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Self build for 6 monitors gaming/video editing/trading $2000ish budget

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January 29, 2014 3:20:54 PM

I'm looking to build a new system and I haven't done it in years so I'm not sure whats the way to go for what I want. I'm trying to target around $2000 on the PC itself not the monitors (give or take a few hundred).

It is to be used for a 6 monitor setup for stock trading, but I also game and do video editing. I don't need to game on all 6 I suppose. Will probably get 6 23" monitors, I currently run 2 at once.

I believe the top of the line card is the GeForce 780 TI but it seems it can only run 4 monitors. Maybe there is a way to get 2 lesser cards and link them up to get a 6 monitor display and be able to game at the level of the GeForce 780 TI? Help is appreciated, thank you!
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January 29, 2014 3:49:28 PM

Erm.. you realize that if you're gaming on 6 monitors, the center of your view is going to be right on the two middle bezels, right? That's not exactly conducive to gaming.

Telling us that you're getting 23" monitors is pointless - the size of the monitor doesn't matter whatsoever to the graphics card - a 1080p monitor is just as hard to run if it's 4" as if it's 50". What resolution monitors are you going to be buying?

Yes, the top of the line card is the 780ti / GTX titan. The technology you're looking for where you use two cards in tandem is called SLI, and it's completely possible - though I worn you, it's going to take some significant graphics horsepower (read: money) to be able to game well with that high of a resolution, even if you're just using three of the six monitors.

Also, I'm sorry, but I have to ask - the way this question is phrased, it seems highly likely that you're just trolling, as opposed to asking a serious question. Is this the case?
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January 29, 2014 4:09:54 PM

Hey darksable, I'm looking for builds right now so I'm not trolling. I'm not trying to game on multiple monitors, I can game on 1. I'd like to work on 6. Maybe I'm a noob fool like you suggest but I'm serious about what I'm asking. Maybe with this in mind about gaming on 1 monitor you can offer a setup suggestion that makes sense? Yes, the size of the monitors is pointless just throwing that out there.
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January 29, 2014 10:13:09 PM

Alright, no worries, I just wanted to ask. We get a lot of troll posts with people with high budgets asking sometimes silly questions, because they know it drives a lot of us crazy to deal with people who want us to tell them what to do and don't want to bother learning anything about computers. :p 
(The number of hours I've spent trying to explain to people why more expensive parts are not necessarily better...)

I also apologize, I didn't mean to call you a noob/fool, and I don't believe you are foolish at all.

Lemme see... If you're looking for something with the power of a GTX 780ti, then you can absolutely game on three monitors - if you just want to game on one 1080p monitor (assuming that, as it's the standard widescreen resolution), then a GTX 770 or the equivalent thereof is more than powerful enough. I'll put together two rigs for you, one gaming on three monitors, one on a single monitor.

EDIT: If you get the right monitors, you could take a single high end graphics card and use the displayport out on it, plug the displayport into the first monitor, and then "daisy-chain" displayports from one to another. You can use up to 4 1080p monitors daisy chained from a single displayport 1.2 port.
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a b C Monitor
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January 29, 2014 10:36:08 PM

Never mind, got it figured out. This card will let you run 3 monitors off it, and will have more than enough power to game on three monitors at high settings or a single monitor maxxed out.

Again, you'll have to have some displayport 1.2 monitors that you can daisy chain, and you'll have to buy the cables and whatnot, but there's about $450 left in the budget for misc things like that.

Oh, and as an added bonus? It'll be almost totally silent with 140mm Noctuas and a soundproofed case along with a very good cooler on the GPU.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($73.74 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card ($579.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan ($20.47 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan ($20.47 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan ($20.47 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1590.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-30 01:36 EST-0500)
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January 30, 2014 8:12:31 AM


Thanks for that setup. It looks good and quiet. In the interest of learning: do you think its worth it to get faster RAM or RPM's on the hard drive? Its been 10 years since I built a rig and back then we didn't have 2 hard drives, what is the point of the 2 with the solid state drive?

Do you think it would be worth it to go up to the Geforce 780 TI? 8,676 its benchmark vs Radeon R9 290x is 6,720

If that card allows 3 monitors what would I need to run 6 on it using the displayport? I think the geforce allows 4 so I could do 3 and 3. That means 2 directly connected to monitors and a displayport that runs 4 monitors? I see hubs that run 3 displayport cables only. Maybe it would be better to SLI 2 graphics cards together instead?

GeForce GTX 760 seems to be the biggest value for the buck per GPU what if I get 2 of those does that equal 1 Geforce GTX 780 ti? How do you figure the g3dmark if you sli 2 cards or is my thinking way off?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying to catch up with whats going on these days.
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January 30, 2014 1:57:03 PM

Yeah, I'm glad that I could help! The RAM... no. Faster isn't necessarily faster (because of the way RAM latency works - 1333MHz with the standard Cas 7 actually has less latency than the typical 1600 Cas 9), and either way, it's really not going to make a noticeable difference.

Faster spinning hard drives isn't something you have to worry about either - you'll put your operating system on the SSD, which will make miles of difference in terms of speed and responsiveness, and data on the hard drive, which will be more than quick enough to load it for you.

Nah, I wouldn't bother - the 290x benchmarks were probably done with the stock heatsink, which really sucks and limits the card thermally to a painful degree.

I had a typo, by the way - that was supposed to be "this card supports 6 monitors" - and that's by using three chained with displayport. The 780ti does allow four, but no, you can't chain monitors, it doesn't work that way - a chained monitor works as a separate monitor, period. With a GTX graphics card, the best you can do is three monitors working in tandem, and then a fourth as basically a heads up display. I looked at getting you a SLI setup, but I really don't think it would be worth the money, power, and heat. (And two 760s would only be about 10% faster than a 780ti, and would be worse performing for triple monitor gaming.)

Don't worry about the g3dmark - that's going to vary wildly depending on your particular setup, and while it is good at figuring out power in a typical setup, yours is significantly off typical.

AMD cards work better than nvidia cards at higher resolutions due to having more VRAM and more memory bandwidth. You can get away with having just a single 290x and running all six monitors, plus gaming on three, as opposed to having two GTX cards meaning you now have to worry a lot more about heat, and probably have to get a different case, when SLI gets noisy to begin with, AND it's going to give you worse performance when gaming on three monitors, even if it does give better performance when gaming on a single one.
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January 30, 2014 2:17:48 PM

Thanks, so this Radeon R9 290x video card runs 3 monitors and has an extra port for 3 more monitors via displayport technology? Could you please give an example of which 3 23" monitors you would get for this just for work and which displayport hub?

Thanks for looking into the 2 760's vs the 780ti that is helpful and the heat would not be desirable for my office.

I would like a great monitor to game on, maybe 30" or so... something that will make use of the card. Suggestions? I'd also like some budget 23" monitors that I can displayport and 2 more 23"s that would be plugged right into the card.

Maybe this layout is ugly though with a big middle like that? I dunno just saying!

Do you think I should get a crossfire enabled motherboard with a bigger PSU to future proof this rig and possibly add another card in the future when they are cheaper or am I also adding heat and little performance by doing so? Thanks again!
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January 30, 2014 4:25:54 PM

Yeah, that's correct. You don't need a displayport hub, what you need is monitors with two displayport ports - you just put a line from your graphics card to the first monitor, from the first monitor to the second, and so forth.

As for monitors, 23" is an awfully specific and kinda weird size. You're going to have much better luck finding monitors for cheap with 24". Here's a basic Asus for $170 / monitor at 24". Here's a basic Dell IPS monitor with better color. And finally, here's a high end ASUS IPS screen with impeccable color.

I wouldn't go with a single bigger monitor in the center - that will be strange, and not work well with eyefinity. I would get six of the same monitor - the displayport monitors still have other inputs. That's going to be the only way it's not going to look funny. Instead of trying to game on one monitor, I would just go with gaming on three monitors in surround - you're already going to have it set up, and you're going to be buying the monitors, so...

That's... a good question. You would certainly be adding more heat because it's a second card, but your performance upgrade is going to be significant - the 290x is the most powerful card amd offers, period... getting another roughly 60% on top of that a little ways down the road would be quite something.

I would say that it's certainly not a bad idea to snag a xfire motherboard (they aren't much more expensive at all) and a bigger power supply (same deal), just in case. That way you can see what your performance is with one card and upgrade if/when you see fit.
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January 30, 2014 7:08:12 PM

Hey Darksable, thanks for the tips. Yeah 24" sounds much better x6 so lets do that... That link to the asus one below didn't work. How do you link them? I read you link in the displayport and out, but on the dell one below it just has 1 displayport. Maybe there is another video out or something that works? Eyefinity is cool I've watched the videos.

Would you mind recommending the xfire motherboard and power supply for what I'm doing? I like that you keep noise as a consideration so I wouldn't want to get the wrong one. I think I'm going to go with the 500gb solid state drive also, the budget allows it just so I am not trying to cram everything on the 120gb one. I'm excited, thanks for your help!
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January 30, 2014 8:30:18 PM

Whoops, sorry, here's the updated link - I copied the wrong one. To link something like that it's
Spoiler
[ url=<url you want to link>] <text you want to be the link>
[/url]
Oh dear, is it really? My bad - that's what I get for trusting amazon's search too much. Nice catch though; I would have had major egg on my face if you had bought those and they showed up and didn't work. It's gotta have two displayports - only technology that can do that.

Yeah, eyefinity is cool tech - it's one of the very few things that makes me consider AMD over NVidia.

The motherboard, well.. noise is not an issue there, but hey. ;) 
I would personally stick with the same motherboard I recommended originally, the Extreme6. It supports both SLI and Crossfire. As for the power supply, I would go with the SeaSonic X-850. It's a little pricy, but it's a very very good power supply. Other options would be the SeaSonic SS-850AM or the the Corsair TX850m if you want a slightly cheaper, 80+ Bronze PSU that's still very reliable.


Just a side note, I wouldn't bother doing that for the SSD. Windows is only going to take up about 40GB, and you can move your documents folders to the hard drive. One of the things about SSDs is that while they're ridiculously amazing at some things, they just aren't an improvement for others. Having your operating system and programs on them is a must, but plain old data already opens fast enough that it's not noticeable - so it can go on the HDD.

Then consider games. Some games are totally worth it - things like Skyrim, or Half-Life, or MMOs, where you're trying to get rid of loading screens that keep you from playing. The ones of those that you play most often can go on the SSD; if you figure an average of 15GB each, you can throw at least four on there and still have PLENTY of room.

Other games, however, are a total waste of space on an SSD. Things like, say, first person shooters. What happens if you're the very first to load in a match of battlefield? Well, woo-hoo, you get to wait there as the timer counts down so that everybody else can load. Most games don't get a useful benefit from being on a SSD.

You certainly CAN get a larger SSD if you want to... but I wouldn't.
(I would, however, look up SSD optimization - look for Sean's Guide. It will tell you all the little tweaks you need to do to keep your SSD running healthy for longer.)
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January 30, 2014 9:19:28 PM

I didnt realize the board you recommended has 3 pci 3.0express slots so i guess that means i could theoretically add 2 more? So my final question is how do you daisy chain those monitors that have 1 displayport? I think the ones you suggested only had 1 port per monitor for displayport. I am leaning towards dell for cost.

Your ssd thoughts make a lot of sense thanks again!
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January 31, 2014 7:58:56 AM

Those monitors require a displayport hub... sheesh this is complicated! Now I'm thinking if I'm going to have to spend extra money for displayport hubs and monitors why not just get 2 graphics cards where each can run 3 monitors?
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January 31, 2014 5:38:45 PM

They don't requires a displayport hub - again, I might not have gotten the right monitors linked, for which I apologize.

Any monitor that has two displayport 1.2 ports can daisychain - all you do is take the displayport cord, run it from the graphics card to the first monitors, then run a second displayport from the DP-out to the next monitor, and then to the third.

The monitor has to be displayport 1.2 not 1.1, but all 1.2 monitors support daisy-chaining.

You could in theory run three graphics cards, yes, but it's a horrible idea. It's three times as much heat, and NOT three times as much performance. When you add a second graphics card, you get about 60% better performance than if you were using a single card alone. Adding in a third graphics card only raises that number by about 20 points. Big whoop for a HUGE amount of money and pain trying to deal with drivers and such.
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February 1, 2014 1:50:41 PM

Hmm, that might well be the cheaper way of going about it, yes. You still have all the issues that I mentioned to you in the PM, though.

Other thing is that with a resolution this wide, you do NOT want nvidia cards - AMD cards are going to have more VRAM and better memory bandwidth, which is going to massively increase your performance with a rig like this.
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February 1, 2014 2:04:04 PM

DarkSable said:
Hmm, that might well be the cheaper way of going about it, yes. You still have all the issues that I mentioned to you in the PM, though.

Other thing is that with a resolution this wide, you do NOT want nvidia cards - AMD cards are going to have more VRAM and better memory bandwidth, which is going to massively increase your performance with a rig like this.


Which 2 Radeon cards would you go for?
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February 1, 2014 2:18:20 PM

answertime said:
Which 2 Radeon cards would you go for?


I would go with the R9 280X. 3GB of VRAM, some serious muscle, and a good cooler.
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February 1, 2014 6:08:28 PM

DarkSable said:
answertime said:
Which 2 Radeon cards would you go for?


I would go with the R9 280X. 3GB of VRAM, some serious muscle, and a good cooler.


What cooler is best for that? Thanks
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February 1, 2014 8:49:05 PM

The Asus that I linked you is the best cooler, but it appears to be out of stock...

In lieu of that, I would take sapphire, then MSI.
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