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  1. #1
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    Help choosing outside visual system please

    Hello, I'm totally new to this.

    I am trying to learn about options for building a visual system for an enclosed cockpit setup. I fly mostly il2 and fsx. I have had a hard time finding info on this aspect of cockpit building. Here are the major options as I understand them.

    1. Use a projector. Park cockpit in front of big screen = immersion. Works with all flight sims. Later add Matrox triple head and 2 more projectors after a couple tax returns. Any good projector recommendations?

    2. Use multiple GPU's and surround myself with monitors. I have found a good set of plans that details using 4 gpu's to run 8 monitors. The problem is the plans use pci based gpu's. I would like to use a similar setup with pci-e based gpu's but cannot find out how to do with. Is it possible to run 3 pci-e based gpus in non sli mode. Here are the plans that got me all excited. http://www.fspilotshop.com/product_i...oducts_id=1204

    Another idea is to use a 7800GTX and an 8800 GT to run 4 montiors. My mobo is SLI capable, but of course, I wouldn't be running them in SLI. My understanding of this setup is that one card does the actual rendering while the other supports the other 2 monitors. Would it be possible to throw in another PCI card for 2 more monitors? What would this do to my frame rates.
    I already have the PC and GPU's to do this.

    3. I'm not wild about networking multiple pc's, but I do have an extra decent pc to work with.

    Thanks for the help. I realize this is a very big question.

  2. #2
    Boeing 777 Builder


    Kennair's Avatar
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    Hi Orwell and welcome.

    Yes this is a big question and you'll probably get a lot of different answers as to what works best, just as there are lot of opinions as to which aircraft is best. In the end it will come down to your personal preference.

    I think it would be fair to say that for total immersion 3 projectors is the way to go. However there is the major consideration of cost and room size with this option. If room size isn't an issue and cost is sort of, then purchasing one projector now and two more later is a good alternative. Whether you go multi-monitors or multi-projectors makes no real difference as far as PC and GPU output is concerned so the same PC setup can accommodate both.

    If your mobo accommodates SLI then you have two PCI-E slots so two PCI-E cards will go in there nicely giving you 4 outputs (obviously not enabling SLI functionality). With a Triple Head 2 Go running your three outside screens this gives you 3 more outputs to run Pilot/Co-pilot panels (VGA split off one output), Centre panel (Avionics etc.) and one left over for sundry (Engine display, GPS, Mapping etc.) If you're a fighter jock then you'll probably only need 1 or 2 panel screens.

    So 2 GPU's gives you all the outputs you need. Obviously the more FS windows you have open the lower your frame rates but if your system is decent as you say then it should handle it except in the most intense airports/traffic situations. As far as adding PCI cards goes, I had an error come up in FSX when I added a NV 6200 PCI card and it wouldn't load. This didn't happen in FS9, so bear that in mind. However you can get a mobo with 3 PCI-E connectors.

    To give you an idea I run FSX on an overclocked 6600 with 4Gb RAM on Vista64 using an 8800GT and a 8500GT video card with a TH2GO and a total of 5 video outputs and get mid teens FPS at high density airports but 25 once airborne (FPS locked at 25).

    If you've already got the hardware I'd recommend testing various options. Get hold of some old monitors and hook them up then tweak FSX until you get reasonable or great frame rates. You'll soon get a feel for what works best for you and your system.

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


  3. #3
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    Many thanks for your helpful and thorough reply. It is nice to know I have a correct understanding of the basic options. I liked the idea of multiple monitors because it would be possible to create an enclosed cockpit that seemed to give a seamless outside view.

    But....

    the appeal of a triple head with projectors is that it seems to be more flexible. I fly a number of flight sims and it seems they would all work well with the Matrox system with a minumum of tweaking. Also monitor placement would dictate the kind of cockpit and "windows" I built whereas projectors would allow me to park any type if cockpit in front of a projector screen or screens. One projector would be a good start and others could be added later. I saw a nice cockpit setup which used a center screen and 2 LCD monitors for side views because of space limitation. I have also seen a nice single projector setup.

    [media]http://www.schiratti.com/images/Cockpit/cscreen.jpg[/media]

    I will try out some old monitors just for fun, but I think I am leaning toward a projector based setup.

    Sorry to follow up with another question, but could anyone recommend an affordable projector that will get the job done.

    Thanks again for the help.

  4. #4
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    Hi Orwell,

    My personal opinion is projectors are the way to go, ive seen some guys here use projectors with mirrors which gives a pretty good immersion as well, have you researched this option ?

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your reply. I haven't looked into using projectors with mirrors yetm, though I did see a site that described one. Can anyone recommend a pjoctor that would work with Matrox 3head2go?


    Thanks.

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Trevor Hale's Avatar
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    All projectors will work with the tripple head to go.

    You want to buy 3 of the same projectors, same make, model, and throw ratio.

    I would get anything with a native resolution of 1024X768 minimum.

    NEC makes a real nice "SUPER SHORT" throw projector. Gives you 100" screen from 1 foot. you may like these options as well.
    ________________________
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  7. #7
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    Thanks, could you please name the specific model. What about the Mitsubishi HC1500? I will only be starting with one.

    Many thanks.

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