TechSpot: Triple Monitor Gaming on a Budget

With 2012 delivering the industry's first 28nm GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia, we enjoyed watching the bitter ritual of one-upmanship as the titans scrambled to earn your cash. After a year's worth of staggered releases, price cuts, exclusive deals and driver updates, the dust finally settled enough last November.

Considering next-gen cards are still months away, we didn't expect to bring any more GPU reviews until the second quarter of 2013. However, we realized there was a gap in our current-gen coverage: triple-monitor gaming. In fact, it's been almost two years since we pitted the HD 6990 and GTX 590 against each other to see how they could cope with the stress of running games at resolutions of up to 7680x1600.

Mixing things up a little this time, instead of using each camp's ultra-pricey dual-GPU card (or the new $999 Titan), we're going to see how more affordable Crossfire and SLI setups handle triple-monitor gaming compared to today's single-GPU flagships. On AMD's side, we are testing a pair of HD 7850s (~$360) and an HD 7970 (~$430), while Nvidia's corner will feature two GTX 660 Tis (~$580) and the venerable GTX 680 (~$470).

Read: Triple Monitor Gaming Performance

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16 Comments

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If I could get WoW to work on all 3 screens on mine, my wife would either kill me or love me
as a guy I'm going to go with the 'love' option

i still don't understand why edge to edge displays are not yet produces for multi monitor setups. it's so damn ugly and wrong to have the image separated by two bezels. I don;t get why people find it nice to use.

I just have a single HD 6770 running 3 monitors (6000x1080). Team Fortress 2 runs fine enough, and I don't play any games heavier than that.

A lot of your keep asking 3 game support blah, blah, blah, first off monitors are cheap, used monitors even more. They might not be the best or the largest but having 3 reasonable screens is much cheaper than 1 or 2 large quality screens. I've seen 19-21" running $35-$100 used in great scape. With all the businesses going under it's not hard to find cheaper or free equipment. Just put a few Ads out to pickup needed recycle E-waste. It's cheap/free to deal with but most people don't know whats good or bad. Pick out what you want and recycle the reset. Routers, switched, monitors, pcs and much more for a little work.

Second is Game support. I don't need or want a game that runs on all three, I might want to multi-task while gaming. For example I often play Civ5 while working/watching TV or doing ungodly number of other tasks. In this case I have 1 PC with loads of rams with two screens then a 3rd screen setup on my xbox 360 for Media Center (Live TV), Hulu, Netflix, Gaming and more. I'd really like to be able to use this 3rd screen with the other two while I work then switch over for TV while I game.

I currently have a card that supports 4 monitors (all be it not very well) but its 4 screens over 2 desktops and I hate it. 3 is much better than 2 because the bevel is not centered where EVER DAMN App opens too.

I could easily use 3 screens if not 4. However, I'd like the 4th screen to be a touch-screen tablet.

Most modern games support it really well, some better than others. The best examples are things like Borderlands 2, Battlefield 3, Mafia 2 or DMC. There are of course games that don't do so well but most can be fixed with things like flawless widescreen fixer.

Let me tell you---Dirt 3 is very cool on 3 monitors. Same with MechWarrior online. My buddy has a 3 monitor setup and his kid loves it because it looks like you're in the cockpit/driver seat.

I'd like to see games start to enable using additional displays in more creative ways other than just expanding to a very wide display. For instance having a map on a secondary display, teams stats maybe, objectives, that sort of thing.

It doesn't say "budget gaming" but "gaming on a budget" and the difference is important, it's not budget gaming as it's more money than a budget gamer would spend. It is however gaming on a budget that is significant but not crazy money. As not everyone can afford to spend $1000 on graphics card(s)

The problem with triple monitor gaming is the bevel, and my understanding is that a lot of games still don't support it. Personally I opted for a single 30" 2560x1600 display and I love it. The advance that really excites me is next-gen virtual reality, as the Oculus Rift looks pretty interesting.