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Single Screen Gaming + Multi Monitors

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 29, 2009 1:36:23 AM

Hello Hello everyone =)

Currently i have 2 monitors hooked up to my single card 8800GT. If i have 1 monitor hooked up to my 8800GT for gaming (set it as my main monitor) and throw a random video card (non-SLI) into my second pci-e slot that supports 2 monitors, and hook up my other two monitors to that video card, would that...

1) first of all, will that even work? Will i get a triple monitor set up?
2) Will my game performance improve or decrease? (i have 4gb of decent ddr2 ram)

So i basically want a triple monitor setup for work and general multitasking. dual monitors isnt enough space anymore! But i also do want to maintain a decent gaming setup. triple monitor gaming does sound tempting, but its really a secondary. Any cost effective, performance boosting, resource saving (and w/e) suggestions you guys have are more then welcome!

Thanks!!!
December 9, 2009 1:19:28 AM

This should work. If you expect more specific analysis from others, provide your system configuration with Motherboard info or at least number and type of slots.
When you're in gaming mode it will most likely impact game performance negatively. It can't possibly improve it as it takes more CPU. The only way to know is to ascertain while running a game if your PC is CPU or GPU bound. That is, is the CPU holding it back or the GPU. This is too hard as you need to run benchmark testing for each game.
WHat I know is that on my old system, running 2 monitors off 1 video card, my game performance is much better when I turn off the 2nd monitor. That is, change the display config from 2 monitors to 1. So, if there is a way to turn off multi-monitors with your configuration, do that when in gaming mode.
4gb is not that much for Vista or 7, so should you double it.
Regards
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December 9, 2009 5:52:48 AM

Hey jfhallam,

Thanks a lot for your input. yeah i would assume turning a monitor off would definitely boost gaming, however i choose not to. i really like having msn open and my cpu readers and what not on the other monitor idly. Thanks for the suggestion.

As for my cpu, im running Q6600, 2.4ghz quadcore (OCed at 3ghz). the motherboard im running everything on is Asus P5K Deluxe with wi/fi. i love it. unforteunately it was made for crossfire and even sucks at that since it only has one 16x pci-e and one 4x pci-e. good thing is i have no intention of using crossfire or sli technology. im not a hardcore gamer. i just wanna run 3-4 monitors =)

wow you really think i should double it? thing is i never exceed 80% usage of ram unless i leave it on for over a month, no joke. i'm assuming i'm missing something here, please inform me as i am still a newbie in MANY aspects. thanks!
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December 9, 2009 6:07:56 AM

if you add a second card, you should be able to run 4 monitors fine. as for gaming, you really shouldn't take a hit, and if you use SLI, would improve performance on newer games. What you want, sounds similar to what I am currently running.

I have 4 monitors. (30" Dell 3008WFP, 2 26" Viewsonic VP2650wbs flanking it, and a 23" Acer H233H for remote desktop and VMs). For graphics I'm running a 4870x2, and a 4870 second card.

I'm not sure exactly about SLI, but for when I want to game, I use the 30", boot into a seperate partition that I have Crossfire enabled in and have all my games installed there. The second monitor I use Hardware monitor pro, and resource gadget on while playing. (the outputs from the second card can't be used while in xfire) Then when I'm ready to work, I boot into my application partition that I always leave Xfire disabled, so I can use the real estate of all 4 monitors.

I dont' know if you'd go through the hassle of installing a second partition to game on, but it's an idea. Works for me at least. I know you said you have no intention of using SLI, but you might find it works very well for your setup if you purchase another 8800GT, especially since that cards starting to show it's age.

Hope that helps a bit.
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December 13, 2009 11:50:48 PM

Thanks for your input guys.

Regarding SLI: thanks for that note. it's definitely handy knowledge. unfortunately the main reason why i dont wanna do SLI is because the cost wouldnt be in the card, it would be in the motherboard. My mobo isnt really that great for SLI.

My main question has been responded to, however only once out of all these posts, and without full knowledge of my system. it's definitely not that i dont appreciate all this extra information, i would just like to mainly know if my gaming performance would increase or decrease.

i know more monitors would logically mean that my gaming performance would decrease, but if i just have 1 monitor hooked up to my 8800gt, and the other two on my other monitors (3 total, not 4) i would assume the graphics would improve... mainly because i believe my quadcore + 4gb ram are not my weak points in gaming, rather it is the video card. am i wrong? please let me know whats wrong with my theory, or if my theory is correct.

Also please keep in mind that the video card im planning to buy to hook my other two monitors into would probably be a cheap $20-$40 video card. I'm avoiding a costly upgrade just for 1 extra monitor. Thanks.

thanks! :) 
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