Thoughts about the multi-display set from the movie Swordfish...

jmroberts70

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Now that there are decent (and even somewhat affordable) 30" LCD's out there, it's funny to look back at the multi-display setup that was used on the movie Swordfish. I think they used a Linux system to handle the swirly thing that was the screensaver shown in the beginning. Still, it is really only what looks like a bunch of 15" screens with a 20" screen in the center...


Didn't ever look that "ergonomic" to me though...


Now days, I fantasize about running two Dell 30" screens -one on top of the other, and a few 20" wide-screens in portrait mode on the sides. Only 4 screens but one HUGE display area!
 

blank

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don't forget serenity



looks like a 30+ in the middle, he probably uses that for his main rig
 

Scyles

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I agree that multi-display overkill looks neat, but I can barely justify having two displays.

Viewing angles would be a major issue with multiple displays. There are a lot of cheap displays out there, but you'd want to avoid all TN. VA wouldn't be that great, either.
 

Techx

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Scyles said:
Viewing angles would be a major issue with multiple displays.
No it wouldn't be if you used the right arm, which you could adjust so it's at the perfect angle!
 

WesM63

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I always thought those where interesting. I was just at a customers location the other day, a few of the employee's had 24" Widescreen in the middle and 2x17" on each end in portrait mode. That was fun to use. ;)
 

saan44

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Unless it's for some specific task I can't understand using more than 2 monitors. Personally, I use my secondary monitor for watching movies or tv shows when I'm poking around on the net or chatting so I can watch it fullscreen and still have a window to be productive.

I don't know what I'd do with 3+ monitors.
 

thenickmix

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Going to school to be an electrical engineer...when doing projects in matlab for my linear systems course I could have definitely used a couple displays. Getting a spec sheet maximized on one, the lab procedure on another, my matlab workspace on the main screen, word doc on another, and of course one for my trillian messenging and winamp. Of course, I could get away with printing a hard copy of the spec sheet and lab procedure, but where is the fun in that :)
 

BinaryApe

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Hence the reason for you guys not needing a multi monitor display setup. I plan on purchasing two 20" monitors to go along with my 24" to make my coding easier, its a pain to have 4-12 windows open even on this monitor, with the other two I can always have the other class files open when I need them.
 

jmroberts70

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Yup, that's the situation I'm in running AutoCAD right now. It would be nice to have several large screens to work with over just two I use right now.
 

jmroberts70

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Here's what I've been stewing over the past few months for an ideal multi-display for AutoCAD work... It involves two 30" and two 20" from Dell (probably on a custom support rig). I still don't know if I'd be able to drive it from one workstation but all indications are that I can... What do you guys think?
 

DepTi

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With QuadSLI you could have each monitor on it's on video card technically.
 
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jmroberts70 said:
Here's what I've been stewing over the past few months for an ideal multi-display for AutoCAD work... It involves two 30" and two 20" from Dell (probably on a custom support rig). I still don't know if I'd be able to drive it from one workstation but all indications are that I can... What do you guys think?

Needs two more 20" angled like the top 30". :cool:
 

jmroberts70

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Aratech said:
Needs two more 20" angled like the top 30". :cool:
Well I'm not sure I can make that fit but I'll play with it a little bit this afternoon and see what I can come up with. Don't think I hadn't wanted to do that though!
 

Hulk

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jmroberts70 said:
Here's what I've been stewing over the past few months for an ideal multi-display for AutoCAD work... It involves two 30" and two 20" from Dell (probably on a custom support rig). I still don't know if I'd be able to drive it from one workstation but all indications are that I can... What do you guys think?
I like it but the two 20" are set vertically, how are you going to go about changing that so it displayes text correctly? Is there a simple fix?
 

jmroberts70

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Here's the arrangement with 4 20" screens. I guess it would work ok. Then again, we're talking about around $5,300 in displays alone --not counting the video cards needed to drive this effectively. What sort of cards do you guys know about that would be able to pull this off?
 

Phelptwan

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well you would definately need two cards with dual dvi out for the four display system...3 for the 6 display system. I'm not exactly sure how powerful they need to be but I've seen coding environments run on dual monitors of off pci cards, so since you are doing cad and rendering stuff i have not a clue...otherwise looks like a fun thing to build.
 
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you could get a 'Bad Axe' board from Intel and run three video cards. Personally I would do 2 7950GX2s and a 7900GT/GTX depending on how much you had to spend, or three GX2s. If the first option, run a 30" off of each GX2, plus one 20 per card, then two 20s off of the 7900gt/gx2
 

BinaryApe

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why not pusht the 20's to be flush with the top 30 and then angle all the 20's inward about 5-6 degrees?
 

hofan41

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i dont think it's possible, dont the 30 inchers require dual dvi input? so with a quad sli setup you got 4 dvi out's, with that you could only run two 30 inchers not counting the other 2-4 20's.
 

jmroberts70

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What about the dual displays on a single card? Could one control 2 30" and one control the other 4?
 

BinaryApe

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Fist off, Hofan41 there is a difference between dual dvi input and Dual-LINK input. Dual link DVI is a standard for dvi that has more pins and allows a larger screen resolution to be transmitted.

DVI Connector Comparison

That Link shows the difference. If you have a Single Link DVI for the connector it will display up to 1920x1080. Dual link will do up to 2048 x 1536. ***Note*** This is for DVI-D (Digital only) connectors. Analog can display up to 2048 x 1536. If DVI-I is present it will default to analog if it cannot do it (DVI single link). If I am wrong someone please correct me.

second, Jmroberts70 I am not aware of any card that can support 4 monitors. At least one that is in household use (again to my knowledge). I would believe that you would need 3 cards to run this. If i am wrong on this also its cause its 2 am and I have been up 20 hours. 0(^_^)0. Hopefully that answers some questions.

Goodnight!
 

BinaryApe

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I don't know of many people willing to shell out the money to buy a stand alone quadro station. But what ever. and I doubt many people have 3 pci-express slots. The Quadro is just not a viable option for most.
 

aznx

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RaphaelVinceti said:
you could get a 'Bad Axe' board from Intel and run three video cards. Personally I would do 2 7950GX2s and a 7900GT/GTX depending on how much you had to spend, or three GX2s. If the first option, run a 30" off of each GX2, plus one 20 per card, then two 20s off of the 7900gt/gx2
I'm sure AutoCad would do well with it's OpenGL acceleration, but I'm not sure if that'll work for regular Nvidia/ATI cards. I doubt he'd need the power of 2 7950s and a 7900GT. It' just AutoCad.
 

aznx

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jmroberts70 said:
Here's the arrangement with 4 20" screens. I guess it would work ok. Then again, we're talking about around $5,300 in displays alone --not counting the video cards needed to drive this effectively. What sort of cards do you guys know about that would be able to pull this off?
I doubt you'll need that many screens for just AutoCAD. Left 20" (toolbars) Right 20" (more misc stuff) Middle 30" (workspace) Top 30" (other drawings). I doubt you need all 4 20" screens and 2 30" ones as well. I guess you could but I think it'd be overkill.

I'm not sure if AutoCAD can accelerate off regular Geforce/Radeon cards, they might need the Quadro drivers to be able to access wireframe acceleration..atleast this was how it was with the old Quadros/Geforce(4s?).

Maybe you can SoftQuadro a couple of cards, if possible. Even a soso real Quadro card could probably rape a 7950 10 fold.
 

jmroberts70

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aznx said:
I doubt you'll need that many screens for just AutoCAD. Left 20" (toolbars) Right 20" (more misc stuff) Middle 30" (workspace) Top 30" (other drawings). I doubt you need all 4 20" screens and 2 30" ones as well. I guess you could but I think it'd be overkill.
Understandable. I can get by drafting on my little 17" screen laptop at home for a lot of stuff. But much of the drafting I do is for large civil engineering plans that involve comparisons between high-resolution raster images and an AutoCAD drawing. Having dual 30's stacked on each other like I've done would save the hassle of printing out the images and then going back and forth between the table and the screen. In addition, I don't use that many toolbars as much as I make use of the command line and properties windows. I'd make them larger if I had the screen real estate. Here's what I'm using right now:

I'm running dual 20's and I'm terribly short on space. I have several other windows upen if I could get away with it.
 

aznx

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jmroberts70 said:
Understandable. I can get by drafting on my little 17" screen laptop at home for a lot of stuff. But much of the drafting I do is for large civil engineering plans that involve comparisons between high-resolution raster images and an AutoCAD drawing. Having dual 30's stacked on each other like I've done would save the hassle of printing out the images and then going back and forth between the table and the screen. In addition, I don't use that many toolbars as much as I make use of the command line and properties windows. I'd make them larger if I had the screen real estate. Here's what I'm using right now:

I'm running dual 20's and I'm terribly short on space. I have several other windows upen if I could get away with it.
I think the addition of 2 30"s would be more than enough along side your 2 20"s. Also a faster computer would help too. :p
 

MentatYP

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BinaryApe said:
why not pusht the 20's to be flush with the top 30 and then angle all the 20's inward about 5-6 degrees?
Flush how? a) To form a single large plane with all 3 monitors, or b) just have the edges touch and keep them angled inwards? With option a) the viewing angle from the seat would be too large on those top 20"ers, and with option b) some of the screen space of those top 20"ers would be covered by the bottom 20"ers. Either way it wouldn't work.

I wouldn't even bother with the top ones.
 

jmroberts70

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MentatYP said:
Flush how? a) To form a single large plane with all 3 monitors, or b) just have the edges touch and keep them angled inwards? With option a) the viewing angle from the seat would be too large on those top 20"ers, and with option b) some of the screen space of those top 20"ers would be covered by the bottom 20"ers. Either way it wouldn't work.

I wouldn't even bother with the top ones.
'yea, I tried to make those top two 20's fit more flush as he described but it just wouldn't work any better than I've already modeled. I have thought that those two displays would be used for less-immediate display needs like my email and file management duties. Well, we can always dream...
 

sicko

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this was with one pcie card and one pci card.

I couldn't handle looking up at a screen above eye level. too much neck strain but I really like the two 20wfps on the sides of the 30
 

joemama

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Here's what I've been stewing over the past few months for an ideal multi-display for AutoCAD work... It involves two 30" and two 20" from Dell (probably on a custom support rig). I still don't know if I'd be able to drive it from one workstation but all indications are that I can... What do you guys think?
As awesome as that would be...the 30" requires dual link DVI so using 2x 24" in the center/top would be easier to implement.
 

hungryduck

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Here's the arrangement with 4 20" screens. I guess it would work ok. Then again, we're talking about around $5,300 in displays alone --not counting the video cards needed to drive this effectively. What sort of cards do you guys know about that would be able to pull this off?
geese, thats like a flight simulator.
 

jmroberts70

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As awesome as that would be...the 30" requires dual DVI so using 2x 24" in the center/top would be easier to implement.
True, but I'm hoping to eliminate the "gutter" running down the center of the display array.
 

mjz_5

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unless u guys have super necks and super eye site, i have no idea how ur going to effectively use all those monitors.. but thats just me
 
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Seems to be quite a few motherboards coming out with 3 pci-e slots. I went with the Bad Axe and have had no troubles running six monitors from 3 pci-e slots. Very fast too, although I did notice a very slight slow down from one monitor to six on my 8800GTS to six monitors. Very slight difference though.

I will have to agree with mjz_5, watch for neck strain. I'ver personally lowered the bottom monitors to where they're only two inches off the desk so I could bring the top monitors down instead of having to look up all the time. Seemed to help.

Good Luck with your setup...

Liquid Cool
 

jmroberts70

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'yea I'm sure I won't run the 2nd 30" screen above my head like it shows now but it will probably be something similar. The thing is that I usually work with scans of very large blueprints that I have to compare with an AutoCAD plan. I constantly have to go back and fourth so having them close to each other is important. Understand that most of the time, I'm working on the lower display and only using the upper display for reference.

So do you guys think running 3 PCIe cards could control 6 displays that include 2 30" screens? The other element here is that I'd like all the screens to be running DVI (no analog connections). Once I started using digital displays, I just can't bring myself to go back to analog. So I'm assuming that I'll need a PCIe card that can handle both the 30" display and one additional 20" display. Can that be done?
 
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