OverKILL3D - ROG Swift PG279 Triple Screen Test with Strix 1080 SLI
Published: 27th September 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: Eternal Acer Fanboy Damnation |
If you clicked on the links on the first page to our reviews of the hardware utilised for today's OverKill 3D review then you'll know that we love both of them individually. Combining them all into one gigantic gaming experience doesn't lessen their brilliance.
GTX 1080 Strix SLI
The ASUS GTX 1080 Strix is one of the most well-rounded cards on the market at the moment, combining fantastic looks with awesome performance, excellent thermals and low noise. Add to that the ASUS AURA technology that lets you light it up in any colour you like and you can be sure that you wont be disappointed if you add the Strix to your system.
In SLI all those elements are as strong as they are in single card trim. Sure the top card gets a few degrees warmer because of the reduced airflow and extra heat generated by the second card, but it's by no means worryingly hot nor does the DirectCU III cooler turn into a Dyson in an attempt to keep it cool. If there is any downside to having a pair of GTX 1080 GPUs running at the heart of your system it's actually to do with the game developers, wherein not every title on the market makes full use of the two cards. If you then also want to run 3 Swift screens because the Strix has 2 Display Ports and 2 HDMI ports, you need a DP to be able to run Gsync on the monitor so the ONLY way to have all 3 with Gsync enabled is SLI *and using a HB Bridge*. We did try with the older Asus ROG LED bridge and it wouldnt allow us to use the 2nd card for the 3rd monitor. So it seems that Nvidia really do have that side of things tied up quite well. If you are running a different card with 3 DP's as standard then this will work fine and you'll only have an issue if you want to use four screens or again use the 2nd card as an output. Its as simple as it is complicated, the long and short of it is with Strix cards and 3 screens requiring DP connections to run Gsync you have to run SLI. If you can live without Gsync you can run the 3rd screen on HDMI on the first card without any problems. Got it? Good.
ROG PG279 GSYNC IPS Triple Screen Eye Candy
The single ROG Swift PG279 is one of our favourite monitors on the market. It's probably the monitor that we'd recommend above all others, to the point that we wish everyone in our offices could have them. The colour reproduction is fantastic, the viewing angles are excellent, and no matter how hard we push it we don't see any ghosting. The addition of nVidias GSYNC technology only enhances the end user experience and you're left with a monitor which fills your vision with eye candy in both the literal and figurative senses of the word.
Put three of them side by side and you'd need to be an owl to manage to turn your head in a direction where it isn't filled with ROG Swift monitor or sit a good 4 feet away! They are enormous. If you've got a small desk in an alcove then this arrangement unquestionably isn't the one for you. Sure the outer two monitors are angled inwards a bit but they are still 27" monitors. Only those with plenty of room and plenty of desk space need apply. However, if you have got the space requirements nailed then we think this is probably the way all gaming should be. 4K is great, but you've still got great swathes of the real world filling the periphery of your vision. By slightly dropping the monitor resolution down from 4K to 1440P, but tripling the amount of screens, you end up with something which has 50% more pixels but covers every inch of your vision. Racing games in particular benefit from this, but you'd have to go a long way to find a title that didn't, such is the extra immersion provided. It does require some serious horsepower to drive all 3 though and we think most people would end up buying 3 so they match and then only gaming on the middle and then having Discord, Teamspeak Skype etc on one and maybe Chrome and or some streaming software on the other. This is without mentioning the obvious real estate for any of you out there that dont just game on their machine and may utilise all that extra space to have lots of programs open and visable at once. We havnt had the pleasure of an actual working day on the triplets but we are pretty sure it would increase productivity in one hand and decrease it when someone asks why the hell you have "3 pc's" on your desk (thats one all multi monitor users will understand!) We have done this review out of our own curiosity and because we are pretty sure you would all be interested too. The screens have actually been here for quite some time but due to the sheer amount of product launches we have had to keep putting this article to one side while we focus on the real work. Thankfully a window opened up in our schedule and we jumped to finally give this an airing and share with you the madness that you have seen here today!
Okay so this might not be the most affordable arrangement we've ever looked at, but then OverKill 3D isn't about affordability it's about performance at the cost of all other considerations. Yes, we suppose we could have gone three 4K screens and Quad-SLI, but we want it to also be something remotely realistic. Three 4K screens would run like a slideshow on today's GPUs, but as you can see from our results you could run 7680x1440 from just a couple of GTX 1080s. And, with the unbelievable benefits such extra desktop space and gaming immersion it has, why wouldn't you?VR I hear you say! Well until someone comes up with a way that we can use a VR headset to display something akin to the displays in Tony Starks workshop we think that multiple screens still has its place when you're not gaming. Sure its not for everyone, but thankfully we are not everyone. Are we ;)