what.

Well there's obviously three times as much space to list their demands.

Re:Surely this can't be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022022)

Assuming that per-pixel shaders take up 100% of the resources, of course; which is obviously false but not completely irrelevant. (Would you mind graphing actual dependency of FPS depending on megapixels for various games? ^_^ )

Re:Surely this can't be true? (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022346)

No need to look at various games.

Basically, it goes like this - CPU load is approximately constant for same scene in various resolutions, as it just gives GPU initial geometry to work with and sets up shading states, then come vertex shaders (and optionally geometry shaders), which should be constant as well, and then come pixel shading and rasterization - both of which scale linearly with screen resolution in Mpix.

So, raising the resolution for _same_ scene gives a linear raise to GPU load.

But it's more complex than that, as stretching the scene to 3 monitors wouldn't make sense - cpu and vertex shading costs rise as well, because you're going from, say, 90 degrees horizontal field of vision to 270.

In other words, yes, obviously, you want 3 monitors - you need 3 times the power required for running it on single monitor.

I have to weep... (2)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021974)

Even bigger excuses for cynical games businesses to push eye candy over imagination...

Do I see hyper mega ultra texturing here? (sorry John!) or eye blisteringly grindy 10 hours of game play?

(Didn't say games studio's because as an old semi retired software developer i know crunch mode well)

(and heck, even if you want multi monitor i really don't want a machine that sucks more energy than a big fat SUV to see a big stack o real estate for developing)

(Bring back gaming for the masses, and get serious about developing on low end gfx like Intel GPU - which seriously isn't as bad as people think - misery is VIA/S3 (curses and misery be upon them)

Andy

Re:I have to weep... (2)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022190)

Translation:

GPUs are too fast now a days. Back in my day we used a via uphills both ways, and we appreciated the chance to do so.
Grr, Hurmph get off my lawn you whipper snappers.

Re:I have to weep... (4, Informative)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022238)

The problem with intel cards is that the drivers are buggy as hell. Just try and develop for them. You quickly find out that its not DX anything compatible.

Re:I have to weep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022492)

Do you REALLY have to use your name in your /. screen name AND THEN "sign" your post with your name? Your post reeks of narcissism.

GMA is like a GeForce 3 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023072)

get serious about developing on low end gfx like Intel GPU - which seriously isn't as bad as people think

Tom's did a comparison [tomshardware.com] , and even the higher-end Intel GMAs are roughly comparable to the GeForce 3 in the original Xbox or the Radeon 9000-class Hollywood GPU in the Wii.

Where's the VR? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022006)

With the power of these (and other modern cards) it would be trivial for them to power a hi-def VR headrig. I would imagine latency would be acceptable (at least on the graphics output end, don't know about the head tracker).

So why hasn't anyone put together a truly awesome, truly IMMERSIVE experience? Instead of hitting keys (or moving a mouse or joystick, sorry I don't know, I'm not a gamer) you could JUST TURN YOUR HEAD, like in real-life (tm). Wouldn't this make game play a lit more fun and less wonky? Add a cheap plastic AK-47 a la guitar hero, add a few position sensors and voila! You've got something that's good enough for training!

What's holding it up? It's the lack of hi-def eyepieces isn't it?

Re:Where's the VR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022140)

rofl suck for the win!

Re:Where's the VR? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022322)

What's holding it up? It's the lack of hi-def eyepieces isn't it?

Its the lack of eyes that can focus on things within an inch or two in front of them. Nearly every young person thinks that they can, until you have them try.

Re:Where's the VR? (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022400)

Its the lack of eyes that can focus on things within an inch or two in front of them.

Duh, of course you don't just stick LCDs in front of your eyes, you have to put a proper lens in front of them and then your eyes can focus on them just fine.

VR gear has existed for decades, the problem is just that we still don't have any that is both good and cheap. The resolution on the affordable stuff is still complete crap compared to your cheap ass monitor from 15 years ago, i.e. you only get something in the range of 800x600 or 640x480, nowhere near the 1080p you expect from a modern display.

Re:Where's the VR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022998)

wait really? Because I'm very near sighted and I find my eyes can only really see things up to an inch or two away with clarity without my glasses in fact holding my video games lcd up to my nose makes it look way nicer without glasses than with them. So does that mean those of us that are near sighted are going to get better usage out of vr gear (I kind of always assumed this would be true from the first time I used a digital camera for the purpose of finding my glasses I dropped)

Re:Where's the VR? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023094)

Instead of hitting keys (or moving a mouse or joystick, sorry I don't know, I'm not a gamer) you could JUST TURN YOUR HEAD

For one thing, on-screen response to head movement would have to be absolutely instant, none of this 3 frame lag crap [slashdot.org] that a lot of monitors have. For another, once you have turned your head and torso as far as your chair will let you, what then?

Re:Where's the VR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36023366)

Instead of hitting keys (or moving a mouse or joystick, sorry I don't know, I'm not a gamer) you could JUST TURN YOUR HEAD

For one thing, on-screen response to head movement would have to be absolutely instant, none of this 3 frame lag crap [slashdot.org] that a lot of monitors have. For another, once you have turned your head and torso as far as your chair will let you, what then?

Stand up you lazy bastard! :P

groupon clone script (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022070)

Which is basically?

Overwhelmingly more bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022214)

I'm not arguing against it being more demanding, but ultimately it's about polygons more than it's about pixels. Something tells me the polygon count increases less than threefold.

Re:Overwhelmingly more bullshit (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022776)

Pixel shaders do per-pixel calculations. I don't know how much of the total render time is typically taken up by such effects, but having it do ten times as much probably makes a pretty good dent in performance.

Personal experience (3, Informative)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022318)

While I am not a hardcore gamer, I do have a triple 24" monitor setup, and I have tried several games in 3-monitor mode. I find that it doesn't actually let you be better at a game, i.e. don't expect to gain a tactical advantage and blow your buddies to smithereens because you see more. As it turns out, a single 24" widescreen monitor already more than covers the field of view you can actually focus on. Sure, the total FOV of the human eyeball is a lot larger (>180 degrees horizontally), but the part where you actually see detail to the extent that you can consciously react to what you see is quite small. As an experiment, try to read some text on the bottom of your monitor while looking at a point near the top.

What the extra 2 monitors give you though, is a much more immersive experience. NVidia isn't far off when they call this "Vision Surround". The fact that the action now also fills a large part of your peripheral vision means you get a much more intense feeling of being "inside" the game. It's actually pretty cool.

Re:Personal experience (4, Interesting)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022542)

In shooters, you don't look with your head, you look with your mouse. Since the side monitors are just adding the peripheral vision surrounded feeling, they could be run at a lower resolution and you shouldn't loose much of the experience. 1920x1200 for your main monitor and 960x600 on the side monitors means that the two extra monitors only adds 50% more pixels and shouldn't bog your video system. Alternately, this means you could use a lower-powered dual-output video card for the side monitors.

Re:Personal experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36022576)

Aw. I have mod points, I want to spend them all on this post.. but it was the last one I read, long after I posted stuff here. Sorry dude, you'd have had a +1 informative.

Re:Personal experience (4, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022946)

You are missing the point. No, you can't see well reading text on the bottom of the screen while focusing at the top. Neither is your color discrimination going to be as good for that text at the bottom of the screen. That's because the eye doesn't have many cones except in the central area. The periphery is mainly rods. And while rods aren't great for color, etc, they are spectacular at motion detection. So no, you can't read that text way over to the side while focusing your attention on something directly in front of you, but you can see movement over on the side. Which may alert you that someone is moving over there, or there is an incoming missile over there, or any number of things which may be important information to have.

Re:Personal experience (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023022)

>but you can see movement over on the side. Which may alert you that someone is moving over there, or there is an incoming missile over there, or any number of things which may be important information to have.

Absolutely correct. However, in my personal experience, this effect turns out to be negligible.

Re:Personal experience (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023062)

The real problem I find with it, aside from needing 3 monitors (which let's face it, there are non-gaming reasons to have) is that you are either talking about a large reduction in detail on the monitor you focus on, or a massive increase in cost.

A single GTX560-580 or 6870-6970 is plenty to crank the detail in games. You get high resolution, fast FPS, lots of effects, etc, etc. Good stuff. However demand it drive 3 monitors, and that is no longer the case. Your framerate will tank unless you cut the detail a fair bit.

Of course you can do like the article talks about and get 3 GPUs. Ok well not only does that cost about 3x the price in GPU hardware, but you need a much bigger power supply (the higher end ones can need more than 1000 watts) and you also need a higher end motherboard and chipset and all that. You have to spend a lot more on a motherboard to get 3 PCIe slots with the bandwidth you need, and of course you've gone with X series chipsets which means more expensive 900 series CPUs and triple channel RAM.

To me it just doesn't seem worth it. I'd rather have one really high quality display, the one I focus on, then 3 of mediocre quality since spending thousands on the hardware just isn't an option.

should have variable detail levels (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024686)

I think the solution to multimonitor gaming (at least for FPS games) is to have reduced levels of detail in the side monitors. Since they're really only there to provide immersion and the player shouldn't be focussing on them anyway, it should be possible to show a lot less detail and still give the same "feel" to the player.

Re:Personal experience (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023212)

True but your peripheral vision is rather sensitive to motion.

Re:Personal experience (2)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024168)

I depend on my peripheral vision a lot IRL, and I find that even though I don't directly look at the side monitors of my setup I do get a lot of benefit of being able to see movement on them, so I know where the next threat is coming from. I do agree that it makes everything more immersive. And the extra desktop space is nice for working on when I'm not gaming :)

Re:Personal experience (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024962)

I use two monitors (because that is all I have right now) and I have a 6990. I use the setup because I enjoy playing Microsoft's Flight Simulator X. I can have my main screen in front of me, and at the moment, one side view. Yes, there is an aspect issue, but it does help. Small planes usually don't fly straight in, they fly a pattern, and that is hard to do on a single screen where you can't glance across your shoulder to see if it is time to turn base or final. With multiple monitors you can physically turn your head and look. There is also the hat switch, which swivels your view as if you were swiveling your head. Thanks to my 6990, this is now a viable option. With my old video card, it would take a second or two for each unit of swivel. Now, I have all my sliders at max, and am still enjoying frame rates from 15 fps to 100+ depending on how dense the scenery and AI is (I have very close to 100% of the actual traffic at most of the airports that I like to fly in and out of).

Doom (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022556)

The original doom used to have a mode where you could run separate computers (connected to yours via serial or lan) with a command line option (might have been -left and -right), set up the monitors to the left and right of your main monitor, and have a 3 monitor setup. Real clustered gaming.

Why the 'need' for 3 monitors? Single 52' (3, Interesting)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36025072)

Why the 'need' for 3 monitors?
On the home front I have 2 28 inch monitors. I though about going with a 3rd along with an additional graphics card. (Currently running an OC' GTX280 that is still performing well)
Then I went off and picked up an new LCD tv. The old really didnt have a home. So.....
I hooked up 'ol 52 inch Sharp Aquos to the computer.
WOW!!!
Talk about 'immersive' and 'in your face.
99% of my gaming is driving/racing sims. And a 52 inch 'in your face' was so much better than my previous testing with two 28's (center bezel notwithstanding of course)
So I've concluded that I enjoy a single 52 inch rather than multiple smaller monitors and all the headaches that go along with such a setup.
The biggest advantage of a single 52 inch? HEIGHT! You simply dont get that perspective with multiple, smaller horizontally set up monitors.
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