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What is the best video card configuration for dual monitors?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 28, 2007 8:08:44 AM

Hi all,

I am going to build my next system and I have a few basic questions about dual monitors, dual video cards and SLI setups.

I understand SLI setups are for single monitor only (for now). However, I want to run dual monitors - but not for games, mostly for CAD & 3D work. Will running dual video cards, one for each monitor give me a substantial performance boost vs. using a single card with a dual DVI head?

I intend to get a 680i board so I'd have both PCIe at x16. I was going to first get a single nVidia 8800 GTS 640Mb and run two 24" (1920X1200) displays from it for now. Then upgrade and add a second 8800 GTS 640Mb when the prices come down a bit maybe 6-8months from now. Not in an SLI configuration, just 2 video cards in the system both at PCIex16. Will I see a performance boost at these high resolutions that justify a second card? Is it a noticable difference like 50% faster, or is it mostly in benchmarks and numbers?

The other question is, if I add a second card (SLI or not) does it have to match the first card exactly, can it be a 8800 GTS and a 8800 GTX or can one be 320Mb and the other at 640Mb or can one be overclocked 576Mhz while the other at stock 500Mhz?

Thanks,
Wm
March 28, 2007 9:29:51 AM

Unless it's for a graphically-intensive purpose, you wouldn't see a performance boost by using SLi rather than two monitors attached to one card.
March 28, 2007 10:25:46 AM

Quote:
Hi all,

I am going to build my next system and I have a few basic questions about dual monitors, dual video cards and SLI setups.


I cant quite get the whole dual thingy :lol: 

What are you trying to do communicate with mier :lol: 

Dude if you are saying that you want to play a game on two monitors , then i am pretty sure you can't do it unless the game allows it like SUPCOMmander

iF YOU want 2 monitors to get a huge resolution then GREATAPE could help you he is the master on this topic.

If you trying to communicate with mier , sorry to tell you this but i think the russians junked it :lol: 

Otherwise try this site widescreengaming.com or something like that .

They have a lot of info on double triple stuff :lol: 
Related resources
March 28, 2007 10:45:35 AM

I don't think he's after gaming, just a nice big monitor array for CAD and graphical work, which I think I'm right in saying that SLi won't boost "performance" or anything :) 
Unless someone knows different :roll:
March 28, 2007 11:07:40 AM

I need a cointreau :) 
March 28, 2007 11:17:56 AM

Sweet pour me a shot as well :D  *looks for his jug* :lol: 
March 28, 2007 12:23:53 PM

great ape infirmed me about the quadro fx 5600 so i'm selling my fx5500 cheap (ish) lol, nah, anyway, yeah, the fx5600 are the wtg for cad and stuffs
March 28, 2007 12:41:57 PM

wm_cheng, are you looking for a workstation card or simply running "normal" programs on multiple monitors?
March 28, 2007 1:48:50 PM

Thanks for all the replies,

I won't being running games. Mostly 50% SketchUp (which implements the game portion of OpenGL - its built on a game engine, but its a 3D modeller) - so a Quadro (or any true workstation OpenGL card) would be overkill unless I was running Maya or 3DSMax. 25% Photoshop and 25% AutoCAD - which has some 3D components in it.

I realize I won't need SLI - plus that doesn't work with dual monitors unless I get a third card to drive the second monitor - but I don't need it for games.

I just wanted to know if having separate video cards driving their own monitors would result in a performance boost for each monitor, especially at relatively high resolutions of 1920X1200 each card. Its half the work load right? Or maybe this kind of "common sense" doesn't apply in this case?

The second part of the question is that, if I ended up trying SLI later on down the road, do I have to buy an identical matched card?
March 28, 2007 3:49:20 PM

Yes in repect to it being the same model (GTS, GTX, etc.), no in respect of it being from the same brand :) 
!