USB display adapters have always been “a thing”, but performance over USB 2.0 has always been a bit flaky. The older USB standard just doesn’t have the bandwidth needed to support the number of pixels demanded by a modern display. With the wide spread adoption of USB 3.0 by Intel however, EVGA finally saw fit to unveil its UV Plus 39 Display Adapter at this year’s Computex.
Whether you're into widescreen gaming, day trading, multitasking, or just stretching windows until they're really, really big, a multiple monitor setup is the only way to fly. Us geeks have been keen to the secret for a while now (Eyefinity, anyone?) but sales numbers from 2011 seem to indicate that dual-screen madness may be starting to take the world by storm -- and that most buyers think bigger is better.
Taiwan-headquartered mini PC outfit Shuttle Inc. has launched the new Shuttle XPC H7 5820S mini PC in Europe. This diminutive PC is only 19 centimeters (7.5 inches) in height, but has just about enough muscle to drive 16 displays at one time. Shuttle, in fact, is claiming the XPC H7 5820S to be one of the “smallest and fastest PCs ever developed.” Specs after the jump.
The review of Samsung’s MD230X6 six-screen Eyefinity display (from our June issue) got us thinking big. We were awestruck by the majesty of so much screen real estate—particularly in games, where a screen config of massive proportions provides a level of immersion that a single screen, or even two screens, can’t come close to matching. But the MD230X6 wasn’t perfect, as our review revealed. This got us wondering: Would just three of the 23-inch displays side-by-side make for a more satisfying all-around experience? Would it be as encompassing in games? What if we could take three large displays and turn them vertical? And hey, while we’re imagining the possibilities, what would gaming be like on three gigantic HDTVs? What, after all, could be more maximum than that?
If you thought Eyefinity with 3 monitor's was overkill, how about 6? If that caught your attention then you'll be pleased to know that an update to ATI's Eyefinity technology is going to enable gamers to take advantage of up to 6 display's.
Given the complexities involved in laying out that many monitors, ATI has teamed up with Samsung to offer an out of the box solution they plan to ship early this year called the SyncMaster MD230. The package can be ordered as either a six or three panel design, with a price of $3,099 and $1,899 respectively. The six monitor setup is capable of displaying a jaw dropping 6x 1080p, with each panel sporting a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080.
In an era when PC gaming seems to be under constant attack on all fronts, its pretty satisfying to be able to claim your rig is spitting out a resolution equivalent to over 12 Xbox 360's. Of course you may need to re-mortgage your house to be able to afford any of this, but hey, our hobby is all about sacrifice is it not? Either way its great to see out of the box three and six monitor packages that make getting Eyefinity up and running that much easier.
Nvidia owners with an SLI setup who have dreamed of running multiple monitors have been left in the cold for quite some time now. Stretching your real estate out onto a second monitor forced GeForce owners to disable SLI and reconfigure settings from scratch each time. This could take up several minutes and in some extreme cases, even a reboot. ATI owners on the other hand have had the ability to run crossfire on multi monitors for quite some time now and even Nvidia’s Quadro lineup has a fix in place. The day of reckoning is at hand however for GeForce owners and the wait for a fix may soon be over. According to leaked drivers which were previewed by VR-Zone an update from Nvidia may put the issue to bed once and for all. Screen shots and even a download link to the driver shows SLI multi monitor support in action.
Version 180.10 which Nvidia dubs “Big Bang II” could be rolling out soon and these drivers show that significant progress has been made on the issue. The site currently only offers the 64 bit version and this “leaked” copy features a few limitations which are important to know. Currently only clone mode is available for the second monitor, and 3D applications will match the resolutions on both displays regardless of compatibility. Additionally, these features come with roughly a 5% performance hit acording to 3DMark. Additional program specific conflicts are also being discussed in forums, and Nvidia (understandably) isn’t saying much.
The company has not confirmed the authenticity of these drivers or given any official release date on “Big Bang II”. The suggested launch date of September has obviously come and gone and ForceWare version 178.24 debuted just last week. Since driver releases are traditionally a minimum of one month apart, I highly doubt we will see anything new before late November or sometime in December at the earliest.
It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.