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Triple Monitor Setup - Advice

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Roadster-2, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. I didn't want to butt in on Charles' thread (Triple Monitor Help) but after reading a couple of the responses there I'm not sure which way to go. Current System :-

    Asus Crosshair IV Formula AMD 890FX ATX Motherboard
    AMD 11OOT 3.2 GHz Phenom II X6 Processor (Corsair Water Cooled)
    8 Gb Corsair Dominator memory
    2 x ATI Radeon HD5770 1Gb PCI-e Graphics in Crossfire (O/C to 900 MHz GPU / 1400 MHz memory)
    Corsair 950W Power Supply
    3 x 24" Acer 1920 x 1200 monitors

    FPS on F1 2011 was exceptionally poor, averaging around 20fps, but have now come across forum postings re F1 2011 and Eyefinity and have recently updated the drivers. Now getting around 40fps so playable but still not too good and I expected much better. C.A.R.S. was running around 40-50fps but has dropped since the latest 124 release to around 30-35fps.

    I want to improve the fps and have been considering a move to 2 x MSI R6870 Hawk cards. Using an AMD processor I shouldn't have the same problem with Eyefinity as Alex had (using an Intel processor) but have been surprised to see the postings from members using a single HD 6950 card, running a triple screen setup and getting huge fps figures in comparison to mine.

    I can't do much until I sell my Nixim GT Racecraft rig but I would like to get a good idea of what to go for to achieve a good increase in fps without having to sell body parts to raise the cash (not a banker you see !!).

    Advice would therefore be appreciated. Mostly run C.A.R.S., GTR-2 and F1 2011.
  2. Hi

    The 6970 performs really well (as does the 6950) the issue with xfire is a lot the sims dont support or run it well, so the larger single cards tend to get better fps. The other consideration is CPU, everyone always thinks big GPU = high FPS not so unless the rest of your system is well matched and balanced ;)
  3. Danny Asbury

    Danny Asbury

    See, I'm not sure where I stand at the moment, because I recently bought a 6970, and I just popped the thing in and it ran like butter. But then it over heated my processor and my computer slowed down. So now I bought a better case, a water cooler for the CPU, and a better CPU and mobo. Thing is, after seeing what Alex's results were with the 6970's, I'm a little lost. I suppose I won't know until I try it on my new system for myself, but I don't understand how he gets better performance with 1 card as opposed to 2. (I hope newer sims like rF 2 and iRacing 2.0 don't have this problem...) And now I'm already dreaming about GTX 580s... >.> Damn you Alex!!!
  4. Hi Danny. Alex looks to have had more of a problem with the 6970's as he was running them with an Intel processor and it appears that they may run better with AMD processors (both being AMD of course, not that I'm intimating anything !). The poor fps results (poor compared to what was expected that is) seems to stem from the Crossfire connection, in that our simulator software products just don't run it well. I suppose it would be interesting to remove one of the HD 5770 cards and see what fps rates I get using just the one card, as a comparison
  5. Danny Asbury

    Danny Asbury

    So I wonder if SLI works better for simracing games?

    And, crap, I bought a new Intel processor too, so... crap.
  6. I'd just go for the single fastest card you can afford. Dual cards are just a pain in the backside.
  7. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    I'd go nvidia. Very happy with my 580s in SLI.
  8. Hi Alex. I would possibly consider these if the cost of the two GTX 580's wasn't totally over budget. Even the pricing of the non-existant cards at hardwareking.net wouldn't bring them within it. (talking of which why does a Google search repeatedly bring up such a site. Perhaps users could bring a class action suit !)

    Thanks anyway for your input
  9. Nvidia and Race 07 is LOL worthy tho
  10. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    The combination of motherboard chipset, CPU and GPU's are what determine how your setup will match up for best performance. I am still not sure why Alex's system was having such poor fps with the crossfire setup when I have not seen any issues with my single card. I would have to have a look at his system and see if there are any software issues that might have caused it, but I am not making the trip there, and he probably wouldn't want me mucking around in his system :)
  11. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Seriously, there was nothing wrong except **** crossfire for older games. It worked fine in DIRT or Crysis. I spent ages with a few friends who are also techies and changed the motherboard to a better one with more PCI-E bandwidth and all sorts. My decision to swap to SLI wasn't done over night

    I got better rFactor and iRacing performance with one ATI card than two ATI cards in CF. I get almost 2x better performance than that with my SLI setup.
  12. Danny Asbury

    Danny Asbury

    Does AMD = crossfire and Nvidia = SLI?

    And whether or not a system is compatible with crossfire or SLI depend solely on the video cards you use?

    (Edit: did some research and got my answers.)
  13. For what it costs I'd expect it to make me breakfast in the morning too.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Because 6970s were so cheap!
  15. MrPix

    Project Immersion

    Not trying to hijack this thread, but I can't hold out for Tri-Monitors any longer! And I also need some advice on this very subject (ref OP post)

    I have already a single 580 and have just managed to win another matching one for £220 on ebay. I was looking at replacing the one I have for a 7970 as it is deffo faster than a 580 and is trimonitor capable on it's own, but having had ATI before, know of the CF issues (thinking ahead)... they do eventually get sorted, but not for a long time... whereas nVidia SLI seem to have 'less' issues from the outset... and looking at the online reviews on 7970, it still comes below 6990 and 590 GTX.... which are all below 580 GTX on Tri-monitor resolution.

    So... next step... (OP - Roadster-2, tell me if you want me to start a new thread an I'll take it there, but thought you would get value from this too ;)) ... monitors. Don't want to break the bank, but deliberating over 24" 1080p IPS 60hz, 24" 120Hz (3D capable) or 27" 1080p ... don't want 1440p as this would be too much burden even on 580 SLI..... any advice appreciated.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Good post Paul. IPS monitor? Arent those still $$$?
  17. Hi Paul - I have no problem with you joining the thread, welcome aboard.

    Having originally considered upgrading to a pair of 6870 cards I'm coming round to the idea of one single card, probably a 6970. I haven't tried removing one of the current 5770 cards yet but have taken a note of FPS rates prior to doing so. This has highlighted that LFS and GTR-2 FPS rates are so, so much higher than F1 2011 and C.A.R.S. Yes the graphics of the later software are probably higher spec. but then you'd also expect the later software to make much better use of dual graphic card setups.

    With regard to monitors I run three Acer AL2416W 24" LCD monitors as these are 1920x1200 resolution. Most monitors of similar size seem to be only 1920 x 1080. Keeping an eye open for cheaper LED monitors I notice that quite a few of these don't have VESA mounts on the back. Not particularly helpful when they need to mounted on a triple monitor stand !
  18. MrPix

    Project Immersion

    Thanks both.

    I currently have a Dell 1920x1200 (16:10) and my son has a 1920x1080 (16:9), so I can see the advantages of the 'squarer' format, particularly for triple screen, but the finance minister may not be able to understand the difference considering the apparent price hike I see in the market place for the extra pixels especially if I go for IPS.... '1200''s are definitely more obscure to find out there, I would really like to keep to 24" models, but upon extensive searching, the 23" seem so much cheaper, just not sure if my eyes would adjust. I don't wear galsses all day at the moment, but any smaller I think I might have to.

    Another question would be do I try to find 2x 1920x1200 24" monitors like the one I have or 3x matching ones. not sure I couold mentally put up with differences in the colours, so I'm err-ing on the side of 3x new ones. Opinions?

    Edit: I'm soo impatient. Placed an order today for 3x Dell U2412M IPS monitors.... had to keep the 16:10 ratio and didn't want to drop the screen size. I will give my wife the Dell U2407WFP that has served me well for the past 4 years or so to replace her 19" 5:4 AG Neovo thats been in the family for 8 years or so.

    Off to the DIY store tomorrow.... sort out the components to build a a stand of some sorts as I can't justify spending another £300 to prop them up on my desk and would like the suspended from the wall like the single one I have already!

    Quick question (another!) any views on (scuse the pun) what angles I should use.... am planning on 45 deg to the wall/middle monitor for the side monitors.... is this too deep an angle? my eyes are approx 1m away from the wall mounted sceen currently and figure that a shallower angle may just be too wide for my peripheral vision.... bear in mind that I use TrackIR (and intend to continue) and my thinking is that this will have a bearing on acceptable angles of rotation for the side monitors. I have been using TrackIR for 5+ years and my head is used to moving only slight amounts to look left/right.
  19. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    You will find that regardless of angle you choose, you are going to have to turn your head quite a bit to see everything that is displayed on triple screens. My setup has the screens at around the 40 degree mark on either side and I find this suitable for me, but you might be different. Keep in mind that most of the games out there don't properly support triple screens. By this I mean that the information that is being presented on the outside monitors is going to look magnified and a little stretched in most titles. The amount of stretch and magnification is going to gradually increase as you get closer to the outside edge of each.

    With rFactor2 I haven't seen this, but I admit I haven't been looking either :)

    Back to the head turning. Consider this, with your current monitor you turn your head a little and see the edges of the screen. With triple monitors, you still have another 15 to 20 inches to go before you get to the outside of the image on each side. With the monitors angled, this means more head turning than if they were flat against the wall.
  20. MrPix

    Project Immersion

    thanks Jim, I will report back once setup at the end of the week.