Triple monitor gaming with SoftTHFebruary 22, 2010
The newest line of ATI cards have a new feature built into them called Eyfinity. Which is a fancy name for Triple monitor support in games. And, for the most part, it simply works.
Nvidia owners might feel a little left out of the loop on this you might think. Only now has Nvidia announced “Surround Gaming”. But for whatever reason. They are saying that this feature, in future driver released, will require a SLi setup… Hmm.. Sounds like a spendy option.
Well, I stumbled upon a wrapper set called SoftTH which allows nearly any PCI-Express cards to run many games on monitor screens. While this may be more of a hassle for ATI 5xxx card owners. This is great for people with nvidia cards.
What SoftTH does is catch the games call to DirectX with it’s own DirectX file that you place in the games directory. This file then tells the game to display at a higher resolution across 3 or more monitors.
This system works well for the most part. But isn’t an ideal solution by any means.
The benefits over Eyefinity:
Can use existing video card.
Supports mutliple custom resolutions.
Supports lower or higher resolutions on side monitors.
Allows for different sized monitors
Of course it’s not all roses. The bigger issue is the requirement for a second video card. Don’t worry though, the secondary card doesn’t need to be a power house. It doesn’t even need to be a good card. It’s mostly there to allow another monitor to be hooked up.
Also, Framerate.. Compared to Eyefinity setups, SoftTH will give you about half the framerate. Granted, the game is probably still very playable. Just don’t expect triple-digit fps.
The final issue, which is probably the biggest problem is compatiblity. This setup does not work with all games. BioShock 2 is one that doesn’t work. All OpenGL games don’t work. And finally. It only works with DirectX8/9 games. Any game that is DX10/11 exclusively (not many..if any) will not work.
Also, there is a lot of tweaking involved with same games to get them working properly. You’ll have to edit the SoftTH.cfg file. It’s nothing extreme. But can still be time consuming initially.
With all that, I am loving SoftTH. 3 monitors placed horizontally makes racing games very immersive and allows for a much more enjoyable and easier to play from the cockpit view. Being able to see out of the side windows helps immensly. While have the monitors vertically (on there sides) is great for FPS’s and adds to there intensity. For racing games. The bezels really don’t get in the way at all. Much like a car and the column between the side window and the windshield. The bezel doesn’t block anything. When vertical and playing a FPS. After a couple minute playing they, for the most part.. Melt away. As in you don’t notice them when you get into the game.
If you are interested in SoftTH. I suggest highly checking the site
Also, make sure to read up on the forums there for some help with configuring to get games working 100%