TechSpot

Graphics cards for multi-monitor setups?

By SittingDuckie
Nov 20, 2010
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  1. Hi,

    I've just blown up my nvidia geforce 9800 gx2 and am looking for a replacement, but do not use the pc for gaming anymore so hoping to use this opportunity to convert my PC into a programming/development workstation. I'd like to purchase a graphics card that can support three 21" monitors but I have had a lot of trouble finding any advice on buying for multi monitor setups.

    Budget is pretty much unlimited, going to go ahead with this one way or the other but have a serious aversion to wasting money so want to get value for money.

    I haven't purchased the monitors yet, possibly a question for a different forum but will more than welcome suggestions if offered or if its relevant to the question at hand.

    Specs:
    Motherboard - Asus P5E3 deluxe
    Graphic interface - 2x PCI-e
    Memory - 2GB DDR3 1333mhz
    CPU - intel Q6600 quad core
    Power Supply - Corsair 520W HX

    country: UK

    Can anyone offer any advice on what I need to look for (or avoid)? any product/brand recommendations?

    All feedback much appreciated.
    The Duck
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    I'm pretty sure any AMD 5xxx series GPU would be fine, as they all have eyefinity. Not sure about Nvidia though.

    That said, why don't you purchase two GPU's and run them in crossfire or SLI instead? If your definitely not going to be gaming you could get away with a much lighter duty GPUs, with one supporting 2 monitors, and the other supporting one.

    Do you still need workstation graphics performance for applications like CAD etc though, or is it just for normal use e.g. desktop publishing, web browsing, emails etc.

    Pretty much any GPU for sale today will support 2 monitors. My current ATI HD4670 is absolutely fine with two 22" Viewsonics, it just can't support three.

    You'd need to decide if you want a game orientated GPU, or a workstation GPU really, then go from there.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,360   +122

    6870!
  4. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Thanks for the advice, two lightweight cards running in SLI/crossfire sounds like a good option to me. I don't use CAD apps or games anymore, so nothing graphically intensive going on, so the 6870 looks a bit overkill.

    Techspot guide recommends the 5670 for its entry level gaming rig, so perhaps 2x 5670 would be a respectable and cost effective solution?
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,360   +122

    No because a single 6850 would be much nicer.
  6. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Do I just need to add a dvi splitter to get two monitors one connection?
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,360   +122

  8. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    You'd use three seperate connections, one for each screen.

    Dependant price, it might be worthwhile considering the HD6850 GPU.

    For example, the AMD HD6850 starts around the £150 mark

    Though any AMD 5xxx series should have "eyefinity". Click me for AMD's take on eyefinity.

    So...

    AMD 5750 for around £80-100 if you look around.

    Having actually looked online, its not really cost effective running CF with 2 GPUs due to the cost, unless your happy with having DDR2 RAM on your GPUs. Your talking around £60 for a DDR3 HD4670, which you'd need two of.
  9. SittingDuckie

    SittingDuckie Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Okay, the 5750 looks like it should do the trick but have gone for the 6850 just to be on the safe side. Also got it for £142 incl delivery so quite pleased with that.

    Thank you both very much for your help and advice.


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