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Triple Monitor, advice please....

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by PaulH, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. PaulH


    Hey guys, thinking of getting a triple monitor setup but after a little advice.

    At the moment I have a Benq 24" 120Hz monitor(the bezel is 23mm) 1920 x 1080, i5 2500k @ 4100, an Asus 7970 Matrix Platinum, 8GB memory

    First off, would that hardware run it at good frames? :unsure: eg. Battlefield 4, Assetto Corsa, Wargame Airland Battle, other racing sims?

    Would I have to get 2 more 120Hz monitors, or would 2 cheapy Benq 24" 60Hz monitors do the job?
    Would the 120Hz monitor then be stuck at 60Hz if I did get the Cheaper monitors?
    Also, would it best to put them all on one stand? Or just sit them on my desk as normal?

    Was looking at this stand - http://www.domu.co.uk/vonhaus-tripl...mount-bracket-for-15-34-45-24-34-screens.html

    My desk width size is 114CM, my monitor now is in the center, so thinking 2 others at 45 degrees should just fit on their stands, but that triple mount might be better.....

    This is pushing me towards triple monitors too... :thumbsup:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  2. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    From what I understand all the monitors have to be the same spec. meaning same resolution and refresh rate. I'm not familiar with the 7970 and how it performs with triple 1080p monitors. You more than likely would need to turn down the eye candy if using only one card. But with lower graphics you should be able to maintain 60fps
  3. That 7970 (GHz Edition?) will handle triple screens on Assetto Corsa, iRacing and every other racing sim I'm aware of, at - or close to - max settings, but I doubt BF4 will be playable (less than 30 fps).

    Also, you may be able to see 120 fps on some racing sims, but you may have to turn some settings down a bit. Triple 120Hz monitors are fairly demanding, and only worthwhile if you're getting 120 fps+ . Otherwise, three 60Hz IPS panels provide better performance for much less money.

    Finally, AFAIK Eyefinity requires three identical panels, but I'm more familiar with Nvidia Surround as I have a GTX 780.

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  4. Three identical monitors are not compulsory, but Eyefinity will reduce your resolution to that of the lowest monitor, so if one of them was 1024x768, then they would all be reduced to that, which would equal 3072 x 768.

    But apart from resolution, there are several reasons why getting three of the same monitor is a very good idea.

    The most important factor is the colour and brightness. It is VERY difficult to find three monitors that match sufficiently if they are not the same model. Trust me I have tried a couple of times to replace one of them with a different make or model and had to return them as I just could not get a close enough match. I may have just been unlucky, but in the end, three of the exact same model are the way to go . I have also used various methods to set the different monitors at different heights on my desk so that the bezels all line up.

    In the end, even though one monitor was still working fine, I have recently upgraded all three monitors, buying 3 x 22 inch IPS LG monitors, and even though I again set out to buy three of the exact same model, after purchasing two I could no longer find a third as LG had updated the model. Aaargh. The stand on the updated one is slightly higher, so yet again, I have built two wooden plinths to put the other two on, and now they are perfectly aligned. BUT the most important factors, the colour & brightness, and the size of bezels and screen, are all identical, and I am very happy with the quality (2 are plugged in via DVI and the other via active adaptor, MiniDP to HDMI).

    So yes, I would recommend three exact same models.
    I would recommend IPS.
    And I would recommend that each monitor has at least two socket options (vga is the weakest and often gives wavy lines across the screen, so get monitors with HDMI and/or DVI sockets, and vga as a third choice - BTW I did have one of them going to vga while waiting for a DVI cable and it was just as good a picture)

    Sorry for length of post, hope it is of help.

    (I have Sapphire HD7950 3GB Flex)
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  5. PaulH


    Thanks guys some great advice :thumbsup:

    Seems this project will have to go on the back burner for now then;)
    I think another 2 120Hz would be the best option(abit pricey though), hmm how much is the lotto jackpot this week :p
  6. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    In skipped the 120Hz because they only come in tn panels. I went with ips and the viewing angle is stunning!
  7. I have to use IPS for graphic design work and they do have excellent view angles - should be great for triple setups indeed.
  8. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    They are, there isn't any color shift when sitting at my cockpit.
  9. I use nvidia surround.
    680gtx 4gb
    Triple monitor setup, side monitors generally point straight at you so viewing angles on tn doesn't really apply imo.
    I use an asus 27 inch 144hz monitor for center
    I use 2x asus 27 inch 60 hz monitors left and right at about 45 degrees from center
    I can run all together ar 60hz at 5760x1080or 6000x1080 bezel corrected in 2d, or
    I can run center monitor in 3d and surround monitors in 2d all at the same time.
    By doing this i get the 3d immersion as most viewing is at the center monitor but peripheral surround adds to the immersion factor, i love it and it works a treat.
    I'm not sure if amd lets you run both 3d and 2d together in a surround scenario.
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  10. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    Didn't know you could do that!
  11. Looking on the net very few people realise its possible.
    It works in all the games i play, iracing, race07 etc. and really is excellent as your main focus is on the center monitor.
    My monitors are 2x asus VE278H 60hz 2d and 1x asusVG278HE 144hz 3d + 3D Vision 2 kit.
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  12. The only time I've found the difference in my monitors distracting (I have 2 1920x1080 and 1 1920x1200, they're slightly different dpi due to all being ~24" diagonal) is when I'm sitting looking at it... while driving, as long as I'm sitting in the same place as I have the triple screen app configured for, it's perfectly okay. I can't use the NVidia Surround due to different resolutions though; I have games in 5760x1200 and windowed mode and just make sure the top edges are lined up. In practice I'm mostly looking closely at the front display, the others are just nice when I run up alongside someone, or a particularly tight turn, or I want to use the real mirrors in iRacing.

    I've actually found the framerate of the left monitor most annoying - stuff seen out the driver's side window tends to have the highest speed so it's most noticeably jerky. Though that's only a problem on Joux Plane in Assetto Corsa, where you can be a few feet away from trees while going 150+km/h past them. Haven't noticed it so badly in other games I've set up for triples.

    Making sure to pick up monitors with a variety of inputs is a good point; most video cards seem to have 2 DVI, 1 HDMI output now (and some displayport or whatever)

    In terms of the bracket, I do have to hang the bases of my monitors a bit off the desk to get 45 degree angles while my wheel's clamped to the desk, assuming I want them to be facing me. It's not too bad but a sturdy stand would be nice.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  13. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    @Stereo you tried creating a custom resolution for your 16 x 10 monitor?
  14. Unfortunately my one monitor will only use the stock set of HDTV resolutions/framerates, I've tried using in between ones and it just refuses to play.

    37.5 pixels per cm on the 16:10, 37.75 pixels on one (smaller) 16:9 display, 36.6 pixels on the (larger) display. Should have taken a ruler with me to the store... I'd have to scale down 2 of them to make things equal.

    The alternative I actually use is that the smallest display is closer to me and the largest is farther (bezels overlapping reduces the gap too). I suppose I could work out the actual optimal difference based on the pixel figures. 97.6% as large for the one side display, at a distance of ~60cm, means 1.5cm more distant is the right correction. Pretty small difference really; if I set up the heights of the monitors so the horizon lines up, it's <15 pixels of difference in other horizontal lines.

    If I'd had a higher budget and willingness to get rid of perfectly usable hardware I'd swap the larger 1080p monitor for a second buy of the small one, it's the worse of the two in other ways (thicker bezels, old tn technology going yellow, can't turn off pixel overdrive)
  15. I've got an IPS screen on my iMac and have to agree, although i don't use my IMac for gaming,
    do you have any noticeable lag using these screens, as I've read they are quite slow and not really designed for gaming ?
  16. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    I have never noticed one bit of ghosting with my panels. Honestly I have only used them for racing games but at 5ms they are more than quick enough.

    The ones I got ate now discontinued but here is the model got.

    LG 27EA63V-P Black 27" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor, IPS-Panel 250 cd/m2 10,000,000:1

    I absolutely adore them!
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  17. PaulH


  18. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

  19. Triple monitors are great, and not just for gaming. I work on my PC professionally and I can't imagine having to go back to one screen. It's well worth the investment but if gaming and considering gaming across two or three screens, it becomes more complex and you need to plan carefully to avoid disappointment and wasted costs.

    I wouldn't want to run three even 1080p monitors off a single 7970, if wanting high settings in current games. There's no way you're going to run at 120hz and maintain 120fps with that, in my view, even on one screen.

    Your best bet might be to go for the one 120hz central screen for gaming and get the two cheaper 60z side panels. Then upgrade them later once you can add a second video card.

    I would recommend looking up video card benchmarks for the 7970. Here, for example: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-edition-review-benchmark,3232-11.html - this shows the Ghz 3GB edition barely breaking 120fps at 1080p/60hz, for example, in Dirt 3. It would be notably lower at 120hz.

    Once you get to 120hz you need two cards, realistically, for both high fps and high settings, even at 1080p. I wouldn't expect a 7970 to do that, solo.
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  20. Leemstradamus

    Mid pack attack!

    Do your research! Make sure to check out the bezel size as well. I tried once before and the bezels were so large it wasn't worth it and I took all three back. Tried again later with thin bezel monitors and I can't ever go back for racing. Funny enough I hate it for desktop use. I just switch back to my 27" 1440p monitor with my 24" 1080p (landscape) monitors for desktop use and keyboard and mouse gaming.
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