Question Triple Monitor Recommendations

Hi,

I'm looking to splurge on a triple monitor setup. I was wondering if you guys know of any monitor make/models that are available in multiple resolutions.

I wanted to try and do as follows. Triple Monitor Setup:
- 1080p 165/240Hz VA/IPS
- 1440p 144Hz VA/IPS
- 4k 60Hz IPS/OLED
All in 27"

Preferably very similar designs so that they look alike or even better if it's of the same make as I know some monitors come in multiple resolution options.
 
Solution
Honestly your best bet is to get monitors that are all natively the resolution you will use THE MOST. There are some options for GPU scaling that can make 1440p look better on a 4k display, but at the cost of additional GPU overhead, in which case you probably are just as well off running at 4k if it's a single monitor, but with three of them the GPU scaling MIGHT offer SOME relief for the incredible resource demands on the GPU that 3x 4k displays would require.

In truth, even if I had a 4090, I don't think I'd want a 3x 4k configuration. It's simply too demanding for the majority of games. Now, if you only plan to play potato type games when running all three at 4k, then it would be fine, but once again, you've never answered the...
What graphics card are you running, or planning to run? What kind of quality settings do you intend to be capable of using on this setup?

Are you asking for options on all three resolutions, separately, or are you asking for one monitor model that can properly do all three resolutions? Because if you're looking for one display that can do all three resolutions properly, you're not going to find one. 1080p and 4k are loosely interchangeable since 4k is a multiple of 1080p. 1440p is not, and commonly tends to look "off" or "wrong" on a 4k display. For a triple 4k display, if you are planning to game on all three displays, you will want the absolute highest tiered graphics card you can get or afford, unless you are ok with the need to reduce a LOT of quality settings to make up for the resource demand of so many pixels.

1440p is a lot more forgiving, but again you are going to run into a situation where 1080p and 4k do not look "right" on a display that is natively 1440p. It is much better to make a firm decision on whether you want to be able to run 1080p/4k or 1440p, and simply go forward with that decision, not looking back. It will generally save you headaches and remorse later.

You can get into a very good 1440p triple display configuration at a pretty reasonable price going with three of these. Generally you can find them for about 300 bucks each, sometimes as low as 250 bucks but sometimes also a bit over 300. Just depends on if you can find somebody with them on sale at the time. They go on and off sale all the time.

I have three of these, and no complaints at all. I know others that have this model and have also been very happy with it.


 
Sure, you can reduce or change resolutions. But using the non-native resolution ALWAYS looks "off", because it's not the resolution that was intended. That's why you should pretty much always use the maximum native resolution for any display. It will work correctly and it will not look goofy.

If there is another directly mathematically divisible resolution that is lower than the native resolution, you can of course use that and it probably won't look AS goofy, but you'll definitely be able to discern specific pixels more easily since they'll be larger than at the native resolution, but other non-divisible resolutions will look weird or off almost always.
 

mickrc3

Distinguished
Mar 20, 2016
86
21
19,865
There are two ways to have what you described: three monitors with the same native resolution being run at non-native resolutions, and three monitors being run at their native resolution. The GPU doesn't care if the selected resolution is native or not. It builds an image and sends it to the display. If the image is native then the display maps it easily. If the image is not at a native resolution then the display logic in the monitor has to map what it gets on what it has.

When dealing with native resolution there is one pixel per addressable unit of display resolution. When switching to a lower supported, but non-native resolution the logic in the monitor has to extrapolate a solution. The monitor does this dirty work, not the GPU. It's called upscaling which has no relation to display scaling which defines how icons, text, and window frames are displayed.

When the new resolution is an exact, or clean, divisor of the native resolution, the display logic easily works. For example, if the monitor is a 4K unit, then the native is 3840x2160 (WQHD). If you want to display 1920x1080 (FHD) which is exactly the native divided by 2, then the logic simply has to display a box of 2p by 2p for each desired unit of display resolution. Now that effectively means that the visible pixel is 4x the screen size of the native pixel, which in most cases causes visible pixelation which only gets worse the bigger the screen size. When the new display resolution is not a clean divisor of the native resolution the logic has to make a compromise. Take 2K aka QHD, aka 1440p then the addressable display resolution is 2560x1440 (note that some companies use 2K when referring to UWFHD - 2560x1080 or WQXGA 2560x1600, both of which have similar issues with converting display units). 2560 goes into 3840 1.5 times. 1440 goes into 2160 1.5 times. Now as you might guess, the display cannot light up half a pixel, so what the logic has to do is attempt to map the desired image onto the available pixels. It is doing all of this every refresh so the image looks off.

But if you are using different monitors with different native resolutions all displaying at their native resolutions, then the display has no logic guesswork. Unless your GPU is from the digital stone age different resolutions on each monitor is not a problem. You can even set up the monitors with the same native resolution but different scales such as having a 32in 4k scale at 100% while at the same time having a 28in 4k scale at 125%. When changing scale True Type or similar software smooths out the pixels on the magnified text to sharpen the image. The GPU doesn't care. The GPU doesn't care if the refresh rates are different on each display. Mind you, since each display is different, windows spanning displays can look very strange.

I've run multiple monitors on my systems at home and work for many years, most of the time with different sizes and resolutions. In fact right now my system has three monitors with wildly different sizes and all with different resolutions on it: a Huion16in FHD graphics drawing tablet, a 28in Samsung 4K monitor, and a 55in Samsung 8K TV, which is my primary display. The 16in scales at 100%, the 28in scales at 150% and the 55in scales at 200%.
 
I guess my question was worded poorly, but I know certain manufacturers will release two separate monitor models (which are essentially the same) with different resolutions & refresh rates.

I can't remember the exact model name but for example, I know the ASUS TUF 27" monitors come in both a 1080p and 1440p offering (both being different monitors but with the same design).

I was wondering if there was anything out there that's available in all 3 resolutions, but I figured that'd be a long shot anyways. I probably should be looking at screens that somewhat fit together from a design perspective.
 
Honestly your best bet is to get monitors that are all natively the resolution you will use THE MOST. There are some options for GPU scaling that can make 1440p look better on a 4k display, but at the cost of additional GPU overhead, in which case you probably are just as well off running at 4k if it's a single monitor, but with three of them the GPU scaling MIGHT offer SOME relief for the incredible resource demands on the GPU that 3x 4k displays would require.

In truth, even if I had a 4090, I don't think I'd want a 3x 4k configuration. It's simply too demanding for the majority of games. Now, if you only plan to play potato type games when running all three at 4k, then it would be fine, but once again, you've never answered the question about what graphics card or CPU you'll be running so it's very hard to answer any questions about how things might or might not work out without knowing all of the other hardware specs aside from monitors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: julienruc
Solution