With the affordability of large, high-resolution screens, users are increasingly turning to multi-monitor setups for gaming and productivity. While it is easier than ever to add multiple 27-inch screens to your home office, not long ago such a setup required expensive specialty hardware. Nvidia released its TwinView dual display architecture back in 2001, and ATI followed suit with HydraVision on the dual head Radeon 7500 and 8500.
However, inexpensive activation of more than two displays with a single card is just a new luxury for consumers. It wasn't until 2010 that ATI Eyefinity (now AMD) shipped with the Radeon HD 5000 series, which supports three to six displays on one card. With SLS (Single Large Surface) technology, the cards can combine multiple monitors, which the operating system recognizes as a single screen with ultra-high resolution.
Nvidia responded to Eyefinity with Vision Surround on the GeForce GTX 400 series and supported up to three monitors for a maximum resolution of 7680 x 1600 (2560 x 1600 per screen). In other words, Nvidia's single-GPU multi-display support is limited to half that of AMDs. This isn't a huge issue for gamers who probably don't want to run more than three displays on a card anyway, but it's a limitation for productivity apps.
In fact, multi-monitor technology was originally designed for productivity and remains the driving force behind this technology to this day. Graphic designers, video editors, stock market traders, and other professionals benefit greatly from having multiple screens, but they don't necessarily demand the raw GPU performance that high-end gamers do. Hoping to meet these needs, Galaxy is offering Nvidia cards with expanded support for multiple displays.
The board partner recently introduced its Galaxy MDT GeForce GTX 580, which supports four screens for a maximum resolution of 7680 x 1200. Because the solution is based on Nvidia's flagship single GPU card, it's still a bit more powerful (and expensive) than it would take to display Photoshop or inventory on four screens. So the company launched an affordable MDT X4 card based on the low-end GeForce GT 520.