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3- screen set up help!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 7, 2010 12:15:39 PM

Hello all,

I am currently in the process of building a 3 screen desktop to create an exhibition for a project at University. Basically we want to run 3 projectors as one large desktop.
I have tried searching the forums but am unable to find an answer, and wanted to make sure before i start spending money.

What I want to know is, will I be able to get another graphics card and run both? If so, does it matter what type?

I appreciate any help you can give me.


Spec:

Windows 7 64bit
Intel® Core™2 Quad Q9550 (4 X 2.83GHz) 1333MHz FSB/12MB Cache
1024MB GEFORCE 9500GT DDR2 PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT
ASUS P5Q PRO TURBO INTEL P45 (SOCKET 775) PCI-EXPRESS DDR2 MOTHERBOARD ( so there are 2 PCI E slots)
4 x 2GB 1066Mhz DDR2 RAM


More about : screen set

May 7, 2010 1:01:43 PM



I dont know, but you should be able to do this with an "eyefinity card" f.ex. ati hd5870?
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May 7, 2010 4:49:59 PM

Not all the 9500GT's are SLi'able though and in SLi mode regardless of how many monitors are connected if the app being run uses SLi then only one output will be used.
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May 7, 2010 6:53:53 PM

Why would you need to run SLI? You can run multiple monitors from multiple outs. Even cheap graphics cards can have multiple outs and support 3 displays in an extended desktop.
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May 7, 2010 7:49:49 PM

Really appreciate everyones replies.

It seems that my graphics card has been discontinued (XpertVision nVidia GeForce 9500GT). Does it need to be exactly the same?
'Timop', is this what you are saying? can I use a 5450/5550/5670 with my current graphics card?

Does it just pick up the third monitor with the nvidia software?
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May 7, 2010 9:17:44 PM

ralph_is_great said:
Really appreciate everyones replies.

It seems that my graphics card has been discontinued (XpertVision nVidia GeForce 9500GT). Does it need to be exactly the same?
'Timop', is this what you are saying? can I use a 5450/5550/5670 with my current graphics card?

Does it just pick up the third monitor with the nvidia software?

No, you will need to take your current card out and fling it in the bin. The 5 series cards from ATi can run three monitors from one card but you will need to buy a Displayport adapter or a monitor with a DP input to take advantage of this feature.
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May 7, 2010 9:35:49 PM

Yeah, I'm not 100% on what type of adapters are compatible with what resolutions or whether some makes work whilst others don't so I sorta skipped that part. :whistle: 
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May 7, 2010 9:48:06 PM

Yes two Digital and one VGA should be doable as I understand the specs and that should be able to cope with 2D stuff OK but gaming would be a no no over three screens I reckon.

@OP, PM TGGA and ask him if you wish to know for certain whether one of those cards would suit your needs.
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May 7, 2010 10:02:34 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Yes two Digital and one VGA should be doable as I understand the specs and that should be able to cope with 2D stuff OK but gaming would be a no no over three screens I reckon.

@OP, PM TGGA and ask him if you wish to know for certain whether one of those cards would suit your needs.


For those who don't know, TGGA = theGreatGrapeApe :D 
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May 7, 2010 10:47:18 PM

ralph_is_great said:
Basically we want to run 3 projectors as one large desktop.
Do you already have the projectors? Details (or make and model) on those might be helpful.

Have you looked at Matrox TripleHead2Go? http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/

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May 7, 2010 10:53:31 PM

Quote:
The point is hes not planning to game and the 9500GT SLI wont be much better.

Aside from the 9500GT SLi not always being possible (some of them won't SLi due to no Sli tab, incompatible PCIe link on motherboard, incorrect alignment of planetary bodies or other) it depends on the game, some of the older ones run quite well on mine and L4D was quite sprightly so CPU dependent might run OK so long as they don't need too much in the graphic department but a single low tier 5 series Radeon is going to have a job just putting pixels on three screens, much more so than a 9500GT running a game on a single screen @19 x 10.

@ aford10, Cheers mate I should have put his full title in really, but you know how it is when you just get used to using nicks. [:mousemonkey] :lol: 
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May 7, 2010 11:00:49 PM


Would this card work? I think it's pretty much the same. (Being UK i need one I can get over here)

XFX ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR2 VGA/DVI/HDMI PCI-Express

The description says: 'allowing up to three displays from a single graphics board.' But I don't know whether that means all at once, or you can use them individually.

Quote:
WR2 wrote :

Do you already have the projectors? Details (or make and model) on those might be helpful.

Have you looked at Matrox TripleHead2Go? http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/


I don't have details of the projectors at the moment. Will know by tomorrow.

The Matrox system is a bit out of my price range.
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May 7, 2010 11:23:00 PM

As the OP is running W7 using both cards and their associated drivers should be possible but I would be wary of doing that, one HD5450 should suffice.
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May 7, 2010 11:25:18 PM

Mousemonkey said:
@ aford10, Cheers mate I should have put his full title in really, but you know how it is when you just get used to using nicks. [:mousemonkey] :lol: 


I got your back buddy. :D 
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May 7, 2010 11:28:42 PM

OK, wicked. Will be ordering a HD5450.
Do you know if there will be any quality issues using a hdmi to vga converter for one of the projectors?
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May 7, 2010 11:32:46 PM

Quote:
most projectors today are still stuck @1024*768
and most are limited to D-Sub, S-Video, and maybe RCA connectors too.

The XFX website says to get 'up to three displays from a single graphics board' you'd need a DisplayPort version
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/Components/Gra...
"ATI Eyefinity technology with support for up to three displays - only supported on HD-545X-ZAF2 with DisplayPort (1,4)"
and note 1 said"
"Latest ATI Catalyst Driver (ver. 9.10 or above) required to support ATI Eyefinity technology; to enable a third display you require one panel with a DisplayPort connector"
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May 7, 2010 11:36:13 PM

aford10 said:
I got your back buddy. :D 

Thanks mate, I'm now at an age where I need help with some of the simple things in life. :cry:  :whistle:  :) 
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May 7, 2010 11:48:11 PM

Quote:
WR2 wrote:


The XFX website says to get 'up to three displays from a single graphics board' you'd need a DisplayPort version
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech [...] -ZNF2.html
"ATI Eyefinity technology with support for up to three displays - only supported on HD-545X-ZAF2 with DisplayPort (1,4)"
and note 1 said"
"Latest ATI Catalyst Driver (ver. 9.10 or above) required to support ATI Eyefinity technology; to enable a third display you require one panel with a DisplayPort connector"


I'm confused about DisplayPort. On the XFX website, it has images of the HD5450 with what i think is a Displayport instead of HDMI, and with the HDMI. Can anyone shed light on the subject, as I cannot find enough info as to whether I need a DisplayPort connector, and if I do, where it goes.
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May 7, 2010 11:54:23 PM

ralph_is_great said:
I'm confused about DisplayPort. On the XFX website, it has images of the HD5450 with what i think is a Displayport instead of HDMI, and with the HDMI. Can anyone shed light on the subject, as I cannot find enough info as to whether I need a DisplayPort connector, and if I do, where it goes.

The image on Novatech's site shows a HDMI, VGA & DVI, which is also what it states in the specs so I would go with (and expect) that.
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May 8, 2010 12:00:59 AM

Ok cool.

Quote:
Technically you could do 2 streams on Digital(DVI/HDMI)+1 analog stream(VGA).
Im not 100% sure though.


My set up will be either 3 VGA or 3 DVI projectors. Will there be any issues using basic converters for the other channels?
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May 8, 2010 1:05:34 AM

Mousemonkey said:
The image on Novatech's site shows a HDMI, VGA & DVI, which is also what it states in the specs so I would go with (and expect) that.



I am still unsure, as it specifically says on their website under all the eyefinity info 'to enable a third display you require one panel with a DisplayPort connector '
Would it be a safer bet to spend the extra and get one with a Displayport connection and get a converter?
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May 8, 2010 1:07:53 AM

I'd get the card first and see what ports it comes with and then get the other stuff if it's required.
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May 8, 2010 1:11:28 AM

The thing is, I don't have a lot of time. I need to do the exhibition at the end of the week. So I don't want to be spending money on something that won't work, or requires something else to work.
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May 8, 2010 1:28:41 AM

ralph_is_great said:
The thing is, I don't have a lot of time. I need to do the exhibition at the end of the week. So I don't want to be spending money on something that won't work, or requires something else to work.

Then why not give Novatech a ring and ask the salesperson if they can check and verify what ports the card has before you order, that way if you get something different in the post you will have grounds to rip em a new one.
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May 8, 2010 1:58:41 AM

Yeah, I think my plan tomorrow is to ring novatech and local computer shops to see what they have and go from there.
Cheers for the help everyone. I will update with the results, or if I have any more trouble!
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May 8, 2010 2:27:22 AM

Quote:
Technically you could do 2 streams on Digital(DVI/HDMI)+1 analog stream(VGA).
Im not 100% sure though.
I think its 1 digital output (DVI or HDMI, not both) and +1 analog output over D-Sub VGA.




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Best solution

May 8, 2010 11:54:30 AM

Keep your current 9500GT and add in a Geforce GT 210 in the 2nd PCI-e x16 slot.
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/Components/Gra...
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May 8, 2010 12:54:09 PM

You would not need to connect the cards.

You'd use Windows 7 Display settings to configure the projectors in Extended Desktop.
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May 8, 2010 1:01:47 PM

Ok brilliant. I'll go buy a 210 now.
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May 8, 2010 1:04:19 PM

You might need one or more DVI-VGA adapters depending on the connections available the projectors:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-DVI-I-VGA-Display-...
Some graphics cards come with one of these in the card's accessory pack.
And it's something you might be able to pick up from a local computer shop.
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May 8, 2010 5:36:23 PM

Having a GT 210 with my current card worked. Am running 3 monitors no problem. Thanks for all the help everyone. Have learnt a great deal and really appreciate the time to give me advice.

Ralph.
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May 9, 2010 12:28:16 AM

Best answer selected by ralph_is_great.
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May 10, 2010 1:37:14 AM

Thanks for letting us know how it worked out.
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