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PC that can run 4 games

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April 18, 2013 8:15:52 AM

Hey

Im trying to help out a friend with hes new system. Crazy as he is, he would like a pc that can run 4 games at once. He would like 4 monitors: 3 of them for EvE and the last for games like GW2 and BF3 (BF4 when it is released).

Is this even possible? If so, what hardware should he get?
I guess he would need a i7 CPU and 2 x graphic cards like Radeon 7970?

What about PSU? I guess a 850 w can do?

He allready got 16 gb ddr3 ram.

More about : run games

April 18, 2013 8:33:11 AM

Run the games in 'Windowed' mode and he'd be able to do this across 4 screens.

What's the budget?
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April 18, 2013 8:38:31 AM

Essentially all you need is enough RAM and two video cards. An i7 or i5 K edition overclocked well should be good. I ran two games all the time on my AMD 7850, and still do on my GTX 670. So depending on performance and budget you can do it and scale it just like you can with any gaming rig.

Also, unless you are using two crazy high powered video cards the PSU shouldn't matter all that much. Any good quality 600-650 should be able to handle dual 7850 or 7870's. You'd only need to go in to the 850 range if you were doing something like an OC'd 3960x with dual 680's or 7970's or something.

Since you are actually running separate things one each, and probably don't care about frame rates as much on the inactive screens you can also do different video cards. For instance you could run a 7970 for your main display, and then a 7850 for the three alternate displays if you wanted.

You may want to test the games he plays, since if you can't actually specify the render card then most things will actually render on your primary card anyway. In that case you could just as easily use one video card like the 7970 and then have two of the monitors on the on board and you wouldn't see a huge performance impact.

There are a huge number of design, performance, and budget questions here though, so make sure you know how it works before you start buying things.




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April 19, 2013 7:43:41 AM

Ty you for the answers.

It seems that hes budget would be around 1700 gbp, but he will spent more if needed.

He will most likely run the EVE games in windowed mode, but it shouldn't run in low graphics.

Right now he got an I5-3570K CPU, but i will not OC it. Should he buy a I7 Instead?
As i said, he got 16 DDR3 ram so that should be ok.

I thought about 2 x GTX 660 TI but does the 7870 perform better? I see the 7870 is a bit cheaper, but hes willing to pay for better performance :D 

He definitely needs a new motherboard, since the one he got don't have 2x PCIe 3.0 slots

It's very important that games like Battlefield will run with good fps, though there are 3 EVE games running at the same time.



PS. Sry for my bad english. But im from Denmark and normally use this forum to find the right hardware :) 
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April 19, 2013 8:12:06 AM

Method01 said:
Ty you for the answers.

It seems that hes budget would be around 1700 gbp, but he will spent more if needed.

He will most likely run the EVE games in windowed mode, but it shouldn't run in low graphics.

Right now he got an I5-3570K CPU, but i will not OC it. Should he buy a I7 Instead?
As i said, he got 16 DDR3 ram so that should be ok.

I thought about 2 x GTX 660 TI but does the 7870 perform better? I see the 7870 is a bit cheaper, but hes willing to pay for better performance :D 

He definitely needs a new motherboard, since the one he got don't have 2x PCIe 3.0 slots

It's very important that games like Battlefield will run with good fps, though there are 3 EVE games running at the same time.


I actually did install Even yesterday, but I don't have an account to log in. I was able to see that the settings you can tell it which device to render on (I assume because multi-client setups are so common in Eve).

Does he have two monitors already to run some tests to see what configuration would be best for the monitor setups? I have the monitors and video cards around to test, and I could set up an EVE account trial but I'm not sure the best way to test since it doesn't seem to have a benchmarking tool and I'm not familiar with the game enough to test areas that would show good consistent performance tests.

There are a couple of different set ups to try and I'm not certain which one is best for this particular requirement . . . Plus the budget consideration . . . for instance:

1 amazing Video Card with 2 monitors attached, 2 monitors on the on board (Budget all on 1 card)
2 Good video cards, each driving 2 monitors (budget divided equally to 2 cards)
2 Good video cards, one driving the primary for BF3, and one driving the 3 Eve client monitors (budget divided equally to 2 cards)
1 Great video card and 1 cheap video card, the one driving 1 monitor and the cheap one driving the 3 eve clients (Budget mostly one 1 card, and something like a 7770 or 7750 as the secondary)

As for the i5 -> i7 debate, I'm not sure how well Eve deals with hyper threading, or running multiple instances of games deals with it, but the general consensus among gaming machines is that the 3570k over clocked is probably the best performance value you can buy right now.

What motherboard does he have? The difference between 16x and 8x is not really that detectible in games, so if his board goes 8x/8x while two video cards are present then he should be fine there. There aren't to many cheap ways to get a board that has 2 16x PCI-E slots available.
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April 19, 2013 8:35:19 AM

That was e quick reply. ;) 

He got 3 screens allready, so what should he test? He only got 1 video card.

There wont be any conflict in the video card drivers, when you install 2 different cards?

Im not sure what motherboard he got, but im quite sure its Asus p8z77 - V LX
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April 19, 2013 8:52:54 AM

Method01 said:
That was e quick reply. ;) 

He got 3 screens allready, so what should he test? He only got 1 video card.

There wont be any conflict in the video card drivers, when you install 2 different cards?

Im not sure what motherboard he got, but im quite sure its Asus p8z77 - V LX


One test I would like to see is if he takes 1 monitor and enables his on board video, then starts an Eve client in window mode on the settings he wants to play.... then take that window and move it over to the monitor plugged in to the on board, does performance drop to almost nothing, or does it run nearly the same as on the main monitor?



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April 19, 2013 10:53:46 AM

Traciatim said:
Method01 said:
That was e quick reply. ;) 

He got 3 screens allready, so what should he test? He only got 1 video card.

There wont be any conflict in the video card drivers, when you install 2 different cards?

Im not sure what motherboard he got, but im quite sure its Asus p8z77 - V LX


One test I would like to see is if he takes 1 monitor and enables his on board video, then starts an Eve client in window mode on the settings he wants to play.... then take that window and move it over to the monitor plugged in to the on board, does performance drop to almost nothing, or does it run nearly the same as on the main monitor?





I Will try that tomorrow. Im not sure that the mb allows both onboard video and video card to run at the same time.
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April 20, 2013 8:29:11 AM

Found out that he got a Asus z77-V LX MB.
It seems that i can't run both the iGPU and the video card at the same time. In the BIOS i set it to run both, but it dont work.

Anyways, i think he should go with 2 gpu cards of the same type. Just don't know what cards he need?

Should i go after a new MB and I7 or will the one he got do?
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April 20, 2013 10:54:05 AM

Method01 said:
Found out that he got a Asus z77-V LX MB.
It seems that i can't run both the iGPU and the video card at the same time. In the BIOS i set it to run both, but it dont work.

Anyways, i think he should go with 2 gpu cards of the same type. Just don't know what cards he need?

Should i go after a new MB and I7 or will the one he got do?


That's interesting, because I use a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H and can use both my on board and main video card.

The motherboard and CPU should be fine, it's hard to say what the difference would be going from an i5 to an i7 with all those games fighting for time. Gaming in general doesn't hyper thread well, but with all those going on it's hard to say if it would do better without testing it.

Looks like using one main video card with 2 of the monitors on the integrated is off the list due to the limitation. That still leaves a couple of other configurations to test. I'm still not sure if one big beefy card, two cards in SLI/crossfire, or one cheaper card and one great card are the best options. Does he know any other Eve players that have similar configurations to test things on?


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April 22, 2013 7:42:39 AM

Nope he don't know any with a configuration like this. Who playes 4 games at once? :p 
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April 22, 2013 8:11:18 AM

Method01 said:
Nope he don't know any with a configuration like this. Who playes 4 games at once? :p 


Tons of people, I'm sure there are Eve multi-box and multi-client communities around that can tell you which is best for performance. But I'm thinking if the main game should be running at or near full speed that you want something like a 7970/7950 for the main video card and then a 7870/7850 driving the three extra monitors so that the main game can have the primary GPU and Memory dedicated to whatever it's doing. Since Eve seems to have a selector for the GPU it runs on in the graphics settings you can force it to render on the 7870.

The only thing that had me stopping that recommendation is that when I first got my machine and was running dual monitors I noticed many games start up on the primary monitor and then if you move the window to a secondary monitor it seemed like the main video card was still doing all of the grunt work and then just sending the screen data to the second video card for display, rather than moving the entire game rendering over. That way even if you had a secondary video card, it wouldn't be doing any of the heavy lifting anyway and your primary card would see a huge impact from running all 4 games. Eve's settings should solve that problem.

It still might be worth while to test it first before spending money, or maybe trying to track down someone who has done the testing. Maybe he could borrow a friends video card and do some kind of mock testing to see how it runs.

I could probably do it on my own machine, but the only thing I have to test with is a 670 and a 5770 (or 6870) and I'm not sure if I want to have both the AMD and NVidia drivers all running at the same time on my day to day use machine. I don't think any of the other machines have power supplies that could take the video cards . . . oh, and also I'm not really about to tear apart all of my computer gear and spend a whole day or more setting things up to test something I'm probably never going to use ;) 


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April 22, 2013 1:59:45 PM

Method01 said:
Found out that he got a Asus z77-V LX MB.
It seems that i can't run both the iGPU and the video card at the same time. In the BIOS i set it to run both, but it dont work.

Anyways, i think he should go with 2 gpu cards of the same type. Just don't know what cards he need?

Should i go after a new MB and I7 or will the one he got do?


No there is absolutely no reason to go for an i7 if hes gaming. His current i5 will be more than enough.
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April 22, 2013 2:13:05 PM

Stealth117 said:
Method01 said:
Found out that he got a Asus z77-V LX MB.
It seems that i can't run both the iGPU and the video card at the same time. In the BIOS i set it to run both, but it dont work.

Anyways, i think he should go with 2 gpu cards of the same type. Just don't know what cards he need?

Should i go after a new MB and I7 or will the one he got do?


No there is absolutely no reason to go for an i7 if hes gaming. His current i5 will be more than enough.


Do you have any sources that show benchmarks while running multiple game clients, at least as many as you have real cores?
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April 22, 2013 2:14:49 PM

Traciatim said:
Stealth117 said:
Method01 said:
Found out that he got a Asus z77-V LX MB.
It seems that i can't run both the iGPU and the video card at the same time. In the BIOS i set it to run both, but it dont work.

Anyways, i think he should go with 2 gpu cards of the same type. Just don't know what cards he need?

Should i go after a new MB and I7 or will the one he got do?


No there is absolutely no reason to go for an i7 if hes gaming. His current i5 will be more than enough.


Do you have any sources that show benchmarks while running multiple game clients, at least as many as you have real cores?

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i5_3570K_...
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Best solution

April 23, 2013 6:08:31 AM



All that shows is a couple of single games. None of those benchmarks are running multiple game clients at the same time. Those aren't relevant to this scenario at all.

For instance, if you look at WOW numbers, generally it doesn't scale well at all with cores. . . but when you try to run 10 copies you get results like: This . . . (It's post 19 in that thread if the link doesn't work.

I'm fairly certain EVE would probably scale well with HT in a multi-client scenario as well. That thread also confirmed my suspicion that SLI doesn't help as much in multiple clients as having multiple video cards when in multi-client scenarios.

So it looks like the best choice is either two crazy video cards so that you can switch to Crossfire when you want to play single games, and then switch it off and drive the main screen with one and three alternate screens on the other. The more budget friendly solution is one beefy video card for the main monitor and a secondary cheaper card for the three alternate monitors (Like the 7950/7850 setup I mentioned above).

It seems like more video memory is really helpful in mufti-client scenarios as well, so it might be beneficial to looks at 2 x 7950 3GB cards, not in Crossfire, one driving 1 monitor and the other driving the 3 even monitors. The plus with this setup is that if they decide not to multi-box Eve anymore you can just crossfire the 2 video cards and get great performance for single games in a few years.

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April 23, 2013 8:00:55 AM

Traciatim said:


All that shows is a couple of single games. None of those benchmarks are running multiple game clients at the same time. Those aren't relevant to this scenario at all.

For instance, if you look at WOW numbers, generally it doesn't scale well at all with cores. . . but when you try to run 10 copies you get results like: This . . . (It's post 19 in that thread if the link doesn't work.

I'm fairly certain EVE would probably scale well with HT in a multi-client scenario as well. That thread also confirmed my suspicion that SLI doesn't help as much in multiple clients as having multiple video cards when in multi-client scenarios.

So it looks like the best choice is either two crazy video cards so that you can switch to Crossfire when you want to play single games, and then switch it off and drive the main screen with one and three alternate screens on the other. The more budget friendly solution is one beefy video card for the main monitor and a secondary cheaper card for the three alternate monitors (Like the 7950/7850 setup I mentioned above).

It seems like more video memory is really helpful in mufti-client scenarios as well, so it might be beneficial to looks at 2 x 7950 3GB cards, not in Crossfire, one driving 1 monitor and the other driving the 3 even monitors. The plus with this setup is that if they decide not to multi-box Eve anymore you can just crossfire the 2 video cards and get great performance for single games in a few years.



I think i found a solution, because of the help you gave me. I really thank you for that ;) 
Think i go with either 2x 7950 or 1 7970 + 1 7950.

As for the motherboard. Should he keep the one he got? It do support Crossfire, so i guess it will do fine.
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April 23, 2013 10:48:14 AM

Method01 said:
I think i found a solution, because of the help you gave me. I really thank you for that ;) 
Think i go with either 2x 7950 or 1 7970 + 1 7950.

As for the motherboard. Should he keep the one he got? It do support Crossfire, so i guess it will do fine.


Yeah, it should be fine.

I'd be a little concerned with the second video card being on a 4x PCI-E, but most benchmarks don't show all that much of a difference. I'd run with it for a while ans see how it works. If it seems to be causing problems. If you do end up switching, just make sure both the slots end up splitting 8x 8x and support PCI-E 3 so that you don't have to worry about bandwidth issues.

You should be able to measure the impact of the 4x slot by running 1 card with 3 monitors in the x16 slot, and run 3 Eve clients and see how it runs, and then move that to the 4x slot and play for a while doing something similar. I'm not really sure how it reacts with multiple games running and the limited bandwidth, but I figure once the textures are over on the video card memory that it shouldn't be much of an issue.
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