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Upgrade Advice - Triple Monitor Gaming

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September 15, 2013 8:45:34 AM

Hey all,

First time poster, thanks in advance for the help. I am relatively new to PC gaming coming over from the dark side of consoles. I had a friend build me a gaming PC about 1.5 years ago, and now that I have a better idea of what I want out of this, I want to upgrade to a triple monitor gaming set up. I wanted to ask the community and get some opinions from the experts on what I should purchase to make that happen.

I want to play some of the new games coming out on max settings will all the eye candy, jaggies don't really bother me so I am willing to turn down the AA, but I hate not having to have all the PhysX and graphical bells and whistles running - specifically Batman, Assassins Creed and the Witcher 3. My philosophy with PC gaming is this, if I can't have all the eye candy I might as well have a console since IMHO it's so much easier and cheaper. I also play heavily modded Skyrim,

so, first of all, here is what I currently have:

CPU: i5 2500K (not overclocked - upgraded myself from a i3)
GPU : GTX 680 2gb (upgraded myself from a GTX 560i last summer)
Mobo: P8P67 LE (this probably wasn't the best board as it doesn't support SLI nor very good for OC'ing - but I originally had no intent of doing either with the original build).
PSU: Rosewill 80' bronze 650w
RAM: 8 gb DDR3

So... I have a budget of $1,100, of which the three monitors will probably cost around $550 - that budget could go up if I sell old parts. I have my eye on some 24" ASUS models. I intend to run the resolution at 1080p, don't need to get all crazy and go greater than that.

Is my 2gb GTX 680 strong enough to drive three monitors? Or do I need to upgrade to a 3gb or 4gb model? Had I known I was going to go this route, I probably would have purchased a different Mobo so that SLI would have been an option, or better OC'ing options.

I am not completely against getting a new mobo, but my experience with building is essentially zero, I am not intimidated to add components, but starting from the ground up is kinda intimidating. The original build was completed by a friend, which is no longer an option. I am not against learning, but would rather not if there is a work around.

I definitely need a new HD, I am thinking about getting an SSD + HD combo.

So, what does the community suggest, I am open to any/all ideas!

Thanks in advance.
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 15, 2013 9:04:14 AM

it would be close so get a second one and replace your motherbnoard with asrock z77 extrem 4 for like 140ish and you should be good

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a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 15, 2013 9:37:35 AM
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1. Your motherboard is capable of a decent overclock of a 2500K. If you do not have an aftermarket cpu cooler, upgrade that. A $30 cm hyper212 will be decent.

2. I suggest you try your GTX680 and see how you do. Vram is not a functional issue, and only a very small performance issue.
Here is a report on that: http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...

3. I highly recommend a SSD. It will make everything you do feel so much quicker. 120gb at least, 240gb if possible. Use your hard drive for storage. Samsung EVO would be my current choice.

4. Have you considered a single 2560 x 1440 27" monitor or a 30" 2560 x 1600 monitor?

5. For fast action triple monitors, you need more graphics horsepower. I would hope to avoid sli if I could. I think a superclock GTX780 @$650 would do the job if you need it. Later this year, and into next, amd and NVidia will launch the next gen of cards.
I suspect they will be very much stronger in a single card format.
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September 15, 2013 11:43:13 AM

Geofelt,

Thanks for the response, real quickly addressing your points:

1. I have searched long and hard on a capable way of overclocking my MOBO, and all the results came back that it basically couldn't be done, at least very easibly, do you have any tips on how to do it? Or can you point me to a tutorial?

2. Thanks for the advice on my card concerning the 2gb vs. 4 gb. As I am not as versed on how the tech works, I tend to lean towards just buying the latest and greatest. Perhaps I don't need 4 gb after all. I haven't read that article yet, but I will take a look at it.

3. I am strongly considering and SSD, I've heard nothing but good thanks, thanks for the reference.

4. I have not considered a higher resolution single monitor set up, I would prefer triple monitor though. Do you have an opinion on the triple monitor versus the ultra high resolution single? Is triple monitor play buggy? Is it worth the hassle, or is it even a hassle at all? The reason I am considering triple monitors is I use a dual monitor set up at work, and would like to have that in my home, so the rationale is just get a third monitor for gaming.

5. Can you expand on what you mean by "fast action" monitors? Based on your advice, it sounds reasonable to assume that my current card could handle triple monitor at 1080p? Why would I need to upgrade to a 780?

Thanks again!
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2013 12:00:30 PM

you got a good cpu even for a 2009 model...

the bad move you did is to buy a 680 2gb... but it the past now
it will be better to have a 3gb and up gpu memory for multimonitor... above all with the next gen games

but you can try it with the new monitors ( 3 ) in multimonitor mode and see how your gpu handle the games and take a better decision after
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 16, 2013 8:09:29 AM

1. There should be an option in the bios to allow you to change the multiplier. You should find it in the advanced mode section.
I had a P8P67-M PRO which overclocked nicely. I would assume your P67 had a similar section. Just raise the multiplier gradually and test. Leave all the other settings to default.

4. Up to you. Only some games will play on 3 monitors. Check on the games you want to play. With two monitors, the game will play on the primary monitor. I have a 2560 x 1600 monitor which is for gaming, and my side monitor is 1920 x 1200. It holds e-mail and performance monitors. I like the approach and am considering replacing the side monitor with another 2560 x 1600 unit so that I have seamless dragging of windows from one to the other.

5. Poor sentence. I meant fast action gaming on triple monitors. It all comes down to how many pixels the graphics card needs to manage. 1080P(1920 x 1080) is about 2m pixels. A 2560 x 1600 is 4m, and 3 1080P is 6m. Seiki makes 39" and 50" units with 4k (3840 x 2160) that have 8m pixels. Go to your local Compusa to see one. The picture is stunning. The main problem is that the output is limited to 30fps because of hdmi restrictions. If they fix that at a reasonable price, I will buy a 19" 4k unit in a heartbeat.
Regardless, you would likely do fine with a GTX680 on any configuration. Try it first and see how happy you are.
!