PDA

View Full Version : Where are the promised "surround gaming" video cards?!


davea0511
04-01-04, 06:44 PM
Okay, so we are approaching the point of diminishing returns... The latest video cards render nearly photorealistic computer games in real time, and the FPS for most games is more than acceptable. So what's next? For years the pundits have been saying it's "Surround Gaming"... that's where the computer game field of view is stretched across 3 computer monitors (the side monitors generally wrap around to either the side of the player for a truly immersive experience).

So where is it? With new 19" monitors dropping below $99 it seems astonishing that surround gaming isn't commonplace. Furthermore, each year NVIDIA and ATI say they are going to address that market with their high-end 3D chips, and each year they don't. What gives?

Over two years ago Matrox created the first and only true "Surround Gaming" video card: the Parhelia. Although it was mediocre (at best) in it's 3D performance, it has been the only video card that reliably does Surround Gaming by itself (without crashing or requiring rediculous efforts on the part of the developer). It still is the only video card that can do this on 60+ games: see http://www.matrox.com/mga/3d_gaming/surrgame.cfm -it's also woefully slow by today's 3D standards.

If you agree that ATI and NVIDIA has been doing us all a huge diservice by neglecting this technology then join with me in telling them that we want a triple head card using thier chipsets, and a developer resource that makes surround gaming easy to implement:

ATI:
http://apps.ati.com/cservice/webformtech.asp
NVIDIA:
nfo@nvidia.com

If we can get at least one of them to embrace it, you can bet that the other will follow suit.

saturnotaku
04-01-04, 08:27 PM
So where is it? With new 19" monitors dropping below $99 it seems astonishing that surround gaming isn't commonplace.

Most people don't have the space to accomodate 3 CRT monitors, and 3 LCDs would be cost prohibitive.

Further, once games start requiring programmable shaders in order to run properly, if no one else picks up the technology, surround gamers will be SOL.

EMunEeE
04-01-04, 08:59 PM
Most people don't have the space to accomodate 3 CRT monitors, and 3 LCDs would be cost prohibitive.

Further, once games start requiring programmable shaders in order to run properly, if no one else picks up the technology, surround gamers will be SOL.

Most people dont have the money to power three CRTs :wtf:

seastar
04-01-04, 09:10 PM
umm atis new driver support that feature
SURROUNDVIEW™
This release introduces multi-adapter, multi-monitor support for the integrated ATI RADEON™ 9100 IGP graphics processor. Using SURROUNDVIEW™ with an ATI AGP graphics card can provide support for up to three independent monitors. This feature is supported on the RADEON™ 9100 IGP with the following ATI products:

ATI RADEON™ 9800 series
ATI RADEON™ 9600 series
ATI RADEON™ 9500 series
ATI RADEON™ 9200 series
ATI RADEON™ 9000 series

saturnotaku
04-01-04, 09:13 PM
That's not the same thing. The Parhelia could support 3 monitors on one AGP card. Plus surround gaming was just that - if you had 3 monitors running 1024x768, your effective resolution for the game would be 3072x768, enhancing your field of vision.

-=DVS=-
04-01-04, 10:04 PM
That's not the same thing. The Parhelia could support 3 monitors on one AGP card. Plus surround gaming was just that - if you had 3 monitors running 1024x768, your effective resolution for the game would be 3072x768, enhancing your field of vision.

Not to mention you need alot of power to run games at 3072x768 , like Far Cry landscape view of an island would be unimaginable cool.
Pro card would be nice tought like Quadro or FireGl , rich people who can afford 3lcd had an option ;)

davea0511
04-02-04, 02:23 AM
Most people don't have the space to accomodate 3 CRT monitors, and 3 LCDs would be cost prohibitive.

I find that most people don't use space very efficiently. Shelves do a remarkable job of freeing up real-estate on a desktop (I have over 100 linear feet of shelving in my 100 ft^2 computer room). The only people who shouldn't be able to easily make space for this is a student living in a dorm who needs to get a life and move off-campus.

Oh yeah... and people who live in Asia and Europe.

Further, once games start requiring programmable shaders in order to run properly, if no one else picks up the technology, surround gamers will be SOL.

I don't pretend to know much about 3D nuts and bolts, but I am a 3D gamer and a consumer and I think that makes me expert enough on what makes 3D video card companies survive: develop technology that meets demand. The companies that try to create demand based on existing technology and a stubborn road map ultimately fail (case in point: 3DFX)

As we approach the point of diminishing returns of mimicking reality on a planar surface then most people won't feel the need to upgrade (hard-core gamers excluded). They'll be looking for immersion technologies instead. It seems that we're getting pretty close to that point already.

davea0511
04-02-04, 02:29 AM
Not to mention you need alot of power to run games at 3072x768 , like Far Cry landscape view of an island would be unimaginable cool.
Pro card would be nice tought like Quadro or FireGl , rich people who can afford 3lcd had an option ;)

If Matrox (read: 2D company) made a 3D card a couple years ago that could do it then it seems to me that certainly ATI or NVIDIA should be able to easily do it with today's technology and make it reasonably cheap and much faster.

MUYA
04-02-04, 02:50 AM
I saw surround gaming on an athlon FX demo system with a Parhelia...Moto GP2 i think...while performance was slow...it still looked kick ass on 3 15" lcd mons.

saturnotaku
04-02-04, 08:01 AM
Furthermore, each year NVIDIA and ATI say they are going to address that market with their high-end 3D chips, and each year they don't. What gives?

Can you provide links to exactly where representatives from NV and ATI have said this?

Karma
04-02-04, 06:38 PM
Surround Gaming sounds like a good idea, except for the problem that the one video card would then have to manage three times the amount of graphics than they do now. You think Farcry running 1024*768 w/ 4aa & 16af was slow, multiply that by 3 & see the framerate drop to a 1/3rd of that. I'm guessing that only the R420 / NV40 would have the graphics power to supply framerates acceptable with all the shaders on & aa & af.

Drumphil
04-03-04, 08:29 AM
I'm afraid that at the moment its parhelia, or forget about it. Which is a shame, cause surround gaming with a 9800xt would be great.

GlowStick
04-06-04, 08:10 PM
The thing about surround gaming is its only 'usefull' feature would be for Flight Sims right now. I also think that a game that is coded right could also use dual monitors for a RTS like StarCraft ; D

The the fact is, developers dont want to develop a feature no one will ever use, and people dont have the equipment to use it.

Now, One thing they should do, is make their games Multi-Monitor aware.

Such as, right now i leave AIM and Thunderbird running while i play games on my second monitor, it works great, but to get to them i have to lose focus on the game witch minimizes it. They could program it where the game stays full screen, but focus is lost, and if its in single player mode, it pauses, if mulitplyer, it just loses focus.

But they dont heh.