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A VT researcher puts 24 monitors to good use

So, you think you're hot stuff with your dual, triple or even quad displays hooked up to your desktop or work PC? Impressive as your setup may be, it still doesn't come close to matching this 24 monitor setup.

Andrew Sabri, a researcher at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, ran the displays using 12 Linux servers with 2 monitors each. He was able to get Quake 3 up and running at 10240 x 3072 at 15-30 FPS.

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By TomZ on 3/15/2006 12:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
OK, so this "researcher" is running Quake? What exactly is being researched? :o)

RE: Researcher?
By kalaap on 3/15/2006 12:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
He's researching if water is really wet.

RE: Researcher?
By aguilpa1 on 3/15/2006 1:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
well, is it????

...or is it just like molecules of oxygen sharing electrons with hydrogen atoms around them or something deep like that

RE: Researcher?
By Griswold on 3/16/2006 6:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
What is "wet"?

RE: Researcher?
By modestninja on 3/15/2006 1:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what he's researching but does he need an assistant? Anyway, this sounds like the kind of work I want to do, maybe I should email him and find out how to make that happen.

RE: Researcher?
By modestninja on 3/15/2006 1:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it was either... Both xfire and SLI let you use two video cards on one monitor. He was using two video cards for two monitors. Somehow, he split the video signal so that each monitor would have a different portion of the screen on it.

RE: Researcher?
By defter on 3/15/2006 1:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow, he split the video signal so that each monitor would have a different portion of the screen on it.

In that case the resolution would be quite low.

I think that Quake3 was modified in a way that one computer only rendered a small part of the whole screen.

RE: Researcher?
By HPTech on 3/16/2006 10:55:39 AM , Rating: 3
running Quake? What exactly is being researched? :o)

Rocket jumps.

By lemonadesoda on 3/15/2006 7:41:16 PM , Rating: 1
What you guys don't realise is this guy is the IT engineer for the departments email server.

The reason he has such shiddy FPS is because he's running a regular linux box with mainboard integrated GPU.

As far as I can see, he's done a great job of taking off all the LCD cases to get a close fit, and must have some pretty long VDU cables.


This so-called researcher is a complete bare-faced LIAR. And we know that a LIAR is a CHEAT. And we know that college cheats get thrown out of school and deported. (Assuming they are of eastern origin... see news item of last month.)

Look at the picture. Each screen is about as wide as the span of the main part of the keyboard. (the keys 1 to backspace, shift to shift...if you catch my drift).

Well lets do some math:

Main keyboard span is 28cm = 11 inches. And each monitors width matches up with this.

Regular TFTs with a height to width ratio of 1.33-1.5 means height is max 21cm = 8 inches.

Hence the diagonal is 13.5 inches.

The little liar is therefore using pretty small TFTs which are certainly not larger than 15 inch. They are probably 14 inch.

And what is the maximum resolution of such a screen? Well, it sure aint 1280x1024.

If its a 15 inch screen it will be 1024x768. If its a 13 or 14 inch screen it could be as bad as 800x600.

Ah, so now we know where he got the screens from... they are the departments old e-mail stations that they threw out when they upgraded the workstation TFTs to a more modern 17 or 19inch.

So if he is running 1024 x 768 then his VDU wall is just 8192 x 2304. If he's running 800x600 then the wall is 6400 x 1800.

I guess he is running 800x600 and maybe worse since he will no doubt be using integrated video on low-end linux boxes.

Well, I think I can get as much as 2560 x 1600 using just one Apple Cinema HD display. Get four Apples stuck onto a nice dual core SLI dual-link DVI = 10240 x 1600 and I think I've got this little student researcher PWND.


By goku on 3/15/2006 7:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
1. End your self
2. You don't need an "apple cinema display" in order to get 30" glory.. The Dell monitor is much better, much cheaper therfore more economical.
3. I don't think the guy is a liar, he got what ever resolution he got, end of story.

By masher2 on 3/15/2006 8:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "Well lets do some math: Main keyboard span is 28cm = 11 inches"

Oops, better go back to school. Keyboards are NOT all the same size. My own keyboard is 14.5" wide...or 19" wide if you count the numeric keypad.

By lemonadesoda on 3/15/2006 8:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
...there's no way your keyboard (shift to shift) is more than 30cm = 12 inch unless you have a keyboard for the handicapped.

By lemonadesoda on 3/15/2006 8:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
Shame I can't delete the zealous post above.

It seems these boys are using Dell 1740FV monitors, indeed 1280x1024. So I take back the above comments regarding wall size. My bad.

A quick look at their website shows they are doing some interesting stuff, in particular, how the hell do you mouse from one side to the other without having to do a lot of walking! LOL

For those who are interested, see

By lemonadesoda on 3/15/2006 8:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, one final post... then I'm zip.

Check out the last page of

See figure "C7". Calling all snipers, your cross-hair is the screen in the middle. (C7 = 35 screens = 8960x5120. "C3" = 55 screen mammoth = 14080x5120)

Over and out.

Proof of Concept
By acomputerwiz on 3/15/2006 3:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly this is just done as a proof of concept saying you could do it. It is not meant to be a super gaming rig or anything like that. Haven't you all just done something really cool despite it not really being all that useful?

RE: Proof of Concept
By killerroach on 3/15/2006 4:05:37 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, like making a solid cube out of Legos. No aesthetic purpose, extremely difficult to take around, but it looks odd and can serve as siege weaponry when push comes to shove :)

RE: Proof of Concept
By Xenoterranos on 3/16/2006 12:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
HOLY CRAP. I though i was the only one...

I built a k6-500 based pc in a briefcase (~200$) instead of buying a cheap p3 based laptop (~200$), does that count? It weighed 27lbs. 17in flatscreen. Awsome.

Back on topic...
The framerates are probably slow because he's probably using ethernet or something (fiber seems more realistic) to connect the PC's and very early, unoptimized code.

ok but
By RyanHirst on 3/15/2006 1:21:56 PM , Rating: 3
somewhere in the back of your mind, don't you wish his press photo was of a gargatu-gynormo-ramus, 10240x3072 pixel porno?
Presentation for research funds: "ok, look-- you can play Quake and all, and that's COOL, there's nothing wrong with you as a person if that's what you want to do.... All I'm saying is: take a look at THIS."

RE: ok but
By BladeVenom on 3/15/2006 3:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone already knows that porn is the real reason he hooked all those displays together.

RE: ok but
By logeater on 3/16/2006 8:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ahem, don't you mean pr0n?

What More Could You Ask For?
By miahallen on 3/15/2006 1:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
How bout a system I could buy that would be capable of this.

RE: What More Could You Ask For?
By killerroach on 3/15/2006 1:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
What more could we ask for? How about a GPU array capable of driving such a massive display...?

RE: What More Could You Ask For?
By ceefka on 3/15/2006 5:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
And a 38" touchscreen @ 2560 x 1024 to begin with. This is one spoiled kid ;-)

By Runiteshark on 3/15/2006 2:16:45 PM , Rating: 1
That sounds like a great waste of money. I even like the crappy FPS on an old outdated game.

"But runtieshark, look at the resolution!" Bullshit. Thats just stupid. With such low FPS you can't even play it properly.

Toss FEAR on that bad boy and watch it bring it to its collective knees.

"But runiteshark, you are just jealous you don't have it!"
Sure as hell am not. I don't want those nasty lines in between. I dream of the day that I will have a HSXGA monitor (5120×4096) but until then... I don't want those lines..

Mabie it can be used for something useful, like CAD.

RE: Wow.
By RyanHirst on 3/15/2006 3:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad you thought of something useful (CAD), because I was stuck on porn. I kept running it through my mind and it goes like this:
You have a target audience and investors, right? Ok, now with model 1 (Doom 3), the gamer is your target audience, right? But go ahead and HAVE that conversation with your gamer side:
Hey, that's pretty cool. But seriously, the geometry's just going to be all blown up and blocky. Besides, how much does it weigh? Where the hell am I going to put 24 computers? Ok now I'm not saying that, if I woke up one morning and it was just lying there next to me ready to go, I would kick it out of bed or anything, but Do I have to turn 24 computers on every time I want to use it? Can I only play Doom 3? How long with that last? Even my gamer friends are going to start having 'dental appointments' rather than come over for a third straight week of Doom 3. Do I have to unplug the oven and use one of those special outlets? Where do I get a plug for that? Does that mean it's going to be in my kitchen? Can I check my email? How much could I get for all that hardware on ebay?
Alright now step back and have a chat with your porn mind.... right? RIIIIIIIGHT? Does it not just BOGGLE at the possibilities?
He could send this to market tomorrow.
Now CAD... that's another great idea! CAD and porn.
Carry on.

RE: Wow.
By Runiteshark on 3/15/2006 5:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like the goal was high resolution.

Or if it could be done.

By jamesbond007 on 3/15/2006 3:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just run a projector? You can achieve a bigger screen without having to run the insane resolution, which brings the graphics cards to their knees in the first place. Sure, it's nothing new, but for gaming, it's MUCH more practical, IMHO. Get a HD projector or something and run 1080p resolution. :)

Then put it on the side of your house or a garage door and enjoy!

RE: Projector?
By masher2 on 3/15/2006 5:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
> Why not just run a projector?

A) Resolution. This setup has 15 times the resolution of even a 1080p projector.

B) Field of view. The display configuration in the picture is curved, and looks like it'd cover pretty close to a 180 degree field of view. To do that with a projector would require a curved screen and some custom anamorphic lens to counteract the distortion.

Is it healthy then?
By Clauzii on 3/15/2006 10:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Let´s quit tanning and start gaming.....

RE: Is it healthy then?
By Clauzii on 3/15/2006 10:59:45 PM , Rating: 2

Need .. More ... Power
By kristof007 on 3/15/2006 12:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe with Quad SLI coming sometime soon he can get some newer games running at decent frame rates. Imagine Half-Life 2 above 30 some fps .. that'd be heaven. They could research gamer happiness.

toobad that was on [H] last week
By BMWftw on 3/15/2006 1:09:48 PM , Rating: 1
not to mention even on the original site it's dated

04:08:09 pm, Categories: Quake 3, 149 words

GTFO Dailytech a week in internet time is an eternity

By eckre on 3/16/2006 9:04:35 AM , Rating: 1
Just get a CRT projector and get a 8' screen at a fraction of the price, and 10X the refresh rates. idiot.

RE: Stupid!
By masher2 on 3/16/2006 9:19:22 AM , Rating: 2
Already covered in the thread. Why not read it before embarrassing yourself further?

By Phynaz on 3/15/2006 1:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't this already posted here?

What more could I ask for?
By RunLikeHell on 3/15/2006 6:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
more? how about more monitors and triple the fps. and dont forget the non-reflective screen.

what about 24?
By jankage on 3/19/2006 12:10:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'd personally watch a whole season of 24 in 45 minutes with all those...

15-30 FPS
By kalaap on 3/15/2006 12:15:57 PM , Rating: 1
Was this in SLI or Crossfire mode?

By albundee on 3/15/06, Rating: 0
RE: old
By kalaap on 3/15/06, Rating: 0
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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