Six Monitors at Once!!!!!!

eljanitor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2011
391
2
A friend was showing me a PC he was interested in. It's some kind of clone that has the option to use six monitors at once as an extended desktop. So I asked them why do you need such a large desktop on six displays? Couldn't you just hook your Mac up to a 52" or larger display?

I'm not so sure I understand the point of being able to extend the desktop across six displays as being something useful. So after looking at this PC I was asking myself questions like; why would you want to buy this it costs $2,300.00 - $2,500.00 and it's a PC, couldn't you go get something like a Mac Pro and do the same thing?

So has anyone done this on a PC or a Mac? Why do you need to do something like this? Why would you buy (stomach is in knots at this thought) a PC instead of a Mac especially for graphics pushing six displays?
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
Yes a Mac Pro running multiple vid cards could do this. Probably other ways as well. I've run 3 monitors before and that was plenty. To each his own though. My guess he's doing it just to be "cool"....

However, having 6 monitors is not the same experience as one 52" television. The TV would only have a resolution of 1920x1080, but with 6 monitors, you could have 6x that resolution.
 

gglockner

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2007
404
3
Bellevue, WA
Actually, a few business users have 3 or more monitors - typically people who need to have real-time monitors of stuff like stock or commodity prices, weather, news. Saw this at a client several weeks ago, though they were PCs, not Macs.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
So has anyone done this on a PC or a Mac? Why do you need to do something like this?
Very common with traders to have multiple display set ups, also useful for any one monitoring many sources of information. See here. Creative types can benefit too, but it is more something that needs to be learnt to be efficient and manage greater than 3 displays IMO.

Gamers can also now make use of that many using Eyefinity, which came with the 5000 series graphics cards.

Why would you buy (stomach is in knots at this thought) a PC instead of a Mac especially for graphics pushing six displays?
Because a PC workstation using Quadro cards with onsite 24/7 support is a far better solution than a Mac Pro for "mission critical" stuff and for games you can get much more performance not only for the money, but beyond what the Mac Pro can offer.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
Actually, a few business users have 3 or more monitors - typically people who need to have real-time monitors of stuff like stock or commodity prices, weather, news. Saw this at a client several weeks ago, though they were PCs, not Macs.
That is true, when I worked for a 911 dispatch center, we had a bank of monitors hooked to a single computer. They would display real time cameras, case files, building security data, etc.....

With that said, personally most who go with 6 monitors just want it for the bragging rights.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,145
1,166
Mac Pro can do this with dual 5770 cards. You can go up to 8 monitors with 4x GT 120 cards.

A better question though is why?
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,481
3,642
I have 5 monitors in front of me at work. And I definitely use all the space... In fact there are times when I could probably use a 6th. At home I'm perfectly ok with my 15" MBP
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,073
Because a PC workstation using Quadro cards with onsite 24/7 support is a far better solution than a Mac Pro for "mission critical" stuff and for games you can get much more performance not only for the money, but beyond what the Mac Pro can offer.
I'm not sure what Quadros have to do with mission critical. They have different drivers/firmware. They sometimes have more vram. They tend to offer better anti aliasing for cad work but that's more of a driver thing. Mission critical is a term typically used when referring to servers.

So has anyone done this on a PC or a Mac? Why do you need to do something like this? Why would you buy (stomach is in knots at this thought) a PC instead of a Mac especially for graphics pushing six displays?
It makes absolutely no difference. For some stuff Windows is a superior solution. Some things aren't supported very well on OSX. Windows has been fine since it got over Vista, and Apple has been cutting out a lot of features that I liked :(. I think you just know virtually nothing about workstations. The Mac Pro you get at $2500 isn't that compelling.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,145
1,166
I'm not sure what Quadros have to do with mission critical. They have different drivers/firmware. They sometimes have more vram. They tend to offer better anti aliasing for cad work but that's more of a driver thing. Mission critical is a term typically used when referring to servers.
Quadros have some special features, but in general, they are slower than something like a 5770 or 5870.
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
I'm not sure what Quadros have to do with mission critical. They have different drivers/firmware. They sometimes have more vram. They tend to offer better anti aliasing for cad work but that's more of a driver thing. Mission critical is a term typically used when referring to servers.
The drivers are much more stable and much better supported. The hardware isn't pushed to its limits at stock levels like GeForce and Radeon cards can be so is less likely to fail.

Mission critical refers to any factor of a system (equipment, process, procedure, software, etc.) whose failure will result in the failure of business operations.
Certainly an applicable term for a workstation used in a number of examples in this thread.
 

IceMacMac

macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2010
390
17
Or... You have envy.
Exactly. I can't currently envision needing or wanting 6 displays. I'm happy with 3.

But people who are threatened by the person who needs or merely wants 6 displays have serious psychological issues. I can't imagine carrying around such a toxic debt of envy and insecurity.

I'd say people who criticize others over such things are defacto...losers. And losers of the worst sort: They want to constrain and limit our species.

JUST. GO. AWAY. FOREVER.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,007
583
At home I'm using 3 displays myself and sometimes still feel a little constrained. Of course this often is more a question of comfort and luxury rather than need. For people doing quite some multitasking (especially on powerful machines like the MacPro) this is like having Spaces, only done in hardware!
 

reebzor

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
869
1
Philadelphia, PA
I just set up a PC at work with 2 nVidia Quadro NVS 420's - 8 Displays.

It for some sort of monitoring system, its really cool actually.
 

Doc69

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2005
507
42
Trading

I'm a stock trader. I use 6 monitors but could easily use two more. My main monitor is connected to my Mac Pro. The other 5 are running off a PC, which I use for trading and Blu-Ray ripping only. Most trading software is Windows only.
 

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chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,678
1,825
Isla Nublar
Because a PC workstation using Quadro cards with onsite 24/7 support is a far better solution than a Mac Pro for "mission critical" stuff and for games you can get much more performance not only for the money, but beyond what the Mac Pro can offer.
As someone who supports Windows for a living I can tell you the above is completely inaccurate.

Mac Pro's and Linux machines are ALWAYS the choice for "mission critical" stuff, unless the programs used are Windows only.

Not to mention you really don't get more performance for the money. You can't compare hardware specs across operating systems especially between Mac and Windows. Not to mention, even if you tried (although your test wouldn't be very accurate), a Linux distro will run circles around a Win machine on the same hardware performance wise. Windows is used a lot on business because of Microsoft Office, and a lot of legacy systems run on Windows. It isn't this speedy super stable OS, if it was I wouldn't have a job.

I'm not saying it is bad by any means (since just thinking what an OS can do is amazing in its own right), it just isn't the best choice for high end software or mission critical stuff. Window's strengths are with compatibility not stability.

Anyway, to the OP, multiple monitors can be very useful. For example if I were to have more than two one monitor would have Maya in it, another Unity3D, another ZBrush, and another XCode. It would be great to have all of those programs open at once
 

Doc69

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2005
507
42
do you always work upside down?
I just found out, like many others, that photos taken with the iPhone 4s, are often displayed upside down if you take a landscape photo with the volume buttons pointing upwards.
 
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