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1 8800 Ultra plus 2 8600GTS or 1 8800 Ultra Plus 1 8800GTS 640?

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September 27, 2007 3:52:24 PM

Hi,

I'm building a work/gaming station and with one 30" monitor and to side 21" monitors. I want to use a 8800 Ultra for the 30", but I dont' know what to do for the side monitors. Should I get two 8600 GTS's to run them or would it be better (one less card and heatsink to deal with) to go with a 8800 GTS 640 MB? Would there be any issues with running two separate monitors on each side of the 30" monitor with one card? Is there a better configuration? The side monitors will have 3D app's running on them at times.

Thanks in advance.

- Aryn
September 27, 2007 4:51:05 PM

I don't know why you need a 30" and two 21" monitors or what kind of PC you have so I will give you some general info.
Most new videocards, like the 8600 and 8800, are PCIexpress and they have two video (monitor) outputs. SOme have two DVI connectors but I have seen somw with one of each. The videocard MFG will include DVI to VGA adapters if it only has DVI connectors. Most motherboards only have One PCIexpress slot so you can only add one videocard not two like you mentioned above. Some higher end motherboards have two PCIexpress slots but the second slot may not run at 16x speed. Do some research before buying one of these boards. That being said, there is a way to run three monitors with only one internal videocard. Some motherboards have a single onboard video conector so you could run three monitors after installing One internal videocard.

Good Luck. I hope this helps.
a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 5:49:23 PM

The Ultra can handle two monitors. The second card will handle the third monitor. There are no motherboards that would allow 3 video cards anyway.

I'm very new to this multiple monitor stuff, i.e. I just bought my second monitor yesterday. I have an 8800 GTX feeding two 20" 1680x1050 monitors. It works perfectly when one monitor plays a DVD and the other runs FireFox or Office. However, I could not get things to work when one of the monitors plays a DirectX game. When that happens, the other monitor starts displaying some garbage (some sort of fractal animations) in PowerDVD, even though the sound from the movie goes on OK. I'll have to experiment some more, of course. Maybe I just need a different DVD player.

I recommend an eVGA 680i A1 motherboard, so you can fit the Ultra and the GTS both and have them running at 16x. In fact, for the same money you cold get two 8800 GTX cards. Then you could enable SLI when you play (but the second and third monitor won't work at that time).
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September 27, 2007 6:07:56 PM

If you really want to do what you want to do and spend all that cash I'd get 3x8800GTS 320mb. Then you could potentially run 2 of the 8800GTS's in SLI when you get tired of the whole thing. Heat output would be high, power consumption would be high too.
a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 6:16:27 PM

But where do you put the 3rd 8800 GTS? Use a hammer to make it fit in a PCI slot???
September 27, 2007 6:19:58 PM

The problem is that I'd like to use a 30" monitor with a res of 2560x1600 and all the ones I know about require both DVI outputs from the video card.

The 21" monitors would be at res's of 1200x1600, but then I would rotate them (NEC makes them). I would prefer to run those monitors off of one card. There will be some 3D action on them but nothing too intense, however I'm worried that there would be problems b/c they would be separated by the middle 30" monitor. When its being used as a work station, one program, Revit will sometimes span accross all three monitors, but I wouldn't have a 3D view that would span across all the monitors. I would have separate views on each.

I've found plenty of motherboards based on the 680i and P35 chips that can handle 3 or 4 video cards. The particular MB (http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...) that I'm looking at would run 3 cards @ 16X16X8 for the pci-e slot's which would be fine if I needed to use 2 lesser cards for the side monitors. As for the rest of the PC, I'd be looking at the E6850 quad core chip, 8 gigs of ram, and vista 64. I know it seems overkill, but b/c it would be used for production and at times, I'd be running 3 or 4 major programs at once, the addition costs for any increase in speed is justified (within reason).

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 6:33:49 PM

Wow, I didn't know that. My apologies, T8RR8R :o 

I wonder how come nobody ever mentioned SLI with 3 or 4 cards, if it's possible to plug them in after all...
September 27, 2007 6:40:39 PM

No worries, I didn't know either until I started doing the research for this setup.
September 27, 2007 7:22:22 PM

Nevermind.... I didnt read his post right the first time..........
September 27, 2007 7:30:17 PM

8800 Ultra + 8800 GTS 320MB would be more than enough for that. Ultra + 640MB if you really have money burning a hole in your pocket.
September 27, 2007 7:31:57 PM

ArynBergman said:
The problem is that I'd like to use a 30" monitor with a res of 2560x1600 and all the ones I know about require both DVI outputs from the video card.


I believe 30" monitor with a res of 2560X1600 requires only ONE "DUAL-LINK DVI connector", DUAL-LINK DVI connector is a single connector
See more here: http://www.datapro.net/techinfo/dvi_info.html

Most 8800GTS\GTX\Ultra have TWO "DUAL-LINK DVI connector",
I would sugget to get two 8800GTXs, you can even connect four 30" LCD@2560X1600 with two cards.
You can also SLI two cards when play game on 30" monitor.

a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 7:33:01 PM

The thing is if you really want to run games smoothly on that 30" you're going to need more than a single 8800 ultra. I have a 26" panel (1920 x 1200) and a 8800gtx specifically because running that config on a 30" would be too slow. My advice is to get something you can SLI on the 30" panel when you want to. Try getting 2 8800 gtxs, it sounds like money isn't a big issue.

Also you'll want a motherboard that plays nice with all these cards. Get something with an Nvidia chipset. Are you going to try and have all three panels running the same game? If not you might be much better off getting a small second computer and running the 21" monitors off of that. That's nice because you can browse the InterWeb while you're running a game on the main machine without focus issues.

Just out of curiosity which 30" panel are you going with?
September 27, 2007 7:39:47 PM

There's two slots b/t each pci express slots, and if I were to use two 8600, then the ultra would be placed in the bottom pci-e slot. Worse comes to worse, I'd would water cool the system. However, space is one of the main reasons why I'd prefer using one 8800 GTS over two 8600 GTS if its possible.
September 27, 2007 7:53:29 PM

Yeah, I'd need the monitors on the same machine, at times, I would span one program across the three screens.

The chipset for the MB I'm looking at is the nvidia 680i.

So the single 8800 GTS wouldn't have a problem running the two 21" monitors even though they are not side by side?

I'm looking at the dell 30". Its the cheapest whenever it drops down below $1300 (the deal comes and goes).
September 27, 2007 8:04:07 PM

A lot people are really confused on how this works..

2 Cards would be all you need. There aren't any/many 3 PCIx 16 motherboards out there...(Not sure though..never really looked for once..lol.)

Your choice would be to get one 8800 GTX...And one GTS 320 or 640 choice is yours. Any card would literally work though...Just make sure you get a motherboard that has two PCI-E 16x slots. Even if one runs in 4x that's fine..If you plan to game MAKE SURE you get one that runs in a 16x 4x setup. Considering you want to use 3 monitors...one 30 inch and two smallers ones rotated to make one massive setup (I've seen it..and it's very beautiful..great for working content and multitasking).

Don't get a motherboard that has them both run at 8x....You have to really research to find out which motherboards have TRUE DUAL pci-e 16x slots. Most manufacturers that state Dual PCI-E 16x slots do indeed have two them..but it's a gimmick..If you plug in two cards one will be limited to 4x or both will be halved to 8x.....You need to search around for a TRUE dual pci-e 16x motherboard..

You don't necessarily NEED this though if the two smaller monitors will not be doing any gaming though...If that's the case a 16x 4x configuration will work fine...But if you want to do any graphical runs on these smaller monitors spend the extra money to get a dual pci-e 16x solution..

Regarding the 30"...Dell's 3007WFP-HC has 2 native resolutions thx to its 2560x1600...It can be split to 1280x800 also incase the res is too high for you....I'm not sure if the monitor has 1:1 pixel mapping..But it'd be better to use it if it it does...I'm considering about getting the dell 30 incher also for my next monitor. I want a rig I can use for my TV, hidef video/editing, console gaming, and computing...But going dual 8800 GTX or 8900/9800 if there is indeed a new high end at the end of the year is a bit daunting....It's just way too damn expensive...If you really can find a 3 PCI-E 16x board that has dual 16x slots and one 8x slot in a real environment..none of the limiting crap you see mostly...then it might be your best bet..Then you can nab two 8800 GTX and one 8800 GTS....If you SLI you won't be able to use the additional ports on the 8800 GTX's...But a single spare 8800 GTS should handle both the 21 inch widescreen monitors fine....
September 27, 2007 8:14:00 PM

Single Link DVI D:



Dual Link DVI D:



That Google search took about 3 seconds. Single interface between card and monitor.

@lashrimp: While it is true that you can hook all that up with one video card, I highly doubt he wants to use some lame onboard graphics to drive one of the displays.
September 27, 2007 8:14:25 PM

Kamrooz said:


Regarding the situation with the connectors..The 30 inch monitor will have to have your Ultra all to itself..It will require both connectors of your ultra....A single connection on the DVI format can handle resolutions up to 1900x1200...going above that barrier you need to use both DVI links of your graphics card. I'm not sure about the 30" you are going for. SLI would be useful if you plan to full out game on a 2560 res monitor. Those 30 inchers are massive and SLI is helpful...



This is not true. Dell 3007WFP only need one DVI connector on the video card. But it has to be a Dual-Link DVI. See my previous post

a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 8:14:25 PM

By the way, there's a very promising 30" monitor made by Samsung, it's called 305T. In Canada it's $1600 at FutureShop and $2000 at BestBuy. I read a review some time ago (sorry forgot where) where they compared it with a 30" made by Dell and it looked like each had its own stronger points.
September 27, 2007 8:27:35 PM

KyleSTL said:
Single Link DVI D:

http://www.datapro.net/images/dvi_ds.gif

Dual Link DVI D:

http://www.datapro.net/images/dvi_dd.gif

That Google search took about 3 seconds. Single interface between card and monitor.

@lashrimp: While it is true that you can hook all that up with one video card, I highly doubt he wants to use some lame onboard graphics to drive one of the displays.


I agree with you, that's why I suggest two 8800GTXs in my previous post. He can play most games @2560X1600 on the 30" LCD with SLI.

He can also disable SLI in nvida display program to use 3 monitors in extended desktop mode @ 4960x1600
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 8:44:05 PM

I have to agree with everyone else. Just get to 8800GTX's and SLI them.
September 27, 2007 9:06:09 PM

Cool, thanks, I didn't realize that the Dual DVI is was one connection.

I'm gonna go with the 2 gtx's and if for some reason I need the extra horsepower, I'll add a gts for the 3rd monitor.
September 27, 2007 9:36:19 PM

Remember to get a big ol' power supply for those things if you don't already have one (ie. 800W+).
a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
September 27, 2007 9:37:04 PM

ArynBergman said:
Cool, thanks, I didn't realize that the Dual DVI is was one connection.

I'm gonna go with the 2 gtx's and if for some reason I need the extra horsepower, I'll add a gts for the 3rd monitor.


And if you do that please post a photo showing all 3 cards. Next time somebody boasts about their 8800 GTX SLI I can show them your photo and tell them they got a second quality PC :) 
September 27, 2007 10:03:53 PM

just sli two 8800gts 640mb or 8800gtx's. They will handle those screens,

Don't do the three cards, you don't need them. Plus, there is no motherboard that can supply all three cards with the full 16 pci express lanes.
a b Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
a c 76 C Monitor
September 27, 2007 11:00:01 PM

I am currently running a samsung 305T and a 244T with just one 8800gts-640. No problems. My most demanding game is only civ4 at max resolution and effects. For your requirements, I would consider using a single 8800GTX for the 30" gaming monitor, and a second vga card that has the ability to run the workload that you will have on the two side monitors. I suspect that anything will do. You will, of course need a mobo with two pci-e slots.
---good luck---
!