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Running 3 Monitors Simultaneously

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 28, 2010 1:59:00 AM

Hello,

I trade the financial markets and my needs require use of 3 monitors simultaneously.

I had already intended to purchase a new PC, and would like to use three 21.5" Acer monitors found at the following URL:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have absolutely no knowledge of what is required to achieve use of 3 monitors, and will appreciate any insight you may be able to share in what to look for in my new machine, or what additional hardware I may need to add to it.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
November 28, 2010 2:11:57 AM

It's pretty simple, you just need an extra graphics card or two and you will be able to have what you need. The directions for the drivers and installation are with the cards and do what it tells you to do and viola, 3 monitors with amazing screen room. I've been running three monitors for 3 years and will never go back to one.

*Side Note* Make sure your desk can handle the weight. If you have a wood desk, you might eventually see "bowing" in the center of it. Hope it helps, you'll love it.

If you have any questions, most stores (like Best Buy, etc.) have someone that will be able to check the computer specs to see what you can put into it. Also, you might have to watch out for the wattage on your PSU is so you don't get something that requires too much power.

Most computers now have multiple PCI-e slots, so you shouldn't have a problem. If you can link the computer, many of us here will be able to help you with compatible hardware.
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November 28, 2010 6:42:22 AM

Hi Siyat:

I appreciate your time in responding to my thread and sharing your insight. The particular PC I'm considering to purchase is the Dell Inspiron 570, although I recognize it probably isn't the most exciting machine. I currently had an Inspiron 580 I was using which I lost due to water damage in my old apartment. I'm trying to be practical, and the 570 seems to be a decent deal at $349. I don't see much of a difference in tech specifications between the 570 and the 580, which I paid about $700 for after shipping and taxes in Feb 2010.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-570/pd?oc=dddwba1&mod...

I am interested in any insight users might be kind enough to share as to whether my usage pattern, which I will outline below, would cause a differential in my experience between the Intel Core i3 @ 2.93GHz from my old machine vs. the AMD Athlon II X2 240 @ 2.8GHz. I went with the Intel Core i3 last year because it seemed to be a better chip. I'll be using 4 GB RAM with the new machine as I was with the old 580.

I'm in the habit of keeping a ridiculous amount of apps open at all times. A quick glance at my Task Manager indicates the following:

CPU Usage: 14%
Physical Memory: 70%

Usually Outlook, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Skype, Firefox, and about 5 trading applications will be running simultaneously. I don't play any games but will occasionally use online media.

I recognize that, because I am going to have to purchase one or two video cards for my monitor usage, it may be cheaper to build a machine. If anyone is able to suggest components which might compose a machine for less than the Inspiron 570 after the cost of upgrading the video from its prebuilt status I would be forever grateful.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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November 28, 2010 7:55:16 AM

in the link you posted you can personalize your machine...
seems like it only has 3gb of ram..
i would suggest going with the 4 or 6 gb
yes the core i3 chip is better than the athlon ii x2
but i think it will suit yours needs unless your doing alot of photoshop
the dell 570 only has the 4200 onbard graphics which will NOT run your three monitors
what you can do is buy a video card and install it yourself because there seems to be an open pciex16 slot
the hd 5570 supports 3 monitors and should be enough for your needs
but the third monitor has to be connected to the displayport so you may have to look for an adapter
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November 28, 2010 8:09:15 AM

Hi tomate2:

Thanks for responding! I appreciate your insights and will look into the hd 5570. As you've mentioned, I do occasionally use Photoshop for light image editing relative to my web marketing efforts.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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November 28, 2010 8:29:31 AM

i dont use photoshop
but what ive heard is that the more cores the better and that athlon only has two cores
im guessing your last machine was a core i3-530
the i3-530 is a dual core processor but has hyperthreading so it has an additional two virtual cores so it performs somewhat like a quad core
so the i3-530 will do photoshop alot better than the athlon
if you think your last machine was already sluggish when doing photoshop than i suggest you look for a quad core processor
which would mean you will have to pick another machine instead of that inspiron 570
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November 29, 2010 1:53:54 PM

yes that would probably work fine in a three monitor setup if you arent doing any gaming
as long as you get all your monitors connected to it :D 
ive heard some people having problems finding that display port adapter...
i must say that i dont know how much you will be pushing that graphics card with a three monitor setup...
i dont think it will be a problem.... but hearing more feedback from more people would be a good idea... :D 
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November 29, 2010 3:01:21 PM

that monitor will NOT work. It has a hdmi, not display port, the only way to use eyefinity (3 monitors from 1 card) is to use 2 DVI+1Displayport, or 1 DVI, 1+HDMI, 1 displayport.)

for one card though, you're going to need a 5770 or above.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 29, 2010 8:03:22 PM

I must disagree with microterf, you do not need Eyefinity (Single Large Display) (mostly used in 3 screen gaming) all you need from that 5570 is the 3 outputs and your monitors connected to it in Extended Mode. The 3rd monitor will need to have a DisplayPort input OR an adapter off of this list:
http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-don...
I recommend http://www.amazon.com/Accell-B087B-005B-DisplayPort-Sin... and use a DVI to HDMI converter or something.
The above adapter is listed as passive but it will still work for your 3rd screen, as your monitors do not exceed 1920x1200 resolution you do not need to spend $100 for an active one.
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November 29, 2010 9:55:27 PM

Yes, but this does not have displayport on the 5750, only the 5770s and above do... look at the card, its hdmi vga and dvi. You can't use all 3 of those together.
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November 29, 2010 10:22:47 PM

Please do NOT get the 5570. It WON'T work for 3 monitors. You will only be able to use two outputs at a time.
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November 29, 2010 11:50:35 PM

Hello microterf & paperfox:

I very much appreciate your time and effort in sharing your expertise regarding my inquiry. Although I had not had the opportunity to review all posts and respond, I wanted to quickly alert you to the fact that I will hold off on any purchase for the time being until I can learn more.

Sincerely,
Quantum10
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November 29, 2010 11:57:52 PM

Quantum10,

Good idea, make sure you understand what you need and want before you send your hard earned money. We are here for you if you need anymore advice.
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November 30, 2010 2:06:00 AM

hm... i apologize...
i didnt notice that the graphics card you linked to doesnt have a displayport...
i thought the hdmi was a displayport
but if you want eyefinity the 3rd monitor has to be connected to a displayport
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a c 214 U Graphics card
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November 30, 2010 2:43:19 AM

I would say to go with the i3 it is newer and faster,and for your needs i would say the more RAM the better, probably 6gigs would be best.I currently own a 5570 and it works well except when watching movies with 2 montiors it starts to get boged down from the weight of trying to play HD.I would say you are safe to go with a 5570 "purely" for the use of using aplications and web surfing not to watch movies or anything that would ask much from a graphics point.A 5770 might be a more long term choice.
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