Currently or at least until yesterday I had a 2 card 4850 setup. Well I have been getting crashes and everything else with it for the last year. Finally I pulled one of the cards out and guess what it fixed the problem. The only issue I still have is this usb to displaylink device likes to confuse my system. It would be real nice to have a card that supports video on 3 outputs. One for my display, one for my second desktop monitor, and once for my projector (yeh I tried a HDMI splitter for my projector and monitor but the problem is that my monitor supports 1900X1600 and catalyst will not let me override that whith the projector hooked up even turned off).
Brings me to my question. If I decide to do three monitors later is it possible to get two different cards to power the 6 outputs. No I dont mean crossfire because we already know what a pain that seems to be. Also if I got a first card as a 5850 and the second as a 5750 the 5750 could push the two side displays (where I am less concerned about frame rate.) Does anyone know if this is possible reading the original specs I thought it was but I am not sure if anyone has tried it yet?
Putting two ATI 5000 series cards into your computer will indeed give you 6 outputs. As for putting a 5850 and a 5750 in one computer, this should be possible but have not ever tried. For best results, I would just put the two of the same card just to be sure.
If you want to use Eyefinity (to game across 2/3 screens) you have to connect those 2/3 monitors to the same card, with the third card connected to the DisplayPort output.
If you arnt using Eyefinity you can connect your three monitors to any of the six outputs on the two cards while using windows extended mode (just to gain the extra desktop space).
The 5xxx cards will do 3 displays, but one of them MUST use the display port. Otherwise you can only do dual monitors using any combination of the other ports which are dual DVI and HDMI. I believe you can get an adapter for the display port that turns it into DVI, but it MUST be an active adapter, not passive. I think they are at the cheapest $100.
You do not need to run crossfire. But just a note, you can run crossfire across different ATI cards of the same series. For example a 5870 and a 5770 can use CrossfireX, but you have to use the ports on the primary display. If you intend to just run the cards in a non crossfire configuration you would just disable crossfire and use all the ports.