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Need advice on CPU, and GPU for triple monitor setup gaming

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May 4, 2013 11:29:31 AM

OK, I have quite a lengthy question, so I appreciate help on any parts or it.

I am going to be building a gaming PC.
I already have laying around a hard drive, case and optical drive, I need all of the other components.

Firstly, it is my hope that I can have a triple monitor setup. I currently have 3 17 inch monitors, and will hopefully swapping out the center screen with a 24 inch wide screen. My first question is that can I run a triple monitor setup with 4:3 monitors? And secondly, can I Have a triple monitor setup with the 24 in the middle, and the 17's on the side?

So, I will need a GPU to run this. I am just confused is I will be able to run this off of one card, or if I will need 2 cards (If someone could explain how to do this it would be great) to run games with surround. (I would like to play high end games like BF3 and Far Cry 3 etc.)

But does it make a difference if I want to have just one screen for the game, and 2 at the side not doing anything, will I still need a powerful card if only 1 screen is doing the heavy work??
(BTW I am not fussed about having to turn some of the settings down to med/high)

Then there's the CPU, the first question being Intel or AMD. I understand that Intel is quite expensive vs AMD, so could someone please suggest a good CPU that will not bottleneck the above requirements.

Probably a good time to mention this, price is a massive concern, as I only have a budget of about £300-400.

So on the subject of available budget, is it possible to just buy the CPU, RAM, Motherboard and PSU now, and then save up to get a better GPU in the future, or can I buy maybe one GPU now, and then add another to increase performance.

Any suggestions will be appreciated, thank you for reading.

Things I may have left out:
The monitors are DVI-D and VGA
The quieter the better
I am in the UK by the way

a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 4, 2013 2:37:46 PM

1. Yes; you can run triple monitor setup with any monitors you choose. The size of the monitors have no impact to the setup. Only the resolution matter.

2. One GPU can run three monitors.

3. You'll want a powerful GPU to run certain games on high settings, but what you choose to do with each screen is up to you.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£166.79 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.49 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£98.39 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£73.99 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £396.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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May 5, 2013 2:55:22 AM

ksham said:
1. Yes; you can run triple monitor setup with any monitors you choose. The size of the monitors have no impact to the setup. Only the resolution matter.

2. One GPU can run three monitors.

3. You'll want a powerful GPU to run certain games on high settings, but what you choose to do with each screen is up to you.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£166.79 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.49 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£98.39 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£73.99 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £396.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)




OK, that's brilliant, I appreciate all the help you have given me, just wondering if there is an AMD option available, as I have more faith when it comes to them, and any suggestion towards a GPU that can support the three monitors, in a heavy gaming scenario.

Cheap as possible would be good, maybe start small and add later on??

Also, is a 750w PSU not overkill, I would rather a lower powered modular supply if possible.
Isn't there cheaper options fort a motherboard avaliable?? And is an after-market cooling soloution neccessary with no OC?
Thanks again

Harry

EDIT: Is this a good choice??? (Great website by the way) Will it be able to run the 3 monitors, even if only 1 is for gaming?

PCPartPicker part list: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/V8xP
Price breakdown by merchant: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/V8xP/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/V8xP/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£65.58 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 ATX AM3 Motherboard (£76.39 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB Video Card (£130.57 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £355.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2013 3:16:47 AM

It helps to do research on parts and not blindly add them using the PCPartPicker site. The Corsair CX PSU line was designed for basic builds, not high performance builds like a gaming build.

- The GTX 650 Ti can handle three monitors.
- A 750W PSU was overkill, but I wasn't sure if you were considering SLI or not at the time.
- The CPU that I chose was meant for OC. If you aren't going to OC, it can be changed.
- As for your build, you could've chose a better motherboard.
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May 5, 2013 3:57:17 AM

ksham said:
It helps to do research on parts and not blindly add them using the PCPartPicker site. The Corsair CX PSU line was designed for basic builds, not high performance builds like a gaming build.

- The GTX 650 Ti can handle three monitors.
- A 750W PSU was overkill, but I wasn't sure if you were considering SLI or not at the time.
- The CPU that I chose was meant for OC. If you aren't going to OC, it can be changed.
- As for your build, you could've chose a better motherboard.


Any ideas for a good AM3 Mobo then?? And a different PSU? which I will not be doing SLI as the 650 ti does not support it. Also, do you think the 650 ti will be good for triple monitor gaming (with surround and without) Is there any chance of the CPU bottlenecking the GPU??

EDIT: What about this one?? http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-m5a97r...
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2013 4:04:03 AM

Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 or ASRock 970 EXTREME4
PSU: Corsair TX 650W V2

As for the triple monitor gaming, it depends on your resolution. Obviously, the higher, the worse it gets. The GTX 650 Ti also can't handle surround on any demanding games like Battlefield 3.

And no, your CPU is fine.
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May 5, 2013 4:16:26 AM

ksham said:
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 or ASRock 970 EXTREME4
PSU: Corsair TX 650W V2

As for the triple monitor gaming, it depends on your resolution. Obviously, the higher, the worse it gets. The GTX 650 Ti also can't handle surround on any demanding games like Battlefield 3.

And no, your CPU is fine.


Thankyou so much for your help, just one final question that I am struggling to get my head around:

If i cannot play BF3 in surround very well, can I choose to just play it on one screen, will this make it better on the one monitor, or is it the same for all monitors
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2013 4:20:40 AM

I don't understand your question. Will it make what better on one monitor? And is what the same for all monitors?
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May 5, 2013 11:14:41 AM

ksham said:
I don't understand your question. Will it make what better on one monitor? And is what the same for all monitors?



Will I get better performance having just one monitor gaming, instead of three, or is it just equally allocated to each monitor, making it no difference between surround and single monitor gaming??
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2013 11:22:20 AM

No; a single monitor would be better. Three monitors = more resolution. And at high resolution, the card won't play on well on high setting. Some games, you can play on surround because they are not as intensive.
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May 5, 2013 12:44:56 PM

ksham said:
No; a single monitor would be better. Three monitors = more resolution. And at high resolution, the card won't play on well on high setting. Some games, you can play on surround because they are not as intensive.



This is probably a really stupid question, but can you play widescreen games on a 4:3 monitor?
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2013 12:47:32 PM

You can, but it'll look terrible. It's like playing a widescreen movie. You'll get 2 big blocks of black on the top and bottom. Everything looks smaller. The resolution stays the same, but because everything is thinner and so the experience is not good.
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May 5, 2013 2:19:46 PM

Hmm, so I'm not sure how computer hardware is priced in Britain, probably proportional to that of the States, then I would recommend a GTX 670. In order to run a multi monitor setup with one card, one of the ports require a display port option, I'm seeing that you don't have a display port option so yes you will need two cards for this setup (you can then get something like two 570s or 560s). As for the monitor sizes, sure you can have those different sizes, but then to get even a half-decent experience you need to put your larger monitor much further than you smaller ones to make it seem proportional in size. On paper it sounds like it's passable, but when you have one monitor much closer to you, regardless of size, you can really see a huge difference it quality. I'm not sure what CPU to recommend for you, as I don't know your motherboard. As for my honest opinion, That much money doesn't cut if for a multi monitor display. Going with three 4:3 monitors will save you a good amount of cash and requirement of GPU horsepower, but i'm not sure how a 12:3 (4:1) ratio would look like, or a 9:4 depending on how you're placing your monitor. Truth be told, I think you would be better off sticking to one monitor if that's your budget, but it's your choice. As for your last question yes you can but those parts now, but depending on how long you wait those components can bottle neck a newer gpu. If you were to do that then I would recommend buying a GPU that corresponds with the generation of the hardware. And yes you can buy a new GPU later, as long as the motherboard you're picking up supports crossfire/SLI Hope this helped! :) 
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May 6, 2013 4:40:43 AM

ksham said:
You can, but it'll look terrible. It's like playing a widescreen movie. You'll get 2 big blocks of black on the top and bottom. Everything looks smaller. The resolution stays the same, but because everything is thinner and so the experience is not good.


So will using 3 monitors make it better, sort of like an extended widescreen, will it have the bars at the top??
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 151 à CPUs
a b Î Nvidia
a c 168 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 6, 2013 7:37:45 AM

harry_derouich said:
So will using 3 monitors make it better, sort of like an extended widescreen, will it have the bars at the top??

It's not about having more or less monitors. It's all about the resolution of your monitors. Widescreen ones are 16:9.
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