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 Post subject: God, the Devil and MSI
PostPosted: 10 May 2015, 15:31 
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Here starts the tale of a raving madman:
What started as a perplexing puzzle that brought a sliver of meaning into an otherwise dull and repetitive daily life, has become Satan's primary means of upending my peaceful, boring existence, sending me into bouts of nerd-rage that has my cat hearing language that would make a bald eagle drop mud from ten thousand feet. Pause for breathing. :o

Once upon a time, triple-monitor gaming was simple and straight forward. I bought myself an XFX Radeon HD 5870, three monitors (VGA/DVI/HDMI), three DVI-D cables, and an Active DP to DVI Converter. I connected everything like: DVI, DVI, DP-DVI. All the monitors lit up, I got all the settings right and bathed blissfully in triple-gamma-radiatied joy for a good, long while. :mrgreen:

Super-Fantastic Upgrade Happiness:
Years later, I found myself with a sizable monster of graphics card called: ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II 1000Mhz (Pre 1GHz Edition). This baby supports 6 monitors, and suddenly I was prone to megalomaniacal cackling at the thought of adding 3 more monitors to my rig. I have a cat. I'm in my full right. Don't judge me! :shh:

First of all, I figured I'd get the triple-monitor setup working. The monster has 2 x DVI and 4 x DP ports. So I had the exact same DVI + DVI + DP-DVI situation going on. That seems like a straight up fit, right? WRONG! I don't know what kinda mongoloids ASUS has working in their factories, but this card either gives me a dark third monitor or some really fantastic, static screen tearing effects on both side-monitors. :?

I did the only sensible thing and sought help from AMD and WSGF, only to pose such a ridiculous scenario that no tech savvy man on Earth could help me. That's right! I didn't get one single reply from either forum. Here's the thread I made on WSGF (and within that one is a link to the one I made on the AMD forums): http://www.wsgf.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=27684

The current situation:
Now I've got a MSI Geforce GTX 980 Gaming 4G and--low and behold--I'm having the same problems. Just yesterday, I put the 7970 rig out to pasture and tried to connect my brand spankin' new and shiny GTX 980 rig to the same three monitors. This graphics card has DVI, HDMI and 3 x DP connectors. We're now four generations past the flawless 5870, and everything has gone to $#!7! :x

I've heard it from several different sources that the best way to connect your triple-monitor setup is by using only/all Displayport! Yeah, I tried that with my 7970. I bought two more of them overly expensive Active DP to DVI Converter afterbirth steak-nugget $#!7$, only to discover that it doesn't f%"#ing work! I could only use one converter on my 7970, and two on the GTX 980. Why are there three DP connectors on my graphics card that can't be used simultaneously? Wasn't that the whole point of adding three DP connectors to the 900 series, Nvidia? Huh? :eh:

This is the situation in detail (TMI style):
I was sitting on the floor with tears in my face, doing a high pitched, machine gun giggle that made my cat retreat to her safe spot in the panic-room, fervently pulling the cables in and out of the graphics card, trying every conceivable mix of DVI + DP-DVI, and no matter what I do, I can't get my third monitor to light up! Next, I start moving furniture to get to my 20 meter HDMI cable and see if that might help somehow (the old 2x DVI/HDMI + 1 x DP formula). I plug my HDMI cable into the third monitor, and the bastard finally lights up! :shock:

Now, all of a sudden, I can remove the HDMI cable and use the DVI cable (connected straight to the DVI connector on the graphics card) as I have done 137 times before (without success), and suddenly that works too! Next, I attach a DP converter to the third monitor and try to give one of the other monitors straight DVI to DVI connection, but that doesn't work for some reason, so I reverse my action and feed the third monitor (the Devil's monitor) a straight DVI to DVI connection again, and then ALL THREE MONITORS WERE DARK! :x

I'm man enough to admit that I laid down flat on my back at this point and cried like a little girl, with tears pooling in my eyes, while screaming like baby at the ceiling, imagining that God might hear my triple-monitor distress-calls, take pity on my poor soul and come fix everything right quick... and make me a snack while he's at it. I'll never say no to comfort food when I'm experiencing inner turmoil of this magnitude. That didn't happen, of course... because God does not exist! There's your evidence! :think:

I had no other recourse than to push my computer's power button to shut it down and then turn it back on. When I did, something strange happened. The computer woke up, and all three monitors lit up. No... this was not God's doing. This was a MSI fail! I've got this stupid motherboard (MSI Z97 Gaming 5) which can't wake up from S3 standby state without me actually pushing the god damn power button to wake up the USB ports! What? In this day and age? I know right! :lolno:

So, when I pushed the button and the computer "miraculously woke up," it was waking up from some kind of trauma-induced standby mode, caused by my belligerent cable-swapping frenzy! My graphics card got tired and fell asleep on me even though standby/sleepmode was/is disabled, and I used the mouse not two minutes earlier. That's the Devil's work! Next time I'll be lying face down and screaming at the floor instead. :evil:

Summary:
I finally made it work with DVI + 2 x DVI-DP. The thing is, I'm looking to upgrade my monitors, so I need some answers here! What in the jumping, freaking ball-sack is going on? Why doesn't it work with all DP to DVI? It's supposed to be the best way! When I buy all new monitors with DP connectors and DP cables... will I still have to use a god damn DVI cable somehow, or will three actual DP cables and DP monitors work? I want G-Sync monitors, and they only come with a single DP connector! ARGH! RAGE! MUCH RAGE! SO MUCH INCREDIBLE RAGE! You don't know! I'm gonna go yell at my cat now. Please help. :cry:


Last edited by Hoodling on 10 May 2015, 16:32, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 10 May 2015, 16:25 
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Joined: 04 Nov 2014, 05:38
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I fetched this off Wikipedia:

DVI-D (digital only, single link or dual link)
DVI-A (analog only)
DVI-I (integrated, combines digital and analog in the same connector; digital may be single or dual link)

My cables are of the DVI-D (Dual Link) variety. Could this have anything to do with the problems I'm having?

My oldest Active DP to DVI Converter is from XFX (MA-AP01-PD1K). It's listed as a "Active Standard DP-to-(Single Link) DVI dongle."

The two newer ones are from Sapphire (44000-02-40R). "Sapphire Adapter Active DP to SL-DVI - DisplayPort to Single-Link DVI."


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PostPosted: 13 May 2015, 17:13 
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I don't see how MSI, Asus or God (?) are at fault in anything you wrote, but anyway. Whatever you do, when it comes to multi-monitor... Take. It. Easy. Same goes with cats btw.

First things first, which monitor models are we talking about ?


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PostPosted: 15 May 2015, 16:08 
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Joined: 04 Nov 2014, 05:38
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Philips 27" LED 273E3LHSB
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-273E3LH ... B0051AUYPA

I used to take it easy. Then I spent a year trying to get my triple monitor rig working again. I'd be most grateful for any help in that regard.


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PostPosted: 15 May 2015, 19:24 
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phew... finally found time to read the whole Wall Of Text, after glancing over it for the 4th time.
You should definitly add an TL:DR section.

If you ask me this does look like you have problem with windows.
Have you ever tried a format c: and reinstalled a clean fresh windows?

If you wan't to ask G-sync you will only get Monitors with DP, this is correct, same goes for AMD, if you want to use Free-Sync you can only use Displayport.
i cannot say if nVidia G-sync works in Surround on triplemonitor...

_________________
We gonna send it to outa space!


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PostPosted: 20 May 2015, 11:03 
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Hoodling wrote:
Philips 27" LED 273E3LHSB
OK so this rules out a couple things like 100Hz+ refresh rate issues.

I too have difficulties to understand why all outputs do not seem to work all the time - but if the card, cables and monitors all work fine you will make it... eventually.

Here's what I'd do for starters:
1) Test each monitor individually using DP-to-DVI cables (no "active adapters" required, this was for old-ass Eyefinity only). Confirm that monitor #1 is showing 1080p@60 Hz on DP1, disconnect, do the same with mon#2 on DP2, disconnect, then test mon#3 on DP 3.
2) Connect all three monitors. If only one monitor is active at this time and the others stay blank, it's not a problem.
3) Configure Surround. If one or more monitors are not detected, abort. Then and only then should you start swapping cables, immediately testing any new connection as per 1).

Hard to be more specific at this point, let me know what works and what doesn't.


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PostPosted: 21 May 2015, 05:02 
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Joined: 04 Nov 2014, 05:38
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Haldi wrote:
phew... finally found time to read the whole Wall Of Text, after glancing over it for the 4th time.
You should definitly add an TL:DR section.

If you ask me this does look like you have problem with windows.
Have you ever tried a format c: and reinstalled a clean fresh windows?

If you wan't to ask G-sync you will only get Monitors with DP, this is correct, same goes for AMD, if you want to use Free-Sync you can only use Displayport.
i cannot say if nVidia G-sync works in Surround on triplemonitor...


I haven't actually tried reinstalling Windows 7 x64 for this, but I have had the same problem with two different graphics cards and two different computers. I will probably upgrade to Windows 10 at some point soon. I've tried reinstalling and updating drivers now and again. If I finally got things working, a driver update was sure to bomb my rig again.

scavvenjahh wrote:
Hoodling wrote:
Philips 27" LED 273E3LHSB
OK so this rules out a couple things like 100Hz+ refresh rate issues.

I too have difficulties to understand why all outputs do not seem to work all the time - but if the card, cables and monitors all work fine you will make it... eventually.

Here's what I'd do for starters:
1) Test each monitor individually using DP-to-DVI cables (no "active adapters" required, this was for old-ass Eyefinity only). Confirm that monitor #1 is showing 1080p@60 Hz on DP1, disconnect, do the same with mon#2 on DP2, disconnect, then test mon#3 on DP 3.
2) Connect all three monitors. If only one monitor is active at this time and the others stay blank, it's not a problem.
3) Configure Surround. If one or more monitors are not detected, abort. Then and only then should you start swapping cables, immediately testing any new connection as per 1).

Hard to be more specific at this point, let me know what works and what doesn't.


There's just no way that 3rd monitor lights up with 3x DP-DVI. I've tried a hundred times, in every which way. That includes restarting the computer and reinstalling drivers. You say the active adapters are no longer needed. I don't actually have DP or DP-DVI cables, so I have to use them if I want to use the DP ports on the graphics card. Could this be the problem? I mean, could this potentially work with a straight up, normal DP to DVI cable with no adapters?


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PostPosted: 22 May 2015, 09:30 
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It should work with simple cables. That's what I've been using for years on countless Surround setups. I don't see how using active adapters would be worse, but hey, when at wits' end... anything goes.


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