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norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

Ideal set up - 3 screens/game mode computer

As the title suggests this project is for a specific setup.
It may not be hard core gaming though as it is more relevant to a specific type of game/software, and I know that can affect the hardware out come at times.
This is where I hope you good people can help a friend look at his options.

Screen size : Unknown at present, 3 x units and possibly rack mounted as an option
Game specific : Flight Simulator 10 or similar software (Ideas welcome on software if mods allow minor discussion to go with hardware specifics.)
Value : Cost is a factor but welcome discussion on value if it helps select specific hardware more suited.
Controllers : These are on XP at present on a computer over 5 years in age, usb and/or wotnot, would Win 8 affect these at all, or would Win 7 be better suited?
Mode of sale : Would a manufactured product, Dell or such have much over a parts build to suit this.
I'd prefer parts build, but there are some well built computers out there found for a good price.
We are talking Australia though, so delving into specific US dealers might not help this selection, due to warranty/country issues etc in a pre-built design over a parts build.

Anything else worth the discussion in presenting ideas for the project would be gratefully appreciated.

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
I'm sorry but I am a little unsure of what you are asking.

Are you asking about a triple monitor configuration itself?

Are you asking about a component list of hardware for a suitable system / PC to drive a triple monitor setup?

Or are you asking about both?


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN

1 recommendation

reply to norwegian
I purchased, and highly recommend, the Ergotech Group Hex Stand when I purchased Three HP W2371d 23-inch LED LCD Monitors. Pictures are at the bottom of this thread.

These days most decent video cards will have no issue driving three monitors.

What is your budget for this project?
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to norwegian
So you want to run a flight sim on three monitors at once? Do you know if it already supports this? Support for multiple monitors isn't exactly standard, and you might even want to just go with an ultrawide monitor instead. Even then many games just don't handle ultrawide resolutions well either.
»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···150036:s
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
I'll have to second BlitzenZeus See Profile on not all games/applications supporting multiple monitors. As you can see from the link to the pictures of the stand and monitors that I posted earlier World of Warcraft makes you jump through hoops to get three monitor support.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to norwegian
On the windows question: If it was me I would stick with windows 7. Windows 8 and 7 should perform similarly but windows 8 seems to be more fickle getting fs10 set up properly. I don't think 8 would be a bad choice but 7 seems to be a safer option.

You need to nail down the monitor resolution. The cpu will be more crucial than the gpu for fs10 but, with 3 monitors of unknown resolution, the gpu still has to be considered with some care. I wouldn't be looking at multiple cards for fs10 but would get whatever single gpu turns out to be needed to run the 3 monitors. When we have a better idea of the resolution I will try to dig up benchmarks to give an idea of what is needed. I wouldn't waste time with anything other than a haswell i5 or i7 quad. For fs10 I wouldn't be looking at an amd setup.

Decent low latency ram will also matter to some extent.

As far as buying a dell/alienware or putting something together it largely depends on budget.
There are options like »www.pccasegear.com, although you can't customize their systems or mwave australia:
»www.mwave.com.au/cpc/dreampc

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to Kilroy
Well not all, but many games support what is referred to as "windowed fullscreen" so it will just take the desktop resolution of your monitor instead of a list of fixed resolutions, no titlebars/etc, along with doesn't get minimized when you interact with another program which is a pet peeve of mine with games that don't have this option. It's common on newer games however. There's programs that can turn your entire multi-monitor desktop into one big desktop also, and remove the limits of each monitor, however I don't care for those as I like to use one monitor as a main monitor, then another for my other programs also running at the same time. I already have to push back my 1080 monitor farther back than my old crt monitor just to be able to see the entire width at once
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to norwegian
I'm looking at doing something similar: »Proposed Gaming Monitor Setup for Budget Eyefinity

With the monitor stand that Kilroy mentioned.

Without total budget it's impossible to recommend a build. You will DEFINITELY save several hundred dollars by building it yourself.
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to norwegian
I have a triple 27" 1920x1080 monitor setup now. Actually I slightly modified it by adding a 28" 4K monitor and removing a 27" although the GTX670 video card I am using can run 4 monitors at a time. The computer itself is as follows:

quote:
Intel Core i7 3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Processor
Asus P9X79 Deluxe LGA2011 motherboard
32GB of system RAM (8x4GB)
PNY GTX 670 video card
Asus VE276Q, VE278Q and VK278Q triple 27” (1920x1080) Widescreen Monitor setup (Dual Link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort)
Samsung 840 Series 500GB SATA III SSD
OCZ Agility III 360GB
Rosewill RSV-SATA-Cage-34 Black 3x5.25" to 4x3.5" Hot-swap SATAIII/SAS Hard Disk Drive CageDouble Drive 2.5" SATA Mobile Rack
Asus BD ROM / DVD Burner
Antec EarthWatts 650 PSU
Antec P180 case
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64bit
Its a great setup for my needs but I would have also given great consideration to a 21:9 34" 3440x1440 monitor like the LG 34UM95 (~$1000 USD) or maybe even the LG 34UM65 2560x1080 (~$650).

As for a monitor mount, its unfortunate but a lot of options won't support 27" monitors or larger. I prefer something that will clamp onto the desk rather then something that is going to take up a footprint on the desk surface. I have a quad monitor mount and a single monitor mount but I'm using the stands that the monitors came with.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN

1 edit
said by Octavean:

As for a monitor mount, its unfortunate but a lot of options won't support 27" monitors or larger.

Yes, the mount I posted is only good for 24" or smaller. The base is wide and flat, since my set up is against a wall it isn't an issue that the monitors might be jostled. With the base being flat I can put my keyboard on top. I actually have more room because my previous monitor base was rounded and about a half inch high.

I used to have a four monitor mount that clamped to the desk, but it was a 2x2 configuration.

BTW, we're running very similar machines.

Case: COOLER MASTER COSMOS II RC-1200-KKN1 Black Steel ATX Full Tower
Computer Case

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Hybrid RS-850-SPHA-D3 850W Intel ATX 12V V2.3 & SSI EPS 12V V2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Panel Power Supply with Fan Control

Mother Board: ASUS P9X79 DELUXE LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

RAM: 32GB kit (8GBx4), Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3-12800 memory module

Video Card: ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5 GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Boot Drive: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


GCoop

join:2004-12-08
Charlottesville, VA
reply to norwegian
Check out »www.obutto.com and see if there is anything there that might fit your needs as well.

Drizew

join:2004-09-17
Los Lunas, NM

2 edits
reply to norwegian
You might also want to check out www.wsgf.org

There might be some additional information, or at least people that know more than us.

Good luck, and enjoy it. My brother had an eyefinity setup shortly after it was released. It was beautiful, but TAXING on his system.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Octavean
said by Octavean:

I'm sorry but I am a little unsure of what you are asking.

Are you asking about a triple monitor configuration itself?

Are you asking about a component list of hardware for a suitable system / PC to drive a triple monitor setup?

Or are you asking about both?

We are looking firstly for a specific card that would work for this setup without breaking the bank, the basics are 3 monitors and this software.
However a new computer will need to be sourced as well as the monitors for the project.
So yes, there are questions on monitors and setting them up as well as a computer that will drive the software on these monitors for this game.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to BlitzenZeus
said by BlitzenZeus:

So you want to run a flight sim on three monitors at once? Do you know if it already supports this? Support for multiple monitors isn't exactly standard, and you might even want to just go with an ultrawide monitor instead. Even then many games just don't handle ultrawide resolutions well either.

Flight Simulator X
»www.microsoft.com/games/fsinsider/
FAQ for multi-monitors
»www.microsoft.com/Products/Games···ult.aspx
quote:
Definitely. In fact, Flight Simulator's ability to display multiple windows on more than one monitor at a time creates a more realistic cockpit environment. You can use a center monitor to display the aircraft instrument panel and the outside view ahead of the cockpit, and use another monitor to display the radio stack, throttle quadrant, GPS, or any of the other pop-up panels available on a particular aircraft. Aside from additional monitors, you'll need a video card that can support multiple monitors, or a system that can support multiple video cards.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to norwegian

On Budget, I will have to get back to you.
Initially it would be great to present a basic setup for this so we can suggest this is the bare minimum for his needs.
Then we can look at what is 'best' rather than what is the 'cheapest'.

I will ask though and get back to you, as I can work a base figure out and see what sort of feedback is provided to help you.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
I have a feeling that this is going to cost at least around $1500 for a decent build provided you have to buy all the monitors new, most of that being the monitors, and the video card. Previous setups I've seen have had crossfire in use due to the gpu demands for 1080 on three monitors.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
I would call that a starting point down here with 1 monitor. $AUS for parts.
I've listed:
$1,500 with 1 monitor
$2,000 with 3 monitors
This is a starting point and anything up to $4,000 for higher power/quality goodies without looking at top end monitors.
I really don't think 4K nor IPS is required.
I know I'd love a full kit of Dell Ultras or an IPS from most brands would be lovely too, but due to needing finances for 3 screens initial outlay of $2,000 to $3,000 on monitors would be crazy; even though I know they are possibly worth the money it would raise the initial costs considerably and I feel a little over the top.
TN should be fine for visual and for cost with initial discussions.

I'm estimating this all off and i5 for the cpu on the base system.
I'd look at dropping a little in other costs to make sure the gpu is a decent one from scratch.
Would you think an SSD and a decent gpu would better in gaming rather than deploying the i7 in a base model, and possibly a slightly lower grade gpu if costs start playing a bigger role?

It's all an idea at present.
Thank you too for input so far, there are a few angles to look at already in where this may lead.

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3

1 recommendation

While some swear by ssds for every day use when they are not necessary, I have boot times that rival ssd drives with a hdd, but the only factor I can think of is the quick access to the map data on the drive, however a hdd will very likely be fine for this. I could be wrong, but don't see an i7 being necessary unless the program is cpu intensive. My games don't really push my i5, and you don't need physx type eye candy.

If you can maintain 30fps it will be smooth acceptable so a single gpu might work, but I think that might be a strain for three monitors. You'll definitely want one with a decent amount of memory on the video card too.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to norwegian
Since you're in Australia can you provide places you will be shopping on line so we can give you a better idea. I know those of you down under get raked over the coals for software.

BlitzenZeus See Profile is correct that an i5 will be fine for gaming. I went with the i7 for more cores for video and audio encoding. I rip all of my CDs, DVDs and Blurays and frequently convert from DVD to MP4 for mobile devices. Nothing like seeing Handbrake max out 12 CPUs.

I've been using a SSD for about two years now and am on my third due to size issues. I do not recommend anything smaller than 120GB for a SSD. If you store all of your data on the SSD you may need to go larger. If the cost of the SSD will put you over budget, go ahead with a mechanical drive or a hybrid. Otherwise, you will notice a difference in the SSD with boot times and load times.

I don't think you'll have any issues running three monitors with decent frame rates off a card that costs around $300 US. Of course the more you can spend on your video card the better.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to norwegian
This is what you are looking for to be able to drive three monitors. Note this is without ANY monitors or an SSD, which I would recommend.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($285.00 @ PLE Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($39.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: Asus Z97-C ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($178.00 @ CPL Online)
Memory: GeIL EVO POTENZA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($97.00 @ CPL Online)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card ($499.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($66.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Silverstone 700W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply ($119.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ CPL Online)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($109.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Total: $1503.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Kilroy
said by Kilroy:

Since you're in Australia can you provide places you will be shopping on line so we can give you a better idea. I know those of you down under get raked over the coals for software.

The sites listed in Krisnatharok's list shows most of the main stores.
PLE being the best starting point for local/warranty, but any of those sites is okay.

PCCaseGear, PLE are the two I frequent
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

1 edit
reply to norwegian
"Would you think an SSD and a decent gpu would better in gaming rather than deploying the i7 in a base model, and possibly a slightly lower grade gpu if costs start playing a bigger role?"

Depends on the specific trade off we are talking about. If you need to scale back cost then you will want to pull down the cpu and gpu together.

I don't think I would go with an amd card for fsX. I would shoot for a 780 gpu and an i7 haswell. If you have to scale back then a 770 and an i5. I would not drop down below a 770 in order to get an i7 and I wouldn't drop down below the highest clock i5 in order to get a monster graphics card. With 3 screens(probably in the 1080p range) though I think you need a 770+.

I would certainly NOT be messing with 4k.

edit:
With the price of ssds now I would be looking at a 240 samsung 840 evo or such as my fsx drive.

I feel that a lot of the advice being given is good for generic gaming requirements but we need to remember that this is being built for running a specific flight sim and the behavior of fsX is quite a bit different from typical games.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

Thanks asdf, I don't want to be mentioning a figure, building it and then find out there are frame freezes etc.
The discussion is specific really to flight simulation and then general usage, toggling in and out of modes is frustrating with one screen and would love to have the display spread out to view the game in it's entirety with multiple screens.
I wonder if you could get away with 2 monitors?

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to BlitzenZeus
So we maybe able to let go the SSD if costs run up beyond his limits setting this up.
Worth noting really, as I was going to set up an SSD for O/S and a mechanical data drive.
Taking that out may cover the extra for an i7.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Kilroy

On a side note, I've only just learnt of Handbrake and still have not tested it, I wasn't aware it worked that well with cpu hardware/firmware.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to Octavean
I've noticed a few of you prefer the LGA2011 platform, if the funds are available, would it be worth it in this scenario?


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
I'm on the LGA2011 because I built my system almost two years ago for Windows 8. I ran Windows 7 until recently due to driver issues when Windows 8 was released. Currently running Windows 8.1 Pro. In a multi-monitor situation your GPU is going to be your main concern. I put the money into my system as I expect it to last me approximately five years with only minor upgrades, usually the video card around the third year.

Right now that system is working fine for me, but it was built for the multi-tasking that I tend to do.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to norwegian
quote:
I've noticed a few of you prefer the LGA2011 platform, if the funds are available, would it be worth it in this scenario?
As you are already concerned about going over budget I don't think this is likely to be a fruitful direction to explore.

Multiple graphics cards do not seem to be beneficial for fsX. I would have to look further into whether 6 cores would be any advantage over 4 but from what I have seen so far it doesn't look like it would.

Per core performance of sandy/ivy bridge E is lower than haswell.

So unless you intend to spend 600+ US on a 6 core chip(plus the higher platform costs) and unless we can determine that 6 cores is going to be a significant advance over 4 it isn't going to be worth pursuing.

I recommended an i7 because there is some indication that the extra cache is beneficial over the i5.

I will look into this more if you really think you might go this direction but there is a dearth of reliable fsX benchmarks to rely on so I would rather not spend time on this unless you truly think you are going to do this.


norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

1 edit
It is too early to say.
It would be safe to move on for now but thank you for saying you are willing to check.
If the right price can be sourced for a dual gpu graphics card, I think it would be in it's element for this over sli/crossfire without benchmarks to review.

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to norwegian
"A dual gpu card might be worth looking into if the prices aren't too steep if this all comes about."

There are a lot of claims online by people with multiple gpus and or multiple cards that this actually lowers performance in fsX. I would stick with the top line single gpu nvidia solutions.