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Windows Pc Gamers.. simple questions about multiple monitors. Why use them?

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by LightingBird, 4 Dec 2011.

  1. LightingBird

    LightingBird Member

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    Title says it all.

    Recently I've been thinking of hooking up my gaming laptop to a docking station and buying a 40inch monitor or even a 23inch 3d monitor. Doing some research, I came across videos on youtube regarding curved monitors and multiple screens. I have been amazed. They looked really cool. Anyway, so I'm wondering. Besides it looking cool, why would a person play on three screens when they can just look at one? Wouldn't it be annoying to actually look to the left or right compared to just looking at one screen? Just wanted to get some opinions about this in case I'm missing out on something.
     
  2. Showerhead

    Showerhead New Member

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    Works well for driving games and flight sims as the side monitors imitate your side windows. I find it annoying for most games in the brief time i've spent on them though the bezels get in the way. Very handy for when you are doing office work though.
     
  3. .//TuNdRa

    .//TuNdRa Resident Bulldozer Guru

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    Depends on the games. Some will allow you to stretch the entire game across the three (Or more) Screens, giving you an ultra-wide field of view. Which is awesome in racing games. However; if the game is Field of View locked (Thinking most of the Call of Duty franchise here); It'll just look like ass, even if you can get it to run on such a wide setup.

    RPG's and Strategy games can also benefit very well from multiple screens. I remember Supreme Commander used to let you show just a dedicated map on one of the spare screens, which was bloody handy in some games. (Although I was rockin' CRT monitors when I tried that.)

    Sadly i've not the money to build myself a proper multiple screen setup. Most I say for the modern stuff is; Try. Dig out a couple of old CRT's and hook them up (You'll have massive bezel edges, but this is only for a tester). See if you can manage on having three screens.
     
  4. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I only have 2. My main screen is a 30", and I prefer this over three smaller screens, as sitting close to this is pretty much as immersive an experience. I do use the second screen when playing MMORPGs however, as I often have a web page open for maps and info etc.
     
  5. BrightCandle

    BrightCandle Member

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    In many businesses today you'll find 2 screens sat on a desk. While a user can't look at both at once those businesses are still convinced that the second screen adds productivity. Anecdotally I can say as a programmer that I can get a lot of benefit out of 3 screens because I have a lot of things open at once. Its not just my editor/IDE I have documentation, websites, other code that I am looking at , command lines, profilers and reports on code quality.

    When it comes to gaming on 3 screens with Eyefinity I think its really worthwhile. There are some games where its truly experience changing.

    The first type that really benefits is simulation games. Whether it be flight or racing the additional screens provide tangible visibility benefits that once seen are hard to do without. In F1 2010/2011 for example the two extra screens allow you to look into the corner as you turn in, allowing minor corrections to your apex entry and more importantly allowing you to look where you are going. You can use it to determine breaking points much easier.

    The second type I play a lot of is FPS games. The peripheral vision provided by the two additional screens mean that you see enemy and friendly movements on your flanks. You can use the additional screens to move in rough formations or to spot when an enemy has broken through and is moving to your side. My first experience of this was with Battlefield Bad Company 2. The moment I got into the game I was much more afraid of all the explosions around me, it all felt much more real. While I am cowering in a building I can see out of one of the windows in my periphery some movement, I turn and shoot killing any enemy flanker in an odd place. Without that screen I wouldn't have seen him, and more to the point he had not seen me despite the same angle of vision, because he likely wasn't running eyefinity.

    RTS's so far I have tried with it are a rubbish experience. I tried Shogun total war and company of heroes and neither found it useful. Third person games can benefit quite a bit, WoW being a game that really likes the additional screen real estate due to the amount of interfaces open on screen. So not everything benefits as well as some of the more useful genres so it really does depend what you play.

    The bad news is the processing power to run this in modern games. If you want to run 5760x1200 its every bit as brutal on the graphics and on CPU as it sounds. If you want to do it with high graphics fidelity even more so. You can't get enough graphics horse power today to do this in all the games and you should target a minimum of a 6950 crossfired system to make it run well.
     
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  6. Bitemebad91

    Bitemebad91 New Member

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    What screens would i use for Eyefinity ? Cheap is better and preferably no bezel?


    ----------------------------
    Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.8ghz | GeForce gtx 460 @ 800mhz | 6 gig corsair xms3 tripplechannel ddr3 @ 1600mhz | raven rv01 case | watercooled 360 rad 40c load temps | gigabyte ga-x58-USB3 mobo | Logitech G510 gaming keyboard | Logitech G700 gaming mouse | Razer Goliathus Extended Control Edition mousepad
     
  7. mucgoo

    mucgoo Well-Known Member

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  8. .//TuNdRa

    .//TuNdRa Resident Bulldozer Guru

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    Last time I checked pricing; you're looking at about £700 just for screens and a stand alone (Although you can drop the stand if you've enough desk space for three full blown screens with their own stands.)

    Then the aforementioned amount of GPU's, So you're looking at a minimum of £1100 just to start with. It'll spiral up dramatically when you start adding faster cards to be able to eke out more performance and run the three screens at higher settings.
     
  9. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    I found it completely naff when I had Eyefinity, and then when I used similar setups at LITS, I thought much the same. In FPS games, you don't see enough detail for the peripheral vision to be at all useful. It is half-decent in driving and flight simulators, but frankly OTT.

    To me, it'll only be worth it once you can have a larger central monitor, and smaller outer monitors (E:G. 30" 2560x1600 central screen, and two 20" 1600x1200 outer screens rotated), as you simply don't look at the outer edges of the screens normally, so this cuts down on wasted space in my book, yet gives you a much better central screen/extra size/resolution.

    I did run such a set-up using SoftTH, but not being able to use Crossfire or DX11 with such a set-up renders it difficult to use.

    Now I simply use a single 20" to one side of the 30" which is useful when programming, and for displaying monitoring information or Teamspeak or whatever.

    The biggest point however, is that the OP doesn't appear to have a desktop, and most laptops don't have enough video-outputs to support three screens anyway, unless you use TH2Go.
     
  10. Salty Wagyu

    Salty Wagyu moo

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    At one point I wanted dual monitors so I could game in one display and have the desktop on other so I could browse/IM/email or whatever without needing to minimize the game, but I read the mouse pointer can't be moved over to the desktop display while a game is active, so I didn't bother.
     
  11. Chris1554

    Chris1554 New Member

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    That depends on the game, full screened and windowed you can or just generally windowed.
     
  12. [PUNK] crompers

    [PUNK] crompers Dremedial

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    this can be problematic in fps though, sometimes just turning round will force the mouse to the desktop, basically it doesnt really work, 2 monitors is handy for all sorts of things though
     
  13. Chris1554

    Chris1554 New Member

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    Yeah I only use full screen windowed for a certain selection of games. For example; Minecraft, Terraria, World of Warcraft. Using it in a First person shooter would be silly :p. Most of the games I play I can Use in Windowed mode full screen though so its not really a problem.

    Oh and playing League of Legends with an Item guide on the other screen makes it even more win!
     
  14. LightingBird

    LightingBird Member

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    I havn'et fully decided if I was going to try this but my laptop has a 17 screen and a vga and hdmi port. I was thinking of buying two 20 inch monitors, centering the around the laptop, and hooking them up. Would I need TH2Go so they could all be one big screen or do I need some sort of software? The TH2go is like a $300 device, not sure I'm willing to pay that when I could just buy two monitors and use my existing vga and hdmi port. Unless you need some sort of special software or something to make this work so its one big screen.
     
  15. mucgoo

    mucgoo Well-Known Member

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    I very much doubt your laptop got the graphical power to run three screens while gaming at even low settings for modern games.
    Unless you've got a discrete AMD graphics card in it you won't even be able to get three screens to work together.

    Also having a middle screen smaller than the side screens will just feel odd.
     
  16. LightingBird

    LightingBird Member

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    Why would you think that when I haven't listed any specs about my laptop?

    I can run all of the recent popular games on max settings on my current gaming laptop. Games like Battlefield 3, COD3, and Skyrim at max everything across the board. On the AMD site it say I might be capped at 3000k something instead of the 5000k whatever it is but I'm ok with that when playing games using eyefinity. I have a ATI graphics card. Also, I'm thinking I would just go with three monitors and leave my laptop on the side. Which is convenient when I leave the house with it.
     
  17. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    Given that two desktop 6950 2GB cards in crossfire can't satisfactorily run three 1920x1080 monitors at full settings on the latest games, it's more than entirely certain that you won't be able to do that well with what's essentially two down-clocked 6850s, and that's assuming you have the best AMD have to offer: 6990M crossfire. According to Notebookcheck 6990M Crossfire is generally slower than a desktop GTX580 (sometimes equal, sometimes way behind), which is not ideal for three screens...

    Also, there's little point in being capped at 3k horizontal resolution, unless you wish to run at 1280x720 on each screen.

    The final nail in the idea's coffin is that you can only run Eyefinity if all three screens are of equal resolution, and be in the same orientation (ie: all portrait or all landscape). Plus the obviously annoying small centre screen flanked by two larger screens (unless you can find 17" HD monitors)...

    Basically, it just isn't worth it.
     
  18. LightingBird

    LightingBird Member

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    Well I have come to the conclusion that I would just use an adapter, put my laptop to the side, and run three 23 inch monitors. I do agree it would look odd with my laptop monitor and some monitors on the sides. Also, I went to my graphic cards website and verified I can do this. It has all of the specs and information saying that my card is fully capable of making this work. I have a Radeon HD 5870 which fully supports this. Read up on it if you think I'm wrong. Ha I'm not really trying to argue with anyone. I just know that right now I haven't come across anything I can't run on max settings and AMD's site(my cards maker) says that I should be able to run eyefinity up to six different monitors. Just saying if I'm not seeing something tell me.
     
  19. pingu666

    pingu666 New Member

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    you really need 3 identical screens i think, i did try it with 3 different size screens and its like, hmm thats ok but annoying they dont match up well. (vertical size i mean)

    the new 7 series might make multimonitors more viable, simply due to extra performance :), due in dec/jan last i heard
     
  20. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    I'm not arguing because I have some kind of vendetta against multi monitor setups. A 5870M will be utterly incapable of running three screens satisfactorily. It may well technically be able to, but you're trying to suggest that running three screens with a down clocked 5770 is worth it, and it just isn't.

    Three 23" monitors will have a total resolution of 5760x1080, which is presumably at least three times your laptop's resolution, and so you'll likely see FPS drop to a third of what you currently get.

    The other issue is that of outputs. Not many laptops have more than two active display outputs, so hooking up the monitors will be a challenge in itself. You may well have to buy display port monitors and daisy chain them to one of the outputs, since 5 series cards only have two active non-display port outputs, one of which is likely being used for the laptop's screen.

    Anyway, if you still stubbornly think it's a good idea because the specs say that it can technically run three displays then go ahead, I'm not going to bother trying to save you money and disappointment.
     
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