Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Triple Head Setup

Currently I have this kind of setup:



I have been happy with it, but since I have GeForce 6150 on the mother board I was thinking adding one more display so my setup would look like this:



After reading about multi screen setups it seems that it is currently impossible though. Supposing that I want to move my windows from screen to screen (xinerama/twinview) and have composite enabled. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

9 Comments:

Blogger boiko said...

I don't know if it is possible using the NVidia driver, but if the driver supported randr 1.2, it would be possible to create such setup

13:14  
Blogger Petri said...

What I have read, randr 1.2 does not support multiple cards. Though, there are some pages that say randr 1.3 might.

14:49  
Blogger Federico said...

I tryed multiple head setup with different monitors and the differece of brightness, contrast and resolution kill the eyes... I think dual (or triple) head is good only if you use the same lcds

15:19  
Blogger Thomi Richards said...

I cannot work without my two monitors, but I've found that three monitors just doesn't work as well.

Obviously your usage patterns may be different from mine, but I've found that productivity / usefullness does not scale up with monitors as one might think.

16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I've been able to tell, composite and Xinerama don't mix. In Xinerama mode XRender and XDamage are disabled IIRC. A small note, my past experience with NVidia + Xinerama is that it's performance is downright terrible, though twinview does well. (tried with an 8600gt and a 7900gtx)

17:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(server side) Xinerama + XComposite has a few bugs, which you'll hit when using compiz.

You can use a single gfx board and an little hardware device that'll allow you to attach two monitors to a single DVI port, like matrox's Dual/TripleHead2Go. It's a bit expensive, but works best, since (almost) no software changes are needed. It'll probably break when you try to rotate individual monitors, though.

TripleHead-Questions are asked about weekly on the nvnews.net forums. Try looking there for all possible solutions.

(on an unrelated note: my first comment with kde 4.2. woot!)

17:31  
Blogger Bluescreen303 said...

I had the exact same problem and I can tell you it's not currently possible.

xinerama + composite doesn't work on nvidia, and twinview won't join 2 cards.

It used to work during the Xgl days, which just started 1 opengl application crossing a 3-screens xinerama setup.
That application was a virtual x-server itself, and had compositing working through opengl. Xgl was bad for performance though and fancy compositing effects (like semi-translucency(blur)) didn't work at all for me.

As someone noted, randr 1.3 might include some stuff for multiple cards, but nvidia is not interested in supporting randr. randr 1.2 is poorly supported, and even that took a long time.

My advice: do what I did.
I just swapped the 2 17" sideflaps for another 24", so now I have 2x24" (exact same model) in twinview. I placed them nice & high on a dual-screen mount so my eyes are at about 2/3 when I look straight forward.

I did connect 1 17" to the other card though. I took off foot and layed the screen on a 30 degree angle wooden thingy. Its top edge touches the bottom edge of the 24"s and its bottom edge almost touches my keyboard.
I just run a second X display(not server) on that (non-xinerama). This means I cannot drag windows to it, but through some clever scripting it's ideal for stuff like ebooks/documentation and/or watching video/tv streams.

It takes some time to setup/mount stuff the way you want, and sure - it'll cost some money, but hey, 24" are relatively cheap compared to 1-2 years ago, and by getting it right, I'm pretty sure this monitor-setup will last 2 or 3 PCs

00:07  
Blogger subpixel said...

Unexpected evils of rotated displays: font smoothing typically fails abysmally, and probably anything else that uses subpixel rendering, because the subpixels are not in the expected/assumed layout.

13:31  
Blogger Allistar said...

I have triple head working with KDE3.5 and two nvidia cards fine, with full compositing effects. The trick is that the left two monitors are joined using TwinView and the right hand one is a separate X session running another instance of KDE. THis means the mouse can move between them, but windows cannot not. This works fine for my needs. You cannot do this in KDE4 though, more's the pity.

23:09  

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