Thinking about 27" or Triple Display - advice please!
I've been through many incarnations of my rig since I started this whole crazy thing about five years ago. The one piece I've never changed is my monitor, which is a Samsung Syncmaster 24B. It has served me very well and it is still in great shape, but my curiosity is piqued by the 27" monitors. I see that the new Samsung 2560x1440 got a glowing review, while there have been many good things said about the Dell. I'll say this now: I will never buy another Dell product in my life, so that's off the list.
Is the new display worth the $800-odd it would cost me? Should I wait a bit?
Another option is to look for three smaller matching displays and go for Eyefinity or nVidia Surround. I am mainly a gamer, though I occasionally watch movies. I am running a GTX 480 at the moment, though that will be upgraded when the next generation of cards hit (the 7000 series ATI or the 600 series nVidia). Just for some further info, my game of choice for the next while will likely be SWTOR.
Well speaking from someone whose been both camps here is why I let you know from my own experiences.
First off the Samsung 27A850D (the 27" monitor AkG reviewed) looks absolutely gorgeous right now infront of me. Having a larger screen with more pixels makes whatever game I am playing look even better then it used to. Everything good AkG had to say about the Monitor and is true, and hell some of the bad isn't as bad as he says (such as the usb port location, doesn't bother me as I have my keyboard, mouse and webcam plugged in, 3 things I'll never unplug and replug constantly).
The thing you have to know about eyefinity/surround is that it looks great when it works, however it can be very frustrating when it half or only partially works. There are probably only a handful games out there that actually properly support 3 monitor gaming without any hiccups or ini edits. After that you can deal with games that may support the resolution, but have say their menus, their HUDs, etc that are skewed making the game either unplayable or makes it a lot more difficult to play. Imagine playing a game where you need to monitor your health quite a bit (DA2 on hard/insane), now move all the important information such as your health off into the far left corner of your left monitor. You would have to glance away from the combat quite a bit to make sure you or no one else is going to die (first hand experience, and this is from 21.5" eyefinity/surround, not bigger 24" would be even harder on stretched HUDs). Finally there are the games that have little to no support, leaving you to game hopefully on your centre monitor, but there have been some that'll load in whatever damn monitor they want. Another example was playing BF3 without any HUD info whatesoever, I could not tell who was and wasn't on my team. This lead to an hour of frustration, lots of team kills and lots of deaths because I stopped for a second to figure out if they were on my team or not.
Ultimately I'd recommend the single monitor route over 3, just until things can mature more from developers and from drivers as well.
Before I got my u2711 I would say spending that amount of cash on a monitor is stupid........ right up until you sit in front of one then it makes it worth it, at least for me.
TBH I would go with a single display over 3x for the reasons Sam stated, games dont always support it and when they do more often than not something is misaligned.
I'll have to start putting away pennies for one of those, then.
Thanks for the advice, gentlemen :thumb:
Save even more and go 30" I'm awaiting my U3011 to be delivered and I can't wait. I breifly tried going from 24" 1920x1200 to 27" 2560x1440 and while it was nice it was hard to justify the price for the smallish size increase. I'd say if you have a monitor smaller than 22" then 27" is a good upgrade, if you have 23-24" already it might not be what you want.
Besides all the comments above I think it depends on what type of games you play as well.
If you play lots of shooters, flight simulators and or racing games then a triple monitor setup is very nice. Anything fast pace is great.
Now if your like me and tend to play slower games like role playing, strategy, and or mmo's then the triple display setup doesn't work so well for the field of view.
My triple display setup @ 5760 x 1080 lasted not even a full month.
My main issue was the field of view on the side monitors. It creates what i would call a fish lens on your side monitors. So while your center monitor is filled with eye candy, your side monitors are not. A whole lot of stretched out eye candy is what you get. On mmo's you actually use the side monitors to look at eye candy in game. That nuisance alone made me switch back to a single monitor for gaming and haven't looked back.
Games I played with my triple setup were WoW, FFXIV, Crysis and Dragon Age 2. Even on Crysis the fish lens got annoying.
Watch a few videos of Dragon Age 2 with triple monitors on youtube and pay attention to the side monitors.
Hope this helps with your decision.
I vote 27 inch all the way for SWTOR or until game developers along with AMD and Nvidia allow us users to adjust FOV to our own preference.
IMO get a single 30".
2560x1600 for any older games that your video card can tear through, and 1280x800 w/max anti-aliasing for any new games that are too tough for the card.
Love my Dell U2711 ;)
My Samsung 275T+ has been great! (3.5 years old). I was dubious at the time due to the cost but it has been worth every penny.
After a week's use on my U3011, I have no regrets. I'll be watching for a matching GTX580 though once Kepler drops. If you're going to spend $850 on a 27", save up the extra $300 and get a 30".
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