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Easiest way to add support for a third monitor?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 2, 2010 9:20:49 AM

I currently have a Windows 7, Core i7 920, Asus P6T, Gigabyte Radeon HD4850 1GB PCI-Express configuration running a Dell 2008WFP 2560x1600 monitor.

I'd like to add two 1600x1200 monitors in landscape mode (one on each side, running 1200x1600). Please note that these monitors aren't produced any more and thus largely only have DVI-I inputs (no DisplayPort).

It is a home-built system and low noise was one of my priorities, hence the fanless video card. However, it has some cooling issues and I need to turn the case fans to max speed when gaming, otherwise it reboots (and then I turn them down again when not gaming and the system is nearly silent). I'm pretty sure it's the GPU that overheats as the CPU has a good fan.

I don't game that much though, so getting more GPU power, although it would be nice, isn't one of my top priorities.

I'm a bit confused about my options, which appear to be:
a. Get a random cheap PCI-E card, just use that to run one of the side monitors (cheap, but might cause more overheating problems)
b. Get another HD48x0 card, CrossFireX it with my existing one (would improve performance, but might cause serious overheating problems)
c. Replace my card with one that supports Evergreen (forces me to upgrade when I'm fine with the existing card, and get DisplayPort to DVI-D adapters in some strange configuration).
d. Run one of the monitors off an analog VGA connector (I'd like to avoid that as quality suffers and I'm not even sure the HD4850 supports 3 monitors despite having 3 connectors).
e. Use some HDMI/DVI-D splitter (probably won't work as the 2008WFP demands full DVI-D, but the smaller monitors go on the sides).

My system is fine otherwise, so even though I understand upgrading the case might solve the overheating problems, I'd rather avoid doing it.

Leaning towards a. now as the easiest solution, just need to find another passively-heated cool-running entry-level PCI-E card (suggestions?).

Current setup to help assess ventilation:

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 2, 2010 3:36:40 PM

I would reccommend option A if you dont need to game on the other monitor you could get a low end low power card like a Radeon 4350 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There may be cheaper alternatives.
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September 11, 2010 5:21:26 PM

I actually checked that there is physically not enough space to plug in all 3 cables in my existing video card - at least not with the HDMI-to-DVI adapter that I use. So D is probably out.

Any other suggestions on A - do I need to buy a Radeon 4xxx to avoid driver conflicts or can I go NVidia too?

If I buy a 4350 will it work in hybrid CrossFireX config with my 4850?
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September 18, 2010 8:41:01 AM

Best answer selected by juu.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 18, 2010 11:24:09 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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