Mode Support

Enumerate Available Display Modes

In order to properly support NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround and NVIDIA Surround configurations, it is important to enumerate all supported modes exposed by the graphics boards present in the system. This is important because NVIDIA Surround technology exposes many resolutions that may not have been considered standard resolutions previously, and assuming (or hard-coding) support for particular resolutions or display modes can often lead to problems; This is not only because the adapter simply may not work at the modes a game has been hard-coded (without proper enumeration) to offer to users, but also because it prevents newer widescreen and bezel-corrected display modes that are exposed by the driver from being offered to users in a game.

Support Landscape and Portrait Modes

Another important consideration for supporting NVIDIA Surround technology is handling both landscape and portrait modes for device creation and rendering. Landscape mode is when the monitors are placed in standard orientation on a desk (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Three displays in landscape mode

A user can rotate a 1920x1080 display (physically and in the NVIDIA control panel) by 90 degrees, resulting in an orientation known as portrait mode, with a resolution of 1080x1920. NVIDIA Surround allows you to run three displays in a portrait mode configuration (Figure 2).

As an example, three 1920x1080 displays in portrait mode results in a resolution of 3240x1920, so a game should not assume that a user has a particular display orientation. Proper enumeration of modes will always provide the modes available for the current display orientation.

Figure 2. Three displays in portrait mode


Finally, game developers may want to know the monitor orientation for proper HUD placement. The implications of display orientation for in-game HUD elements are discussed later, in the UI, Menu, and Video Considerations section.

Support All Aspect Ratios

As a result of offering the many new display modes available when using NVIDIA Surround, "non-standard" aspect-ratio configurations will likely become more common among users' systems. While many games currently support 5:4, 4:3, 16:10, and 16:9 aspect ratios, NVIDIA Surround configurations in landscape orientation may have aspect ratios such as 15:4, 12:3, 48:10, and 48:9.

Additionally, in cases where Surround displays are arranged in portrait orientation, configurations may have aspect ratios of 27:16, 15:8, 9:4, and 12:5. This means that for proper Surround support, it is important for games to avoid assuming or forcing the use of certain aspect ratios. Where possible, developers should allow for field of view adjustments in game to account for these new aspect ratios. Table 1 provides a list of common aspect ratios and their related 1x3 (1 display high x 3 displays wide) landscape and portrait Surround aspect ratios:

Standard Aspect Ratios NVIDIA 1x3 Surround Aspect Ratios
Landscape Mode Portrait Mode
5:4 1.25 15:4 3.75 12:5 2.4
4:3 1.3333 12:3 4.0 9:4 2.25
16:9 1.7777 48:9 5.3333 27:16 1.6875
16:10 1.6 48:10 4.8 15:8 1.875

Table 1. Common aspect ratios



NVIDIA® GameWorks™ Documentation Rev. 1.0.200601 ©2014-2020. NVIDIA Corporation. All Rights Reserved.