I am looking at a new PC setup and would like to run 3 cloned hdmi/dvi displays all off the same card. I recently found out that even if the card has outputs for each display, the card may not allow all outputs to be used at the same time.
I am deciding between a 5850 and a GTX 460, and from the way I understand it, you can only use 2/3 dvi/hdmi outputs at the same time. Because of this, I would probably not be able to go with the 460 since it seems the only output option is 2 DVI and a mini HDMI (since I cannot use VGA in this setup), and therefore may not be able to clone 3 separate displays at the same time.
However, from what I have found I would be able to run 3 displays with the 5850 by using dvi/hdmi for 2 and then using a displayport to hdmi adapter for the final display.
If anyone can confirm or deny any of this it would be greatly appreciated.
You can buy an adapter that splits a single dvi into two ports, allowing you to hook up two monitors to the single port, so that shouldn't be a point of decision for you.
What you should look into is the eyefinity option that ATI presents with the 5xxx series cards. Although you said that you want 3 cloned displays, the eyefinity would allow you the option to not run them as cloned drives while gaming/whatever, and to run them as a single display.
Also, at stock clocks the 5850 is going to give you better performance than the 460. Reports say that the 460 sports impressive overclockability, but at stock clocks, it just isn't the same class of card as the 5850.
the 460 does not do 3 monitors at once on separate connections, period. You will have to get the adapter bert mentioned. That will only allow you to clone the display. If you have any interest in running 3 monitors as one screen, then the 5850 is the way to go for one card, but for 100 bucks more you could get two 460s which will be able to do the same thing.