TechSpot

Going triple monitor

By dark green
Feb 10, 2008
  1. Hi all-

    First time posting, if I screw it up please don't flame me.

    I've been using dual monitors for a while now and love it (ATI Radeon x1600 PRO, Diamond Viper 512MB PCI-Express | Intel core 2 duo | Windows XP). Now I want to go to 3 monitors.

    Any opinions on what is the best approach?

    Would another video card be a good idea? I've been using both monitor outputs on the card but I know there is also a widget out there that takes one monitor port (which you tell is 3x wider in pixels) and routes it to 3 monitors but I don't know if that would make effective use of the card?

    For gaming all I play is EVE online, mostly I'll be using it for professional activities and light image editing.

    I have money, although not enough that "money is no object"... a few hundred $$ plus the monitor is about as far as I'm going to go.

    Thanks in advance,

    -Dark Green
     
  2. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    If you want an extended destop on 3 screens you are going to need to get another video card. I would recommend another Ati card so you can configure your desktop trough the ATI catalyst program. If you decide to go with something else here is a program that may help you.

    http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/
     
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,506   +238

    Matrox ran an ad for TripleHead2Go in PCGamer Magazine recently that might be what you are looking for. Look here to check it out: Matrox
     
  4. dark green

    dark green TS Rookie Topic Starter

    twite, yes I am looking to go extended desktop, not one image repeated.

    Good heads up on the idea of using another ATI card so I can use the catalyst program. Does anybody know if the ATI Crossfire system can do multimonitor? My MB and card are both crossfire-ready. Would I get better performance adding another crossfire capable card and connecting them?

    Mailpup: Thanks! TripleHead2Go was exactly what I was vaguely recalling: (I can't link because post count is too low)

    So here's the real question:

    1) Keep current card and install a matrox Triplehead2go

    -or-

    2) Add another ATI card and use 3 monitors on the 4 outputs

    Does anybody have any experience with either of these approaches? Would I get any crossfire advantages off #2? Does #1 really work well or does it waste resources by using only one video output?

    I used to be quite the computer guy but it's been years now, so I look forward to hearing from people in the know.

    Thanks again,

    Dark Green
     
  5. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    I don't have any experience running crossfire, i am running 1 x1900xt, and an x1800xt (only because the x1800 was given to me), and they are both able to be configured in catalyst. There is no performance gain since they are different cards, the sole purpose of the x1800 is to run the other 2 monitors.

    If your card is capable of crossfire, i would just throw in another x1600, as there should be a performance increase.

    Another advantage of running it off 2 video cards is you can allocate your applications across multiple screens. For example you can run your browser on one screen, your media player on another..and so on. From a quick glance the TripleHead2Go does not seem to do that. Im not sure if that is important to you or not.
     
  6. dark green

    dark green TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Allocating apps is very important to me, so if the matrox can't do that I will definitely go for the multi-card solution. The one benefit of the matrox would be that I also run a KVM switch and the matrox solution looks like it would make all three screens switch computers :)

    Is getting crossfire benefits really that easy? I thought (from some light reading) that to get benefits you actually had to wire the crossfire boards together and then use only one monitor, and this was the cause of much complaining on the net (at least a while ago it was).
     
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