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Correcting Upgrade Mistake

Last response: in Motherboards
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January 18, 2012 6:50:38 PM

Thank you in advance for taking the time to address my question.

I own a Dell XPS 8300, recently saw some great deals on monitors and decided to go for a three monitor extended desktop display. Being a novice, I called Dell to ask if my current video card supported three monitors or if I would need to upgrade. I was told I needed an upgrade. One of the video cards which they informed me would work was also running a great sale - the PNY Nvidia Geforce GTX 460. I thanked support, purchased two additional monitors and the GTX 460. Please note that I did not purchase these from Dell. After installing the GTX 460 I unfortuately learned that while it has one HDMI and 2 DVI ports, it will only support two monitors in extended desktop simultaneously. I am now investigating my options for acheiving my three monitor goal (better graphics quality for games is a welcome side effect as I do play games from time to time). You will notice I am asking Tom's Hardware rather than Dell this time...

The first option I considered was simply purchasing another GTX 460 which is at a good price right now and using SLI to run both and be able to use up to 4 monitors in extended display at once. Unfortunately my current motherboard only had one video card slot, I believe called a PCI slot. The case does seem to have room for the back of another video card of this size to stick out.

QUESTION 1: What do I need to do to go the Dual GTX 460 route? I assume I need a new motherboard, new power supply, and an additional GTX card. I would GREATLY appreciate verification of what motherboard options I have, that fit in my case and support this solution as well as power supply upgradges that would work in the configuration as well. This seems like it would be harder to install but would result in a better system overall. I am aware that this would void my Dell Warranty.

The second option I am aware of is to attempt to return the GTX 460 to newegg and replace it with an ATI card with Eyefinity. This would also require me to get a displayport to DVI or dispayport to HDMI adapter.

QUESTION 2: What ATI cards would work for this solution with my current configuration and which are reccommended? is the Gigabyte Ultra Durable VGA Series Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 an option (currently on sale)? Does anyone have experience returning a working card to newegg?

QUESTION 3: Are there any options I am missing/unaware of?

System specs from Dell pasted below. Thank you so much for your help.



System Summary


System Type: XPS/Dimension 8300
Ship Date: 8/12/2011
Country: United States



Quantity Parts # Part Description

1 8P7V4 BASE,MNTW,PFC,WHT,XPS,8300
1 01323 INFO,NO ITEM
1 07GHK Module,Label,Microsoft,Desktop,Windows Seven
1 0WFXT Module,Dvd+/-rw,Half Height,Dvd-ram,Optiplex,Hitachi Lg Data Storage
1 1TGPC MOD,LBL,INTEL,DT,CI72
1 9R578 Module,Information,DHS,High, Value
1 55956 Info,No Modem included
1 5MM1N Module,Shipping Material, System,Studio,Medium Tower, Original Development Manager
1 5XND5 MOD,DIMM,12GB,2X4/2X2GB,1333M
1 61YKY Module,Software,DSO,2GB-FREE,2.0
1 6KGF7 MOD,PLUG,VIDEO,JACK,HDMI,VGA
1 72CN4 Ship Group,Extreme Performance System,L10,Foxconn,8300,Dell Americas Organization
1 7FH9J Module,Keyboard,104,United States,Multi-Media,Ship In Box
1 9641K Module,Documentation,English,Extreme Performance System,8300,Dao/Bcc
1 99RFP Module,Software,DSPRT-CTR,3.0
1 CP1VF Module,Software,W7HP64 Consumer Desktop,English Dao/bcc
1 FXJ4F MOD,SW,QFE,WIN7,CDT
1 GV0CP Module,Software,WINDOWS-LIVE,WAVE4,Consumer
1 HXGW7 MOD,CHAS,L6,460W,B3,8300,WHT
1 J510R MOD,HD,1TB,7.2K,PHAR-XLOB
1 J662D MOD,MSE,6BTN,LS,CSMR,LOGI,DT
1 J6XND MOD,SW,W7HP64,DVD,MUI,NO-E
1 N96VP Module,Software,OFC-2010,Factory Install
1 N971H MOD,CORD,PWR,125V,2M,C13,US
1 RVW9D MOD,THRM,HTSNK,95W,MNTW/SLTW
1 VR08H MOD,SW,COA,W7HP32/64
1 X2JXJ MOD,CRD,GRPHC,M114A,STUDIO XPS
1 XM544 Module,Software,PC-RESTORE Transactional Line Of Business
1 YDVND MOD,PRC,I7-2600,3.4,8MB,SNB,D2
1 J071G Module,Software,Soft Contracts,DELL-IN-HOME

Best solution

a b C Monitor
a c 135 V Motherboard
January 18, 2012 7:04:59 PM

Ok, reading the above, it looks like you have a 460W PSU. Dell's PSUs aren't great, but they aren't junk. I believe you could run a GTX460 on it without problems.
The strongest AMD GPU you could safely run on it (including long term) is a HD6850. That is a little bit stronger than the GTX460. You would not want to game across three monitors with it, but you can have three displays for general use and game on one monitor.
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January 18, 2012 7:14:50 PM

yes, with your current setup, (i7 2600, 460w psu) you could run a 6850, as stated above.

but, if you wanted to game on your current set up, ill give you to options to think about:
1. get a new motherboard, second 460, and a (in my opinion) a 700w+ psu. (i always like to have more.

2. sell your 460, get a newer ati based card (6950, 6970), and a beefier PSu and keep your current motherboard.

another question, what resolution are the three monitors you have?
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January 19, 2012 3:55:57 PM

Thank you for your advice - In answer to your question: I have two 23 inch Acer's that run at 1920 x 1080 which is also their recommended and highest resolution. These are my left and right displays.

I have 1 Samsung HDTV which I think is 23 inches. It runs at its recommended resolution of 1680x1050. It's max is 1920x1080.

Do you have any insight into a recommended motherboard which would work with the 700w+ psu, run the two GTX 460's, fit in my case/work with the open port space on the back of my case, and also work with the rest of my current components like RAM and processor per option 1 above? I could really use help with this question.

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January 19, 2012 3:57:12 PM

Onus said:
Ok, reading the above, it looks like you have a 460W PSU. Dell's PSUs aren't great, but they aren't junk. I believe you could run a GTX460 on it without problems.
The strongest AMD GPU you could safely run on it (including long term) is a HD6850. That is a little bit stronger than the GTX460. You would not want to game across three monitors with it, but you can have three displays for general use and game on one monitor.


Thank you very much for the reply. Just to clarify, I only want to game one monitor, but I would like a three monitor extended desktop.
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a b C Monitor
a c 135 V Motherboard
January 19, 2012 9:01:50 PM

You could do that with a HD6850, which supports three displays.
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January 30, 2012 1:45:04 AM

Best answer selected by pphill2.
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January 30, 2012 1:52:03 AM

Onus said:
Ok, reading the above, it looks like you have a 460W PSU. Dell's PSUs aren't great, but they aren't junk. I believe you could run a GTX460 on it without problems.
The strongest AMD GPU you could safely run on it (including long term) is a HD6850. That is a little bit stronger than the GTX460. You would not want to game across three monitors with it, but you can have three displays for general use and game on one monitor.


For any interested parties - I rated this best answer as it was most helpful to me. Guavasauce addressed my second question on additional options, which I was very interested in. However, I couldn't really act on the suggestions as no specific motherboards were mentioned. Also, I'm assuming it is true that my motherboard cant handle above the ATI 6850 as jtt says in which case guavasauce's latter recommendations would have potentially crashed my system?

I ended up returning the GTX 460 and buying a Radeon 6850. It works as intended although I wasted money on a *passive* displayport to DVI adapter before I realized I needed an *active* adapter for everything to work.

Thank you again to everyone who replied, all of which were more helpful than Dell =P
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a b C Monitor
a c 328 V Motherboard
January 30, 2012 2:12:00 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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