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Fun one: APU w/ 6550D, 6670, and 7870, 6 monitors. Best setup for primary display gaming performance.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 3, 2013 10:47:44 AM

OK, now, I know this setup is nuts. First, my configuration, as relevant to this whole setup:
Video cards, and the APU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So I have a total of 8-ish usable display inputs. I am using 6. I work from home and they are all.... necessary. However, I don't like dual booting, or making a secondary profile for an alternate setup, it's a huge headache to deal with, I've tried over and over.

Currently, my primary display and one other are plugged into the 7870. Naturally this gets me solid performance, but my system occasionally turns off aero on it's own, confused for some reason, thinking I can't support it. I dunno why.

Additionally, my gaming performance isn't perfect, even in fullscreen, on the primary. And I'm eventually going to replace the APU/mobo with a better setup.


So what I want to know is this: With the 6 displays, what is going to get me now, and in the future, the best possible performance? Would I be best off ONLY using the APU and the 7870 to support all 6 devices, and remove the crappy video card,
OR
Am I better off dedicating the 7870 to the primary display, a 47in TV, and splitting the remaining displays across the APU/6670?

And finally, if I rebuild, would the 6670+7870 be fine for splitting the displays across similarly, or is the crappy video card going to drag down performance on the good one? Would I get better performance with a crappier 7800 series video card?

I know this is kind of a nutty setup, but I'd like the primary display to work well with the least amount of trouble to me, I really hope someone knowledgeable can throw me a few bones on this. I work in malware research and removal and am generally pretty tech-minded, but a lot of experimenting has just lead me to more confusion over the best possible setup. it also doesn't help that two of my displays are VGA and occasionally just reject conversion to DVI. for no reason. One display will only work with one specific VGA cable. For literally no reason.

So any help at all would be greatly appreciated!
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 3, 2013 10:59:06 AM

I used to have 6 monitors on my desktop for specific applications that I was using. They were powered by 3 computers - each with dual monitors. I used Synergy to provide a "virtual KVM switch", to seamlessly move the mouse between the monitors, and the active monitor used the keyboard.

The reason I did this, were several of the operations were CPU intensive, and had dedicated computers to run them - most of the time, I was just monitoring the progress. I built 3 computers, 1 was for the intensive CPU useage, 1 medium machine for my internet surfing/game play, and one for monitoring news feeds on several sites.

It worked great, because the hardware (CPU, RAM, GPU) were specific to the applications running on the computers, and never interfered with my other operations. Synergy allows you to configure the displays in virtually any order, top, bottom, left, right, and I still use it at work across multiple monitors.
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April 3, 2013 11:59:45 AM

ronintexas said:
I used to have 6 monitors on my desktop for specific applications that I was using. They were powered by 3 computers - each with dual monitors. I used Synergy to provide a "virtual KVM switch", to seamlessly move the mouse between the monitors, and the active monitor used the keyboard.

The reason I did this, were several of the operations were CPU intensive, and had dedicated computers to run them - most of the time, I was just monitoring the progress. I built 3 computers, 1 was for the intensive CPU useage, 1 medium machine for my internet surfing/game play, and one for monitoring news feeds on several sites.

It worked great, because the hardware (CPU, RAM, GPU) were specific to the applications running on the computers, and never interfered with my other operations. Synergy allows you to configure the displays in virtually any order, top, bottom, left, right, and I still use it at work across multiple monitors.


Interesting idea, for sure, and synergy sounds really neat, free software, to boot blew me away. However, multiple builds isn't really in my budget right now, and I'm pretty sure my girlfriend would kill me if I told her "Oh, I'm going to build another computer to support 5 of the displays! And then just link up the clipboards and mouse/kb! Yeah, it'll use more power, yup.... no, I don't have the key for the.... gun case? What?"

most of the tasks I do at work aren't too intensive, but montoring crap on multiple displays is a must, and the large number really helps with the multitasking for my brain: less alt tabbing is much easier to keep on task with all the crap I'm doing.

What I'm looking for is how to maximize performance on a single display, with my current configuration, and an eye towards the future: What'll work to make one monitor awesome, the others are not as important. I just game on the big one. While I recognize that disabling the other displays while gaming is an option, the only way to do this would mean another OS install: Even a separate profile and separated install of CCC still messes up all my icons on the primary user account, which I use for work and for gaming, as hard as I've tried to separate the two, it's annoying. (Don't hit me, icon management is hard, I use desksave but everything I've tried, about 12 hours spent straight one day, I cannot get them to stick and save right when I disable and re-enable monitors: it takes almost an hour to re-configure and re-arrange how I want them, it's horrible)
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
April 3, 2013 12:13:58 PM

I can appreciate the power requirements. Electricity isn't cheap....LOL. I had a surplus of components to accomplish what I needed - quite a few friends had asked me to "upgrade" their system, which in most cases, was a complete new build. One of the computers required a power supply, and another a video card, so the builds on my end were dirt cheap.

One of the bonuses of having multiple computers in the build was the fact that you have 3 desktops in reality with that build, and you can have different configurations for each build as well. I ran Ubuntu on one machine, and Windows 7 on the other two. Synergy works on Mac, Linux and virtually all Windows builds, so I had the best of all worlds.

When I wasn't using all the displays, I powered down the system, saving on power. My main setup had all the shares installed on it, so all computers could share my documents, pictures, videos, etc...

Today, I have synergy installed on my home computer, with 2 monitors, and my HTPC (which is actually located behind me). I can move the mouse over to that monitor, and control that PC....freaks my wife out....LOL.
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April 21, 2013 5:27:33 AM

punkonjunk said:

I'm pretty sure my girlfriend would kill me if I told her "Oh, I'm going to build another computer to support 5 of the displays! And then just link up the clipboards and mouse/kb! Yeah, it'll use more power, yup.... no, I don't have the key for the.... gun case? What?"


HANG ON A MINUTE!
You're saying that you want a six-screen computer... AND a girlfriend.

Can't be done i'm afraid.

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