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VGA Card Choice (for triple screen setup)

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Mark Skinner, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Hello,
    I run an IT business so have good knowledge of PC hardware,
    My experience with triple screen setups is very limited though.

    I would like to upgrade and add 2 more screens to my existing 27" 1080p screen

    I currently have 1 gtx580,

    I would like to upgrade to 1440x2560 screens but think that's overkill and too expensive so ill probably stick to the 27" 1080x1920 screens

    Now... Should I add just one more gtx580 or replace my card with two hd7970 radeons?

    I mainly would use this for racing (primarily rbr) but would like to use it for a few other games too.

    I know radeons are supposed to be better for triple screen but would like some input from people with more experience on this subject.

    Upgrading from a gtx580 to a hd7970 is only a minor (but costly) upgrade, so if adding a cheaper gtx580 would work ok then I may do that.

    Many thanks
  2. Hi Mark. Purely my own experience but I used to have two Radeon HD6950 cards but the majority of sim software never seemed to be coded to make the best use of CrossFireX on a dual card configuration. After reading through a good few forum posts I decided to upgrade to a single Radeon HD7970 3Gb card and have never looked back. Right from the start it was so much better, and so much less hassle.

    I would therefore recommend upgrading to a single Radeon card and opting for the best card that you can comfortably afford. Depending what adaptors, if any, come with the card you will probably need to budget for one or two Mini-Displayport to DVI Active adaptors but it's worth it.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. http://www.wsgf.org/forums

    There's a lot of info to find there but I understand almost nothing they're saying. :(
    I just know, or think to know, that your GPU needs at least 3 gig ram, preferably 4, if you only use one card

    as I'm in a similar situation as Mark, please let your almighty wisdom flow in this thread!
  4. I am only running 2 monitors but have gone through the whole Radeon v Nvidia thing recently. RMA'd a HD6850 twice back to MSI before saying to heck with it and buying a GTX660. Have never had to do anything with it after installing it, its been going for 4 months now with no issues. So my only advice is go the Nvidia way, just seem to be more stable, less driver issues, and easier to live with.

    That and my 660 kicks butt in any of our sims!
  5. Roland

    Premium Member

    While this post may only add to your confusion, I still feel I'd share some personal experience.
    I'm currently running 5 1280x1024 screens off a single 2GB Radeon HD7870 without any problem.
    This equals to more or less the same pixel count as 3* HD. (6.55 mpix vs 6.22 mpix)

    My previous cards have been Radeons and Í've never had any problems with them for 10+ years, (well, apart from not getting a set of HD5770's to run properly together whereas every review on the net cried out how well these HD5770's scale in crossfire - so it was most likely a mobo or driver issue as the single HD5770 performed fine with 3 1280x1024 screens)

    I have no experience with multi-monitor NVidia setups so can't comment on that nor on picture quality comparison. I can see some minor screen tearing when racing but then I never use VSync and from what I've read any multi screen setup will have screen tearing to some degree..

    I must add that I mostly play older games (GT Legends, Call of Duty 4 and 5, L4D2) and they mostly run fine at 100+ fps. Haven't tried RBR recently but that game probably doesn't ask for more than these do.
    The Assetto Corsa Tech Demo (which is pretty new and maybe not optimised yet as it's still in bèta) runs approx. 65..70 fps with default settings on my almost 4yo computer (apart from the graphics card which is 1/2 yo:D )

    I am no fanboy of either brand, so the best advice I can give you is when you get two more screens preferably pick IPS ones for their better viewing angles, and before you go out to buy a graphics card check the framerate drops you get when hooking up two screens to your GTX580 compared to one screen, as from my understanding in general neither SLI nor Crossfire setups scale to more than 150%..160% of the performance of a single card. So that'd give you a pretty good idea what to expect from dual GTX580's with 3 screens.

    Good Luck and let us know what you ended up with..
    • Like Like x 1
  6. You risk stutters and or input lag if that is incorporated to solve stutters.

    I just got a second GTX 580 and I get 0 performance enhancement in GTL/GTR 2 and rFactor 2. I get severr stutter in rFactor 2 but GTR 2/GTL run like I run on a single card. Also remember that at least with SLI you don´t make use of more video memory so it won´t help in that regard either for higher resolutions. I max rFactor 2 out totally on my GTX 580 at 1080p after I got a new Haswell CPU.

    In some games I got up to 99 % performance boost but again the stutters take away some in metro 2033 for example. Not an issue in all games though. Far Cry 3 runs fine for me but it´s very much hit and miss and not something you can relie on.

    GTX 580 is so cheap though nowadays and always good having a backup but for simracing so far utterly useless. Just the potential input lag issue (haven´t measured this) even if the stuttering would be fixed would probably make me run lower settings instead for my serious simracing anyway.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Pete Bone

    Pete Bone
    Premium Member

    My GTX 670 handles triples with everything on full if thats any help?
  8. Thanks for all the input everyone.
    I'm still thinking on the best thing to do. triple screens seems like a great idea. and I love how it looks in the vids I have seen of racing games/sims. Just need to settle on a card. I doubt it will be long before amd refresh the radeons so may wait till then.
  9. Samuel Fuller

    Samuel Fuller
    Premium Member

    I have been trying to run two monitors could you last me know how you set that up?
  10. and in addition to all this graphiccard info:
    which screens would you guys suggest for these triplescreensetup?
    27 inch preferably
    i can imagine monitors a thin bezel will be high on the list...
  11. In the nVidia control panel under the Manage 3D settings options, I had to set the Multi-Display/Mixed GPU Acceleration option to Compatibility Performance Mode.

    This was the only setting I could get rFactor to work with the two monitors. I use my primary monitor for driving and the 2nd one for TeamSpeak and Motec etc....