Display dilemma (or, Help Me Pick What To Stare At An Unhealthy Number of Hours a Day)

So, my monitor up and died on me today. Black screen right in the middle of a gaming session, won't even turn on anymore. It was an HP Pavilion 27xi that I got a good deal on a year and a half ago. Looked nice on my desk and had good picture quality, bright colors and none of the screendoor effect you get with some 27" 1080p displays. But I would have hoped to get more than 18 months out of it.

Anyway I reclaimed my old 24" Asus display that my fiancee was using (or rather not using) and I have that hooked up on a temporary basis. It feels so small. I was planning on replacing the HP in the near future with... something. Now I feel a little more urgency, but I'm not sure what direction to go.

I was pretty set on getting three nice 23-24" displays and going 5760x1080 as I think I mentioned here a week or two ago, but I have been hearing (including from people here like @TOGSolid) that the constant fiddling with settings as you go from game to game makes triple-display setups almost not worth it.

I could upgrade to a single 1440p 27" display, but since I was happy enough at 1080p on 27" of screen real estate when it seems like some people can't stand it I'm not sure I would notice enough of a difference to consider it an upgrade. I know the Asus ROG Swift is what everybody is lusting after because of G-sync and all, but I am still not really even sure I understand what G-sync is, and it's way out of my price range, even if anybody actually had the damn things in stock. Beyond that I know all the 1440p 27" IPS monitors out there have basically the same panel made by LG in them (I believe this is still true) so I'm not sure how to figure out which one I should pick over the others.

I could get another 27" 1080p display but step up to one designed for gaming with better refresh rate and response time, maybe like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014375 But again, I wonder if maybe my eyes are just too "dumb" to see a difference from better specs in that regard, and whether getting a 1440p monitor for the same price would be a better value.

I am intrigued by the idea of 21:9 displays. They seem to offer a hint of the benefits of a three-screen setup without the hassle, and it would be something new for me. Had my eye on this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G1XA5421 On the other hand, I worry about how consistent support for 21:9 is in games yet, and I worry that the loss of vertical screen space compared to the 27" 16:9 panel I'm used to would bother me (to get the same vertical space, you need to go up to a 34" 3440x1440 21:9 display, and the cheapest 34" displays currently on the market seem to be right about a thousand dollars).

Help me figure out which path to take here, guys.

Triple-monitor setup? (Always fantasized about one but maybe in reality too much of a pain in the ass)
Single 1440p display? (Probably most sensible option, but lots of choices and possibly not a very dramatically noticeable upgrade)
High-performance gaming 1080p display? (Another safe choice, but with the same drawbacks of lots of choices and only marginal discernible difference)
21:9? (Looks super cool but maybe too niche to be well supported and could be hard to get used to)


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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    In my humble opinion you ought to go for a tri-SLI setup with three GTX980s running three 32 inch vertically-oriented 1440p panels for a 4320x2560 resolution setup.

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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Why didn't I think of that before?

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    RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited November 2014
    I am facing pretty much the same dilemma.

    It seems like you have to make a choice between picture quality and performance. I guess it just depends on which one you value more and what kinds of games you play.

    The ROG Swift does seem to be the best of both worlds, but like you said, it's ridiculously expensive and there have been a slew of complaints from reviewers about ASUS quality control.

    From what I understand, g-sync is a feature that supposedly matches the refresh rate of your monitor to the fps output of your graphics card. So if the graphics card slows from, say, 100fps down to 40fps, g-sync will slow the refresh rate to match. It's supposed to eliminate tearing without the need for v-sync.

    Also keep in mind that to benefit from an increased refresh rate, you'd need hardware that is capable of dishing out 100+ fps in the first place. If your graphics card is only hitting 50-60 fps anyway, then a 120-144hz monitor is wasted.

    Personally I've been thinking about going with this one: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009657

    But I'm still undecided.

    I feel like I CAN tell the difference between 60hz and 144hz, and it's not like 1080p looks bad it's just... 1440p looks so nice.

    Plus you'd need some serious hardware to push 1440p over 60fps anyway, even if the monitor allowed it.

    I just don't know. :(

    RT800 on
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Unless you go all out and buy some serious tri-SLI hardware, you're not going to be pushing >60fps in the big ticket eyeball orgasming games like Far Cry 4 anyway, so you may as well go for the prettiest 1440p IPS panel you can find, and just get a single GTX970/980. 30fps in the middle of a huge firefight ain't so bad anyway, and the rest of the time you'll likely be seeing 45-60 frames, so it's not like things are going to be shuddering and skipping around.

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