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I require a second video card. I have a need for a third monitor.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 17, 2009 10:08:57 AM

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here. If this is in the wrong area, please forgive me. Maybe a mod can move this if necessary.

First, a little background:

I am building a new system and passing on my old parts to my father in law. I have everything I need and am getting ready to build this system but now one of my requirements has changed. I have always run dual monitors – Samsung SM 2220wm displays on a Sapphire x1650 with never a problem under XP.

For new core hardware I have purchased:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A78 Plus
Video Card: BFG 9800 GT (1gb)
OS will be: Windows 7 Enterprise
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 3.2 ghz
RAM: 8 gb of 1066 mhz

The motherboard has (quoted from the book):

2x PCI express x16 slots (Blue @ x16 mode, Black @ x4 or x1 mode)
1x PCI express x1 slot
3x PCI slots

“ATI CrossfireX ready”

I now require a 3rd monitor. This means a 2nd video card. I need to have my desktop (icons, taskbar, tool pallets, etc) on a smaller monitor like a 17’” display totally freeing up my two 22” monitors for actual work. Besides regular work (word processing, spread sheets, surfing the web etc.), I do photo editing. I don’t do any gaming at all with the exception of those “Popcap games” style of games. I don’t have the attention span for the big stuff.

I freely admit that I don’t know about or have any experience in this particular area. I have searched through this forum and really have found little that helps me so I decided to ask.

My Questions:

Can I install a 2nd Video card for a 3rd monitor?
What slot do I use?
What type do I get?
Do they have to be the same brand?
Do they have to be the same model?
What brand do I go for?
What other information or recommendation can you give me?

Many thanks in advance,

Tim
November 18, 2009 12:23:13 AM

You probably are an ideal candidate for Eyefinity (ATI HD 5000 series cards) as long as you don't already have the third monitor. With that you can run three monitors on one video card as long as they are all set to the same resolution.

The catch is that one of the monitors needs to be a Displayport monitor. (there are adaptors that work for $100 each, but why add the cable clutter) Dell/HP/NEC all make DP monitors, you just have to look for them specifically.

I just ordered an NEC 23" DP monitor this week, to match with a pair of Samsung 2343's.

Now I just have to score the card. (there are no shortages of the mainstream cards, only the high end versions)



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November 25, 2009 10:06:05 AM

Hi Everyone,

PROBLEM RESOLVED

Just a quick note to help others that come down this path.
I have resolved my problem. It was as easy as I though it "should" be. I knew that you can have more than one video card in a system, I just wanted to know about two PCI-e 16x cards. In my case I have chosen my parts well. I have added another BFG card to the system... a BFG 9500 GT 1gb. It is plugged into the second (Black) PCI-e slot.

It works flawlessly! I use that card with a single monitor on it for my desktop. It works well under Windows 7. I have not tried to use it under XP... it may happen though if I can't get my head around this layout of Windows 7. Why did they have to mess with such a good thing in XP? XP had a simple, to the point layout. I can't find "NOTHING" in Windows 7. Windows 7 is (for me) is proving to have an "over complicated" layout for my wee little brain it would seem.

Thanks for reading - peace on earth to everyone!

Tim.
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