The dual-processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 is the fastest gaming graphics card today and will remain such at least until the highly anticipated AMD Radeon HD 7990 comes out. Many users are prone to view the GTX 690 as overkill, especially when it comes to joining two such cards in a SLI tandem. Indeed, a single GeForce GTX 690 is more than capable of keeping the average frame rate above 100 fps in the majority of today's games. However, there are exceptions as we will see shortly.
In this review we want to check out one and two GeForce GTX 690s in Surround mode using three monitors and a very high display resolution. As opposed to its archrival AMD, Nvidia is new to this kind of gaming (which is yet not very popular among end-users, we must admit) because its single graphics cards have only come to support multi-monitor configurations with the release of the Kepler architecture and GeForce GTX 6xx series. Before proceeding to tests, let's see how to configure multiple monitors for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
Configuring Multi-Monitor Setups
The reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 is equipped with three dual-link DVI-I connectors and one mini-DisplayPort:
This allows connecting as many as four high-definition displays to a single GTX 690.
Three of these monitors can be used for gaming and the fourth one, for applications. All four can be used concurrently. The Nvidia GeForce driver offers all the necessary settings. Handy for work, the Windows taskbar can be shown on the middle display only.
Although a rather young technology, 3D Vision Surround is compatible with most games and most Nvidia-based graphics cards. The official website offers detailed instructions on connecting monitors to graphics cards, including SLI configurations. Bezel correction helps avoid image tearing between monitors while Nvidia’s exclusive Bezel Peeking (there is a typo on the slide below) feature allows you to take a look behind a monitor’s bezel by pressing a hotkey combination (Ctrl+Alt+B):
Bezel correction is easy to set up. You can do that right after enabling 3D Vision Surround mode.
With a single GeForce GTX 690, we connected two monitors to DVI-I connectors and one more monitor to the DisplayPort (via an adapter).
With a GeForce GTX 690 SLI tandem, we connected our monitors to DVI ports: two on the master card and one on the slave card.
By the way, the easiest way is to first configure your 4-way SLI setup in the GeForce driver's control panel, reboot your system and then connect two additional monitors and set them up for 3D Vision Surround. When we tried to configure both 4-way SLI and 3D Vision Surround simultaneously, we had some problems.
It was simple with the single GeForce GTX 680: we used its two DVI-I ports and one HDMI (via an adapter).
We could have also used the card’s DisplayPort, though.