This journey starts with my passion for high refresh rates, high resolutions and the bleeding edge. I started out when I first began working my first job with a Sony Trinitron G520 21" CRT. 1600x1200 at 100Hz+ was how the gaming addiction hit me hard. From there, it ended with me probably owning 20 monitors between that CRT and my current setup.
I first owned a 30" HP LP3065, but wasn't content with its stock 60Hz refresh rate. I stumbled across the 120Hz screens when Samsung released their very first NVIDIA 3D Vision-capable monitor, the Samsung 2233RZ. 3D Vision wasn't great for me and I turned it over to 120Hz. Stop. The. Presses - Amazing. Fluid. CRT-like. I was home.
From there, I built my PC around hitting 120fps minimum and it was down right awesome. But, that was just 1680x1050 and coming down from 2560x1600 was just not fun at all. I then saw that Alienware were preparing the release of their AW2310 23-inch 1080p monitors and thought "here we go!" I snapped one quickly to test it with my then AMD Radeon HD 5970 video card and it was all good.
I did a fair amount of leg work to see if I could get triple-monitor 120Hz going, but I'd require two dual-link DVI outputs, as well as my mini DisplayPort converter to dual-link DVI. This required a top-end converter, which I acquired from Apple for $150 AUD. Someone over on the widescreengamingforums made a hacked .inf driver and away I went - one of, if not the first person in the world with three screens on an AMD GPU at 120Hz.
This gave me a resolution of 5760x1080 @ 120Hz, which at the time, was limited to NVIDIA's Surround Vision. At the time, I was not impressed with NVIDIA's offerings, which were the first Fermi cards, so I stuck with AMD until Fermi 2.0 came out. I had my fair share of problems, but for the most of it, it worked and worked well. I enjoyed countless hours of 5760x1080 goodness in Team Fortress 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Dead Space 2 and countless other games.
I upgraded to some GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 570's and this is when things got interesting. I now had more power than ever to drive the higher resolutions, but my landscape felt too wide. The side screens weren't really utilized as my eyes didn't look at them. The fishbowl effect, whilst it looked good, just didn't justify the drop in performance.
I started seeing more portrait-based setups with multi-monitors and thought that would be interesting to see with 120Hz. My Alienware AW2310's weren't capable of swiveling into portrait, so I was stuck. One day I had some spare time and ripped my three Alienware screens from their stands, put the stands on the ground and just put my monitors against some boxes, styrofoam packaging and got them as close as I could in portrait.
It worked. It looked amazing. I was floored. No longer did I get the fishbowl effect, or any stretching in my games. At a field-of-view of 90 in most first-person shooters, it looked like a very large single screen. I was happy with my results, until my friends saw it and noticed the bezels. For months, all I heard was "the bezels, Anthony, the bezels". I didn't care, I loved my 3-screen setup so much I looked past them, literally. My new resolution was 3240x1920 and it was truly epic. It felt like playing on a single big screen and virtually no adjustments were required to games to make them feel, look and be, awesome.
Fast forward to last week and I thought "why not?". I shot Cam an e-mail and asked if it was OK to do an un-bezeling work log/how-to and he loved the idea. I asked you guys and a fair amount of people were interested. So the near-$2000 worth of screens were going to be busted apart.
I gathered my screens downstairs in my living room, got out some tools, grabbed myself an alcoholic beverage and started thinking of how I was going to tackle this. I thought I'd rip one screen apart, see how to do it, take some initial pictures, then take my time with the second one and take detailed pictures and whatever I missed with the first two, I could get with the third. This method worked a treat.
Page 1 of 4
Further Reading: Read and find more Guides content at our Guides reviews, guides and articles index page.
Do you get our RSS feed? Get It!