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The simplist way to run three monitors

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 13, 2009 3:27:43 PM

It seems like all I ever see is a bunch of geek double-speak, whenever I look at these "question and answer" sites when it comes to hooking-up three monitors. Can anybody out there put it in VERY simple terms. What I would like is one HD picture monitor and two normal. I have a 26" Samsung HDTV, Dell 19" HDTV, and a Dell 19" traditional (square) monitor.

I bought another video card (NVIDIA Geforce 9600GT XFX) just so I could have the additional two monitor outputs. Well, I get this thing and find out I have to remove the video card I already have in order to install the new one! It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The card installed has a HMMI, DVI, and the other one, whaever its called. So it has three outputs, but I guess I can't use them, or so I was told. On top of that I have to hook it up (the new video card) to extra power and I have no idea where I am supposed to get it.

I am very frustrated by all the crap. I have a Dell Studio E5200 computer, nothing too special. I really don't need anything too special, I just want the convenience of having three monitors and can not understand why it is so hard. If anybody out there can simplify things for me: PLEASE HELP.

More about : simplist run monitors

a b C Monitor
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December 13, 2009 4:58:53 PM

I'm not sure if the 9600GT has a display port on it or an s-video port on it? Chances are that in order to run 3 monitors with your set up, you'll need either a x2 card, meaning it has 2 GPU's on one board (i.e. Radeon 4870x2) or a newer Radeon 57xx or 58xx series. If you go with a newer Radeon 5k series, you would need something called a display port adapter to utilize the 3rd port. You can run 2 graphics cards on a single system, but you need 2 PCE express ports, i.e. a new motherboard. Those are your options.

I understand that you are frustrated, but your not going to get much help by bashing the site or the people that visit it. Wrong forum too, as there is a forum dedicated to graphics cards and such.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 13, 2009 4:59:31 PM

The problem you're having is that most cards, although they have multiple outputs on them, cannot physically drive all the ports at once, so you have to pick and choose what you can use.

Up until very recently you can chain together multiple graphics cards to drive the extra monitors, so your primary card runs two and your secondary card runs another 2 (if you want).

If you have multiple PCI Express slots on your motherboard you can put in additional cards and Windows will find them (ignore anything you hear about SLI or Crossfire regarding multiple graphics cards as they don't apply to you in this case).

If you don't have multiple PCI Express slots then you now can do it with a single card: the new 5000 series ATI Radeon graphics cards have technology called "Eyefinity" on them which will allow you to run up to 6 monitors on one card (depends on the card and the monitor of course).

Now looking at your current monitors, one of them will need a DisplayPort connection on it in order to use ATI Eyefinity, but you can connect the others using the DVI and/or VGA connectors on the card.

So, what you need to look at is this:

Do you have multiple PCI Express slots on your computer's motherboard? Look in the manual or the Dell website for your system to find out.

If YES, put both your PCI Express graphics cards into the slots and Windows will take care of the rest.

If NO, you can look at getting a cheap Radeon 5000 series card (5750 maybe) and using that IF one of your displays has DisplayPort - again the manuals for them will tell you.

These are pretty much your only options without going into ancient PCI graphics cards and driver problems.
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December 20, 2009 1:47:04 PM

buwish said:
I'm not sure if the 9600GT has a display port on it or an s-video port on it? Chances are that in order to run 3 monitors with your set up, you'll need either a x2 card, meaning it has 2 GPU's on one board (i.e. Radeon 4870x2) or a newer Radeon 57xx or 58xx series. If you go with a newer Radeon 5k series, you would need something called a display port adapter to utilize the 3rd port. You can run 2 graphics cards on a single system, but you need 2 PCE express ports, i.e. a new motherboard. Those are your options.

I understand that you are frustrated, but your not going to get much help by bashing the site or the people that visit it. Wrong forum too, as there is a forum dedicated to graphics cards and such.



Thank you for the time you took to answer my question.

I will take the information you gave me and see how it can be applied.
I meant no disrepect to people on this sit. At the time I wrote it I had no idea that "Tom's" was what it is. I thought all sites were the same. I know better now. Again, Thank you
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December 20, 2009 1:48:33 PM

LePhuronn said:
The problem you're having is that most cards, although they have multiple outputs on them, cannot physically drive all the ports at once, so you have to pick and choose what you can use.

Up until very recently you can chain together multiple graphics cards to drive the extra monitors, so your primary card runs two and your secondary card runs another 2 (if you want).

If you have multiple PCI Express slots on your motherboard you can put in additional cards and Windows will find them (ignore anything you hear about SLI or Crossfire regarding multiple graphics cards as they don't apply to you in this case).

If you don't have multiple PCI Express slots then you now can do it with a single card: the new 5000 series ATI Radeon graphics cards have technology called "Eyefinity" on them which will allow you to run up to 6 monitors on one card (depends on the card and the monitor of course).

Now looking at your current monitors, one of them will need a DisplayPort connection on it in order to use ATI Eyefinity, but you can connect the others using the DVI and/or VGA connectors on the card.

So, what you need to look at is this:

Do you have multiple PCI Express slots on your computer's motherboard? Look in the manual or the Dell website for your system to find out.

If YES, put both your PCI Express graphics cards into the slots and Windows will take care of the rest.

If NO, you can look at getting a cheap Radeon 5000 series card (5750 maybe) and using that IF one of your displays has DisplayPort - again the manuals for them will tell you.

These are pretty much your only options without going into ancient PCI graphics cards and driver problems.



Thank you very much!
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a b $ Windows 7
December 20, 2009 4:08:16 PM

No worries
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May 29, 2010 8:52:52 AM

LePhuronn said:
The problem you're having is that most cards, although they have multiple outputs on them, cannot physically drive all the ports at once, so you have to pick and choose what you can use.


Up until very recently you can chain together multiple graphics cards to drive the extra monitors, so your primary card runs two and your secondary card runs another 2 (if you want).


If you have multiple PCI Express slots on your motherboard you can put in additional cards and Windows will find them (ignore anything you hear about SLI or Crossfire regarding multiple graphics cards as they don't apply to you in this case).


If you don't have multiple PCI Express slots then you now can do it with a single card: the new 5000 series ATI Radeon graphics cards have technology called "Eyefinity" on them which will allow you to run up to 6 monitors on one card (depends on the card and the monitor of course).


Now looking at your current monitors, one of them will need a DisplayPort connection on it in order to use ATI Eyefinity, but you can connect the others using the DVI and/or VGA connectors on the card.


So, what you need to look at is this:


Do you have multiple PCI Express slots on your computer's motherboard? Look in the manual or the Dell website for your system to find out.


If YES, put both your PCI Express graphics cards into the slots and Windows will take care of the rest.


If NO, you can look at getting a cheap Radeon 5000 series card (5750 maybe) and using that IF one of your displays has DisplayPort - again the manuals for them will tell you.


These are pretty much your only options without going into ancient PCI graphics cards and driver problems.



Just for clarification, and this may sound noobish.
But does this mean if i have a spare dvi monitor lying around. I can connect this monitor to my current dual monitor setup by buying a cheap Powercolor 4350 and gently place it in my pcie x1 slot next to my hd4850 and have 3 monitors without going out and buy a motherboard with two pciex16 graphics card slots.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
a b $ Windows 7
May 29, 2010 2:29:46 PM

Yes, but would have to be one of the special PCI-e video cards that could physically fit in a PCI-e x1 slot. And they're not so cheap.

PCI-e x1 HD 4350 by HIS


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May 30, 2010 8:30:16 AM

Wouldn't a normal video card fit into a pcie X1 slot? and if it did how much would it be bottlenecked by the x1 speed?
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2010 3:11:34 PM

It would not fit.
Since you don't have an option besides the x1 slot the bottleneck issue isn't that important to you since it's the only way you'd get a 3rd monitor.

This motherboard shows the physical difference in the usual PCI-e x16 slot (white) and the PCI-e x1 slot (red slot next to the white one)



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