In the recent race to ever higher resolutions, most of us have overlooked an altogether different method of upgrading our gaming experience - ultra widescreen. Without getting into the science of vision, the human eyes are sat side-by-side rather than one on top of the top of the other. That, combined with their natural curvature, means we naturally see in widescreen. Without moving your eyes you’re looking at roughly 180-degrees of vision.
When gaming on a monitor or a TV, the actual screen takes up a fraction of your vision. Your focus will be on the screen, sure, and you won’t see much of what’s around it, but you aren’t surrounding yourself with that game world. Both ultra-widescreen monitors and triple monitor Eyefinity surround look to tackle this problem by stretching out your games over a wider image, providing a more expansive field of view than you could typically experience on a standard monitor.
Ultra Widescreen - Typical gaming monitors are usually using a 16:9 aspect ratio. We’re talking 1920 x 1080p resolution, 4K, 1280 x 720, etc. It’s become a clear standard for both PC monitors and televisions. Ultra Widescreen meanwhile pushes the aspect ratio up to 21:9, which offers much more real estate width ways. If you watch movies and they’ve got black borders at the top and bottom, playing them at 16:9 will remove them.
When playing a game this means you get a much wider viewpoint than you’d normally have on a bog-standard 16:9 display. It’s impact is going to vary from game to game, but you can for example have a better view of the upcoming tracks or bends in a racing game, or take in much more of Skyrim’s expansive vistas. From an immersion point of view this is great, and the single-monitor setup means there’s no bezels to obstruct your viewpoint.
Triple Monitor Eyefinity or Surround - The more extravagant solution to widescreen gaming is to pick up multiplayer 16:9 monitors and place them end to end. The advantage here is an opportunity for a surround image which wraps around the player. The overall resolution for each of those monitors can also be far higher, with three 1080p monitors offering a total resolution of 5,760 x 3,240. This is far in excess of the usual 2560 x 1080p resolution of a 21:9 monitor, and you can even go above and beyond this additional monitors. For games where you’re sat in cockpits like racing sims and flight simulators, this is as close as you’re going to get to an authentic setup without strapping on a VR headset.
The downsides to a triple-monitor setup includes the bezels around the edges of the monitors, which can divide the image into three chunks, and the significant amount of desk space it’s going to take to create a setup like this - not forgetting the cash investment. Three monitors is also a greater power drain and can require serious graphical hardware to take advantage of. Likewise, some games have issues with supporting such an obtuse resolution, although 21:9 monitors sometimes also encounter this problem.
Are any GD'ers sporting a setup like these? Which would you prefer out of an ultra widescreen monitor ot triple monitor surround? Let us know below!