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Pushing the 12K Boundary in PC Gaming

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In this video I start by running Dirt3 on Windows 8 at 11,520 x 2,160 resolution (3 x 4K Ultra HD) at 30 Hz. Next, I show Dirt3 on a single 4K Ultra HD display (3,840 x 2,160) resolution using Multi-Stream Transport, AMD Eyefinity, and AMD Crossfire. Be sure to check out the full story on the Extreme Windows Blog, including a demonstration of pushing 12K resolution to 60 Hz with a 3-way AMD 7970 Crossfire setup.

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  • Wondering why they are using AMD GPUs rather than NVIDIA GPUs? The reason is simple, at the time of writing this post, the PN-K321 does not work with NVIDIA GPUs at 4K @ 60 Hz due to NVIDIA's artificially crippled driver.

    In a pointless attempt to protect the revenues of their very expensive professional Quardro GPUs, NVIDIA artifically cripples their Windows driver to prevent users from using features like Surround 2x1, 2x2 configurations, 10-bit color and multiple display stereoscopic 3D in OpenGL (Quad Buffer Stereo). All Geforce cards are capable of these features and they are accessible when using the Linux GeForce driver but they are artificially disabled in the Windows driver.

    Due to silicon limitations, this display requires DisplayPort MST to operate at 4K @ 60 Hz. The display actually appears as two tiled 1920x2160 monitors which is why this monitor is capable of doing 4K @ 60 Hz over 2 HDMI cables.

    With the introduction of this monitor, NVIDIA was left with a choice, either support Surround 2x1, 2x2 configurations properly so anyone with any pair of monitors could play a 3D game with any variety of 2 or 4 monitors or they could write some sort of hack in the driver to support these types of monitors specifically while avoiding giving Windows users 2x1 and 2x2 Surround support.

    NVIDIA is the lone GPU maker without 2x1 and 2x2 monitor configuration support. AMD has supported it forever with Eyefinity and now even Intel supports these configurations with their integrated GPUs using their Collage feature.

    So you can probably guess what NVIDIA decided to do, instead of supporting Surround 2x1 properly, they decided to hack their drivers. They created an EDID white-list so they could detect these kinds of monitors and support their unique 2x1 capability while still disabling general Surround 2x1 support with any pair of monitors.

    NVIDIA had an pre-production version of this display and updated their driver based on that. However when Sharp finally shipped this monitor, they changed the EDID data from the pre-production display. This change caused the display to fail the NVIDIA EDID whitelist check and not allow it to operate at 4K @ 60 Hz. So now NVIDIA is in the process of adding the correct EDID data to the white-list in the driver and soon the monitor will finally work with NVIDIA GPUs.

    NVIDIA could have avoided all this by just giving everyone proper 2x1 and 2x2 surround support.

    This comment is a summary of the following massive 9 page thread with comments directly from NVIDIA confirming the above:
    https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/539645/nvidia-surround/2-monitor-gaming-/1

  • While cool to see I don't really see it being that practical especially for racing games. You are already in an artificial 3rd party view do you really need to pay ~$2k for extra monitors so you get more blur at the periphery of your vision (which is also off the track)? FPS I can see, games with lots of controls and menus okay. Video editing so the thing you are editing has a lot of real-estate and all the UI can be off on other windows also works.

  • Tx36Tx36

    just one question:
    how did u change Dirt 3 from windowed mode into full screen??
    I always struggle with this and end up restarting the game.. :| :p

  • To answer some questions- this was a technology demo. The goal was to get a 6x1 Eyefinity 12K-wide setup running at 60 Hz (this was a first).

    Regarding the question about windowed mode, no, with Eyefinity this was a single display surface (to Windows) at 11,520 x 2,160. Hard to really describe the experience, you have to see it in real life!

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