No matter what level of experience you have with sim racing, one of the most important factors of your setup is the display. Many people opt for one ultrawide screen, while others prefer to go for several monitors lined up together. Both can provide different levels of immersion.
Whether a triple monitor setup is better than using a single ultrawide really depends on your own preferences, but most people do prefer the triple monitor setup.
There are a lot of things to consider when deciding between a single ultrawide screen and a triple monitor setup for yourself. Each of the points to think about will be relative to your own situation, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Some Things To Consider
As with any product for your sim racing setup, it pays to do your research, and you really have to think about what is right for your own particular situation. The first thing that most people consider is the price. This definitely plays a part in the decision between a single ultrawide monitor and a triple screen setup, and so you should definitely think about your budget before you go shopping.
You also have to consider the space you have for your monitor(s). If you have a large, permanent setup with plenty of space for multiple screens, then you won’t have to worry too much about this. However, if your setup is only temporary, and you want to be able to pack it away relatively easily, then space might play a more important role in your decision.
Software & Hardware
You also have to think about your software and hardware. Not all graphics cards are created equally, and so you may have to do your research to see if your hardware can cope with the resolution of multiple screens, or indeed one high resolution ultrawide screen. You don’t want to put too much strain on your computer, as this will inevitably hinder your sim racing experience.
You also have to think about more specific things like the field of view that you will be able to experience, as well as what is known as bezel effects. We will cover these factors in more detail below, but it is important to remember that there are more subtle differences to think about besides the price and space needed.
You also have to think about whether or not the games you are playing will support each type of setup. Many games out there don’t support multiscreen setups, and ultrawide screens can distort some images as well. So, bear this fact in mind before you buy screens that you can’t play your favorite games on.
In order to make sure that you pick the right screen for your setup, you need to consider all of these factors. Monitors can be expensive, and you want to make sure that you don’t waste your money. Knowing more about each of your options will help to make the decision much easier.
The first thing most people consider when buying any new product is the price, and monitor setups are no exception. You can spend a lot on one monitor, or you can get several on a tight budget. It all depends on your own personal preference and to some extent your experience level. If you are just starting out with sim racing, your money may be better spent on a good wheel or set of pedals.
However, if you are set on buying a new screen setup, then your first step may be to consider the price of each. You can spend anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more on an ultrawide monitor, which may be out of reach for many sim racers. However, a standard-size monitor can cost just $100, but high-end ones can run into several hundreds of dollars as well.
So, in terms of price, there can be a lot of variation. One more thing you should consider pricewise is where you are putting the monitor(s). If you have three, you may need to buy yourself a stand, which can cost anywhere from $40 to $150 or more. This could be an extra expense that you need to factor in if you opt for multiple screens.
How Much Space Does Each Option Require?
In terms of space, it is obvious that one screen will tend to take up less room than three. Ultrawide can mean anything from 29” to upwards of 49”, which is a lot of screen. However, triple monitor setups usually consist of three 21-24” screens, and so it tends to take up a lot more room. Pairing that with the need for a stand or wide desk, and your space requirements grow quickly.
There is no doubt that triple monitor setups have the capacity to take up even twice as much room as one ultrawide screen, but you do have the ability to place them where you want. If you want to save some space, and benefit from some extra immersion by tuning your field of view (FOV), you can angle your monitors to your liking.
This means that although one ultrawide monitor might take up less space, you do have more control over your view with a triple monitor setup, and you can move them around to suit your sim racing setup.
The Aspect Of Compatibility
When it comes to compatibility, ultrawide screens tend to bring about less problems than triple monitor setups. One large screen will still require a decent processor and graphics card to run your racing sims smoothly, but most games support it natively as it doesn’t tend to put too much strain on your hardware. The wider you go however, the more attention you will have to pay to compatibility.
Triple screens can cause some problems when it comes to compatibility. Running three separate monitors at high enough resolutions can cause your graphics card to struggle, but some games just simply do not support triple screen setups. Some do in part, stretching an image over three screens, and some games use three separate camera views for the three screens.
This again can be very useful for the realism aspect, as you can play around with your FOV with a triple monitor setup by adjusting their angles individually. However, this won’t look right if the game doesn’t have true multiscreen support. In most cases, an ultrawide monitor is a safe bet for weaker GPUs and a wider variety of games.
FOV & Realism
The last section briefly touched on FOV, and it is a very important factor to consider in terms of realism. Ultrawide monitors can yield impressive FOV control, especially with the advent of curved screens as well. Simply positioning yourself at the right distance from the screen and making use of a very large screen can lead to some truly immersive sim racing.
However, a triple screen setup, with its adjustability, can allow you to change the angles of the two outer monitors. This can give the effect of the screens wrapping around you, giving you a more immersive experience with a wider, yet still effective and not distorted, FOV.
What About The Bezels?
Finally, with a triple monitor setup, you also have to remember that the three monitors all have their own frame around them. This means there are visible borders between each one, which is what splits your view into three chunks. These are sometimes called bezels, and they can be important to consider for some sims when choosing which monitors to go for.
Obviously, a single ultrawide monitor will only have one outer frame, which means there is nothing obstructing your view of the screen. With a triple monitor setup, you will have to put up with the extra lines splitting up the display. Most racers find them easy to ignore, but for some people they might get in the way and become distracting.
If you are looking to spend a little extra money, you will be able to find individual monitors that have very thin bezels. This can lead to a more seamless setup, but if you want a truly uninterrupted view, then an ultrawide monitor will obviously be the better option.
There are plenty of differences between single ultrawide monitors and triple screen setups, and the main deciding factor for many people is the price. But there are high-end ultrawide monitors on the market along with expensive triple monitor setups, and both can also be bought on a budget. Thus, you need to consider all of the other factors when making your decision.
Some setups will suit an ultrawide monitor better than three separate ones, and depending on the sim you are racing on, you may be limited to ultrawide screens from the start. The important thing is to take all of these factors into consideration and choose the right option for your particular sim racing setup.