How do you get 3 displays?

I'm currently building a new system with a quad core and I was wondering how does one go about getting 3 LCD displays to work?

I currently have a 24" wide screen monitor (Dell 2408wpf - 1900x1200) and I want to add two 20" Dell monitors (1600x1200).

1. Do I need to get two graphic cards?
2. What are the limitations? ie. can I play a game on the main 24" monitor, while having winamp/msn on one monitor and a movie playing in the other?

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  1. yes you will need to add a second video card that can handle 2 monitors. Last I used multi monitors with windows xp, XP couldn't run any 3d acceleration for videos outside the primary monitor. So I had to disable 3d acceleration in order to play video on the secondary monitor. Also certain games would disable the secondary monitors while playing full 3d games.

    I use vista and found that I can do the things you want to do. However moving freely between the multiple windows proves impossible with certain games. Which is why I run the games in windowed mode whenever possible.

    I just want to let you know i've only done this with 2 monitors on a single gpu. I don't know if it will quite be the same with a second gpu.
  2. +1

    I'm looking for a usb2dvi box to add an extra monitor via usb. I'm only seeing 1600x1200 max res online but its good enough for my needs. I've used dual monitors with onboard + extra vid card before but the last one I setup had onboard + vid card with 2 outputs (3 output total) but the mb wouldn't allow onboard to work with the vid card.
  3. You can buy a splitter box that will split the video signal but i can't remember the name. Also you will need a fairly powerful vid card for that resolution. You don't need 2 video cards.
  4. Is it possible to get a decent graphics card for the main monitor and another graphics card for the dual 20" wing lcds?

    I'm confused as to whether winXP will support this as well...?

    Do I have to get Vista instead? (rather not given what I heard about it)

    For that splitter box, how powerful does the vid card have to be?
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