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Dual monitors plus HDTV??

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • Dual Monitors
  • HDTV
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 17, 2009 5:30:28 AM

So I'm about to build a new computer (hopefully within two weeks) and I need some help in the graphics department. I currently have a dual monitor setup that I really love, but at times I want to be able to extend my desktop to my 50" LCD HDTV (1080p of course). So what I've been doing right now is just switching cables to be able to use the hdtv.

My question is what is the best way to handle the three monitor setup when I build my new computer? Do I have to get 2 video cards or is there some other way around it?

I need a card that is decent at games (mostly just WoW, but some COD:MW too) but I don't need anything too crazy. I was looking at either the GTX 260 or HD4870 depending on which is cheaper when I buy. Any good suggestions for me? Thanks!

More about : dual monitors hdtv

a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2009 5:38:03 AM

You cannot run 3 monitors of similar signalling of of 2 outputs of the same type directly from the card.

Both chips have 2 intergrated RAMDACs and 2 integrated dual-link TMDS, so you need to find a card that allows de-coupling of the TMDS (with a splitter), or you need a repeater if you're ok with cloning an output, or else you need a card that has dedicated hardware for these outputs, like some of the previous generation dual GPU cards (like some GTX295, some HD4870x2, etc) that have extra outputs (because not it's got double the on-die hardware), or else something from the HD5xxx series that has support for more than 2 monitors of the type you're using.

I would say if you want an all in one solution, then wait for an HD5xxx card which will be further detailed, and potentially for sale next week.
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September 17, 2009 11:50:10 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Both chips have 2 intergrated RAMDACs and 2 integrated dual-link TMDS, so you need to find a card that allows de-coupling of the TMDS (with a splitter), or you need a repeater if you're ok with cloning an output


Thanks so much for the informative reply! You kind of went over my head with this one though. Could you link me to some cards that are capable of doing this?

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
I would say if you want an all in one solution, then wait for an HD5xxx card which will be further detailed, and potentially for sale next week.


So how is the multi-monitor thing going to work on the HD5xxx series cards? I could probably wait until they come out before buying anything, but I'm getting really tired of waiting around for stuff to come out (was waiting on the i5/i7 p55 stuff).

I guess my only other option is to just buy 2 GPUs for the new computer. would you think it would be okay to get a cheap card for playing HD video on my hdvt?
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a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2009 1:03:45 AM

Some cards allow splitting of the connection to two distinct outputs, but they are rarer, and they are often lower power card aimed at multi-monitor desktops, I don't know which are available for gaming. Here is what the cable looks like;
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_id=113&sku=38...


The HD5xxx series is about a week away, so surely you can wait that long for the 'perfect solution'. ;) 

How it works is that it supports additional outputs on chip (6) and then they build a card that supports X# of outputs of those 6 either through integrated TMDs, external TMDs or else Display Port (which is the easiest, and what is used for the 6 monitor demos we saw). Now as for what options are offered we need to wait and see what ATi's AIB partners bring out, this being the standard output configuration (2 DVI, 1 Display Port, 1 HDMI);
http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/news/2009-09/ati_radeon_...
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September 18, 2009 1:15:17 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Some cards allow splitting of the connection to two distinct outputs, but they are rarer, and they are often lower power card aimed at multi-monitor desktops, I don't know which are available for gaming. Here is what the cable looks like;
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_id=113&sku=38...


The HD5xxx series is about a week away, so surely you can wait that long for the 'perfect solution'. ;) 

How it works is that it supports additional outputs on chip (6) and then they build a card that supports X# of outputs of those 6 either through integrated TMDs, external TMDs or else Display Port (which is the easiest, and what is used for the 6 monitor demos we saw). Now as for what options are offered we need to wait and see what ATi's AIB partners bring out, this being the standard output configuration (2 DVI, 1 Display Port, 1 HDMI);
http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/news/2009-09/ati_radeon_...


Thanks again for the helpful info! I really appreciate it! I guess I can try to make it one more week...maybe...haha...

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September 29, 2009 4:51:26 PM

There is one possible answer. It all depends on what motherboard you have. My setup actually allows for a FOUR monitor setup that includes an HDMI port for an HDTV capable of 1080p resolution output.

The only way to do this is using a full AMD/ATI setup, at least in my experience. First, you need to start with an ASUS M4a78t-e mobo. This is an AMD AM3 socket that can run the new Phenom II X4 processors. This motherboard conveniently has an onboard video chipset that is based off of the HD3300 GPU. Combining the onboard Crossfire enabled chipset and then adding another HD series (mine is the HD4780 X2), you can use the Catalyst Control program to activate the Hybrid Crossfire. This will allow you to activate both DVI ports on the Graphics Card, as well as the HDMI and DVI/VGA ports on the motherboard (this set up allows only the use of . It might take a bit of troubleshooting to configure not only the order, but also selecting the primary card to run as the default processor (of course, the ideal card would be the more powerful add-on GPU). Bear in mind, the onboard video chipset only has 128mb of DDR3 1333 SidePort Memory, so any high-end graphics processing, ESPECIALLY with graphics intensive games, is not recommended if using the onboard as the primary GPU.

AMD/ATI requires that you have an AM3 processor, Windows Vista (I've yet to try if the Hybrid Crossfire works with XP 64-bit Pro), and at LEAST 1GB of memory. I would advice at least 4+GB of memory at the highest speed you can afford.

Hope this helps!
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