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d9720267
06-18-2005, 03:06 PM
After browsing around for info on multimonitor gaming, I found this site:

http://bigger1.home.mchsi.com/about.htm

Does anyone know if the conf.ini edits described there would work in the same way in PF? I read in this thread

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/26310365/m/6041050792/r/9431024892#9431024892

that you can specify a 'widescreen' mode by editing the conf.ini, will it display across 3 monitors as in the link?

I know it all works if you have the Parhelia card, but has anyone tried it with any other cards (especially now you can get motherboards that have 2 PCI express graphics slots)?

d9720267
06-19-2005, 09:16 AM
If this won't work in PF 4.01 does anyone know if it will work in BOB?

d9720267
06-20-2005, 02:16 PM
Does anyone know of any other flight sims that will do this (except FS2004)?

d9720267
06-22-2005, 10:43 AM
Oh man ... so I'm guessing the answer is ...

nobody knows

Dexmeister
06-22-2005, 12:49 PM
After eagerly awaiting NVidia or ATI stepping up to the plate instead of just making faster singlehead cards, alas it seems they're not ready to. Some fellow Matrox Parhelia users were wondering if there was any offering from ATI or NVidia and the closest the came was ATI, who said their solution wasn't coming along great, wasn't stable, and didn't support triple "viewports", meaning Parhelias are the only cards that do, or will for the foreseeable future.

Such a shame that other manufacturers can't figure this one out. I can't imagine getting rid of my Parhelia no matter how nice ATI or NV cards look... Three monitors for gaming and work is too good to pass up.

d9720267
06-22-2005, 01:38 PM
Ah Dex! I was hoping you'd spot this thread, even if you could only add bad news http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif.

But did you look at the link I posted? That guy seems to have got 3 monitors working on games that don't officially support the feature ...

d9720267
06-22-2005, 01:47 PM
And what you said about not wanting to go back to a single monitor I can understand after seeing FS2002 working on triple projectors (my brother built a cockpit as part of his engineering degree).

It makes THE biggest differences to situational awareness, immersion and the general feel of 'being there'. A difference big enough to make me willing to spend big money on it if I have to.

I share your sentiments in wishing ATI or nVidia would get off their ***es and make this work. Or maybe Matrox could release a Parhelia that was up there with the GeForce 6*** family in terms of speed ...

I think ATI or nVidia are missing a trick what with Crossfire and SLI motherboards gaining popularity. More and more people are going to have 2 graphics cards in their systems already. Why not take advantage of that user base?

Dexmeister
06-22-2005, 02:06 PM
Hey again. I took a look at that first link. Been there, seen it, done it in one way or another.

I initially tried multimonitor with FS2002 and Wideview (see http://www.wideview.it). It worked well once it was all config'd, but it was a pain to set up. You can add piles of monitors, so it's cool, but you need a PC running each, and each PC set with its own configuration. When I saw how it looked, I said screw it and went for the Matrox.

The Parhelia goes about all of this differently. The video card appears as one monitor to software, and available resolutions in many games just suddenly include 3840x1024 or the like. That's the way to do it.

There's times where I need to "hack" a game (ie. modify config files, get a hacked EXE etc) to get things to work. That's what the guy in your first link is doing with those seta... commands. Painful but it can work.

The reason 3 NVidia or ATI cards can't currently support widescreen the same way is they're still perceived by the PC as three monitors rather than one. What a bunch of dummies because if they could figure it out they'd be selling 3x the video cards.

Matrox has done their homework in making a good solution. Their company is geared towards graphics designers, CAD professionals etc, but the surround gaming kicks butt.

Honestly, at the end of the day, and as you can agree after seeing multimonitors working right, the price of such a setup may be worth it even if it were just for FS2004 and IL2 as a dedicated sim box. The hours I've put in on FS2004 are just unreal and even a huge projector doesn't give you the realism of 180 degree FOV.

I'm not sure if there's any other users of the Parhelia in this forum, but if so, I'm wondering if Oleg & crew botched this latest patch, if it's been broken since PF, or if the newly limited view is intentional. It's like flying in gunsight mode to all you singlescreen folks, needless to say it's not great. I waited so long for the patch that I stopped playing PF, fired up the new patch only to notice this, and quite honestly, as much as I love the concept of a good combat sim, I'm so fricken sick of waiting for this one to get it right I think I'd be better off installing stock FB and calling it a day. Shame, but hey, there's always FS2004, which many of you know is my main sim squeeze.

d9720267
06-22-2005, 02:23 PM
Yeah, I just wish you could shoot things in FS2004! I mean how difficult could it be to add that in ... a damage model, a few special effects and leave the rest up to the people making addons ...

So you don't think there's anything other than the Parhelia even on the horizon? Even maybe in 18 months' time? I haven't built my system yet, I want to be reasonably sure that it'll work before I spend the cash, so I'm in no great hurry.

d9720267
06-22-2005, 02:27 PM
BTW what do you mean by 'newly limited view' in 4.01?

Dexmeister
06-22-2005, 02:37 PM
There's been this ongoing hit & miss problem with FB/PF/IL2 where when using wideview (3 viewports), the zoom factor is off, resulting in the widest field of view (most zoomed out) looking like gunsight view, and the most zoomed in looking like you're using binoculars. It'd be okay if the guns were lasers, but well... they're not http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

As for other things on the horizon, I'd bet on ATI's Crossfire or whatever getting there sometime, but they've got to get around having to use "stretch, windowed" mode and make sure it's running the widescreen (triple) resolution as one monitor, not 3.

We'll see, and if anyone else comes out with it, I'll be one of the first early adopters now that I know how great multimonitoring is.

marcocomparato
06-22-2005, 02:59 PM
one of the functional limitation is actually the 3D API in use.

mkay..

FS2004 runs Direct3D (not really even DirectX. almost a software emulation) so its not really a 'hardware accelerated API' like OpenGL or DirectX9 and can thus just redescribe its stage width and essentialy unmask more of the scene at work.

This is also why FS2004 and CFS look like a55.

for the gentleman with the Parhelia, try switching from OpenGL in IL2 to DirectX and see if it helps ya.

but make no mistake...the reason OpenGL uses strict dimensions is because of the amazing stuff it can do at amazing speeds and even if you dont know it yet, its what you really want from this sim first and foremost.

wrap-around is a neat gimmic. personally i suggest that a user attempt using one AGP nvidia card and two PCI nvidia cards. the Unified architecture of nvidias driver will allow the PCI cards to be Geforce2(which can be found for about 15$ each) while the AGP or PCIe can be a Geforce6. (however this could possibly force the geforce6 to run at 2x level)

this would allow for all three GPUs to feed their respective monitors using a single CPU system. ive done it before. but not since the days of Geforce3 (when i worked for a graphics card company and could get our nvidia cards for nuthin). drivers may have changed since then.

good luck. its neat. but youll wind up disabling it to get better speed in dogfights. its really more applicable to serious flight simming like Xplane or FS2004 with little requirement of performance in gameplay.

d9720267
06-22-2005, 03:14 PM
personally i suggest that a user attempt using one AGP nvidia card and two PCI nvidia cards.

I think the fastest PCI graphics card you can get is a GeForce 5200, so might as well get a Parhelia.

Perhaps if a motherboard came out with 3 PCI express graphics card slots this would be worthwhile? I doubt we'll see a motherboard like this any time soon since I think SLI and Crossfire both only work for 2 cards (so there won't be the market for it).

Dexmeister
06-22-2005, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by marcocomparato:
This is also why FS2004 and CFS look like a55.

for the gentleman with the Parhelia, try switching from OpenGL in IL2 to DirectX and see if it helps ya.

wrap-around is a neat gimmic. personally i suggest that a user attempt using one AGP nvidia card and two PCI nvidia cards. the Unified architecture of nvidias driver will allow the PCI cards to be Geforce2(which can be found for about 15$ each) while the AGP or PCIe can be a Geforce6. (however this could possibly force the geforce6 to run at 2x level)

this would allow for all three GPUs to feed their respective monitors using a single CPU system. ive done it before. but not since the days of Geforce3 (when i worked for a graphics card company and could get our nvidia cards for nuthin). drivers may have changed since then.

good luck. its neat. but youll wind up disabling it to get better speed in dogfights. its really more applicable to serious flight simming like Xplane or FS2004 with little requirement of performance in gameplay.

First of all, in my own opinion, FS2004 and CFS3 are both capable at highest settings, of looking better than IL2/FB/PF, in my opinion. I'm not a water freak and the planes truly can look much better in FS, for sure. Nobody here agrees with me but this is an IL2 forum.

Regarding using OpenGL instead of DirectX, I know the difference from when I had a top-line NVidia card, but with triplehead it's not an option.

Regarding wraparound being a neat gimmic, you wouldn't be saying that if NVidia or ATI could get their !@#$ together, you'd be drooling at the concept and saving your $$ to get it. It's way more than a gimmic, it's the single most important enhancement to my simming. I can look left and right without panning and see over my wings. With trackIR it's absolutely sickeningly real. Sort of like in theatres, the effect of having your peripheral vision absorbed by the picture. It's hands down WAY more absorbing than even one huge screen.

I've got an HD projector, and could run my sims on it, but I prefer 3 21" monitors. Playing on one screen with limited field of view is just that, limited.

Regarding "this would allow for all three GPUs to feed their respective monitors using a single CPU system. ive done it before. but not since the days of Geforce3 (when i worked for a graphics card company and could get our nvidia cards for nuthin). drivers may have changed since then."...

I've tried. You can do it, but only if you stretch IL2 in windowed mode, but how complicated is it to set up three monitors in the crummy Windows or NVidia display configuration? It's a pain and prone to trouble.

When I start a sim, it's straightforward and flawless, no major Windows tweaking of Display settings. That's why I went with it, because all the other options are too complex and flakey.

If NVidia or ATI could figure it out, we'd have it. They haven't yet, but I'm positive they will, just not sure when...

d9720267
06-24-2005, 04:33 PM
I agree, multimonitors are much more than a gimmick. As well as improving situational awareness and immersion, it also makes the user's experience more like that of a real pilot's.

Having an entire field of view filled with scenery and cockpit is exactly what real life pilots get. This is a significant advantage over the little 'window' that flight simmers get. What's wrong with flight simmers aspiring to make their experience match that of real pilots as closely as possible?