The Nvidia Way
Unlike their competitors from AMD, the marketing department at Nvidia had plenty of time to practice. The management of this Santa Clara Company realized long time ago that emotions help the sales. This is exactly where products with Nvidia logo excel. Somehow they manage to give you an additional feeling of involvement and supremacy.
The current Nvidia's Holy Grail of marketing and product placement opportunities are largely based on their three main technologies. PhysX provides an advanced physics model for game developers. SLI brings more performance for a single system thanks to dual-card support. And 3D Vision Surround Technology implemented via 3D stereoscopic glasses brings true 3D experience to the gaming community.
As part of the 3D Vision Surround Technology package, one may choose to install only the Surround Vision, without the additional expensive 3D. For the latter you need a slightly different breed of monitors with a different price tag and, in fact, this could be a topic for a separate review.
Just like AMD’s Eyefinity Technology, Nvidia allows tying together three monitors for a better gaming experience. Unlike their competitors, Nvidia offers a different approach. They do not expect the users to invest extra money in adapters with DisplayPort. On the other hand, Nvidia expects you to have three identical displays. This isn't necessarily a huge disadvantage for someone building a new gaming rig from the ground up. But if you happen to have a slightly outdated display you'll most likely have to get rid of it. Chances are that you won’t find the same exact model anymore.
Another little issue or what some may even consider a disadvantage of the Nvidia’s Surround gaming setup originates from the graphics chip architecture. If you are interested in building an Nvidia-powered gaming rig, there are only two options – expensive and very expensive. In order to create a three-display set-up ForceWare graphics driver needs to address two physical GPUs in a single system. Currently only GeForce GTX 590 is capable of enabling 3D Vision Surround Technology on a single graphics card. Alternately you may choose to run an SLI setup with two graphics cards, but this means investing in the second adapter as well as into an SLI-ready mainboard and possibly a more powerful PSU.
Configuring a monster system like that is no trickier than the AMD one, and just like its counterpart Nvidia posted an in-depth online guide describing every step in detail. No matter which approach you find more appealing, in the end the only thing that matters is performance and more realistic gaming experience. So, performance is going to be the next thing we will discuss.