Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by WTH » Wed, 17 May 2006 02:56:05


I'm getting ready to requisition a machine for this and I'm wondering if
anyone has experimented with the hardware out there.

For example, I'd like to support four monitors off of two cards, but non SLI
systems have one PCI-e slot and the remainder of the slots (except for some
rare motherboards) are PCI and don't have an AGP. I'm hesitant to use two
different bus types and/or card types because of performance considerations.

I have to use multi-monitor (not multi-head) because of product specs, so I
wanted to know if I can enumerate both devices in an SLI system
independently of each other and get hardware acceleration for both. This
way I can get four monitors from two (for example) ATI 1900 XT cards with
four devices with two devices per card.

I know that multi-monitor windowed app development is low on DX and
ATI/nVidia driver needs lists, but just wondering what I can/can't do before
buying a bunch of hardware.

Thanks,

WTH:)
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by Murrgo » Wed, 17 May 2006 04:32:37


Get yourself an SLI compatible motherboard, otherwise you will have
difficulty putting two PCIe video cards in the system. If you get
a pair of SLI/CrossFire cards there is nothing requiring you from
running them in that mode. You can just as easily run them
independently and then access the two cards as different devices.

Your main problem with what you want to do is windowed part. If
you were running multihead, you could use one device for each
video card, but that requires you to be in fullscreen. You will
need a separate 3D device for each display/monitor that you want
to run. This also means you won't be able to share any textures
or vertex buffers between the devices, which can be a big pain.
With four monitors this means four different devices each having
their own resources. This could get unruly as far as managing
everything.

Murrgon

 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by WTH » Wed, 17 May 2006 08:37:23

> Get yourself an SLI compatible motherboard, otherwise you will have

This is the meat of the issue for me, have you done this before? Gotten HAL
devices for each monitor for two PCI-e cards? I know it is *supposed* to
work that way, but I'm hoping that you've seen this in action personally ;).


<snip>

Naw, I already have a multi-device resource manager written (uses hashes,
GUIDS, and reference counting) for multi-monitor support with a single card
and multiple devices, I'm presuming it will work with little to no change
(hopefully none) with two cards and multiple devices...

WTH

--
"We are Liverpool and we don't have to fear any side before any match."
- Bruno Cheyrou
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by Murrgo » Wed, 17 May 2006 23:00:31


I have done two 3D devices, one for each video card. So far I have
only done two displays, one attached to each video card. I'm working
up to four, but I need to run full screen. You mentioned that you
want to run windowed.

With two displays, one on each video card, running this in windowed
mode is pretty easy. You're probably going to want to check out my
previous thread here entitled "Problems with multi device rendering"
where I figured out how to setup the devices. It's all about the
focus window vs the device window ;)

Let me know if you have any problems.

Murrgon
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by WTH » Thu, 18 May 2006 02:43:48

> With two displays, one on each video card, running this in windowed

Yes, I've already written the code to use two devices on the same card using
two monitors when windowed. It's not the code that's an issue, I was just
worried about dropping $500 on a 1900XT and running into some driver bug
because two PCI-e cards need to be in SLI or something like that.

Thanks for the info,

WTH:)
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by Murrgo » Thu, 18 May 2006 03:12:48


I am running with a pair of NVidia 6600 GTs (PCIe) which are
SLI capable, but I am not running them in that mode. I
haven't tried the ATI cards, so I can't say whether their
driver works similarly, but the NVidia one has a setting that
allows you to disable SLI. I would be surprised if the ATI
driver *forced* you to run a system with two CrossFire
compatible cards in that mode only.
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by WTH » Thu, 18 May 2006 13:13:04

Murrgon < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > loquated like no one had ever loquated before
with:



Perfect, just what I was hoping for. Thanks m8.

WTH:)

--
"We absolutely annihilated England. It was a massacre. We beat them
5-4." - Bill Shankly
 
 
 

Anyone doing any multi-monitor windowed app development on more than 2 monitors?

Post by WTH » Thu, 29 Jun 2006 23:19:42

> I am running with a pair of NVidia 6600 GTs (PCIe) which are

BTW, as an update, two X1800XTs supporting 4 monitors in total, works great.

Hardware acceleration is excellent across all four monitors as expected.

I've been running test scenegraphs with a few thousand polys, several VERY
large textures (my main concern is texture memory), all running in 8 windows
being rendered by four separate devices, and windows that straddle another
window share the rendering with the affected devices (up to four devices if
my monitors are arranged in a cubic formation.) All works as hoped.

If anyone is interested in multi-monitor, non-fullscreen (windowed), DirectX
applications, I'll try to get permission to post my resource and device
manager to the group.

WTH