Graphics, Hardware

Dual displays are nice? but what about a dual 4K display setup?


As Theo updated us, EVGA finally went ahead with their dual display monitor – yes, the resolution is miserable, and the connectivity setup not the best one, but let’s say it, it’s a unique product. And, no surprise having EVGA make monitors – for heaven’s sake, the company’s name sounds like one of graphics resolution anyways (VGA, SVGA, then why not EVGA?).

But, can we go far further in this? During Computex, ASUS and a few others demoed 4K resolution gaming and imaging PC setups, but that’s nothing really new – I used an IBM T221 monitor as early as 2003 with that fantastic ideal 3840×2400, or QWUXGA resolution, good enough to also display all standard lower PC and HDTV resolutions pixel-for-pixel, without interpolation, on just a 22-inch single unit. The T221 DG5 unit used twin Dual-link DVI-I ports to get 48 Hertz at that 9.2 megapixel resolution. In fact, this is a much more "compatible" resolution setting for all previous standards than that 2560×1600 4.1 MPixel level often seen on today’s 30-inch monitors. And, the 16:10 Golden Ratio screen size is still kept, rather than useless 16:9 one meant for cinematic HDTV, not for web page or document scrolling.

A dually IBM displays from the front… 18.4 Million pixels of screen estate

Now, remember that most modern high-end graphics cards either have twin dual-DVI connectors, plus either dual-link fast HDMI or even DisplayPort. Even before the next revs of HDMI and DisplayPort are out, supporting 10 MPixel resolutions without multi-link setups, each card can still natively support the QWUXGA resolution. Now, let’s say you got dual-card SLI or Crossfire setup and, with recent driver revisions, multi-monitor multi-GPU SLI is possible after all. Sapphire’s Radeon 4850X2 comes with four Dual-link DVI ports and 2GB of memory, enough for 18.4 million pixels of screen estate.

IBM T221 Displays from the back
The neat engineering hid the dual Dual-DVI-I connectors

Dual Dual-DVI-I connectorsSo, you could have a dual-monitor 2 x 9.2 megapixel setup, where a smart graphics vendor can bundle all four dual DVI cables guided neatly into a single monitor lead with two 30-inch 150 dpi panels, each showing 3840×2400 to the amazed user – no problems with companies such as DisplayLink, just provide the driver display setting, that’s all. Vendors like ASUS, GigaByte, MSI and of course EVGA, who could bundle a graphics card and monitor together, can do this easily if they wish.

Ah, you say, the LCD panel vendors insist on saving money by doing 16:9 still? No problem, adjust the screen size to 32 inches, and resolution to 4096×2400 – bringing the 4K cinema review benefit along the way. At BSN*, we use RED One camera with native 4096×2048 resolution anyways and working on a 2K display is a pain. For the usual PC use, the extra inches on the side can, well, host the Vista Sidebar or Mac OSX biggie icons, so that the dual page views are undisturbed on each monitor. What do you think about this – how many readers would want such a heavenly display in the comfort of their home or office?