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Multi-Display Gaming Artifacts Shown With AMD, 4K Affected Too

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the bleeding-edge-throwing-clots dept.

AMD 148

Vigile writes "Multi-display gaming has really found a niche in the world of high-end PC gaming, starting when AMD released Eyefinity in 2009 in three-panel configurations. AMD expanded out to six-screen options in 2010 and NVIDIA followed shortly thereafter with a similar multi-screen solution called Surround. Over the last 12 months or so, GPU performance testing has gone through a sort of revolution as the move from software measurement to hardware capture measurement has taken hold. PC Perspective has done testing with this new technology on AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA Surround configurations at 5760x1080 resolution and found there were some substantial anomalies in the AMD captures. The AMD cards exhibited dropped frames, interleaved frames (jumping back and forth between buffers) and even stepped, non-horizontal vertical sync tearing. The result is a much lower observed frame rate than software like FRAPS would indicate and these problems will also be found when using the current top-end, dual-head 4K PC displays since they emulate Eyefinity and Surround for setup."

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AMD multi-display problems (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year ago | (#44880809)

AMD also seem to have some serious problems, which seem to be worsening with each new driver, on their premium workstation cards when driving multiple displays. We've seen numerous video playback issues, including glitches away from the video area itself, on multi-display configurations. The most likely culprit at the moment seems to be changes in the GPU memory timing. I really hope they fix this soon, because our "professional" workstations are giving our professionals headaches right now.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44880853)

It is sad how video cards have become gaming toys, with the "pro" version being of the same quality with some features not crippled... I remember when we had those Matrox cards to go with our video editing workstations. Those things were stable as hell. Too bad they did not do well in the 3D realm.

That's what you get with duopoly (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44880969)

I remember when we had those Matrox cards to go with our video editing workstations. Those things were stable as hell

Back then there were more vendors competing fiercely in the market, and all of them were on their toes as they knew even one slip could turn out to be totally fatal.

Nowadays, other than AMD and Nvidia, what other serious players do we have ?

None.

With the market turns into duopoly both the players no longer have the urge to bring new and innovative features into their new products.

How many times we have heard of the horror stories brought on by their crappy drivers ?

Other than lamenting online, the users (no matter if they are casual gamers or professional users) have no other option but to wait for a newer version of the drivers, or roll back the drivers to one that worked.

ps. I still have several of those Matrox cards with dual video outputs.

Re:That's what you get with duopoly (2)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year ago | (#44881993)

Matrox are still making some serious professional 2D video cards, my favourite at the moment is a low profile quad head card we use with our operator workstations. They are no good for 3D graphics, but in many situations that's perfectly fine.

Re:That's what you get with duopoly (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year ago | (#44882315)

Plus bringing up crappy video drivers brings all sorts of fanboi responses.

My dual AMDs were pretty much crap, blue screening on start pretty much from the start and even having the company check them found no issues with the hardware. One update bricked the system and required a full reinstall of Windows XP.

I finally replaced them with dual nVidias which also had crappy driver issues from the get go. I stumbled on a forum comment suggesting I use the 306 drivers and the system has been stable ever since (I'd get the 'driver has restarted' errors which would happen more often as I kept trying to upgrade the driver). The nVidia's are a tad slower than the AMDs but at least they're stable.

[John]

Re:That's what you get with duopoly (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44882793)

With the market turns into duopoly both the players no longer have the urge to bring new and innovative features into their new products.

If AMD doesn't get any more urges soon, it might end up being a monopoly. Here's Anandtech's take [anandtech.com] on the server market right now:

At the end of last year, AMD was capable of mounting an attack on the midrange Xeons by introducing Opterons based on the "Piledriver" core. That core improved both performance and power consumption, and Opteron servers were tangibly cheaper. However, at the moment, AMD's Opteron is forced to leave the midrange market and is relegated to the budget market. Price cuts will once again be necessary. Considering AMD's "transformed" technology strategy , we cannot help but be pessimistic about AMD's role in the midrange and high-end x86 server market. AMD's next step is nothing more than a somewhat tweaked "Opteron 6300". Besides the micro server market, only the Berlin CPU (4x Steamroller, integrated GPU) might be able to turn some heads in HPC and give Intel some competition in that space. Time will tell.

I think we all know FX-8350 is no match for Intel's high end in the desktop market either and they're struggling with power efficiency in the laptop market. AMD is exiting all the markets where they're exclusively competing with Intel and entering all the markets where they're competing with Intel and half a dozen ARM competitors. As the saying goes, out of the frying pan and into the fire. If those console sales don't start to kick up AMDs finances soon they're done for, because right now their business plans stink.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881091)

I hate to break this to you, but video cards have always been gaming toys. From the days of hires monochrome modes, to CGA, EGA, VGA and then ever faster and faster cards, the driving force was always games. I've always kept on the cutting edge with video cards, from Hercules and ATI in the early days, to Tseng, Matrox and 3Dfx in the 90s to Nvidia from 2000 to current. Know why? Games.

Maybe on the PC.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881171)

But the old PA-RISC, Sun Microsystems, and SGI boxes all had high end video options that beat out personal computers in resolution, bit depth, memory speed, and reliability as often as not.

Now mind you since PCs began dominating the market due to much more rapid turnover, R&D, and generational increases in performance, yeah I would agree the driving force has become games. However somewhere between 96 and '00 was when that really started to happen, rather than 'in the monochrome/cga/ega' days.

Re:Maybe on the PC.... (1)

cb88 (1410145) | about a year ago | (#44882309)

Indeed... my SparcStation ZX still runs happily. Sadly I was not the first owner when it cost 20k USD.

Sun made alot of interesting cards... one of them even has a java ByteCode processor.

Lots of interesting tidbits on Michael Deering's site http://www.michaelfrankdeering.com/ He had a hand in most of Sun's custom cards.

Re:Maybe on the PC.... (2)

matfud (464184) | about a year ago | (#44882541)

all the old fireGL 1000/2000/3000/4000/5000/4 cards. SGI's Extreme series. all designed for pushing acurate polygons at the expense of texture mapping performance. And these were pushing the envelope not graphics cards for gaming. But you also paid through the nose for them.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44881963)

To be honest the Tseng also worked wonders for Windows 3.1, not just games :) Ahh the bad old days... God I've spent so much money on computers and computer stuff. Sigh.

game cards aren't crippled any more (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#44881543)

These days, you can't get more features out of your gamer card by tricking the card or driver software into believing it is a "Pro" card any more. If you buy a Pro card now, it's usually based on the previous generation of chipset, with a well stabilized and thoroughly tested driver, compared to the very short time to market that top range gamer cards get. The big problem is that newer chipsets often are run on the same driver and iterations between the chipsets are often nothing more than a die shrink size and maybe some optimization in memory path, controllers and such. This means that drivers are essentially the same for all chipsets and the single code base requires both stability for Pro cards and bleeding edge features for the latest and greatest gamer stuff. Essentially, the Pro users of GFX cards like the CUDA and engineering people, suffer from the big pull of the gamer market demanding ever increased high resolution and frame rates because the manufacturers work with a single code base for both lines of product.

Re:game cards aren't crippled any more (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881669)

Enable 12/16bpc support on a Geforce 6xx or 7xx.
Oh wait, you can't.
Resistor swap + BIOS flash to turn it into a Quadro and you magically can.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44882211)

Actually there is more to it than just crippling them artificially. The pro cards go through more extensive testing to make sure that their output is pixel-perfect correct. It is debatable how much difference a very slight rendering error or discoloured pixel will be when working in a CAD package, especially when the screen is updated rapidly anyway.

The pro cards are also calibrated and guaranteed to produce accurate colours, where as the consumer grade ones are not. Of course these days that isn't much of an issue since no-one uses analogue outputs any more.

So there is a difference, but it doesn't justify the huge price increase in most cases.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44880867)

Take a gander through the links at https://www.google.com/search?q=\device\video5+Nvlddmkm [google.com]

Nvidia's 32x.xx drivers have actually been destroying hardware

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880941)

yeah don't worry about AMD problems, look over there at nVidia problems instead! seriously can we not have a discussion without some idiot trying to turn it into a flamewar? if you want to discuss nVidia start a different thread instead of hijacking this one.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44881995)

See if you were running linux instead of windows then you wouldn't have these.... lol. Welcome to slashdot :P

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

Andy_R (114137) | about a year ago | (#44882299)

I think you mean you wouldn't have these problems on a Mac (*ducks*)

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about a year ago | (#44883371)

*wings a macbook at Andy_R*

Re:AMD multi-display problems (3, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44882187)

As a useful point, this has been an on-going issue with Nvidia drivers since about 290ish--and in the last three releases on 400,500 and some 600's where the drivers were so bad that they caused hardlocks across the board. Where either the drivers have been crap, or causing hardware lockups, or the various reports that can't be confirmed of them nuking hardware. In fact, it got so bad back 6mo ago that nvidia was looking for people in the continental US to send their entire rigs in to their hardware labs for testing. So, people thinking that this is a "flameware" or some other asinine thing, need to realize that there's driver issues on both sides. Sometimes however, the issues are more serious than reported for one side or the other. And between the two, nvidia has the more serious driver issue, and that's coming from someone who's last 6 cards have all been nvidia made by evga--three of which that had to be RMA'd because of a sudden hardware failure after a driver update.

Thinking on this a bit more, it reminds me of how nvidia was at one point blaming the driver reset issue only on "bad configurations" and "PSU power issues" until it was found that undervolting or overvolting(mainly) the cards solved this problem. Especially on the 500 series cards, this was of course after they had adjusted the voltage supplied to the cards downward, in order to make them run cooler.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44882819)

I think he hit a nerve. The problem is that if you single out someone and say "this is shit" people *will* think the alternatives are better. That's what the link adds, balance. Yes, AMD isn't perfect but neither is the only viable alternative, despite what you might read on Slashdot.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44880947)

How does that help us with the problems with AMD cards?

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881017)

I believe the point was they both are sucking

Re:AMD multi-display problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881073)

No wonder people prefer console gaming to PC gaming, the driver nightmares are enough to put anybody but the most diehard fanboys off.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44882009)

Driver nightmares? I have zero driver problems on my PC. Of course I never buy the "bleeding edge" brand new "hot video-card for this year just in time for Christmas", either. I'm perfectly happy being one or two generations behind, where cards and drivers are less buggy. I don't think it's so much a PC vs console issue as it is an "early adopter" issue. It's not only software companies that crowd-source the "beta test" of their products, apparently.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#44882149)

I have second hand cards, and very few problems myself, but when somebody puts a thing on sale for quite some $$$, I expect the damn thing to deliver.

It helps AMD fanboys feel better about themselves! (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#44882397)

AMD has long had driver performance issues, compared to nVidia. Their hardware started really kicking some ass with the 4000 series and was just dominant with the 5000 series, but the software side has had some issues. I'm not sure what the issue is, maybe they need more people, maybe they need better people, maybe they need a better process. Whatever the case they end up having more issues. Stuttering and rendering partial frames has been one (that they have largely cleared up with single display setups), issues with Endur would be another (a year after my laptop release, it still has big issues).

So it just is what it is. If you get an AMD card you know you may have some issues like this, but you also know they will work on it, though any resolution may not be fast.

However this is a big issue for AMD fanboys. They, like all fanboys, put their identity, their ego, in AMD being the One True Way(tm) and being better than those other guys. So when something makes their chosen toy look bad, they have to steer the discussion away. They'll find a bug in nVidia drivers and say "BUT LOOK NVIDIA HAS T3H PROBLEMS!!!" to try and deflect the argument.

Rather than simply buying the card they want and enjoying the purchase, they have to make it an "us vs them" kind of thing.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (4, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44880891)

I've got 5 monitors connected to 2 ATI cards (Linux + Xinerama).

The most interesting artefact I've seen is some apps can corrupt the cursor so the pointer is a little bit of random memory contents.
But only on some monitors. Move it to another monitor and it may come back, move it to the original monitor and it dies again.

There must be some really fun bugs in their drivers that rear their heads with massive setups.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44880909)

Have you tried the radeon driver?

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about a year ago | (#44881071)

I'm running 5760x1200 across three monitors on an ATI Flex card using the radeon driver. No problems here. But then again, I don't game, I don't run multiple GPUs in a CrossFire setup, and I don't get near the ATI binary drivers, so it's all good.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year ago | (#44882441)

I'm running 5760x1200 across three monitors on an ATI Flex card using the radeon driver. No problems here. But then again, I don't game, I don't run multiple GPUs in a CrossFire setup, and I don't get near the ATI binary drivers, so it's all good.

3 monitors probably works a treat, have you tried with an even number though?

When I tried running this a few years back it annoyed the crap out of me that alert boxes would always end up centered over all the displays so bang on the boundary of two monitors. What I wanted was two separate displays I could drag windows between but have everything default to appear on the primary monitor like it did under Windows.

Not bothered experimenting with multiple monitors since as it was such an arse last time. Have things improved?

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44881255)

No I haven't. I was going for a obscure setup (3 monitors on one card, 2 on the other) and I wanted it running quickly (ooh shiny) so I just went with the binary driver.
Probably should give the radeon driver a whirl when I get some time.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about a year ago | (#44882237)

I can confirm this happens even on dual-monitor setups with the default driver. It is extremely common when playing a full screen game on one monitor and leaving the other up for your background stuff, even with the cursor stuck to the gaming monitor. This happens to me when playing Dota 2.

It is common to the point where there's threads about it spattered around the internet.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (5, Interesting)

mkairys (1546771) | about a year ago | (#44881005)

I've got 5 monitors connected to 2 ATI cards (Linux + Xinerama).

The most interesting artefact I've seen is some apps can corrupt the cursor so the pointer is a little bit of random memory contents. But only on some monitors. Move it to another monitor and it may come back, move it to the original monitor and it dies again.

There must be some really fun bugs in their drivers that rear their heads with massive setups.

I actually get this exact same problem on my Windows 7 desktop (3 monitors). The primary display cursor will sometimes have fragments of the cursor graphics or loading animation displayed but moving the cursor across each screens fast and back again can sometimes resolve it. Interesting that its a problem on both platforms.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Stalks (802193) | about a year ago | (#44881499)

I too get this issue.

It is repeatable by moving the cursor along the bottom edge of a monitor boundary and bringing it up at the other side a few times.

This is also the fastest way of returning the cursor back to normal.

I have had this issue for nearly 3 years with countless driver updates, no fix in sight.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about a year ago | (#44883059)

Maybe it's an issue with an odd number of displays? Can you guys try reducing/increasing the number of displays to four and see if it has similar issues?

We have numerous workstations using AMD video cards and two displays with no issues.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (2)

Celarnor (835542) | about a year ago | (#44881697)

That cursor corruption bug is actually very, very old and seems to have resurfaced recently as of 13.4 or so. They were _supposed_ to fix that with the last patch (its in the patchnotes), but I still get it...

Re:AMD multi-display problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881891)

Yup, it's a hardware bug that's been around at least since the HD2000 series.
Recent Catalyst/fglrx seems to have "lost" the driver workaround that's been present for 4 years or so...

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year ago | (#44882579)

I have the same problem, but in my very old WIndows XP Pro. SP3 with dual screen setup (19.5" CRT TV + 19" LCD monitor) and ATI Radeon 4870 video card (PCIe; 512 MB of VRAM). ATI/AMD's software is buggy. I had to downgrade back to old ATI Catalyst driver v9.4 since newer drivers cause Windows XP's clock to slow down with DVI and rare, random hard lock ups with videos. :(

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a year ago | (#44882831)

You don't need multi monitor to corrupt the mouse pointer in ATI cards, a problem very similar to what you describe happens sometimes when you play certain games in full screen windowed mode. It fixes itself after a restart, or when you open a new app that steals mouse cursors, like the Windows 7 Magnifier.

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44883085)

I had an artifact like that pop up on my desktop, except that was under Windows. More peculiarly, it corrupted the pointer slightly differently - columns were out of order - and it did so even after changing the pointer. And just like yours, it was only on one monitor, even though both my displays are being driven by one card. I eventually fixed it by disabling then re-enabling the affected monitor in the Catalyst control panel. I'm sure a reboot would have worked, but who wants to do that?

Re: AMD multi-display problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44883141)

Pretty sure that's a persisting X issue going back to at least 2006. Had the EXACT same problem on 2 different PC's with Nvidia, Intel, and S3 graphics chips only.

And when I brought it up to the X and video card driver communities? I was laughed out of the forums!

Re:AMD multi-display problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881229)

Lately (at least last year), NVidia + Linux seems to have issues too.

Power issues (ie. inability to enter low power state) with multiple displays in some configurations. Buggy behaviour with Linux+OpenGL and some games using latest video cards.

It's not all roses on the other side of the fence either. It's like quality has been going down everywhere...

AMD Experience (1, Informative)

Metabolife (961249) | about a year ago | (#44880841)

I started off with AMD cards maybe 6 years ago before I tried an NVIDIA card. It really is just a smoother experience overall. I don't know what it is, but I've been shying away from building any new systems with an AMD lately.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44880899)

I had an ATI RageII with my P2 166MHz. When using hardware acceleration for MPEG(1) videos, it played with inversed hue, even the video bundled with the drivers did not play correctly.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#44880917)

It was a 233MHz, sorry, it was in 1998, 15 years is a long time! the 166MHz was my previous pentium...

Re:AMD Experience (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about a year ago | (#44881035)

Same here.

I had been on Ati and then AMD for a number of years and the only reason I moved away is Sapphire sold me a dud 6970 and didn't replace it, attempted to fix it, took my money, and then sent it back to me broken. And then I managed to fry a new Radeon 6970 HD card to replace that one when it overheated.
Then discovered that the Nvidia equivalent GTX 670 not only used less power, took up less space in my PC case, ran a lot, cooler (and thus didn't fry), and actually performed marginally better as well. Also it was supported in a hackintosh unlike the AMD card.

Not going back.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#44881105)

I've had both over the years, and both have bugs and issues, though the ATI driver folks are certainly more consistently stupid, and they're the only ones to leave me so ragefaced that I decided to buy a new card instead of deal with a bug (stupid card re-queried the GDI table from the monitor/tv at every boot and overrode the existing settings so even if you forced it to use 1080p if the monitor reported 640*480 it would reset to that every single boot), something not even the fine folks at 3dfx had managed to do.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881261)

I started off with AMD cards maybe 6 years ago before I tried an NVIDIA card.

I did the opposite. I've owned nVidia cards up until nVidia went fucking nuts with Kepler (insane power usage for crap performance) and switched to an AMD card.

I can say that I have been thoroughly dissatisfied with the experience. It started off badly with the first card being DOA and needing replacement, and I have "enjoyed" video glitches [flickering and random zoom-in/out on the secondary monitor when starting a D3D/OGL/video-player program], rendering screwups [shadows were not rendering in several games for a while] and annoying nits [why is "Catalyst Control Center" in the right click menu of every single directory on the entire computer? Why does Catalyst use 150MiB of RAM and take 15 seconds to open from the tray? Why does it then take 5 additional seconds to switch tabs inside it?]. Multimonitor has been much less smooth than nVidia's cards were. Worst of all, they somehow figured out a way to add frame-rate drop to the Windows Desktop (seriously, the card can't maintain 60FPS showing the damn desktop. Jerky, laggy everything that requires minimising and restoring a window to fix (temporarily)).

Frankly, I'm surprised ATi managed to stay in business for as long as they did before they were bought out. The hardware might be slick but the software side is bullshit soup.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44883463)

Why does Catalyst use 150MiB of RAM and take 15 seconds to open from the tray? Why does it then take 5 additional seconds to switch tabs inside it?

The Catalyst Control Center is created using .NET Framework and probably badly optimized anyway. It's sad that a simple program to flip some switches is so heavyweight.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#44881415)

I've run ATi cards off and on since the 8500. Never had issues.

Re:AMD Experience (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44882161)

I started off having problems with ATI drivers twenty years ago with Windows 3.1 and the Mach32. Even Radius could make more stable accelerated video drivers. Hell, so could S3.

Today, people are still having serious problems with their ATI video drivers, now they're just called AMD.

ATI can't code their way out of a nutsack.

Talk about your canonical (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880857)

first world problem. I mean, really - we should care because a company's tech won't perfectly display game images on multiple monitors?

Re:Talk about your canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880875)

first world upper class spoon fed cry baby problem. FTFY.

Re:Talk about your canonical (2, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44880885)

Yet, here you are posting, instead of over at wearetheworld.org. Just because people are starving doesn't mean that this isn't a problem worthy of mention for others. This is a tech site. If you want coverage of famine, there's a bevy of leftwing rags out there that talk about it every day. Go read one of those.

This 'first world problem' routine is little more than politically correct shaming language, meant to shame people focused on their own issues into caring only about whatever the speaker wants them to focus on (usually some identity politics 'crisis.').

Re:Talk about your canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880939)

Your first-world problems sound pretty severe. Will you be needing the services of a Waaahmbulance?

Re:Talk about your canonical (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#44880953)

You are correct. The ironic part is where people complain about their first world problem of hearing other people complain about first world problems.

Re:Talk about your canonical (1)

andy.ruddock (821066) | about a year ago | (#44882293)

there's a bevy of leftwing rags out there that talk about it every day

So what about the rightwing rags. Do they not exist, or just not give a fuck?

Re:Talk about your canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881333)

I don't see you doing anything to help with non first world problems. Unless you wear a burlap sack, sleep under the stars, grow/hunt your own food and allocate every penny and luxury item that comes your way to the poor and needy in third world countries you can't talk, hypocrite.

Re:Talk about your canonical (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44881777)

We should care because fraud is fraud. They are making cards now that apparently deliberately lie to the applications (to make benchmarks look better) and to make those lies, pump out poorer performance than the real number would be, if they weren't lying to the applications.

Re:Talk about your canonical (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44882029)

Hey that one is almost as good as: "You guys are here talking about video games DON'T YOU KNOW WE ARE AT WAR?" Honestly if you have nothing interesting to say, why are you even here?

getting worse? (1, Interesting)

gerardrj (207690) | about a year ago | (#44880895)

I was playing flight sims on my Quadra 900 in the late 80s/early 90s with 4 displays. The resolutions and detail may be higher today, but I never had any issues or failures of the system. FA/18 Hornet was my favorite.

Re:getting worse? (1)

teh dave (1618221) | about a year ago | (#44881025)

Wow, another F/A18 Hornet 3.0 player! I still play this occasionally today - I haven't found anything like it. Know of anything comparable that is newer (other than the updated version of Hornet which has a jittery cockpit view)?

</offtopic>

Re:getting worse? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881049)

what the fuck does this have to do with anything

more displays, more pixels, more polys

cool story bro, but your fucking 900 was 20 years ago, and so was its relevance in this discussion

Re:getting worse? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44881197)

It's not that it's getting worse it's that it's getting more complex.

Single and Multi-GPU configs (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44880919)

That pretty much hints at a driver issue, or bad GPU sync.

Re:The first step is admitting their is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880977)

Huh?

The reported anomalies at first glance look to be it is hard to shove lots of data around (dropped frames), microcode issue ie binary blobs that they load into the card... a level below the "driver" (interleaved frames) and sync or timing issues (even stepped, non-horizontal vertical sync tearing). But that's just a first impression. Have I done any testing? Uh no. The fact of the matter is it is impressive that they move 4k of data around as fast as they do. But it could be an architecture issue, it could be a hardware issue, it could be software in the card communicating to the card or sending data to the OS to be relayed to the card. Heck it could be an architecture issue of the mainboard, the task scheduler or the age old bus just ain't fast enough to feed the card.

So we have a problem. Now the hard work of narrowing the problem down can begin. My money is on all of the above. Subtle errors all over the place that nobody could test for and thus couldn't know they needed finding and fixing.

Re:The first step is admitting their is a problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881189)

So we have a problem. Now the hard work of narrowing the problem down can begin. My money is on all of the above. Subtle errors all over the place that nobody could test for and thus couldn't know they needed finding and fixing.

You mean narrowing down the problem that is already known and already being worked on [hardocp.com] ?

Perhaps the problem is rather, why does this article, which pretends nothing of this is already known, exist? If this is a new issue, they totally failed to show it.

Re:The first step is admitting their is a problem (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44881201)

Yes AC a lot of good people will be testing. Lets hope its not the CPU, motherboards, OS or games. If this can be fix by one company- great.
Subtle errors all over the place would have hopefully been picked up by the OS people, Intel, Nvidia, game testers, hardware makers over time?
Guess we might need a next gen card buy up for 4k :)

Doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880975)

I might want multiple monitors, but why does it cost 250 watts of extra energy? I'm not rendering 3d models or getting to play BF3.

fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881011)

fristwoldporblem

FUD, Nothing but FUD (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881053)

Hmm...AMD is about to drop Hawaii and retake the single GPU crown and GUESS WHAT! Another round of FUD from the company that cancelled their next premium GPU in the name of funding also-ran ARM devices and niche handheld gaming devices. Fuck off, Jens. You played your hand now reap what you sow.

Re:FUD, Nothing but FUD (2)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#44881823)

except its true and measurable

Even me on my shitty 4870 with two monitors have problems under windows 8. Everything is fine with one monitor active, but turn on dual monitors and all of a sudden I get flickering artifacts in 3D game on the main monitor.

Re:FUD, Nothing but FUD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881915)

We have about a dozen monitoring stations deployed where I work and they all have 6x monitor configurations, we went cheap and used AMD's Eyefinity instead of Matrox, and they've had problem after problem after problem. Drivers regularly cause BSODs and frame problems just like the ones in the article happen often and we're not even doing gaming, most we do is video.

Re:FUD, Nothing but FUD (1)

instagib (879544) | about a year ago | (#44882305)

Maybe you could make a deal with Matrox by offering them your experience as a customer success story.

Seems like a bullshit article. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881151)

Note that the words "driver" and "version" don't occur on the page. There is a know issue that AMDs been working that sounds a lot like this issue. It's been known for months, they've got a "two phase" plan to attack it, the first of which is implemented in the current beta driver-set.

The timing of this article is very suspect. They're either reporting on a new problem (and totally failing at providing any relevant data on their configuration), or they're simpy regurgitating an already know issue, like doing a big splashy article about a bug report.

Re:Seems like a bullshit article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881555)

Typical /.er, pontificating on an article he did not read.

Re:Seems like a bullshit article. (1)

LoneTech (117911) | about a year ago | (#44881737)

I find the interesting thing is that last time I used fglrx drivers - which was quite a few years ago, maybe before AMD bought them - they exhibited this very behaviour on Xvideo. I'm rather curious what makes them decide that a simple buffer swap for the entire screen should be done by drawing it in little triangles (presumably a variant of tiled rendering, but it's a full buffer swap!) in an unsynchronised random order (well, roughly from the right to left - but why not display order, top to bottom?). Even when they did get vsync activated, it synced not to the vertical blank but about 1/9th into the screen - so you got a *guaranteed* horisontal tear in the same place instead of random jagged ones. That was all with just one monitor - when I ran two, some versions would synchronize to the wrong monitor. Meanwhile, the very new open source radeon driver support used a rock steady video overlay.

ATI proudly proclaimed their two-step release cycle back then. What we saw in reality was drivers getting released with alternating sets of bugs. Of course, support for something as plain as video playback wasn't a priority, so maybe there were improvements I didn't notice as much.

What fascinates me is not so much that they get issues when running on multiple monitors, but that the same weird artifacts keep popping up. It's not like modern graphics cards don't have the memory to use readout driven frame buffer base address swaps.

In all, I'd say the artifacts are not news worthy, but their longevity and recurrence are cause for shame.

Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (4, Insightful)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#44881223)

The biggest problem with multi-monitor gaming is that it's just plain garbage in any kind of "surround" configuration. Apart from Fisheye-Quake and some fancy pants flight sims and racing games, arcing three or more monitors does nothing but waste power and processing capability to render a smeared-out mess on every monitor but the one in the center. Most games aren't even mathematically capable of producing a 180-degree FOV. I've never been quite sure who should get the ball rolling in that department, but I've just decided it should be Valve. I don't have a good reason. Get on it, guys! Ubiquitous support for rendering games to multiple-viewports.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881291)

I dream of a game where you have financial data on multiple screens and you can buy and sell and regardless what you do you get a cut.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44882039)

Hey that sounds like a good game still I'm sure people will manage to lose all their money so why don't we put in a feature I dunno let's call it "too big to fail" so if they lose everything we just put more cash in their account. I'd play that game.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881349)

Large investment for an EXTREME minority of customers who still only bought one copy of our game.

Yeah. We'll get right on that. Sometime after never.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#44883067)

And that's why they'll also never port their first-party library to Linux. Except that they are doing that, and there are probably more multi-monitor (or potential multi-monitor) gamers than there are Linux gamers.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about a year ago | (#44881541)

What are the odds that VR gear like the Occulus Rift will keep multi-monitor gaming from becoming more than a niche market?

(and with VR, you can render additional informational displays _within_ the game)

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881633)

Not defending multiple monitors, but what keeps me off VR gears is the usual sharp pain in my eyes and a headache after prolonged use. Same thing with 3D gimmicks.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44882421)

It depends on the headset, mainly the focal distance. The Rift is infinite-focus, so your eyes are relaxed (with the drawback that you cannot accommodate to 'close' objects in the same way you converge on them) cheap and/or poorly designed VR headsets (e.g. the infamous Virtual boy) have you focussing on a closer virtual surface, causing eyestrain.

Then again, so many, many things can cause eyestrain when you mix HMDs and stereo 3D. Oculus have pretty good guidelines, and as long as developers follow them then eyestrain can be avoided.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about a year ago | (#44882329)

I heard you like monitors, so I've rendered some monitors on your monitors so you can monitor while you monitor.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44883301)

Multi-monitor gaming is *already* a niche market. Most gamers have one display, or perhaps one gaming monitor and one or two monitors that aren't used for the game (for media players, chat or, if playing Eve, a few Excel docs).

The problem is that there's so many things you need:
3-6 identical monitors, or monitors that are very closely matched in one dimension and in pixel density
Monitors need to have small or nonexistent borders
A mount capable of holding them all in exactly the right spots
A video card (or cards) that can output at such a high effective resolution
A video card (or cards) with the right set of video outputs to handle that many displays

Here's the other thing: it's mostly pointless dick-waving. Gamers set this sort of rig up because they've once again bought the highest-end video cards, only to realize that that's overkill at almost any single-monitor resolution. It's a set-up for people with too much money and not enough sense. Sure, it's kind of cool to see, but it doesn't really help the games any. Meanwhile, the Oculus Rift is aiming for a mainstream price point and has a resolution low enough that my *old* laptop could run Crysis on it.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44881589)

Instead of doing it the stupid way with having three monitors spanning directly in front of you, multi monitor support should be configured so that you have one display in front and one on either side of you. Doom was capable of doing this with three networked PCs, but it should be doable with any single gaming rig now.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

complete loony (663508) | about a year ago | (#44881683)

Multi-Monitor setups typically assume that all of your monitors are arranged in a single plane, with the scene rendered based on your nose being some distance away from the exact center of your primary display. Instead each screen should be rendered based on a separate camera, from a POV that is off center.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44882119)

Most games aren't even mathematically capable of producing a 180-degree FOV.

That's a limitation of linear algebra, not the games. The only way of achieving 180 degree FOV (or any FOV without the distortion at the edges) is to use a non-linear projection, which causes artifacts when values are linearly interpolated across the screen.
The current math works out perfectly if you have a flat screen (= don't turn the side panels towards you) and properly set up the FOV. The whole point is that the stretching is cancelled out by the fact that you're viewing the screen at an angle, which also explains why a FOV of 180+ is impossible. Even with an infinitely large screen it'd never bend around you at the sides.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#44883129)

Exactly! But it's easily (haha) solved by rendering a separate view for each monitor.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#44882561)

That depends. If you can adjust field of view in game, or game automatically adjusts it for you, it's of tremendous advantage as it does in fact give you a wider field of view.

If not, then it is indeed useless.

As a point of comparison: it's considered cheating in most first and third person shooting games multiplayer to increase your FoV beyond certain limit. This is so because it gives you vastly superior awareness of your surroundings, making it much harder to surprise you with flanking. Multi-monitor setups allow for huge fields of view.

FOV limitations are just silly. (2)

sgtrock (191182) | about a year ago | (#44883109)

As a point of comparison: it's considered cheating in most first and third person shooting games multiplayer to increase your FoV beyond certain limit.

An attitude which I never understood. Games designed to enforce a 90 degree FOV fail to take into account that on average, our peripheral vision encompasses about 150-160 degrees for most people.

This is so because it gives you vastly superior awareness of your surroundings, making it much harder to surprise you with flanking.

Well, that's sort of the point of peripheral vision, isn't it? There's an easy test that I was taught in junior high that quickly demonstrates this. Hold your arms out in front of you, thumbs up. Move them to the edges of your vision on both sides until you can just see them. Stop, and take a quick look left and right. If you're like most people, you'll find that you're arms are now almost straight out from your sides.

Games which take into account this awareness tend to to do one or both of two things. The first is to allow an FOV up to some arbitrary limit somewhat greater than 90 degrees, say 110 or 120 degrees. Anything after that tends to get so distorted as to be useless on a single monitor anyhow.

The second option is to show some sort of indicators on the side of your monitor and/or allow a quick free look around of just your head. The best implementation of this model belongs to an FPS series that emphasizes realism in its player model to an extent that I've seen nowhere else. I'm speaking of course of the Operation Flashpoint/ArmA I-III series. This game series has been working on this basic model since, what? 1998? The ArmA branch of that series has also provided native support for multiple monitors and TrackIR [naturalpoint.com] since the first iteration.

If a FPS this fanatically dedicated to realism (OK, as long as you forget the brain dead AI and concentrate on everything else!) thinks this is OK, then why can't other games at least acknowledge the issue?

Re:FOV limitations are just silly. (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#44883215)

Judging by your response, you do not understand the issue at all. Our peripheral vision and our field of view is in fact irrelevant in the discussion of game balance/fairness.

The point is that it's possible to project a much wider field of view onto the screen, up to full 360, giving you complete awareness of your surroundings. It would be uncomfortable to use initially until you trained yourself for it, but after you train your eyes and brain to accept it, you would become vastly superior in any game where advantage can be gained by flanking or hitting from behind.

Field of view of a player as in comparison to field of view projected on the screen is usually a formula of screen size and distance from your eyes to the screen to create the most "realistic" view, i.e. the field of view that screen covers in front of your eyes equals the natural field of view from your eyes at the distance where your screen is located.

But when you're competitive, and you need to maximize your advantage (i.e. how much of your surroundings you can view at once), you want to use as wide field of view as possible without completely disorienting yourself. If you train yourself, even fully panoramic 360 is doable without massive disorientation. People who play in competitive fields train for thousands of hours.

That is why most games have a fixed maximum field of view, and hacking your client to give wider field of view gives you same cheating ban as wallhacking would.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#44883195)

I'm not just looking for an advantage (and not talking about competitive games, importantly. I know how important FOV equality is at that level), I'm just looking for immersion. Skyrim with an ultra-wide FOV let's me see approaching enemies a little sooner, but it looks absolutely atrocious. Beyond that, human vision can cover a 270-degree field if you allow eye movement (but not head movement). That's 90 more degrees than any shooter will give you.

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44883231)

I'm pretty sure that "fov 180" has worked in Unreal Engine games since at least UT2k3. IIRC, UE1 games had problems with it, but UE2 fixed that problem.

It's trippy playing with a 180-degree FOV. Things at the edge of your screen are huge. Things in the center (that you're shooting at) are tiny.

It does, however, provide a handy "quick zoom" that the server can only block at connect-time, since all you have to do is turn 45-degrees left or right to make things huge.

Meanwhile, it will NOT fix the curved monitor setup. The renderer is assuming you have a flat surface, and is calculating a projection onto that flat surface. The FOV is supposed to be the angle from your eye to the left/right edges of your screen at the distance you typically sit from your screen. (In reality, that's not quite true, since if you sit a long way away from a small screen, your FOV becomes a zoomed-in postage-stamp-sized viewport into the world, and you'd need a wall of those screens to play the game.)

Re:Multi-Monitor Gaming Just Sucks (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#44883361)

Actually, the logical candidate is id. Carmack is now working at Oculus Rift, but you can bet he's still influencing id's graphics development, and the Oculus Rift needs games to work with very wide FOVs in order to look good.

2x 1440p on 7970 teared like a bitch 2 years back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44882129)

Ran U2711 + the better Samsung led screen @ 2560x1440 and tearing was horrible on a 1.3GHz 7970 with almost any moving task about 2 years ago.

This was early days when drivers are often 'flakey' to say the least though.

See it rarely with 2560x1440 + 1080p tv today, running under clocked. At standard clocks don't notice it usually.

Since early days of crossfire and sli I've always been a fan of one big card clocked hard on a good screen with good colour.

Multi screen needs a while to catch up. Used both camps for a dizzying array of different projector/screen setups and AMD has better drivers for irregular screen size/setups. Nvidia often threw a shitty when it wasn't a certain resolution, or had issues detecting longer cable runs with powered splitter boxes etc over multiple cards. ATi/AMD flew through it majority of the time.

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