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If I have three 1920x1080 monitors setup with Nvidia surround giving me 5760x1080, what catagory does my resolution really fall under; 1080p or 4k? Or am I really in a special bracket?

Thanks.

Edited by portanav

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It's 1080p, but you're in a special bracket, too. Personally, if I was to describe your set up technically, I would say it was '3 x 1080' in terms of visual acuity, since each monitor is displaying at 1080 progressive, but since they are all segments of one overall image, you do need to be putting out a signal to them that is of a suitable pixel aspect ratio. So if you like, you could choose to refer to it as a triple-split 5K, and you'd be just as 'correct'.

This is because to be honest, the term 4K is often down to semantics and is as much a marketing term intended to sell consumers 'the latest shiny new thing' as much as it is anything else, since there is in fact more than one definition for the term 4K. Makers of TVs only earn money if they sell you something new, so obviously they want to tout what they make today as the latest 'must have' thing. Next week they'll be trying to sell you 8K.

You can tell this is so because most of them actually changed the way resolutions were described in their products  in order to make them sound fancier; i.e. traditionally, resolutions were referred to by the vertical pixel count, thus '1080' refers to a resolution of 1080 pixels x 1920 for a 16:9 aspect ratio, but if you doubled that resolution, which is what typical 4K TVs do, to give you 2160 pixels x 3840 pixels (i.e. approximately 4,000 pixels across-wise), it doesn't sound as 'shiny and new' to say it is 2160p or 2160i does it? If using the traditional nomenclature, that is indeed what it should have been called, however, 4K sounds much fancier doesn't it? So yeah, it's a lot to do with marketing. Ask Joe Blow in the street if he wants a 4K TV and he'll say 'of course', ask him to explain what it actually is and he won't have a clue, he's simply been told it is better in the same way that he's been told that Persil washes whiter.

Thus 4K refers to a horizontal display resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels, and typically as we've noted, with TVs, that means 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels, which means that strictly speaking, it isn't actually '4K' at all (you again see what I mean about it being a bit of a marketing term?). In the movie industry, 4K can refer to a genuine 4,000 pixel horizontal resolution, since the movie projection definition of 4K is 4096 pixels x 2160 pixels. However, there is no one all encompassing standard for it. In fact there are several organisations which have published their own standards for what 4K is, the most prominent of these being the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives LLC) and the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association). I won't list all their various different definitions for 4K, because there are a lot of them, most being dependent upon aspect ratio as well as resolution as part of their defining specs.

I'm sure you've seen adverts for various products on TV where something claims to have some new wonder ingredient, or is free of this or that additive, i.e. shampoos which 'contain jojoba', or cosmetics which are 'free of parabens', and people go 'ooh, it's got this in it' and go and buy it when they don't even know what 'this' is, or what it does. 4K is a bit like that in terms of marketing, particularly when it comes to home projection systems, in that with normal human vision and at those viewing distances, the extra pixels of 4K resolution are actually completely redundant and make no difference visually. Nobody complained when they were at the cinema a few years ago that things looked rubbish, but back then Industrial Light and Magic used to render their CGI at 768p. That isn't even 2K and that was on a screen which was probably over 40 feet wide lol.

In the end, the best way to look at things (both physically and indeed philosophically), is to ask yourself if you're happy with the way it looks. If you are, then that's the main thing.

Edited by Chock
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8 hours ago, portanav said:

If I have three 1920x1080 monitors setup with Nvidia surround giving me 5760x1080, what catagory does my resolution really fall under; 1080p or 4k? Or am I really in a special bracket?

I don't know what meaning you intend by 'category'. Your display is neither 1080p nor 4K. The question seems to me like 'I have a car towing a trailer, is it a car or a trailer?'. It's neither, it's a car towing a trailer :sad:

Edited by MarkDH

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8 hours ago, portanav said:

If I have three 1920x1080 monitors setup with Nvidia surround giving me 5760x1080, what catagory does my resolution really fall under; 1080p or 4k? Or am I really in a special bracket?

Thanks.

Since each monitor has a horizontal resolution of 1920 the answer is simple. 1080p.

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Your vertical resolution is 1080. If you were running a "traditional" 1080p display you'd be pushing just under 2.1m pixels per frame. Since you have 3 monitors, you're doing 6.3m pixels/frame, which is approaching 4K's 8.3m pixels/frame.

So from a GPU demand perspective, you're a lot closer to 4K even if you're not actually running at that resolution.

Cheers!

 

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9 hours ago, MarkDH said:

I don't know what meaning you intend by 'category'. Your display is neither 1080p nor 4K. The question seems to me like 'I have a car towing a trailer, is it a car or a trailer?'. It's neither, it's a car towing a trailer :sad:

If not category you tell me the correct term, and your analogy does not represent my situation. If my three monitors were NOT configured in surround then yes their still three monitors each 1920x1080; but they are configured in surround and their configuration (as presented to me by windows) is now 5760x1080. So it cannot be the same. My question then is what (category) is it, if not 1080p or 4k?

That's what I asked, but you have not answered me. You say I'm neither. Then what? I'm looking for an answer to my question, not more confusion.😣  I would like to know so that I can select an appropriate graphics card.

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7 hours ago, Luke said:

Your vertical resolution is 1080. If you were running a "traditional" 1080p display you'd be pushing just under 2.1m pixels per frame. Since you have 3 monitors, you're doing 6.3m pixels/frame, which is approaching 4K's 8.3m pixels/frame.

So from a GPU demand perspective, you're a lot closer to 4K even if you're not actually running at that resolution.

Cheers!

 

Thanks Luke, that's what I was thinking, somewhere around the 4k region. So I am looking at probably what as an appropriate card, an 1080 or 2070 Graphic card?

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9 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Since each monitor has a horizontal resolution of 1920 the answer is simple. 1080p.

So Ray, the fact that the GPU has so many more pixels to address does not make any difference, it's the individual resolution of the monitor that counts? I thought that rating a monitor as 1080p, 1440p or 4k was apart from a sharper image, to aid a user in choosing an appropriate GPU.

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8 minutes ago, portanav said:

So Ray, the fact that the GPU has so many more pixels to address does not make any difference, it's the individual resolution of the monitor that counts? I thought that rating a monitor as 1080p, 1440p or 4k was apart from a sharper image, to aid a user in choosing an appropriate GPU.

Michael, when describing resolutions they only apply to a single display. Yes, in your example there are more pixels to process but in one axis only. If you compare the image on any of your three monitors they will be no sharper than that displayed by a single 1920*1080 monitor. Therefore it is incorrect to describe the combined display as anything other than 1080p.

As for a suitable card to drive 3 displays I couldn’t advise as I have only ever had a single display. But it will need to be very powerful. Minimum 1080Ti.

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5 hours ago, portanav said:

So Ray, the fact that the GPU has so many more pixels to address does not make any difference, it's the individual resolution of the monitor that counts? I thought that rating a monitor as 1080p, 1440p or 4k was apart from a sharper image, to aid a user in choosing an appropriate GPU.

I think you're focusing too much on the terminology (which is not intended to be used as you are interpreting it), and not on the actual physics here.  4K is generally accepted as TV industry shorthand for 3820x2160; Full HD and 1080p are both generally understood to be industry jargon for 1920x1080.  But the real metric of interest is the size of the pixel matrix your GPU is pushing to the display system every frame, which, in your case, is 5760x1080, or ~6.2 megapixels per frame.  A 4K TV/monitor is ~8.3 Mpx per frame, and a full HD/1080p TV/monitor is ~2.1 Mpx per frame.

Of course the pixel count is important--it makes a big difference.  The higher the count, the more work for the GPU, especially when you're applying AA to that matrix.  So a GPU that can handle a 4K (3280x2160) display should be capable of handling the smaller matrix of your triple HD setup...assuming that AA/AF levels are the same.  If the HD monitors require more AA than a 4K monitor (because of the larger physical pixel sizes) then there is no apples-to-apples comparison...it's going to depend on how aggressive the AA settings are.

All that said, I agree with Ray's recommendation--a 1080Ti minimum (or a pair of 980Ti GPUs in SLI) would be my minimum target. 

Regards

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Thanks to everyone for your explanations and recommendations. You have helped me to make a firm decision as to what graphics card I need to purchase to drive my setup.

Thanks once again.

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8 hours ago, portanav said:

If not category you tell me the correct term, and your analogy does not represent my situation. If my three monitors were NOT configured in surround then yes their still three monitors each 1920x1080; but they are configured in surround and their configuration (as presented to me by windows) is now 5760x1080. So it cannot be the same. My question then is what (category) is it, if not 1080p or 4k?

That's what I asked, but you have not answered me. You say I'm neither. Then what? I'm looking for an answer to my question, not more confusion.😣  I would like to know so that I can select an appropriate graphics card.

You seem to be offended but I am trying to help you. It looks like you have fixated on categories of monitor where no such categories exist. '1080p' and '4K' are, like 'EGA', 'VGA', 'SVGA' (etc.) before them, simply shorthand labels for displays with particular capabilities. The most basic capability is its pixel dimensions, so VGA is 640x480 and so on. '1080p' is shorthand borrowed from whichever body created the standards for HDTV (as are '720p' and '1080i'). Other shorthand labels such as '1440p' and '2K' appear to have arisen more informally, but they're still just shorthands.

Your Surround display has a native resolution of 5760x1080, most likely with 32-bit colour and at 60Hz. It can probably do other colour depths and refresh rates as well. It may that there is a shorthand name for this configuration because it's quite common, but I'm not aware of any particular standard it relates to. You should see that it makes no sense to regard it as '1080p' because '1080p' means something much more specific than you think it does (notably it implies pixel dimensions of 1920x1080).

For choosing your graphics card the labels are irrelevant. You need to look at the specifications of the card and make sure that it supports the capabilities of your display. Hence you need to check that it lists a maximum resolution that is greater than or equal to 5750x1080 (and at least 32-bit colour and 60Hz). In fact, in practice you will likely run a resolution higher than 5760x1080 because you will want to use bezel management to make sure the image displays continuously across your three screens. You need to take that into account when choosing a card. It is likely that most modern cards will run much higher than this.

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A 1080 basic will handle the 3 screens in surround so will the equivalent amd card (i tested both scenarios in FSX a couple years ago). BUT not at the highest settings you will need to do some optimization but it certainly looks beautiful. I would have stayed with that config but I had a cpu melt down so while returning that cpu to Intel my workstation needed setting up different for work sadly. If you have the funds are building a new machine and will be simming a lot then get the best possible card for the job you can afford. The extra cost now is offset by the lack of hassle you will have getting a satisfactory visual setup and the years you will not need to worry about upgrading. When I got my 1080 card it was very expensive and a lot of thinking was done before purchase. I made the right decision though it's working great and can't see a need to upgrade to a 2 series card. 

Edited by sloppysmusic

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