2 x 24" displays: which card(s)

I'll be building a new computer within two months and seriously considering dual monitors.
I play a lot of FPS, but also work for a software company and would love duals for productivity purposes. I'm looking to get two 24" lcds.

It is my understanding that when you sli, you can only connect to one monitor. For gaming, I will play on one screen (not dual-wide screen). For work, use both.

The question is, what card do you recommend to power 2 x 24" displays since I "can't" sli and simultaneously use two displays? Can I get two 8800 GTSs without sli to go with each 24"?

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  1. I gather you are planning on a nVidia board? Why not think about a Intel chipset which supports crossfire and does support multiple monitors?

    If you went crossfire I'd suggest the 3870's which scale better in CF than the Geforce 8800s. Better yet wait for the 3870x2 (next week), and you could have quad fire. That should be more thane enough to drive two 24" monitors!!!
  2. Dual 24" displays is going to bring any set of cards to it's knees when you game. You may want to go down to 1 monitor when gaming. :p

    I think "quad fire" (if it's possible) should be able to handle it though. :p Also, the new 9800's should be able to produce similar results, but they require a freakin boatload of power. :O
  3. I have two 24" monitors and a 8800gts-512-G92. When playing a game, only the main monitor is used, and the other just displays whatever. I do not seem to have a problem with performance. I do not generally play FPS games, but I have tried crysis which came with the vga card. It seemed playable to me at modest options.

    I would try two monitors with a good vga card and see how it goes. Within two months, I expect to see something stronger than the 8800GTS-512-G92. If necessary, just add another cheap vga card to handle the non-gaming monitor. I have only one pci-e slot, so my plan is to get a 6200 based pci card if I need to. You get more choices if you get a mobo with two pci-e slots.
  4. Thanks for your input guys.

    I'm planning on an intel cpu. I'll be gaming on one 24", not both simultaneously.

    3870x2 should cost ~$550. My other option would be the 9800 for ~$600 (30% better the Ultra they say). If its more than $600, then I'm back to dual ati cards.
  5. geofelt said:
    ...If necessary, just add another cheap vga card to handle the non-gaming monitor...

    Thats why I was considering 2 x 8800GT. I didn't know I could just have 2 separate cards, each powering one lcd.
  6. Yeah... I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but I don't think SLI supports multi-monitor setups.
  7. If you are planning on an INTEL CPU then the best thing to do is go with an Intel Chipset on your motherboard(P35 / X38). For best performance then you would need to get an ATI video card setup.
  8. Yea, not sli, just separate cards powering separate lcd on one board.
    I haven't read this done. I guess people just don't go that route.

    It'll be 3870x2 crossfired or a 9800 if the nvidia doesn't break the bank.
  9. With 24" monitors your gaming resolution can be very high. Go no less than 512 meg, more if you can.
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