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We have a client who has a machine using an extremely high resolution output setup (3 30" monitors in portrait mode for a total resolution of 4800x2560.)

He routinely remotes into this machine but the performance is lousy - we're looking for the highest fidelity remote desktop solution available for this. TeamViewer, GoToMeeting, and LogMeIn have proved inadequate.

Should we be looking into Citrix or something like that (none of us have any experience with it)? Basically what we need is the lowest-latency, highest performance app we can get. (The client realizes remote connections will never be up to speed but at the very least a reasonable amount of color fidelity would be nice.)

Bandwidth isn't currently a consideration here - we'll end up testing any solutions for real world performance but we really need to know where to look. I'm sure we can manage SOME kind of improvement.

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Have you tried the built-in Windows Remote Desktop? –  nhinkle Aug 25 '10 at 21:18
    
We'd considered that but he doesn't like that idea for some reason. (I think he may potentially be remoting in from non-Windows machines as well.) –  Shinrai Aug 25 '10 at 21:57
    
there are terminal services clients for non-windows machines. Linux has the popular tsclient package. Why does he need such high resolution when remoting in though? I can understand having it at your desk, but when you're remoting in you can turn down the rdp session resolution, color quality, and view 1 monitor at a time. –  John T Aug 25 '10 at 22:59
    
His remote setup (well, at least one of them) has identical monitors with identical resolutions so he wants to be able to run at something resembling full fidelity. –  Shinrai Aug 26 '10 at 14:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

RDP (Remote Desktop) is going to be significantly better than anything VNC-based, simply because of its architecture. RDP sends drawing commands instead of bitmaps, so it's much more efficient and responsive than just about anything except for Citrix.

Any remote desktop solution is extremely latency sensitive as well. Whatever you can do on that front can only help.

The only VNC variant I've seen that has much better performance than the rest of the pack is UltraVNC with the mirror driver installed. Once that's installed and configured correctly you'll get a good experience, but it still pales compared to RDP.

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After some investigation we learned that Windows 7 supports true multi-monitors over RDP rather than the godawful old spanning mode from XP. This is why we hadn't even considered it previously but the performance is unbelievably better this way. –  Shinrai Sep 1 '10 at 21:31

I've used Radmin for a couple years with Vista and XP. Never with screens that size though. But reading their features page:

Transfers remote screens in 2, 4, 16, 256, 65 thousand or 16 million colors.

Compatibility with Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP multiple user sessions.

Supports high resolution modes (there is no limit to the maximum display resolution).

Multiple monitors support.

Edited to add (re: client not using windows ):

Radmin Viewer is compatible with Wine (software to run Windows applications on Linux). You can control remote computer from Linux machines.

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Testing Radmin and the performance is outstanding at first blush. Question - is there any way to fullscreen to all displays? I have 3 on the remote machine and 3 on the viewing machine but if I do fullscreen mode it'll only fullscreen to one display. I can manually resize the window to fit all of course but that's tacky and there's still a tiny bit of scrolling around the edges from the window margins. –  Shinrai Aug 26 '10 at 15:23
    
You need to fullscreen an application across multiple monitors... (which may be a good followup question here on SU!). I don't believe Windows can do that using multiple devices. (and I have no idea about other OSs.) Some searching turned up realtimesoft.com/ultramon. I found references that it could have Windows treat multiple monitors as a single device, but their webpage wasn't too helpful. –  yhw42 Aug 26 '10 at 16:41
    
Windows RDP will do it natively if the target OS is Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise (or Server 2008 R2). This cludiginess is unfortunately a dealbreaker - we tested Radmin and it is indeed fast as greased balls. I'd accept this answer if I could accept two, but we're going to end up going with built in RDP because it actually does handle multiple monitors very well. –  Shinrai Sep 1 '10 at 21:31
    
Glad you found a solution! I was surprised that Radmin didn't handle that as well as I expected. Good Luck! –  yhw42 Sep 3 '10 at 15:37

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