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Forums -> Multiple monitors -> Surround gaming with multiple Nvidia cards
Christian Studer   2002-12-09 04:38
With support for hardware-accelerated OpenGL across multiple monitors (and video cards), it should be possible to run games in surround mode, by using windowed mode and stretching the window across the desktop. I tested Quake3 and Unreal Tournament 2003 on my GeForce3 + 2x GeForce2 MX 3-monitor system, unfortunately without much success.

Quake3 worked well across the 3 monitors, with good performance, but it usually crashed after a couple of minutes. I used windowed mode with 3072x768 resolution, see Matrox Surround Gaming for configuration tips.

Unreal Tournament 2003 worked fine in DirectX mode, but was too slow to be playable. In OpenGL mode the system would hang if the window was larger than a single monitor. Configuration from Matrox Surround Gaming.

Christian Studer -
Nite   2002-12-10 01:32
According to nVIDIA, these problems *should not* occur, if using same-generation chips. ie. three GF2MX cards should work OK and without crashes. I don't know if GF4 and GF4MX counts as same or different generation, hopefully same, since there are no PCI GF4Ti cards.

nVIDIA just released new 41.something drivers (which still are WHQL candidate). hopefully fix/address/add some issues conserning multiple cards.

nView 2.0 is feature capable of using multiple cards as a single Spanned/Stretched mode desktop, but since I only own one card, I can't test this. If anybody has multiple nVIDIA cards and are willing to test if they all work together in spanned mode, please post your results in this forum.

And as Matrox is doing a great job at telling people how to get games over multiple monitors, there isn't much point in my website. And as some of you know, I'm switching my primary computing business over to Mac, there might be pauses (long ones) on MMGW. The site isn't going anywhere, and I'm still interested in MM gaming. Just that there isn't much point in it, when we got Matrox' surround gaming page and Mr. Studer here to make a terrific job on the subject.

A bit out of subject at least partially, please forgive me :)

Nite - "can't rain all the time"
[ Multi-Monitor Gaming Web ]
Christian Studer   2002-12-10 02:17
Any idea how you would configure stretched mode for multiple cards? I haven't noticed any settings for this with the 40.72 WHQL drivers.

Christian Studer -
Nite   2002-12-10 17:10
Again, according to nVIDIA.
Display Properties -> Advanced -> GeForce.
The "Sidebarmenuthingie" lists "nView Display Mode", from there you can select the modes and stuff. There's the dropdown box listing the available displays. nVIDIA says that if you have multiple cards, they should *all* be listed in this box. From the "Modes" radiobuttons one should just select "Horizontal Span" for the "stretched mode" and "Standard (Dual View)" for independent displays.

I'm sorry I can't confirm any of this, but this is how nVIDIA says it works. If anyone wants to help, I'm willing to accept donations in the form of PCI GF4 cards... *grin* :D

Nite - "can't rain all the time"
[ Multi-Monitor Gaming Web ]
MatriX   2002-12-10 23:22
I have a Geforce 4 MX 460 at the moment (2 CRT outputs), so if the thing about the generation of chips has to be the same holds true, I can simply go out and buy a PCI MX 420, and I'll have the equivalent of a Parhelia in performance, though not features. Is this correct because I'm strongly leaning towards this option...??

Anyway if nobody knows (which nobody does I would say) I think I will still buy the card and give it a try and write back here. But it'll probably be a week or two.

Christian Studer   2002-12-10 23:40
Doesn't seem to work with my configuration, even if I only have the two GeForce2 MX cards enabled.

The GeForce3 doesn't have the nView Display Mode option, and the GeForce2 MX cards only list a single display: GeForce2 MX Advanced Display Properties

Christian Studer -
mongoose   2002-12-11 06:35
Ill get back to you guys tonight, once ive tested it out. (i just got my inno3d geforce4 Ti4200 128mb ddr agp card today, which will go along with the 2 pci inno3d geforce4 mx440 64mb ddr cards i already have)

ive seen the option for the nview stretch thing in the mx's drivers (newest) but because i am currently running a radeon aiw as my agp card, it only gave me the option to stretch between the 2 geforce4 mx cards (which are on the outside of my main 17" monitor so that would look kind of silly)

ill post my results after i get home tonight, hopefully around 8pm CST.
mongoose   2002-12-11 16:10
well i got the card installed.

but its using the default windows drivers right now, and every time i try to install the 41.x drivers (newest) my machine just locks up on me.

in order to do the gaming thing i think you need to use the nview streached option rather than what im doing which is have 3 different monitors enabled and then use ultramon to do the 3840x1024 background.

tried dungeon siege and it gives me an error about not being able to start d3d on the 2 side monitors.

ill have to figure out how to get that driver installed. to tired right now, and my mind is mush from prolog programming.
MatriX   2002-12-11 18:37
I have purchased a PCI Geforce MX420 64 MB card from Innovision with tv-output, as you cannot get a MX440 PCI in Denmark.

My current configuration is a MX460 (dual CRT) and a MX420 (CRT+TV-OUT). I will see if I get lucky trying to enable streched mode on all 3 monitors and report back.

I hope Nite's comment about the chips having to be the same generation holds true, because then I ought to have a capable surround gaming system, but we'll see.

GameGuru   2002-12-12 02:03
I'd be very interested in how you make out with surround gaming as I have a Geoforce 4ti4600 and just got a cheapo PCI Geoforce 2MX card and now run 3 monitors.
MatriX   2002-12-13 05:06
I have installed my new Innovision Geforce MX 440 PCI card (it was a mx 440 after all, thank god :), but since I once tried to install Quadro drivers for my Geforce MX 460 agp card, it can't install it as a geforce mx 460 at the moment. And it seems impossible to remove the old drivers, not even detonator destroyer helps. It keeps installing the card as a quadro 500/900gxl or something like that. Also a fresh install of windows didn't help, so I'm completely lost here.

So if I can get back to the Geforce MX 460 or trick my computer into believing that my agp card is also a mx 440, I think I have a fair chance (to get surround gaming to work).

Can anyone help me with this/these issues?

MatriX   2002-12-13 09:27

I cannot get the the detonator drivers (have tried 40.72 and 41.09) to span between two cards.

Config 1: Geforce MX 460 dual CRT and Inno3d Geforce MX 440 pci
Config 2: Daytona Geforce MX440 AGP & Inno3d Geforce 4 MX440 pci

Not even two similar cards (two geforce MX 440's) worked, so I don't think it's possible yet.

However, it is possible to run quake 3 (only game i've tried at 3820x1024 on my 3 19") as there is OpenGL acceleration on all screens. What one has to do is to run in windowed mode and move the window around a bit as Studer explained in the news.

Nite   2002-12-14 00:50
This is indeed getting weird.

From mongoose:
"...ive seen the option for the nview stretch thing in the mx's drivers (newest) but because i am currently running a radeon aiw as my agp card, it only gave me the option to stretch between the 2 geforce4 mx cards..."

in that configuration, it worked between two MX cards... on the other hand MatriX' configuration didn't allow any spanning.

nVIDIA's official answer is that it works, provided all chips are of the same generation. Wonder what they mean with that, and do they support mixing AGP&PCI (no one from NV has said anything about that).

Maybe it's only small registry tweak to allow it to stretch? Or something. I'm too short of money right now that I could afford a PCI GF4... They still cost around 100€ here in Finland.

Hopefully this will eventually be figured out, since then we would have an affordable and pretty powerful Surround Gaming setup without selling your soul & mom to get a Parhelia... ;)

Nite - "can't rain all the time"
[ Multi-Monitor Gaming Web ]
MatriX   2002-12-14 08:12
Mongoose: Do you think you could post a screenshot of nView giving you the ability to stretch between two pci Inno3d Geforce 4 MX440 cards? I'd very much like to see that.

(All run under windowed mode at (3x1280)x1024 resolution, OpenGL)
Personally I can say that Quake 3 runs like a charm on my Geforce 4 MX460 and MX440 pci - it gives around 70 fps at 3800x1200 and is completely stable (have run demos and played for some hours). UT2k3 is slow as hell using DirectX but becomes almost playable at 3800x1200 on the 3 screens using OpenGL, though the framerate is around 30 fps. Otherwise it is stable.

I have taken a couple of screenshots of how nView shows the different cards. Size My MX460 is a dual CRT card, whereas my MX440 is a CRT+TV-out type.
My setup with the 3 19"

I will post some screenshots of the games if anybody wants them.

MatriX   2002-12-14 08:14
Had quite finished that post:

Where it says size it is supposed to say size is around 500 kb, so be patient...

MatriX   2002-12-17 04:44
A couple of screenshots:

All run under 3840x1024 resolution

UT again
Quake III
m0rph   2002-12-20 01:37
What version(s) of Windoze are you guys running? What are the specs for your PCs? Seems like nView functionality changes with the flavor of Windoze you're using....

- m0rph
MatriX   2002-12-20 05:57
WinXP Professional English non-SP1
Nite   2002-12-20 21:32
WinXP Pro + SP1

On a sidenote, I'll be away from computer-realted things for awhile. Not completely, just that I don't have much time, since our first child was born 19.12. *stupid grin*

I'm a dad.

Nite - "can't rain all the time"
[ Multi-Monitor Gaming Web ]
TIsGod   2003-01-01 11:49
Windows XP SP-2
Dual Athlon 2000+
GeForce 4 Ti 4600 w/ a 21" and 18 monitor.
GoForce 4 MX 440 w/ a 18" monitor.
Tony   2003-01-01 20:51
Congrats NITE!!

now don't sit your kid in front of those monitors too much ;).

MatriX   2003-01-02 09:58
Has anyone been able to confirm mongoose - that it is possible to stretch between two identical cards? I wasn't able to do it between two Geforce 4 MX440, but they were also pci and agp... Mongoose: do you think you could post a screenshot of nView giving you the ability to stretch between two cards?

m0rph   2003-01-02 11:09
*Finally* upgraded to Win2K Pro. Indeed, nView spanning is only available via Windoze 2K/XP (not 9x/ME). My dual-head Inno3d MX400 PCI readily spanned w/ 40.72 detonators. AGP card will be purchased today or tomorrow.... will advise upon further testin'. :-P

REMEMBER -- when attempting to enable span mode, DO NOT enable your secondary display (Right-click > Properties > Settings)!! If you DO enable the secondary display, you will DISABLE nView's option to span. Instead, just go to the Advanced settings of your Primary display; once you choose your span, the secondary display will automatically become enabled.

** took a bit of searching to find out that tidbit!

- m0rph :-D
m0rph   2003-01-02 11:11
How rude of me.... CONGRATS NITE!! Another future gamer is in the making!! ;-)

- m0rph :-D
m0rph   2003-01-02 16:35

My boy just *happened* to have a VGA-TV output AGP and a single-VGA output PCI MX400 in his rig (no name brands). Combined with my dual-VGA output Inno3D MX400 PCI, I set to work...

Windows 2000 Pro
AMD XP 1700+
256MB PC2100
NVIDIA Detonator 40.72

I was ONLY able to SUCCESSFULLY span across my dual-vga MX400 displays. Spanning between AGP and PCI cards: unsuccessful. Spanning between two PCI cards: unsuccessful. Spanning amongst all 3 cards installed simultaneously: unsuccessful. Sadly, I conclude that spanning across separate video cards using the latest detonators doesn't work. :-(

I'm still searching for new registry tweaks, beta drivers, etc. -- a triple-head GeForce setup would kill the Parhelia hands-down. Then again.... a Parhelia is *only* $400.....

- m0rph :-D
m0rph   2003-01-02 18:55

Sleep is still eluding me (12:56am PST).... so I searched the most unlikely place I could to find out why Span won't enable across different GeForce cards. I stumbled across the Detonator 40 manual (when was the last time I read a manual?), and got excited when I read:

"Using the current Release 40 drivers under Windows XP and Windows 2000, you can run nView Span mode with more than two displays." - Chap. 4, pg. 49

WOOHOO!! My quest was not in vain!! I was about to draft an e-mail to Matrox to tell them what they could do with their Parhelia, but then read on a bit further:

"For example, if you are using an NVIDIA GPU-based card to which you have connected four displays, you can have two sets of two spanned displays." - Chap. 4, pg. 50

Two SETS of TWO spanned displays? Doesn't take much to read between the lines.... Spanning is currently supported for only TWO displays; and they both have to be on the same card (this is further confirmation of my earlier tests). Guess I can sleep now.... (sigh)

- m0rph :-D
rico   2003-01-05 23:00
i know this is kinda irrelevant to the topic but i really hope someone could help me!!
i recently bought a nvidia geforce4 mx440 and when i install everything onto the computer(slotting of card and installing of driver)....everything is gd..the card works...but after when i restart my was set to default..whereas everything seems to disappear( the driver and information bout the card) and it happen with alternate effects...have driver...restart...have driver and so on.....
hope someone could help me!!
mongoose   2003-01-06 06:43
sorry i havent been around, ive been having a ton of hardware problems (if your interested you can read my post here: )

so anyway, i havent gotten a clean install of XP (without radeon drivers in there screwing everything up) so i havent really had time to take a look at the multimon options recently, however, when i did have the 3 geforce 4 cards in there, the nview options would only allow spanning between the primary and first secondary cards and would ignore the 3rd card entirely. this also happened in the drop down box, where supposedly all 3 of them should have showed up.

when i get some more work done im going to try to format again with my geforce4 cards in there again and see if swapping out the buggy harddrive worked. if i get it working, ill post some screenshots.
optimus   2003-01-10 05:58
This dual monitor stuff is not easy at all. nVidias new 40 and 41 drivers lock up my PC and cause all sorts of problems and when you try to use nView to span across 2 monitors for UT2003 it runs slower than heck and then locks up.

System: 1.5 GHZ Athlon XP with 512 MB RAM
OS: Windows XP Home SP-1+
Graphics: nVidia StarForce (MSI) Ti 4200 with 128 MB RAM

What is the secret to all this mess?

Adiel   2003-03-06 11:58
I have a GeForce 2 MX 400 64MB TV out, and when I used the 41.09 driver I was unable to use the TV as the copy of my desktop, it only showed the background image. Is there a way to configure that awful driver properly?

Adiel Ricci
from Rio, Brazil
Bad Smoker   2003-05-13 19:01
Does this work under linux???
Bad Smoker   2003-05-13 19:06
BTW there are geforce 4 pci cards available
Heewa   2003-05-21 13:57
Well, in Linux, if you use Xinerama, the X Server thinks there's one screen. So, yea, it'll stretch right accross. In fact, you'll get all the benefits of your primary display, like 3D acceleration, overlays, transparency...
Scott   2003-06-10 18:59
I have 3 monitors hooked up to 3 nvida cards. Is their a way I can span DVD's , screensavers , and games etc. ??

Any help would be great...
jaziel   2003-11-17 10:37
hey im having trouble with my GeForce 2 MX 400, it has 64MB of SDRAM but windows xp says it has only 32MB, and when i turn on the pc when the POST start it says Nvidia bla bla bla.... 64MB SRDAM whatever whatever...

if anyone can help me, please answer me sending me an email to

Shottabits   2003-11-19 03:17
Hi chaps,

Reading some of the posts here, Nite is right about the nVidia spanning and how to set it up. It’s worth noting that nView 3.0 is the bit that allows you to span across a couple of monitors driven by the same card. nView cannot, unfortunately, include more than two monitors in a span set and it cannot span across a pci/agp combo. It seems to be only able to span two monitors being run from the same card. You cannot see the device options for an agp card (the question about the gforce 3) as it looks like the facility has not been included by nVidia in the driver to span over two agp slots. I'm not even sure a motherboard can support 2 agp's so maybe that’s the reason why. The only other thing I have found when spanning across two monitors on the same card is that you may have to turn off 3d hardware acceleration before you get the span option to highlight, but I seem to remember getting a warning dialogue box up telling me to do that, otherwise the procedure used was almost identical to Nite's suggested method.

Rank Outsider   2004-01-01 04:04
Well after a lot of searching i came across this forum, I too want to span 3 monitors, I run xp pro, PIII 1.7, 512mb, Gforce 4 ti4200 agp and i just bought a G force fx 5200 pci card. Damn it if it ain't the hardest thing to get help with. I just thought I would add my comments to the forum in the hope that maybe someone will come up with an answer. Oh to play across 3 is a dream, but trying to set it up is anightmare.

Rank Outsider
trimon   2004-01-01 05:03
Yea finding documentation on doin a 3 monitor setup is the hardest thing. Anyone have any sugesstions on my system?

I just bought an emachines system w/ a nvdia geforce4 mx onboard and a separate nvdia geforce 5700 ultra fx. I easily got the 2 monitors to span using the agp card.

However, once the agp card is installed, the onboard video is not recognized, hence only 2 monitors work? Any suggestions? or does the 2nd card NEED to be a separate physical PCI card?

hardware review site
Smoker   2004-03-01 22:15
Are you sure this works in linux???

I can't seem to find any real info on this....

Smoker's running a:

Athlon 2000+
512 DDR400
GeForce 4Ti 4200 128 mb

VAN   2004-03-04 20:30
Greetings to the world.
Just to add completion to this thread, I confirm that I can run quake3arena across 3 or 4 monitors without a problem (including 3d opengl acceleration, etc.).

My setup is:
-one GeForce2MX40064MB RGB+TVout AGP;
-one GeForce2MX40064MB RGB+RGB PCI;
-Windows XPpro SP1;
-nVidia drivers 53.03 for both cards.

How to:
-Setup both cards in DualView;
-Setup Q3A like it says in the Matrox Surround Gaming page;
-But also setup Q3A for "windowed" mode, not fullscreen!
-That's it. When you start Q3A, it will be in a window spanned across your monitors, just like you configured it.
-Also, be sure to organize your monitor positions in a way that your Primary monitor is the first on the left, because Q3A will put its window on screen starting from the Primary monitor and going right from there...

What's the catch?
As you've noticed, it runs in windowed mode, not fullscreen... if you can live with that, you're OK by now. But if, like me, you only like perfection, you'll try for the inter-card and more-than-2-monitors spanning mode...

Future developments:
I've read on nvidia's site that the Quadro cards support spanning across a maximum of 16 monitors(!!!) - they just don't say if that's single-card or multi-card (16?! it's gotta be multi!!). So I tried the hardware hack that allows you to "instantly upgrade" your cards from GeForce to Quadro. I successfully turned my PCI card into a Quadro2 MXR - both windows and the drivers recognize as such, and I've had no problems so far. But the same operation failed on the AGP card - I screwed the copper tracks on the card... hey, you try desoldering and soldering a couple of resistors that are 1mm x 0,5mm small with a 5mm thick iron, and tell me how you got it!! ;). Anyway, I restored the AGP card to its original status, but one of these days (when I get the courage) I'm going to try Quadro'ing it again. I also tried flashing the BIOS of the AGP card with a different Nvidia Device ID (the Quadro one), but it doesn't do anything...

That's all folks!

Happy hacking!

(I'm also building up some courage to finally migrate everything to Linux - I'm definitly going to try that xinerama - it looks like THE thing to do :)

VAN - moving to a better world ;)
VAN   2004-03-07 09:53
Well, I still haven't done it... but it's not from lack of trying!!
I successfully converted my AGP card to Quadro as well. Now I have two GeForce2MX hacked into Quadro2MXR, and all is working well.
This has given me a few new options on the nVidia control panel for both cards, mainly related to 3D accel. (openGL, stereo, etc.).
However, the spanning options still look very much the same - no luck in getting the desktop to span more than one card.
I'm definitely going to try all this in Linux - I'm tired of the Windows "like it or not, that's how it is" tirany.
Enjoy! :)
VAN   2004-04-10 02:39
Hello again!!
It's a pitty nobody comes here anymore... (at least nobody posts anymore!!)...
Well, I've played _a_lot_ with my nvidias both in windows and linux by now... If you're interested in knowing the results, visit my page about Linux, nVidia, Dual Head, Multi Head, Multi Card, Xinerama, TwinView....
I promise you won't be disapointed (I've got a few XF86Config files and all!...)

Keep sharing, people! :)
Jeff Bigger   2004-04-15 15:11
I finally got surround gaming to work on my system. So far I can now run these games in windowed mode accross 3 monitors:

quake 3 arena
jedi knight outcast
call of duty
return to castle wolfenstien

After several attempts it was worth the wait.
my computer config is no.6019 in the gallery
I have to turn monitor resolution as low as my monitors will go (800x600) the 2 outer monitors tend to fall behind at higher resolutions.And use the game config settings from the matrix site with the exception of using 2400x600 window settings so it fills my screen. to tweak the window I turn on the console (which gives me the win cursor for window adjustment).
LET THE GAMES BEGIN...............

Jeff Bigger
Alex   2004-09-07 09:44
Can anyone help me make this work: two monitors on GeForce4 MX-440. is there some sort of DVI-CRT convertor? (and i'm not even sure if that round jack with 5 pins in called DVI - i use it for TV output) or how should i make both video cards work together in the same time (when GeForce is plugged in, the on-board video card is not working; even if i set primary display in Bios to "OnBoard" the only one working untill i unplug it is the GeForce)
ECarlson   2004-09-07 13:23
Alex: That round connector is the S-Video (TV) connector, not a DVI connector. You probably can't use an AGP video card along with the onboard card. You either need to add a PCI card, or get an AGP card with dual outputs.

- Eric,
Alex   2004-09-09 20:13
Thanks, Eric
Maniac   2004-10-13 13:54
Dang, I thought nvidia could span over 3 monitors when I got this, I'll see how windowed mode looks...
FX 5950ultra with 2 17" screen
FX 5700LE PCI with 1 17" screen

I'm not sure whether I wasted my money or not... dang nvidia and their restrictions.
Maniac   2004-10-13 15:55
ok... problems here...
When I try to run Star Trek Voyager Elite force (Quake 3 engine) using 3 monitors, only the first monitor displays correctly (in dualview) and in horizontal span on my main card, the monitors on that display correctly while the last is a gray screen. I have set everything according to matrox site plus enabling windowed mode. I’m running a Geforce FX 5950ultra agp and a fx5700le pci.

If I hit console and move the window around on the screen, only the content on the primary monitor is viewable. I’m also running the 56.72 drivers.
mheck   2005-01-23 10:55
I am also tring to horizontally span my desktop for gaming, etc. but i have an ATI 9250 with a 21 inch and a 15 inch monitors connected to that card with a VooDoo car with my other 15 inch. Whenever i try to stretch or span the desktop all that happen is i get the game to open on the 21 inch monitor. How exactly do you span your desktop/not "extend it?"

I have the new:
Athlon 64 3000+,
512 MB-RAM and a,
128 MB ATI Graphics Card.
sami   2005-02-12 21:10
did someone mange to run UT (99) in surround mode. if so, how??? i have dual view 5700.

JuMz   2005-07-26 09:03
I having a similar issue with ATI based cards. How do I enable SPAN on an ATI card (ATI Radeon 9700 pro, newest drivers etc etc) instead of extend. When I play a game, it only comes on my primary monitor.

Jlu   2005-07-31 08:18
i have a sony vaio running xp home with a geforce4 mx440 and i tried installing all versions of the detonators including the new 77.something and it doesnt seem to make a difference because i don't have the option to select another display mode . theres no display mode setting option in nview and i can't figure out why this is. please help if u can.

Craig   2006-10-30 15:29
I have a machine with the Nvidia NVS440 (PCI Express x 16, 2 LFH-59 connectors - use a "Y" cable for 4 DVI or 4 VGA displays. Nview, via 2 separate phone pre-sales calls, says "Yes, you can span 2,3 or 4 monitors." I am awaiting a response from their Tech support to tell me how to accomplish this as it does not seem possible.
vikram   2007-07-26 21:52
Rewiring GF2-MX400 (single vga o/p card) to connect to TV?

GeForce2 MX400 chips actually supports twinview or monitor+TV.
I have a MX400 card that has a single VGA output.

I want to know if its possible to make some changes in
the board's wiring to get a TV out ?. (any links?)

I dont mind screwing up this card, anyway since i dont
use it anymore, so just want to try...
Forums -> Multiple monitors -> Surround gaming with multiple Nvidia cards

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