Game system + 3rd monitor+ console hookup

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: $900 CAD) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing WoW, TF2, L4D2 > Playing PS2, PS3,Wii > Movies > Internet > File storage

Two 22” monitors (Samsung T220, Samsung 226BW)
Windows 7 Pro (legit of course)
*Corsair vx550watt
*EVGA 9800GTX+ 512mb
*WD Caviar Black 640GB


PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (I prefer Intel, I don’t care about GPU brand but I’d like to make use of my 9800GTX+ for as long as I can)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not yet (I want my motherboard to be ABLE to for the future)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (Currently 1680x1050, but I may be adding a 1920x1080 to the line up)

1) I’d like a monitor capable of 1080p, so that would mean a 3rd monitor. I do not know how to hook this up. What kind of card would I need? Would my motherboard choice need to change?

2) To hook my PS3, Wii or PS2 up to my computer should I buy a TV card or a monitor with a tv tuner (component hook ups needed for Wii and ps2)?

Here is my current idea…

Processor: i5 750
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Pro (capable of SLI and XFire I think)

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932

I am not sure what kind of card to get to give me 3rd monitor capability
What tv card to get if I go that route for my game consoles. I guess it needs to have HDMI.

AFTER I have this stuff figured out, I have $400 set aside for a new monitor. I will have to choose if it needs to have component hook-ups or not - this will depend on if I get a tv card or not tgo hook my game systems into - this would be cool because I could record gameplay, but I do not know if this method is more problematic/lower quality or not.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. For the three displays you are going to need something from the 5000 series with eyefinity support. And you will be fine with that motherboard.

    Also, I would recommend a cheaper case to free up more money for other components. One note, you mentioned wanting to crossfire, so I wanted to point out that you'll need to upgrade your PSU to do so.
  2. For 3 monitors you will need to buy a monitor with a display port, or a adapter to do the same job. neither fo these are cheap options.

    I only figured this out after i brought my 5770 card for 3 monitors and it wouldnt allow me too set it u without this. Its somthing tio do with the channels that the displays run through, it only allows 2 nrmal channels and then a special display port channel which allows the 3rd monitor to be attatched.

    Sorry i cant be much more help than this, im struggling with the problem myself.
  3. I see... So, if I want to go 3 monitors, I cannot re-use my 9800 GTX+ because I cannot run nvidia and ATI display drivers at the same time (since I would need to buy an ATI 5xxx series card).

    SO.. I would need to remove my 9800 GTX+ and buy something like a 5770
    - I could plug 2 monitors into the 2 DVI ports
    - and plug the last monitor into the 'display port' beside the HDMI-out port? I have never seen a monitor cable capable of plugging into that kind of port. Maybe the 5770 comes with an adapter?
  4. ^Correct. No, unfortunately the card does not come with an active adapter.

    Edit: typo
  5. 1) and to verify - can I not plug my 3rd monitor into the HDMI port instead of the display port one that needs the adapter?

    2) ANND - IF I NEED to use the display port and cannot use HDMI, does the display port monitor have any 'limitations" compared to the ones connected via DVI?

    3) LAST BUT NOT LEAST - Does eyefinity work with monitors of different sizes/resolutions? (2x 22" @ 1680x1050 + 1x 24" @ 1920x1080?)
  6. DP>VGA adapter are cheap and effective (most of the time). check out WSG forum for a thread on the sucesses of those adapters.

    but yes, if you want to use 3 monitors you MUST use the DP adapter, since its lower bandwidth is the only way the card can output to three monitors.

    yes you can use monitors of different resolutions, but you will likely have trouble getting it looking good. you may end up with black bars on some of the monitors which will stop the images from aligning.
  7. There are software/hardware solutions that enable you to use a 3rd monitor. Triplehead2Go is one. There are also DP monitors that are priced similiar to most TN monitors such as the Dell P2210 which can be had for around $200.

    You can throw out the idea of running your ps3 to all 3 monitors however. If you figure that one out, let me know asap heh.

    You should be able to squeeze a 5850 and the Dell into your budget, it'll be close though.
  8. Okay!
    I ordered the
    1) i5 750
    2) Asus P7P55D-E Pro
    3) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
    4) Cooler Master Hyper 212 cpu cooler
    5) Arctic Silver 5

    Next I have to choose what kind of ACTIVE Display port adaptor to buy.
    From what I real, a normal non-active (non-usb powered) display port adaptor will NOT work with eyefinity, resulting in only 2 monitors working at a time.

    Any recommendations on active display port adaptors?

    (I will choose what kind of monitor later. Probably doing to buy locally which means no dell. I will probably buy a 22,24 or 27" Samsung from
  9. ultima, you are incorrect.

    passive DP>VGA adapters have a very good success right. not 100 percent, but they are cheap enough that if one brand doesn't work you can get another and still have spent a qaurter of the cost of an active adapter.

    check out this thread:

    many people wrongly assume you need a very expensive passive adapter, and while they are the surest way to set it up, they are unnecessarily expensive.
  10. Thanks for the correction Welsh!
    I will try a nicely price adaptor like this one to start then, since it is local and easy to return if it does not.
    Startech DP>DVI

    Three questions that cross my mind as I wait for my cpu,mobo and ram to come in then-

    1) Tomshardware May 2010 video card guide ranks 5770<5850<2x5770
    I am curious if a single 5770 would give me acceptable performance for eyefinity WoW and L4D2 or if it would be advisable to go 5850? or wait and get a second 5770? Past a single 5770 is out of my budget but I could certainly save money for the noticeably better option if I'd be completely unhappy with one 5770.

    2) if I had my setup like... Left: 22" 1680x1050 Middle: 24" 1920x1080 Right: 22" 1680x1050
    Would the difference on the desktop just be that the middle screens wallpaper would have black bars on the top and bottom?
    and in game, would things look totally messed up?
    I'm stuck deciding between making my central monitor bigger while i have the chance, or keeping things uniform and getting another 22" for the middle (1920x1080 resolution)

    3) I am reading your link Welsh, and I have not found out yet- Why do people use DP>VGA and not DP>DVI adaptors?
  11. Best answer
    sorry fi you misunderstood, but passive DPI>DVI does NOT work.

    DP is a low bandwidth analogue signal, so using it with dvi requires conversion to digital and hence the powerered adapter to make it work. but, becase VGA is also analogue, no conversion is needed to transfer the signal.

    so if you have a VGA port, a non powered adapter will usually work. but for DVI an active adapter would be needed.

    as for the other questions, a single 5770 is plenty for wow at eyefinity res, but im not sure about L4D2. you may need to lower some settings.
    in games the middle screen will also have to run at 1680x1050, which should scale to the panels native res. however it can be a paint to set it up to look good. though it is possible and i know of people who have done it. it may be better to get 3 monitors of the same size and resolution though.
  12. Best answer selected by Ultima_weaponx.
  13. Thanks Welsh!
    I'll be sure to post my final rigg when it's done in a week or so =D

    It's too bad the center screen can't be a bigger one, but I should be content with this I think.
    VGA it is!
  14. no worries. i look forward to seeing it.
  15. A question in relation to my setup.

    A 22" running at 1680x1050 would not technically be capable of HD playback

    Where as a 24" at 1920x1200 WOULD be capable of HD playback, right?

    I ask because my current 22" monitors (on my old system I mind you, since new parts are still in mail) are SEVERELY choppy when playing blu-ray quality MKV files, so it leads me to think "Maybe I really SHOULD buy a 24" to have at least one monitor to play my PS3 back in full HD if I get a TV card".
  16. aren't there only 2 or 3 games on ps3 that actually play in full HD anyway?
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