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Old 04-10-08, 05:08 AM   #1
Bakked
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Default triple head possible at all?

I've been googling like crazy for a while now trying to figure out how to make triple head work. I've come to the conclusion that it's not possible to get a full working triple head setup in Linux at this time. To be honest it's not even possible to get dual head fully working since compiz and similar things won't work but I can live without composition for now.

Do anyone have a working triple head setup that does not use any of the following methods:
Pure xinerama with 2 cards. (suppose to eat ~30% all the time and is not acceptable)
twinview + xinerama. (twinview use the same vsync rate for xvideo on both screens so video won't work on all screens)
triplehead2go. (can't handle screens of different resolution and causes stretching)
DMX. Does not work with programs using hardware overlays.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:09 PM   #2
xbobmx
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
Do anyone have a working triple head setup that does not use any of the following methods:
Pure xinerama with 2 cards. (suppose to eat ~30% all the time and is not acceptable)
twinview + xinerama. (twinview use the same vsync rate for xvideo on both screens so video won't work on all screens)
triplehead2go. (can't handle screens of different resolution and causes stretching)
DMX. Does not work with programs using hardware overlays.
You're sort of limiting your options here, but you can just use 3 X screens (without Xinerama). I use this, and it works great. You don't get the performance overhead of Xinerama (I'm not sure what 30% of you're referring to, but Xinerama does have some overhead for various reasons). You should be able to get vsync on all displays separately.

The only thing you don't get is the ability to move windows between displays. I don't really mind this, since having a window spanning two displays is annoying to me, but some people seem to care.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:26 PM   #3
JaXXoN
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
I've been googling like crazy for a while now trying to figure out how to make triple head work.
Using the search function of this forum reveals plenty of information on
that topic - what exactly are you struggling with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
I've come to the conclusion that it's not possible to get a full working triple head setup in Linux at this time.
I guess this depends on how you define "fully working" *g*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
Do anyone have a working triple head setup that does not use any of the following methods:
Pure xinerama with 2 cards. (suppose to eat ~30% all the time and is not acceptable)
Xinerama actually scales pretty well with 3D, i.e. i can play UT2004 at 4800x1200
with 77+ FPS (E8400, 2x 8800GT. It was 45 FPS on my old X2 4400+). The
problem is the 2D operation where hardware acceleration seems to be very
poorly implemented. This causes annoying re-draw events when moving windows
across screen boundaries (however, it's less annoying with the E8400). I still hope
that in near future, somebody figures out what the actual problem is with
xinerama+composite and fixes it - then the other problem would also go away
(using a compositing wm).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
triplehead2go. (can't handle screens of different resolution and causes stretching)
DMX. Does not work with programs using hardware overlays.
It's basically possible the get around this issue - please check this one:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85604
(especially post #10ff). However, for now this patch doesn't work
if only one screen is defined, but this could be fixed, me thinks.

Concerning triplehead2go: the maximum width of this box is 3840 pixels.
This is far out of range of the specification for nvidia cards (2560).

I investigated a solution with dualhead2go with twinview:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=106517
This would allow a width of 4800 pixels. but Unfortunately,
this still requires 3200 pixels on one output - but worse,
the dualhead2go "digital edition" has only a VGA input.

regards

Bernhard
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Old 04-10-08, 02:35 PM   #4
JaXXoN
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Just realized that the triplehead2go box has a DVI input (in contrast to
the dh2go box) and also allows dual head operation up to 3200x1200:
http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gx...gital/home.php
This would exactly fit my needs :-)

Bernhard
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Old 04-11-08, 09:43 AM   #5
Bakked
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
You're sort of limiting your options here, but you can just use 3 X screens (without Xinerama). I use this, and it works great. You don't get the performance overhead of Xinerama (I'm not sure what 30% of you're referring to, but Xinerama does have some overhead for various reasons). You should be able to get vsync on all displays separately.
What performance do you get if you turn on xinerama? I think it's important to be able to rearrange windows over all screens. I only tried triple head with xinerama one time and that used 80% cpu all the time but that was many years ago. I got the 30% number from some other guy on this forum with the same problem. On the old box I used back then I had about 5% cpu usage with dual head xinerama on separate cards and that went to 80% with triple head. That is probably not normal. I'm guessing something is wrong in the implementation of triple head. I've never heard of anyone being able to use xinerama and triple head but people usually don't go online telling the world everything works. They only complain when something don't work so it might work even if never heard of them.

Quote:
Using the search function of this forum reveals plenty of information on that topic
Yes, but I can't find anyone who got a fully working setup according to my definition of fully working.

Quote:
Xinerama actually scales pretty well with 3D
I don't care so much about the 3D performance. As long as google earth works I'm happy (running in software != works). But I do care if 30% cpu is used all the time irregardless of what I do.

Quote:
It's basically possible the get around this issue
Maybe I expressed myself in a confusing way. The problem is not the lack of head layout info to the DM. When I said stretching I mean the stretching the LCD displays do when they scale up the image to fit it's resolution. The triplehead2go can only do 3 x 1360x768@ 60Hz and I need 1400x1050@85Hz, 1680x1050@60Hz and 1920x1200@60Hz.
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Old 04-11-08, 10:09 AM   #6
JaXXoN
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
Yes, but I can't find anyone who got a fully working setup according to my definition of fully working.
Ok, please define :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
I don't care so much about the 3D performance. As long as google earth works I'm happy (running in software != works). But I do care if 30% cpu is used all the time irregardless of what I do.
I didn't yet experienced any problem with googleearth with xinerama, so far ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
I need 1400x1050@85Hz, 1680x1050@60Hz and 1920x1200@60Hz.
hmm ... i only have experiences with identical LCDs, but I can imagine that
combining screens with different resolutions might be tricky.

regards

Bernhard
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Old 04-11-08, 10:30 AM   #7
JaXXoN
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakked
I don't care so much about the 3D performance. [...] But I do care if 30% cpu is used all the time irregardless of what I do.
In this context: if your system always consumes 30% cpu cycles, then i guess
your are having some sort of hardware issue - i once had a GeForce FX5950
(single display, no Xinerama involved) that always sucked up 70% cpu cycles
in the interrupt service routine of the nvidia driver. That crap went back to the dealer.

regards

Bernhard
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Old 04-11-08, 10:34 AM   #8
Tub
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaXXoN
hmm ... i only have experiences with identical LCDs, but I can imagine that
combining screens with different resolutions might be tricky.
not at all. DualHeadToGo won't work, but all the other solutions (xinerama, twinview, ..) were built to handle different monitors.
I'm running TwinView on 1920x1200 + 1600x1200 here. No major problems except for the vsync issues, but I never noticed them.
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Old 04-11-08, 12:51 PM   #9
Bakked
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Quote:
Ok, please define :-)
Basically I want everything that work in single head to work in triple head (except composition). That includes vsync in movies, opengl, fullscreen in games, windows reacting to the edge of the screen, using the native resolution of the monitor and in addition to this be able to move windows between screens at a reasonable cpu usage.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=76412
here is the guy with the 30% cpu problem
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=81800
here is another guy with the same problem
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Old 04-11-08, 03:43 PM   #10
Bakked
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

Yatta!

I got triple head to work. I'm really tired now and want to sleep so I'll make this quick.
Some weeks ago I tried to get triple head to work with my GF6600LE and a voodoo3 card. I've been using these cards in xinerama mode for many years but some time ago I stopped using the voodoo cards and used the two outputs on the GF instead. When I hocked them all up in triple head mode the voodoo screen only showed noise. I believed there was something wrong with that card. However today I tried my old Xorg conf from back when I used the voodoo for dual head and it also failed the same way. I then tried to use the xv driver instead of the nvidia and that worked. Vesa also worked. I downgraded from nvidia-drivers-169.12 to 100.14.23 (what I used back then) and it also worked. Finally I tried the new triple head conf with the 100.14.23 drivers and it works.
Conclusion: the 169.12 drivers somehow mess with the tdfx drivers causing them to draw noise. The 100.14.23 drivers do not.
I hope someone understand what I want to say. My English also turns to noise when I'm tired. I'll file a real bug report tomorrow.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: triple head possible at all?

I used triple head for a long time and never had any problems.

Of course I don't use Xinerama or any of this new agish nonsense
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