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Topic: Driving 6 Displays
Hogfather
Posts: 16941
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Hey all

Putting together a parts list for a project. I'm basically building a massive battlestation.

I want to drive 6x 1440p wall-mounted screens as so:

[screen] [screen] [screen]
[screen] [screen] [screen]

7680x2880 resolution.

I currently have a single 2080ti driving 3 of these. Looking at NVIDIA's page it shows that the 2080ti supports up to 4 displays.

Is this solvable (6 displays) with a multiple-GPU configuration? What if I want to run all 6 screens with NVIDIA surround? Can I 'toggle' SLI mode in software if I happen to play a game that supports it?
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Hogfather
Posts: 16942
Location: Cairns, Queensland


Also I have one of these in the rack that I'd like to make use of:

https://www.asus.com/au/Commercial-Servers-Workstations/Z10PAD8/overview/

At the moment it has a single Xeon E5 2609 v4 so I assume if I just get another one of these I can roll with 2 CPU slots?

Can I just plonk 2X 2080s into its PCIs?

Slot Location 1 : PCI-E x8 (Gen2 X4 Link)
Slot Location 2 : PCI-E x8 (Gen3 X8 Link)
Slot Location 3 : PCI-E x16 (Gen3 X16 Link), Auto switch to x8 link if slot 4 is occupied
Slot Location 4 : PCI-E x8 (Gen3 X8 Link)
Slot Location 5 : PCI-E x16 (Gen3 X16 Link), Auto switch to x8 link if slot 6 is occupied *
Slot Location 6 : PCI-E x8 (Gen3 X8 Link), MIO supported


Yes I am aware that this is decadent.
Spook
Posts: 41377
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
was easier to do this with ATI's back in the day.

looks like it still is maybe?

https://multimonitorcomputer.com/best-6-monitor-gaming-video-cards.php
Hogfather
Posts: 16943
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Yeh but I'd prefer to use the 2080 I already have :p
IVY_MiKe
Posts: 2193
Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

What are you aiming for Hoggy?

Do you want a panoramic view?
Do you need anything like that number of pixels changing in front of you?
Have you tried using a VR headset and just don’t wanna walk around any more?

I had dreams of running a 2x3 array of 24” panels years ago, and learned a few valuable lessons...

Big monitor arrays require big spaces, lots of setup and tweaking, some consideration for ‘lifecycle’ of the monitor panel chosen (what do you do when one of the six panels dies early).

My first foray into this solution was to run two GPUs in parallel. It worked okay, but was very dependant on drivers (was a pair of AMDs at the time).
I retired that and moved into a 6 display ‘eyefinity edition’ radeon. At this time I was to move on the three TN panels for some decent (still ‘non-gaming’) IPS panels. This setup was much better for performance, though was still very dependant on drivers being stable, and then the application having some non-hack options to support an array that size.
I kept that GPU for YEARS... I eventually moved on to a 1080ti.

I’m not in search of yuuuuuge resolutions, as I think that’s kinda the enemy of performance. ‘Go for a reasonable DPI count’ (I still kinda like 24” 16:10 form factors for ‘good, flexible use displays) and consider your use case.

I got into this for simming, and when it was ‘in motion’ the experience was awesome. Looking out at 160 degree views from the front of a WWII fighters cockpit and wingspan. Or better yet, playing Dirt, drifting into a hairpin and looking out the passenger side door at the exit for the corner.

I own a few different VR headsets, and frankly speaking, it is dramatically easier to set up, and make ‘work’. Though depending on how hardcore you want to ‘sim’ theres Plenty of sense in not going the ‘Head mounted display’ route. But as I alluded to earlier, what are you aiming for? Because these days, using a couple of projectors or some touchscreen displays to ‘emulate’ a panel of instrumentation is more use that the top left, and top right display in a 2x3 array is going to be.
And at Uber high resolutions, you’re drawing a lotta pixels, for a whole lot of screen area you aren’t even looking at... (again, if the use case is single person gaming...)
Raven
Posts: 9658
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
If you want to drive stuff in 3D then I'm not sure what you can use. But if you just want 2D output, the Quadro P400 will drive 3 displays for $180. A P620 will drive 4 for twice the price.
Hogfather
Posts: 16944
Location: Cairns, Queensland

What are you aiming for Hoggy?

Do you want a panoramic view?
Do you need anything like that number of pixels changing in front of you?


I feel crowded still with 3x 24" 1440s, so I'm just adding panels. Have a nice big wall with desk + a small server rack I can put the hardware into:

https://i.imgur.com/OF6tskd.png

Planning on installing 2 rows of 3 screens mounted on the block wall.

I have multiple VR headsets, but don't always want to be 'in' VR. I personally wonder if more than a few hours per day might not be healthy.

Also a big fan of surround-extending sim games like Elite with the 3 screens I have now, assuming I can get the fill rate 6x1440p should be amazing.
fpot
Posts: 26700
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland

I'd love to see Elite running on a setup like that. Make sure you post it when you're all up and running :D
Hogfather
Posts: 16945
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Turns out what I want to do is not possible with NVIDIA.

Ugh. Alright AMD, looks like you're up.
trog
AGN Admin
Posts: 39814
Location: Other International

The client I've been working with has recently just set up 6x monitors running off a single PC in their office, I'll see if I can get some info about what kind of rig they're running it on
Hogfather
Posts: 16946
Location: Cairns, Queensland

The client I've been working with has recently just set up 6x monitors running off a single PC in their office, I'll see if I can get some info about what kind of rig they're running it on

Thanks trog.

The big issue I've come across is wanting to drive all six screens as a single combined desktop (using NVIDIA Surround or AMD Eyefinity).

Using Geforce cards I can just add a second independent GPU and display 6 independent desktops (or seemingly any number, up to 4 per card), but the maximum number of desktops per card in NVIDIA consumer land is 4, while for AMD its 6. Creating a single display out of multiple caps at 4 for NVIDIA (Geforce) or 6 from AMD. If you SLI the cards they act as one so you don't gain desktops.

Not possible AFAIK to stretch 6 desktops without buying Quadro cards from NVIDIA. It was also MUCH more difficult than expected.
Hogfather
Posts: 16947
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Ordered kit!

2x E5-2620v3 CPUs
- 2.4Ghz to 3.2Ghz burst
- 6 cores per CPU, 12 total
- 12 threads per CPU, 24 total
- Refurbished but f*** first owner tax on CPUs!

1x Radeon VII 16Gb card
- Space on the board is available for a second if needed, will decide once its all up and running.

Memory
- 32Gb (2x16) Crucial ECC RAM.

Moar Displays
3 more displays same model as shown and 6x wall mount arms.
trog
AGN Admin
Posts: 39816
Location: Other International

The big issue I've come across is wanting to drive all six screens as a single combined desktop (using NVIDIA Surround or AMD Eyefinity).
I am pretty sure this is running off a single PC (I happened to be in the office when they were setting it up and was half-assedly listening), BUT it's not a gaming rig (the screens are all up on the wall and are just showing interesting graphs/data/metrics from their application), so it might not be relevant/suitable.

What game(s) will you be running on it? I have always wanted to do something like this for Flight Simulator (and the new FS they showed at E3 looks fkn bonkers)
Hogfather
Posts: 16948
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Elite: Dangerous and if it ever actually surfaces that other one that has a couple hundred bajillion budget. I've never gotten into flight sims but have a hotas so that is something that will need a look.

Racing games like Forza also look really good in 3 screen stretch mode so I'm hoping for good things with 6.

Also as a bit of a lark I might play some Dungeon, River Raid or Solaris on a 22M pixel display ;)
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