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Does having a dual monitor setup effect graphic performance?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 16, 2014 8:18:49 AM

Hi all,

I have been looking into getting a second monitor, but I'm finding a lots mixed views on the effects of performance. I am sure having a second monitor will effect the graphical performance of my pc, but by how much?

My system specs are:
AMD 8320 @ 4.2ghz
MSI HD 7850 OC 1GB
Asus M5A99FX Pro
60gb SSD
1tb HDD
Gskill 8gb 1333

Acer 24" 1920x1080

I want to add a similar or another of the same monitor soon, but I'm not sure how well my system will manage it. Most of the system is pretty solid performance wise but I think the graphics card would take an absolute beating if I added a second monitor. I like a decent steady 60+ frame rate like everyone else, but is the HD7850 strong enough?

Saying that I am not playing to many games at the moment, just writing a few word documents and a reasonable amount of CAD work, but i would like performance to stay high so when I start playing games again I don't lose to much performance.

Is my graphics card powerful enough?

Is there any difference in quality between dvi and hdmi?

If my graphics card isn't powerfully enough or doesn't have enough ram what card can you recommend? I don't really change cards as I want to use the money to buy the monitor but if the performance is going to be much lower I wont have much choice.

Does anyone know of a cheap website in the UK to buy a 24" monitor?

Also does anyone know where to buy 8gb of cheap ram from? its gone crazy expensive now!

Thanks guys
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 8:22:42 AM

If you are actually going to be running games across the second monitor then yes, it will have a huge impact on performance. If you are going to be playing on your primary monitor and having things like a website and your voice comms or chat on a second screen and stuff like that, then no, you won't notice any difference.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 10:25:04 AM

^+1.
You'll need at least an R9 280 or GTX770 to game across dual 1080 screens without crippling slowdown or having to turn the settings down by a long way.
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a b C Monitor
February 16, 2014 11:01:26 AM

The simplest answer is that a second monitor will double the amount of pixels your GPU has to render, and thus roughly half your framerate. The drop won't usually be a full half, but it will be very significant.

I wouldn't recommend gaming across only two screens, though, as the center of your view will be between the monitors. Of course, three screens creates even more of a performance hit.
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February 16, 2014 11:10:24 AM

Yes it will affect your performance significantly if gaming on both. Multi-Monitor gaming also uses lots of VRAM so you would need a card with at least 3GB i would say for new games.
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February 16, 2014 11:02:05 PM

coozie7 said:
^+1.
You'll need at least an R9 280 or GTX770 to game across dual 1080 screens without crippling slowdown or having to turn the settings down by a long way.


What if I crossfire with another hd 7850? Would there be any performance difference?

Would I need the exact same card or just another hd 7850?

Thanks
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Best solution

a b C Monitor
February 17, 2014 5:17:13 PM

You generally want to stick to the same card for crossfire if at all possible, as it avoids compatibility problems. But in theory you can crossfire any 7850 with any other 7850 (though if either one is overclocked it will downclock to match the slower card).

Crossfire will roughly double framerate when implemented properly (some games do this better than others). So yes, with a second equivalent screen and a second card, performance will be about the same or better if the game scales well.
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