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Full Resolutin Triple Display Gaming Computer

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March 9, 2007 4:42:55 AM

I want to build a computer that is built to support three monitors at full resolution. So that means no adpaters but full native resolutionon staight to the monitors. The only component I want use is the Samsung 22" 226BW but that isn't set in concrete. So far I was thinking that I would have to have two seperate full video cards, not just a random second card one that supports high frame rate etc. Take one video card with dual DVI and out to both monitors and then have the second out to the 3rd monitor. Do I need to have a SLI or crossfire motherboard to support to quality cards, SLI and crossfire don't work with multiple displays. If someone could give a setup/recommendation on what to order that would be great.
March 9, 2007 5:09:00 AM

what you would need, is software that supports fullscreen across multiple monitors... nvidias software only supports 2 monitors for full screen gaming (horizontal spanning)... and their beta vista drivers currently dont even support that... they only offer a dual display mode

in order to support 3 spanned fullscreen displays, you would either need to find some third party software that allows fullscreen spanning across 3 or more monitors (preferrably with hardware support, so you get playable framerates)... ...or to use something like matrox's triplehead2go... which allows exactly 3 monitors like youre wanting, even with only 1 vga output available (sli is an option in this case too, to strictly boost performance)...

the downside, is it is an external adapter, is relatively expensive (~$260+), only supports a maximum of 1280x1024 per monitor (or 3840x1024, which is an awful lot for a gpu to handle, even at that 'low' resolution)... and currently only supports analog vga that i know of, but not digital yet
March 9, 2007 5:34:39 AM

22" will run 16x14? higher maybe?

Assuming u will be gaming...
Maybe look at getting a HD lcd tv that will be about the same size as 3x22". To support the 19xwoteva rez at decent settings u will need at least an 8800gtx

Doesnt the striker extreme support 3x pcie gfx cards? The problem i see is that with 2/3 is that one card will always do more work. So u could use an 8800gtx for the 2x and a 8800gts for the other. Again... assuming games here.

If no games involved its not so critical. Pretty much any 2x gfx cards made in the last 2 years or so will be fine.

As for sli/cf. Its always a good idea to get a decent mobo, and most of them today support cf and sli.

I was running 2x cards awhile ago and do have 3x lcds next to each other, but i didnt get around to pluging them all in. Getting the s/ware to display properly on all 3 screens is going to be the big concern.

good luck
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March 9, 2007 12:26:21 PM

Yes you will need a mobo with dual PCI-e slots. It doesn't officially have to be an SLI board, but it does need dual PCI-e. 650i, 680i, ASUS P5B-Deluxe are some examples.

Check this out, I had similar issues.....although I was primarily concerned about mixing DX9 and DX10 cards.......if you stick with both the same then you'll be just fine....this is where Vista is much better over XP:

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=28115
March 9, 2007 8:04:29 PM

Unfortunitly the triplehead2go is out of the question. What I have came up with is this

BFG Tech BFG680i SLi LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

and then for the 2nd video card something like a..? Yes this would be for gaming but the 2nd video card would'n't require as much power since it's not displaying the center, primary monitor. I assume...

Besides the other components hardrive, keyboard, etc. What 2nd video card would do the job correctly and not be overkill?
March 9, 2007 9:18:15 PM

What OS are you using? WinXP or Vista? This is because your 2nd card has to be another 8800 if you're using XP.

You CANNOT use an 8800 and "some other card" in WinXP together. Won't work. You can ONLY mix DX9 and DX10 cards together if you're using Vista. Otherwise you have to get 2 8800's in non-SLI for 3 monitors.

So, your options:

-get 2 8800's and then you can use XP, or;
-get an 8800 and whatever other card and then you have to use Vista
-get an 8800 now and get an 8600 later and just use 2 monitors in the meantime
-get a TripleHead2Go

Those are your only options.
March 10, 2007 3:39:37 AM

Thanks for the check on the OS. I will be running Vista. If I get the 8800 and then lets say a 8600 do that mean I will lose in performance when gaming? Since the second card has less performance?

So I could go ahead with the purchse of the 8800 the MB and CPU. Then get a 8600, hook up 3 monitors and all systems go. Obviously, I need a HD, case etc.
March 10, 2007 3:03:57 PM

Gaming performance (or loss) is difficult to tell. We don't know what the mid-range cards will perform like, or the costs. By the time they're released, the 8800 cards might be dropping in price due to the release of the 8900 cards. So by that time, you might actually afford another 8800.

Also depends on the game, settings, etc. Remember: 1 card will be powering 1 monitor, which is fine. But 1 card will be powering 2 monitors, which will be hard on the card. So you might have an 8800 running @ 2560 x 1024.......
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