8 Screen Display System for office applications and video streaming

Hi all,

I am investigating the cost of setting up a system that will have an 8 screen display (majority of monitors are already in possession -> low end spec). It is for use in an office, non-gaming orientated, and will typically be used for multiple remote desktop viewing / surfing internet / light office applications.


BUDGET RANGE: cheap as possible!

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: remote desktop viewing, video streaming, surfing the internet, non-gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers




MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200


I have little to no background in system building. So I was in contact with a Dell rep, who suggested the following components to get started:

One Intel® Xeon® Processor E5506(2.13GHz,4MB L3,4.8GT/s,80W,QC)Memory runs at 800MHz
6GB DDR3 1066MHz ECC-RDIMM (3x2GB) Requires 64 Bit OS
Matrox M9140 512MB Quad PCIe x16 Low Profile Graphics Card

As I understand it, the graphics card(s) is the focal point of the system I need, and I will need 2x 4-output PCIe cards. The monitors have VGA connectors, but I can get DVI-a cables if there are only DVI outputs on the graphics card.

Just wanted to hear any thoughts or advice from the well informed and experienced members of tomshardware forums! Are there better value graphics cards for the purpose I need? Do the RAM and processor specs suggested match my needs?

If there is a thread already opened to the same effect I apologise and will be happy to look there.

Many thanks.
3 answers Last reply
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  1. Seems to me like it would be cheaper to get three 5450s, rather than two of those Matrox cards. If you're getting an X58 motherboard anyway then you should have three slots for them already at no extra cost.

    Don't know about the processor, Ill have to leave that up to someone else.
  2. Xeon is a server/workstation CPU. At 2.13GHz and old DDR3-1066 RAM it would be underpowered relative to the gaming builds you normally see here. Its a bit older tech and quad monitor cards are non-standard and probably very expensive.

    I can pretty much guarantee that Dell is overpriced compared to a build-it-yourself system. The problem is when you build it yourself there is no warranty or tech support.

    The new ATI 5000 series cards are all capable of handling 3 monitors (if one monitor has a displayport connection/adapter). They also go as low as $50 per card, whereas those recommended quads probably are scary expensive.

    You should be able to get stock Dell PCs with ATI 5000 series graphics that handle 3 monitors each. Would getting two or three of those make more sense? You should also be able to get Dell to make you a high end single PC with two or three ATI 5000 cards that would handle 6-9 monitors.

    I think you will find even with Dell that the gaming PCs are cheaper than the workstation with its expensive graphics cards. You also might try HP or Gateway to get some price competition going.
  3. Hi guys,

    thank very much for the valuable responses and advice, makes a lot of sense, gonna go with that,

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