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 Post subject: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:02 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:50 am
Posts: 13
Hi everybody! I built my first gaming PC last Christmas and as prices fall as new tech is released I was thinking about upgrading to a multi-monitor setup. This is my current setup:

Cougar Solution AF-2 Mid Tower case
Asus P8Z77-V Pro Mobo
Core i5 3750k CPU
8GB Patriot G2 1600 RAM
120GB Samsung 840 SSD
1TB WD Caviar Blue HD
Gigabyte GTX 660ti 2GB GPU
Soundblaster Recon 3D Sound Card
Corsair HX650 PSU
LG IPS235v-bn Montior

I can currently play all the games I own on very high/ultra settings which makes me happy, but if I go dual monitor I know my current card wouldn't cut it at those settings.

So my question to you fine forum goers is this, would it make more sense to buy another 660ti and go with an SLI setup or sell my current GPU and get a faster single card setup?

Thank you in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:34 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5522
Games don't do two monitors, because the center has a bezel which makes for a really awkward deadzone no matter how you slice it. And you don't need anything fancy if you're in the desktop environment.

So you're good to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:36 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 738
I agree with Latios - games are best played on 1 or 3 monitors - not 2.

I run a dual monitor setup, but I only game on one - I use the second one for multitasking.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:52 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:50 am
Posts: 13
Okay, so I guess I'll be going for a triple monitor setup, same question then?


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 Post subject: Re: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:25 am 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 738
Quote:
Okay, so I guess I'll be going for a triple monitor setup, same question then?

Let me start by saying I'm no expert on multi-monitor setups, much less how well GPUs perform in these circumstances.

From what I can gather, you have several issues at play: high/ultra settings, Multi-Monitor (MM) setup, and single card vs SLI (for ease, I'll just use nVidia). Of course, remember there are some "fundamentals" regarding MM setups...like connectors (have to be DVI, HDMI or display port), and the fact that you need three identical monitors. Also, my research has indicated that GPUs with large amounts of RAM do the best with MMs.

With that in mind, I see three options:

Second 660Ti for SLI
Cost ~ $300
This is the cheapest option. My guess is 660Ti in SLI should handle MM decently at medium settings. There's not much available showing GPU performance in triple monitor setup but I did find this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-3-performance-benchmark-gaming,3451-7.html
As the first graph show, at medium settings the 660Ti SLI performs really well - bump it up to High settings (4th graph) and the 660Ti SLI takes a significant hit. So if you want to do this option, you probably won't be able to game at ultra/high.

770 gtx in SLI
Cost ~ $650 (385x2 less $120 from sale of 660Ti) - It's a guess but it gives you an idea
I selected this 770 because it has 4GB RAM which will come in handy for MMs. Unfortunately a direct comparison can't be performed, but I did find this article:
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_770_sli_review,23.html
I'm guessing they used the standard 2GB 770 so the 4GB version should perform better but don't expect miracles. I'd estimate another 5-10% bump in fps. Using the 770 SLI, I would reasonably expect you would be able to run MM with high settings at decent fps. Ultra...? You can probably enable some Ultra settings, but it's anybody's guess if you would be able to run every setting at Ultra. Plus, it would depend on the game.

Single card 780Ti gtx
Cost ~ $625 (745 less $120 from sale of 660Ti)
This is slightly cheaper than the 770 SLI plus you don't have to worry about SLI issues. MPC provided some benchmarks in this article:
http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_780_ti_benchmarks?page=0,1
Please note that instead of a MM setup, MPC used a 4K monitor. A single 4K monitor is actually more strenuous on a GPU since there are approximate 25% more pixels in a 4K monitor (3840x2160 ~ 8.2 million pixels) than in a triple monitor setups (5760x1080 ~ 6.2 million pixels). Here's another article which might provide more insight:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7492/the-geforce-gtx-780-ti-review/8
I'd guess the 780Ti and the 770 SLI would exchange victories and end up as a tie.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Multi-Monitor Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:54 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5522
A triple monitor setup in Surround Gaming mode is effectively what the monitor's resolution is times 3 in the horizontal direction. If it's 1080p monitors, the effective resolution is 5760x1080. So you could either take what the performance of 2560x1440 is and divide that by 1.6875 or take 4K and multiply that by 1.25 and you get the a theoretical performance metric (or something).

Also surround gaming is very picky about the monitors in that it has to be the same model for all 3.


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