Riding shotgun side by side are two MSI Geforce 560ti GTX Twin Frozr cards. These are not bad cards by any stretch of the imagination. I thought I was in for quite an experience but here's a few thoughts on surround gaming and honestly, more people need to be educated before diving headfirst into the green team marketing machine. Some initial conceptions I had, maybe misconceptions, surrounded (pun!) the idea of mature drivers and an easy, intuitive, seamless experience. This was simply not the case.
What I've discovered is that you have 3 choices here:
- You either get the benefit of 3 independent monitors with a single-screen taskbar that grants you the serene flexibility to maximize windows per monitor or...
- ... you get surround, essentially making the 3 monitors one gigantic display with a single resolution (5760x1080) but with a taskbar that spans all three screens, don't think about maximizing anything here because it looks terrible, also, no SLI performance gains here ...
- ... or you get 2 monitors working and gain the performance that true SLI brings to the table but one screen is disabled so you lose the whole point of using triple screens.
All of the scenarios above come with their own caveats, there's simply no perfect solution here and I'm rather disappointed in the offerings at hand.
Here's my proposed perfect solution: Triple monitor surround gaming, a single-screen taskbar, and accelerated 3D GFX with SLI. Is this too much to ask? Is there a technical limitation at play here that prevents this from becoming a reality? It seems like I'm making some unnecessary concessions in this field to something that should be fairly utilitarian.
What Nvidia 2D Surround is lacking is a clear, perceptive and consistent experience. Driver issues and an unintuitive interface are the 800lb gorilla in this room. I wish this weren't the case but having to juggle the position of displays within the Nvidia software every time I switch between Surround gaming and 3 independent monitors is simply not a lot of fun and not something I plan on spending any amount of time doing.