Investigating 3 Monitors

I recently upgraded my 750 Sli motherboard, with a pair of GeForce 250's, and put them in Sli. I'm currently using 2x 22" widescreen monitors.

What I'm wondering is, would it be feasible and worthwile to have a third larger monitor for the Sli focus? (With the 2x 22"s on either side of it)

And if so.. What would be the best way to plug them in? Or how could I if even possible?

According to the 'setup multiple monitors' it can detect up to 5. Would I want to plug the big one into the primary (1) port on the 'main' card, for the Sli, and run the other two off the second card?

Would I have to have the main and one of them in the primary card with the third on the built in port?

I'd be using DVI only in any case. It's a debate. as a third monitor would be a considerable investment, but I'm not sure I could even use it well enough.

Most my games are single monitor supported, and I want to up the graphics on them to a higher resolution. (as my 22"s are native to 1680x1050) As well as be able to run 3d or HD content.

At the same time some older programs I'd have fun stretching across all three. (Such as Il-2 1946, or MFS-X)

At the same time, I often game, alt tab out to reply to messages I can read up on the other monitor.

So.. with humble regards, and apologies for the.. 'many' words, help this poor soul?
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  1. Ok first off the last time I checked SLI only supports up to 2 monitors (your 3rd would have to be disabled). Im guessing you would put the large display on the main card and the other two on any of the other 3 DVI outputs.

    Regarding your plan on running "Il-2 1946, or MFS-X" across all 3 screens, it is not possible with your current setup. You will need an ATI 5000 Series card in order to do it. However, I have read that in the following months of releasing Fermi, Nvidia will release a driver which will allow you to gain such an ability similar to ATIs Eyefinity (realistically how knows when they will release that driver).
  2. From what I gather, I could disable SLi and run the two cards seperate, or keep them Sli and run the 3rd (2nd 22") off the boards port. I can't tell if having SLi enabled disabled that or not. (I think it might be being used as physics assister.)

    I'd love to have a nice stretched 3 monitor setup. In part cause the two monitors side by side, giving me such a neck crane looking always to the left, when everything on my desk is centered. If I can have a main central display it'd be so much better. As I said, I'm not sure I can utilize it. :/

    As I do have supreme commander, I can utilize my 2 monitors at once for gaming. And wouldn't be able to do so in a 3 monitor setup.

    Primary large monitor Sli focused, second monitor right (2 monitor supported games) with the left monitor for messages, webpages, other reading material.

    And as said, I'd like to have a large 26" or better monitor for higher resolutions for new games (AvP, Dragon Age, etc etc) With the possibility of utilizing 3d vision and 1080p (or whatever that letter is) movie watching.

    I know my motherboard is tapped out, it only had the two x16 pci-e slots, and the onboard graphics. With the other standard lanes I've got additional cooling fans installed.

    As for what 'eyefinity' is, I don't even glance at ATI cards. even in the slightest. (as I'd have to get a whole new MB, to support such endeavor)

    And another thing, running dxdiag it says I'm running DirectX version 11, but the new AvP game says I don't have DX 11 hardware.. so that confuses me a bit.. (runs just fine in 9 mode anyways.. so not tempting fate)

    Running custom built PC:

    XFX 750a Sli MB
    4x 2GB Nvidia Sli compatible Memory Sticks (Unable to find mhz and I don't remember what it was)
    AMD Phenom II X4 925 (2.8 ghz quad)
    1.5 TB drive, 500 GB drive
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Free upgrade from Vista Ult 64)
    2x BFG GeForce GTS 250's Slie
    2x 22" Acer x223W
    USB expansion card

    Scanner, Razor Mouse, Wacom Tablet, Tracker IR, Webcam, Saitek Keyboard, Saitek 290 pro joystick, Saitek Pro Flight Yokestick w/ throttle quad, Saitek throttle quad, Saitek Rudder Pedals, Logitech 5.1 surround sound. Basic Microphone, a digital camera and a gamepad.

    -Is also having a minor issue, whenever gamepad is plugged in, computera automatically makes it gaming device 1.. which I don't want.. I want it as device 5 but finds no option for this.-
  3. Id like to point out that you would not need to upgrade your monitor in order to use an ATI card, however if you wanted to crossfire you would. It seems you have already made up your mind anyway.

    As for 3D Vision all you need to do is make sure your new monitor has a refresh rate of 120hz and 1080p means that it is capable of using the 1920x1080 screen resolution.

    Other than that I see no flaws in you plan of just adding another geforce 250 to your computer to gain you multi monitor setup.

    Except what is your PSU? In not sure how to fix your gamepad issue.
  4. Actually my MB doesn't have room for another card. Also, my board isn't configured for ATI compatibility.

    I'm aware my monitors would work just fine for either brand.

    However.. their maximum resolution is only 1680x1050 at 60hz.. so they cannot support 3d vision or 1080p High Def. Which is why I'm looking at a third primary.. as getting a whole replacement set of monitors is too pricey for me. And a two monitor setup is still a neck twister with my desktop (Ultimate Gaming desk from Roccaforte)

    I'd easily be able to run up to 5 monitors.. but doing so would disable Sli, and I'd have performance hits anyways.

    I like Sli for it's increased performance, and I can still at least you a second monitor... I'm wondering if a third is possible is all.

    I might have to test to see if I can run my current primary in Sli while I unhook the second and plug it into the MB's port and if it'll run.

    If it does.. I'm not sure if I'll lose the PhysX boost or not. :/ Tough choices.. (and actually isn't too sure if all the monitors WOULD fit.. gets a ruler)

    I can run the DX dialog, and it'll list the controllers as assigned numbers.. plug in the gamepad.. all their numbers get bumped one up. Which is why I leave it unplugged most the time. As games like 1946 only register 4 input devices (Which is my stick/yoke, quadrant and rudder... I switch between the stick an yoke depending on if I'm flying a fighter or a bomber.) If I plug in the gamepad, suddenly it's #1 and all the others get bumped up, messing up the control setup in ALL my games.. not just 46. Would love to figure this out.. I like Logitech the gamepad is nice, works well. I just hate that it overides my setup.

    :bangs head in frustration:
  5. Might want to take a peek at the nVidia thread cited here:
    Everything you ever wanted to know, and about a day's reading!
  6. 1st test, unplugging second monitor from graphics, plugging into motherboards DVI port, no software settings touched. No display option. Test Fail.

    2nd test, same as 1st, exception, disabling 'PhysX' Boost. No display option. Test Fail.

    3rd test, moving monitor plug in to second card. As soon as I plugged it in, screens both flickered.. looking at settings. Right monitor took over as primary, STILL in Sli mode. Focus is still on my origional primary monitor.. cannot test a 3rd monitor setup right at the moment. (One monitor plugged into each card's first port, both still Sli enabled... I thought this wasn't possible?) Perhaps way to have four monitors?

    4th test.. switching monitor to final port on second card, instantly recognized and displayed.

    5th test, re-enabling 'PhysX GPU acceleration' from motherboards onboard (an 8300 go figure) both monitors still display, from card 1: slot one, Primary sli enhanced, card 2: slot 2....

    If this works out like this.. Sli still enabled and focused.. I think I could get another monitor.. and test it, to see if I could just plug in another monitor and have all three displaying..

    so.. no way to test it for sure unless I have a third monitor.. bah.. need to borrow one from somewhere before dropping money down on a third.

    What I will do, since I neglected doing this before, is making the 'second' card the actual primary, since it's in the primary graphics card slot.. I just never bothered.

    It'll be interesting if this works out.. Get a three monitor setups using a pair of 250's in sli mode, while using the onboard motherboard GPU as the PhysX accelerator.. Would this be a 'that shouldn't of worked' thing?
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