I have recently had to scrap a four-monitor, small form-factor system powered by a Colorgraphic Xentera GT card because I had to RMA the card 3 times. Wouldn't recommend that to anyone...
I am in the market for a not-too-pricey 4xdvi solution, and it seems two graphics cards is the way to go.
So far I know that getting the same graphics card, or at least the same chipset, is preferable. But I have one question:
1. Many motherboards I have looked at have 2 PCIex16 slots, but have various notes about how they can be used, what kind of motherboard can take two PCIe graphics cards running independently? (without SLI)
Its hard to do SLI and CrossFire
Its easy to access 2 cards independantly.
I am pretty sure any machine with 2 PCIe x16 slots will do what you are asking for. Obviously the best bet is a Mobo that does:
x16 & x16 (Best)
x8 & x8 (Decent)
If your using all 4 monitors semi equally, I would stay away from the motherboards that (for whatever reason) hard lock one to x16 and the other to x4
I have 6 monitors hooked up to an ASUS P5W64 motherboard(4 PCI-E slots). I do foreign currency trading, so it is 2D. What resolutions do you require? I am using Geforce 6800's Overkill but I got them cheap. Quadro NVS285 cards are very good also and are about $35 on ebay.
The 4X will not make any difference if you are doing 2D you have 2000MB/S bidirectional on the 4x (1000MB/s unidirectional). If you are changing data on both of those monitors simultaneously it is 500MB/s Each. Still about 3 times faster than most PCI video cards unless you want to shell out the xtra for Matrox PCI cards which (some) can run at 66Mhz rather than the std 33Mhz.
The big question is what is the use for the machine?
DO NOT spend a bunch of money on 3D cards if you mainly are doing 2D work. I have found that cheap cards do 2D better than the mid range cards in 2D. The High end cards are different but not worth (do not scale well) the price / performance ratio.
This is an information-aggregator display for a kitchen actually, but it needs to be able to play hdtv, dvds, and otherwise it is constantly displaying the pan and zoom style photo screensaver when idle. (sounds pretty tame, i know, but it was way too much for the xentera gt card.
I ended up getting two of the following graphics cards:
GIGABYTE GV-NX85T256HP GeForce 8500GT 256MB DDRIII PCI EXPRESS w/DUAL DVI-I
(I read some bad reviews for this card as far as gaming goes, but the price was hard to beat for a dual dvi card)
FINAL QUESTION: How big of a power supply will these graphics cards, plus an AMD Athlon 64 Mobo and an otherwise minimal system require?