View Full Version : 2 GPU's or 1 and Matrox DualHead2Go?
10-29-2009, 01:21 PM
Okay, forget about cost for a minute, this question is strictly about performance. Which case would give me the best performance and any estimate of how much of a difference I would see?
Two video cards, one Nvidia 9800GT, one Nvidia 9500GT, both 1GB memory. One is PCIExpress 1.0 and one is 2.0
One Nvide 9800GT card with 1GB memory and 2 DualHead2Go's?
10-29-2009, 02:44 PM
I trust you are asking with the intention of running multiple monitors. Can I correctly infer you want to run 4 monitors?
What are your intentions with these monitors? What is being displayed where?
What are your *expectations* with this rigging?
All important questions we'd need to ask before we can answer yours!
10-29-2009, 02:57 PM
If you want 2 monitors for FSX view and two for instruments, both setups are suboptimal. And a lot depends on your CPU as well.
10-29-2009, 03:43 PM
Sorry, I was trying to get this post made real quick before running out for a meeting. I'm new to Flight Sim so forgive me if I'm not asking the right questions for giving the right detail. My hope was to run 4 monitors, one for the instruments and 3 for looking out of the cabin as I intend to fly VFR for a while. I was planning on using FSX.
The CPU is a 2GHz Dual Core Intel Processor, 4GB of RAM, Windows 7 64-bit.
10-29-2009, 07:23 PM
Id say the dual head 2 go!
As it does not impact the performance as much and the other option of 2 video cards needs a more powerful PSU.
10-29-2009, 07:48 PM
I haven't seen how they work with FSX yet, but ATi's latest video cards support multiple monitors similar to a TH2Go. One card can support up to 6 monitors, though not on the cards currently available. And when you put 4 of these video cards into one system... ;)
10-30-2009, 09:13 PM
Perhaps a DH2go, or two of them, is not the best way to go for what you have described. I've gone from 1 to 3 to 4 to 5 and now 6 screens on one PC. Even used WideView for a time (with multiple CPU's).
I'm assuming you already have a 9800GT, with two DVI ports. You could simply add a TH2go unit to one port (for 3 sceens), and run the instrument panel off the remaining port. If using TH2go, be sure to get the digital version (versus analog), so that you get the 'bezel management' feature, and the ability to run higher resolutions (like 5040x1050 or 3 1680x1050 monitors). Note that to run TH2go D at these high resolutions, there may be a firmware upgrade necessary, and more importantly, the monitors, which not only should be the same make & model - they need to be able to support 58 hz. The Matrox and other forums list models that will work if you are curious.
One more thing to consider. For many motherboards, the second PCIe slot is not full speed. Mine is 1x versus the main port at 16x. That's OK for 2D instrument panels. It is not good if a person is trying to display the 3D outside scenery.
TH2go D is certainly a good way to go, and is what I'm using in my system currently, though with 4:3 19" monitors that I will be replacing with 22" widescreens in the not too distant future.
The reason for the caution on the DH2go, is that in order to get three outside views, two from the DH2go, and 1 directly from a DVI port, each view will have to be in 'windowed' mode. It sort of defeats the purpose of making multiple monitors look to the computer and FSX as one monitor. And for my system, there's a major framerate hit when in 'windowed' mode. Note that some users nevertheless use similar multiple 'windowed' views.
Also, the new ATI card was mentioned. Not only is this a fast card (the 5870), but there is the ability to span a view across 3 monitors, like TH2go. Note though, that the card has 2 DVI ports, and a new style 'Display Port'. An adapter is required to attach a non-DP monitor to the DP. Also, unless they have sorted out the support software, there is no 'bezel management' feature at this time. It's coming though, as is the 6 port ATI card. Without bezel management, runways, streets, etc. don't line up between the monitors. Some folks get used to it, I can't stand that.
Interestingly enough, I just ordered a DH2go D unit, but not for the same purpose. I was experimenting the other day, and found I could use two TH2go units on my computer, using an old analog version I had in the closet. This allowed me to span an instrument panel across two screens (or even three...didn't need to do that though) with FSX in Full Screen mode.
I now have two instrument panel screens below my outside views. For most airliners, to keep the proper shape to those items that should be round, a person has to size and shape the undocked panel accordingly...which results in wasted screen space at the bottom, even on a widescreen monitor. See the first photo, which is my setup before going to 2 lower screens.
In the second photo, I'm able to run FSX in Full Screen mode, and span the single instrument panel across both lower screens, which are connected to a TH2go unit. They are both touch screens, which is why I am going to have to use a DH2go unit instead. Long story, but that will allow me to calibrate both touch screens properly.
I bring this up, as I've heard complaints about the changes to multi monitor modes for Vista and Win7 and figured it might be helpful to someone else that's pondered how to run FSX in Full Screen, but span a panel across more than one monitor. If not for the touch screens, I could have just used my TH2go (which was also running a panel monitor to the right.)
C2D E6850@3.8 / 8800 GTX + 9600 GT / 4GB / Vista64
10-30-2009, 11:27 PM
very nice set up
10-31-2009, 06:56 AM
Noel - Thanks for all the great information. I may have to rethink my original plan!
11-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Okay, another question. Again, given the same basic hardware as in my first post. Would I see better performance if I ran just the 9800GT with a TripleHead2Go with three monitors for scenery and a 4th monitor on the second DVI port of the card for instruments...or...a TripleHead2Go with 3 monitors for scenery on the 9800GT and just one monitor off of the 9500GT just for instruments?
It seems to me that I would see better performance with to video cards but maybe I'm wrong since they will still be limited by the processor?
Thanks for all your patience, this is pretty new to me.
11-02-2009, 02:00 AM
I've tried both those setups and I'd say it had no difference on performance. I'm using two graphics card now (one good and one just to get an extra dvi port) just as a workaround for the cursor flashing bug (http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showthread.php?t=201100).
If money is no issue, I'd say look at the new ATI cards to use Eyefinity for scenery display. I used to run triplehead2go but being limited to 1680x1050 felt like going back in time.
11-02-2009, 09:10 AM
Are the new ATI cards available yet? I tried searching but didn't pull up any for sale. Money isn't an object to a point but I'm not able to spend a fortune on hardware. Since you said you didn't notice a performance difference between setups I think I'll take the 9500GT back and put that towards upgrading my CPU.
It was mentioned earlier that with having a DH2GO running two monitors and a third of the video card's 2nd DVI port I would have to run FSX in 'windowed' mode which is a performance hit. Would that still be the case if I had a TH2Go running all 3 scenery displays?
11-02-2009, 01:11 PM
The 5870s are available (but currently out of stock at all my favorite stores :mad:). Not sure about the other models. I've not heard of anyone who has tried any of the new cards with FSX and using multiple screens for the scenery (please let me know if you have!), although I think I saw it on ATI's list of currently verified games, whatever that means.
You should be able to use th2go with the scenery on the first dvi port and a monitor with panels on the second port without using windowed mode. People seem to get different results in such scenarios though. Personally I could do this in XP but not in Vista (same hardware). After upgrading to Windows 7, both fullscreen and windowed mode worked again. However when doing things like resizing anything on the second screen or when switching from fullscreen to windowed mode and then back, I got the infamous "cursor flashing bug" mentioned above. That was solved by using a $20 second graphics card for the panels.
11-02-2009, 02:20 PM
Excellent info, thanks!
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