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Old 06-30-2010, 02:56 AM   #1
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Problems with 3 monitors across 2 video cards redo

OK, so I saw some previous threads on problems with 3 video card systems. Some of the issues sounded similar to the one I'm having but all the "resolutions" I saw had to do with the width/panning etc of the SS being at 2.5 monitors, which is not my issue at all.

My issue is that I just added a second video card to run my HDTV off of. I previously had just one 22" monitor on DVI and the HDTV on component off of an nidia 8500GT card on a PCIE slot. (windows 7 32).

I added a second 22" monitor and so I had to move the TV to a separate video card in order to run all three.

Now my setup is like this:
(1) HDTV on DVI of a PCI nVidia 9400 GT
(2) 22" Monitor on DVI of PCIE nVidia 8500 GT (This is the Primary WINDOWS Monitor)
(3) 22" Monitor on VGA of PCIE nvidia 8500 GT

The computer BIOS (annoyingly) insists on treating the PCI card as the primary card, so the TV is always going to be monitor #1. However, windows is set to treat monitor (2) as the primary monitor.

In MA 2.6, it has no trouble with this setup. It displays the ss on all three monitors (although obviously choppy on that pci card). HOWEVER, it does think that the primary WINDOWS monitor is monitor 1, and renumbers the HDTV as monitor 2.

In MA3, it correctly shows three monitors, and it even conveniently shows that it has the monitors ordered as I ordered them above (Since each tab shows the card it's using for that monitor). HOWEVER, no matter what combination of monitors I tell it to display the ss on in the configuration it tries to display it on both monitors (1) and (2) and it sticks at the logo screen and sometimes flashes back and forth from the logo to a faded stretched out screen aquarium. For example, if I set it to show only on (1) it tries to show it on (1)&(2). If I set it to run it on (2)&(3) it runs it on (1) & (2). etc. It works fine if I switch to windowed mode.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:59 AM   #2
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PS, I don't need it to run on the HDTV on the PCI card, but I do need it to run on the other two like it used to, if possible.

PPS, latest geforce and nforce drivers are in there.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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I only have the one video card, with dual DVI out. So I don't think I can help. - Since getting two identical LCD flat panels, I have always gone for cards with dual DVI out, - I can get two identical high quality pictures that way. - Much better than using a D-sub VGA connection.

However, I don't think the VGA connection should be causing the problem you are having. I would have expected the nVidia settings to allow you to set up the two 22" monitors in any combination you required, - so I'm rather stumped!... Sorry!

Could I suggest you try a card with Dual DVI out + TV out, all on the one card? ..... Just a thought.


ps, .... After adding the extra card, and installing latest drivers etc, have you also tried reinstalling DirectX again?
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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It works fine in every other program so far. It's something with just the aquarium 3. Even 2.6 ha no trouble.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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A couple of 'clutching-at-straws' suggestions....
a) Is your nVidia 'nView Display Settings' set for 'DualView' ? - If not, then try that.
b) The obvious difference between MA2.6 and MA3 is the latter can be spread across two screens when in full screen mode. - So, does any other screensaver work when spread across your two 22" monitors? (When they are set for DualView). - For instance, does Dream Aquarium work across two screens when the DA Aquarium settings is set for 'Split View'? - if not then definitely try reinstalling DirectX and rebooting.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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None of that dualview or directx reinstall stuff applies to windows 7.

Besdies, I'm not sure tech support on this is the point. I think this is more about reporting a bug in the beta for Jim. Or re-reporting it since it's been reported before.

Dream Aquarium displays a different instance of the aquarum on each of the three monitors which works just fine (like all my other 3d apps). If it has a way to spread across multiple monitors I don't see it in the settings.

Anyway, Jim, has the awuarium been tested internally on three monitor setups? Does it even support this?
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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I don't know about Windows 7, but 'DualView' is a nVidia video card setting, not a Windows setting.

Dream Aquarium should not be showing a different instance on each monitor. - When DA is set for 'Split View' it should be spread across two monitors.
See..... https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...15&#post106715
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DualView2_crop1.jpg (198.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Split View_crop1.jpg (188.3 KB, 1 views)
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:01 AM   #8
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My Dream Aquarium is working across 2 monitors. It works on all three. DA just doesn't use the monitors the same way as MA from how it looks. I don't see a split view option under camera. It's just not there so I can't set it to try it. I don't have a license for DA so maybe some kind of feature that isn't available? The fish and all that show up just fine on all three monitors.

Dualview is a driver setting and they don't use that same setup for nvidia drivers in Windows 7 (or Vista). Their control panel, etc is completely different in Vista/7. Just to be clearer the Windows 7 "Extend" on this monitor setting is essntially the same thing though, and that is how it's set. Each monitor shows something different.

Bottom line is that MA3 does not display on the monitors I set it to display on. If I tell it 1, it displays on 1 and 2. If I tell it 3 only, it still displays on 1 & 2. If I tell it to do it the same on all monitors, it displays on 1 & 2. And all it displays is the flashing logo and faded out aquarium alternately.

If someone can tell me they have the MA working on 3 monitors and 2 cards, I'll be happy to believe it's my setup not handling it very well. I'm just hoping someone can confirm it's even possible to run it that way properly.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #9
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Socrates,
It is my sole intention to try to suggest what might be causing your two 22" monitors to not be displaying Dream Aquarium and MA3 spread correctly across two screens with fish swimming from one screen to the other.

In Dream Aquarium....
Is the background image across both monitors shown as one continuous scene, and do the fish swim from one monitor to the other? (As shown in the link I gave in my post #7).... If not then DA is not working as intended, ie, spread across the two screens.

Unfortunately I am unable to check the DA demo version, (because once I have the registered version installed, it is not possible to download/install the trial version. - I have tried to, on two different machines!). So I am unable to confirm if 'Split View' is available or not. But I can confirm that 'Split View' is not available unless there are two monitors correctly set-up for dual monitor display.

In Marine Aquarium 3.....
I have no problems getting MA3 working correctly spread across two screens with fish swimming from one screen to the other. - But only in Full-Screen mode! - The problems with Windowed Mode across two screens have been well documented elsewhere..... Until Jim has the time to develop MA3 on a dual monitor set-up, a resolution to those problems would appear to have to wait.

Ralph has had some 2 monitor problems, but if I remember correctly those were to do with starting a second instance of windowed mode. -
Similar 2 and 3 monitor problem have reported, but I think most had a common denominator of Windows 7. - So I can not comment on those.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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I'm afraid my multimonitor experience is very limited, so I won't be of much help.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:44 PM   #11
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Jim, the thing is that the program ignores my settings when I have three monitors on two cards. It tries to display on monitor 1 and 2 no matter what I set in the config. I don't know if that's the program or something in my setup.

I will say that my setup may need a new motherboard though. This one is assigning shared memory to both of my cards (which DO NOT need it) and it has no option to disable that. So with two cards in my machine it eats up twice as much memory (it's stealing 1.5 gigs just for that). That may be what is messing up the aquarium. It's also annoying that the motherboard keeps initializing the pci card first and the pcie card second. That doesn't even make sense and in the bios I have it set the opposite. So I'm thinking this mobo needs a new bios, but one doesn't exist so it may find it's way into the spare parts pile right quick.

But my main question before I even bother is if anyone has successfully run MA 3 on a setup with two cards and 3 or 4 monitors on those cards?
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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There is hardly anything in the actual program dealing with multimonitors. (There was for a while, when I tried to add a bezel gap, but I quickly found out I was over my head.) Almost everything is left in the hands of Windows and the card drivers. Even the settings boxes which show up under Display Settings for each monitor are just standard Windows templates.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:58 PM   #13
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So here is an update on this.

I swapped out my main pcie 8500 GT card for a PCIE 9500GT card. I REMOVED the secondary PCI card. I wanted to combine the audio onto the HDMI channel and the other card didn't do that. Also, the PCI card did not cool very well although it performed as expected.

Anyway, my setup is now ONE PCIE 9500GT card with an HDTV (Monitor 1), an LCD (monitor 2, primary), and DISPLAY LINK USB to DVI Adapter with one LCD (monitor 3).

Now I have no expectation of anything 3d running on a displaylink usb adapter - while it's somewhat dx compatible it has no 3d hardware. However, when opening the configuration for MA3, the MA seems to think the third monitor is on the 9500 card. With the previous card, MA3 at least saw that the monitors were on different hardware. Now the MA will not open at all. It just blanks the screens and then crashes out with no message of any kind. Makes no difference which monitors I tell it to use.

If I unplug the usb adapter for monitor 3, the FIRST time I run MA3, it shows the logo then sputters until I hit escape, but the SECOND time, it opens and runs just fine.

Anyway, Jim, I just thought any kind of info might be helpful. I suppose more and more people will be using 3 monitors and more and more will use displaylink adapaters as this is the same tech you see in virtual docking stations which I've been seeing turn up more and more at my customer sites.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #14
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An interesting concept.. the idea of using several video cards. I would think that very few people would have 2 video cards in their system but am curious as to how that works with other programs. Can you define which program works with a particular video card?

For example.. does dragging the "window" to a particular screen (that is associated with a video card) mean that the program now works with the features of that card? I can see that being very complicated for the computer to keep track of.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:00 PM   #15
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That is what happens for the most part. the computer seems to handle it no trouble. 3D programs are different since usually they have specific settings for how they are going to use monitors and 3d options. It's not that uncommon actually. If you want to have mor ethan 2 monitors, you almost have to since most video cards will not do it. There's some high end ones that will, but most of those are really pricey and take up two slots thanks to their ovwersized form factor. The slot next to my video card is the only one that will run my digital tuner so oversized video won't work. Minus a motherboard upgrade, which I may do sometime soon, this is as advanced a card as I can run.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:00 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info, Soc. This is 'way too far into arcane Windows idiosyncracies for me, maybe Edgar can make some sense of it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:23 PM   #17
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I'm afraid I can't now add any meaningful suggestions for your current multi-monitor problems. Your set-up is way beyond and so different to my simple dual-monitor system. - However. I shall continue to follow your progress with interest... Who knows, someday I may be tempted to add a third screen!

What does surprises me though, is that so few people here seem to bother running even dual-monitors. - My interest started when my son bought me a new LCD flat panel way back when they first came out. Instead of using it to replace the existing monitor, I placed it alongside, - And I've been hooked ever since!

I would never want to go back to only having one screen.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:11 PM   #18
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I agree.. a second monitor is really handy. Place an open document there while working on something else.
My first second was my old CRT when I upgraded to LCD.. I liked it so much I convinced my wife she needed a wide screen LCD so that I could use her old LCD. Ideally it should be the same size as different sizes complicate how MA3 interfaces but...
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:57 PM   #19
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On my desk I run two 22" 16:10 monitors (do not like 16:9 for monitors!). I run one landscape and one portrait. I am absolutely hooked on the portrait view for web pages. So much less scrolling.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:19 AM   #20
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I've merged 2 threads together to put this discussion all in 1 place. I'm hopeful some solutions can be found to this thread.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
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