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  1. #1
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    Three monitor questions

    I'd like to put together a three monitor setup and I'm not really sure which way to go with video cards.

    I'm currently running an ATI Radeon 4850 and it powers two monitors. I'm not hung up on keeping it.

    I have space for two cards in my machine with a dual core processor running Vista 64bit. (As if the 64 bit part matters).

    Each monitor has a resolution of 1920x1200.

    I did find one card that runs four monitors through DVI but I'm wondering if it can handle simulation/gaming. The only comments I've seen about it are for business. It's the ATI 100-505532

    So... my questions:

    - If I purchase another 4850, will the ATI software allow me to run the three monitors as one stretched screen? If not, is there a way around it?
    - Has anyone used the ATI 100-505532 and does it work?
    - Is there a better route to go?

    I'm still getting started so I've got a lot to learn!

    Michelle

  2. #2
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    Hello,

    Depends on what you want to display on the three monitors. If you want the outside view on one and various instruments/overhead on the other two, then you can add a second, inexpensive, ATI card for the instrument duty.
    OTOH, if you want outside visuals on all three monitors, TH2Go would be preferred.

    Jim.

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    Re: Three monitor questions

    Quote Originally Posted by deering View Post
    Hello,

    Depends on what you want to display on the three monitors. If you want the outside view on one and various instruments/overhead on the other two, then you can add a second, inexpensive, ATI card for the instrument duty.
    OTOH, if you want outside visuals on all three monitors, TH2Go would be preferred.

    Jim.
    I'd like to display outside views at some times and at others show instruments on the right monitor. TH2Go? Is this the Matrox unit? I've wondered how they can take a 1920x1200 pixel output and do anything but tripple the size of each "pixel" without some image degradation.. .but then again, I haven't asked anyone how it all works. But yes, I'd like to keep control over the three monitors to show what I want when my mood changes.

    Michelle

  4. #4
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    Yes, that's the Matrox unit. It makes three displays whose dimensions are
    H X W appear to the graphics card, and applications, as a single H X 3W display. I don't think it will handle three 1920X1200 displays; but, you could check that on their site. They also have a tool there which tells what's supported by your graphics card.

    The latest generation of ATI card has a feature called Eyefinity to stretch a single image over three displays. Your current card won't permit that. If you add a second card, you can create additional views and distribute them over the available monitors. (This is true for FSX, I don't know about FS9). Be aware of power requirements for any second card you might add.

    I don't know how much horsepower you have in your CPU, but three 1920X1200 outside views will probably be a significant hit on frame rates, regardless of how you achieve it on a single PC. You may prefer to reduce the resolution.

    There are many threads in the Video Interfacing and Hardware section and links to other sites which discuss how to set up multiple displays to best effect. I also recommend a visit to Hans Krohn's site. He gives good information about setting up for optimum FOV.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    My current card does allow me to stretch most windows across the two screens that I have... but FSX won't do that. But it will display a second window on the second monitor. I've been putting a tail view over there to practice landing.

    Thanks for the lead on the ATI Eyefinity cards. It turns out that some of them allow three monitors to run separately. I could run two standard DVI connections and one on what they call the "DisplayPort" with a DVI converter. The DisplayPort handles two to three monitors as a single display.

    This card looks like it will work famously:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150447

    So, after I build my desk to hold all this stuff I'll order the card and a couple monitors and see how it all works. I'm pretty sure that my machine will handle it. I built it just last year. I could replace the dual core processor with a quad, but I don't think that FSX takes advantage of my 64bit OS or multiple cores does it?

    But I'm still looking for something that someone has tried and has working. I don't like to repeat mistakes

    Michel

    Quote Originally Posted by deering View Post
    Yes, that's the Matrox unit. It makes three displays whose dimensions are
    H X W appear to the graphics card, and applications, as a single H X 3W display. I don't think it will handle three 1920X1200 displays; but, you could check that on their site. They also have a tool there which tells what's supported by your graphics card.

    The latest generation of ATI card has a feature called Eyefinity to stretch a single image over three displays. Your current card won't permit that. If you add a second card, you can create additional views and distribute them over the available monitors. (This is true for FSX, I don't know about FS9). Be aware of power requirements for any second card you might add.

    ...

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    Let's not forget the ATI 5870 video card which is awesome but a bit expensive. Nvidia has a similar unit available. Perhaps this will drive the price of the Matrox Triple down a bit?

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    Re: Three monitor questions

    FSX will take advantage of a couple of cores in a multi-core system and use them quite heavily. If you run ancillary software - gauges, vatsim clients, etc - their processing can proceed in parallel with the main FS program in other cores.

    I don't what the experience is with Eyefinity. The search function is your friend here and on AVSIM.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    [QUOTE=bgoodwin;96774]Let's not forget the ATI 5870 video card ..../QUOTE]

    Far from forgetting about it, the 5870 is one of the cards I was alluding to when I mentioned "the latest generation of ATI card" and "a feature called Eyefinity".

    Thanks.

    Jim

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    Re: Three monitor questions

    there is some confusion first tell me what you want to display on three monitors?

  10. #10
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    Re: Three monitor questions

    I really would have liked to have enough info before I laid out the cash, but I did solve this particular problem. I purchased a couple of DVI monitors that matched the current one that I have. They are a different brand but can be oriented side by side quite nicely.

    I purchased a Radeon 5850 card which has the eyefinity option. I did run into a couple of small gotchas. One was that I needed an active Displayport to DVI adaptor. The other was that all of my monitors need to be plugged in via DVI. My main (first) monitor had been running on an HDMI. This one had me pulling my hair out for a bit.

    In any case, I have FSX and FX-Plane both up and running accross all three monitors and I'm pretty happy that it all works.

    The thing that I have to do now is to study what I want for a set up and build a proper table or support structure for all this stuff. I'm still wondering about using a couple USB 8" monitors to show some of the flight controls so I can use the three head setup totally for the outside view. I'm not liking looking through the plane's window bezels and the monitor bezels at the same time

    Thanks everybody for your help.

    Michelle

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