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View Full Version : Tri/Quad monitor gaming on a SLi setup


r-woelk
07-27-05, 03:33 PM
Hey all,
My buddy just bought an nForce 4 system with two PCIe Geforce 6800 Ultras in SLi, It gets awesome framerates on a single monitor. But we wanted to do surround gaming.
The only way to get 4 monitor support is to disable SLi and let windows multi-monitor do it's thing. That's fine for 2d, a print screen gives a 3840x1024 wide image (3x 1280x1024), but any of the games I've tried (UT1, UT2004, HL2, HL1) will throw an error about not being able to set that display resolution.
I've tried it smaller too, using 1024x768 or 800x600 for each display.

It seems to me that one of two things need to happen;
1. The windows multi-monitor setup needs to tell the games that 3840x1024 is a valid resolution. or
2. nVidia needs to change their drivers so that "horizontal span" mode spans both video cards, and actually creates a 3840x1024 monitor

If anyone else has got this working, I'd like to know how.

saturnotaku
07-27-05, 03:36 PM
It seems to me that one of two things need to happen;
1. The windows multi-monitor setup needs to tell the games that 3840x1024 is a valid resolution. or
2. nVidia needs to change their drivers so that "horizontal span" mode spans both video cards, and actually creates a 3840x1024 monitor

If anyone else has got this working, I'd like to know how.

SLI doesn't support multiple monitors, and there has been no indication of it doing so in the near future. As such, there would be no workaround to get a game to run with more than two screens even if you disabled one of the cards.

r-woelk
07-27-05, 04:43 PM
Shucks.
I guess if we want it, we have to keep asking nVidia for that

Have you heard anything about multi-card gaming in windows?
(or any other OS?)

Two PCIe cards, or an AGP card combined with one or more PCI cards?

ricercar
07-27-05, 05:32 PM
Adjusting the 3-head Parhelia directions on the matrox.com website for a dual-head GeForce card, I was able to play UT2003/3004 on two screens when they were driven from DualView with the NVIDIA driver. http://matrox.com/mga/3d_gaming/surrgame.cfm

Unfortunately, with an even number of displays (e.g. two not three), the UT crosshair is on the dividing line between physical screens. This was non-trivially inconvenient. I put a lot of attention into playing this way and finally decided the increased peripheral vision was NOT offset by the drawback of crosshair confusion.

Makes me wish that a triple DAC NVIDIA GPU had actually seen the light of consumer sale.

r-woelk
07-27-05, 05:52 PM
ricercar, thanks for the link

I'll have to get my friend to try it that way.
I was just trying to type "setres 3840x1024" but it didn't work

how is your dual monitor set up, using the windows setting or nvidia's "horizontal span" mode?

if I use nVidia's "horizontal span" on two monitors, then the 2560x1024 shows up as a resolution in the UT2003 menu, but you're right, having the aiming reticule in the crack between monitors is useless.

I wanted a tri-head GeForce ever since I saw the benchmarks on that Matrox Parhelia. Quake 3 is the highest game playable on 3 monitors on that card, and even then it was pretty poor frame rate

ricercar
07-27-05, 07:36 PM
I sit corrected: I used Horizontal Span, not Dualview.

r-woelk
07-28-05, 12:38 AM
okay, I just tried mine with dualview. The only way I could get UT2004 on both screens was to stretch the window to the full screen. My framerate dropped to 15fps, and this is on a single GF6800GT in an AMD Athlon XP 2500+ @ 2.5Ghz
it looks like it forces software mode.

It looks like we'll have to wait for a 3 head geforce, or SLi drivers to support horizontal span across both cards.

oh well, thanks for the help