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Dual Graphics Card Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 1, 2009 2:56:26 PM

Hi,
I am looking to have a computer built, but I need help on the type of graphics cards to get. I need to run three monitors independently. I understand the new Radeon 5700/5800 series enable this, but one must be displayport (or used with "active" adaptor which it seems like many have issues with, plus the adaptor is expensive).

- With that said, maybe its better I just get two cards ( 2 dvi per card)?
- If so, is there an issue with using two different series cards from same manufacturer? i.e. I was thinking ATI 4650 and 4850 together.
- Research shows me it seems like the Radeon series cards for the money are slightly better than the supposed equivalent Nvidia. Furthermore, the reason I was thinking the higher end card like the 4850 is that I am running a Microsoft Cinema HD Lifecam at 720P, 30fps and I want to ensure the graphics card does a good job of this (without lag; but fluid motion capture). The other card would be used to show like Powerpoint or basic software.
-If i heard people say they can get the 5700/5800 series to work with three monitors no problem (with a displayport adapter) I would jump to this option.....probably the 5770 if it will do the job. But i dont have confidence based on others blogs and may not take risk on this since I do not have a displayport ready monitor.

Please any advice would help. Also, the computer specs Id prob go with is intel i5-750 with at least 6G ram. Any different advice on this would help too.

Thanks, scott.
a c 147 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 4:04:36 PM

I think I would go your route as well. I have a 5870 and I don't think I would even mess with an active display port to DVI adapter unless I knew darn well it would work for me. With that said, you can definitely use 2 cards of different models at the same time. I believe you could also run them in Crossfire X, but I do not believe for what you are doing you will use this. So just make sure it is disabled so you can run all the outputs. But other than that you shouldn't have any issues. I am not familiar with Cinima HD Lifecam, does it really need a 4850? I would imagine a 4650 would do just fine if you aren't intending on using it for games. Honestly if you aren't doing gaming, I'd just get (2) 4650 or 4670 cards. The smaller fanned models do tend to be louder, so stick with the ones with larger fans and coolers. Just a note.
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December 1, 2009 5:25:56 PM

Thanks jay2tall for the suggestion. To answer your question I do not know if HD lifecam needs a card that powerful, my main concern is to make sure it can run at full capabilities with no issues. But also I know the processor and RAM are a factor as well, just dont know how critical the graphics card is. Other than that, I would not be using for games or have need to run them in Crossfire mode.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 5:41:12 PM

I would look into if HD Lifecam benefits from a more powerful GPU. Some of those apps really just need something that will run images ate the higher resolutions. A 4670 is a pretty capable card once you take gaming out of it.
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a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 7:02:07 PM


Hey jay, quick question... if the OP opts for a 5750 or 5770 can't he use a Display Port to DVI cable for the 3rd monitor?
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