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3 DVI slots or 2 vid cards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2010 9:13:30 AM

I am thinking of getting a new desktop box but I need a system that can run 3 monitors. The specs probably need to be slightly less than that of a gaming PC but enough to run at 2GBs worth of programs during the day (mainly financial software, office software, video streaming, etc.).

I assume most video cards now have at least 2 DVI slots (nvidia variety):
nVidia GeForce 8200
or 7025
but as I have 3 monitors what's the best card to get or is it possible just to buy 2 vid cards?
The 3rd monitor at present is run off USB so I can make do for th emeantime if necessary.

I don;t really want integrated graphics but guess could make do as the spec would have 4Gb memory.

More about : dvi slots vid cards

a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 27, 2010 12:16:44 PM

Get one of the new AMD 5 series cards. You didn't list anything graphics intensive so you don't need a huge card. A nice 5670 would do fine. Two of your monitors would plug in like normal, while the third will need one of new singlelink DP to DVI adapters.

http://www.techpowerup.com/129900/AMD_Intros_Affordable...
December 27, 2010 12:33:50 PM

So, the geforce 8200 only has 2 slots?

I could get a ATI HD 5450, which has 3 slots but 1 is VGA, 1 HDMI, and 1 DVI - off that they didn;t add more support for 3 HDMI or 3DVI but anyway.

Are they both integrated cards?
Related resources
December 27, 2010 12:43:29 PM

Is the DP to DVI a USB adapter?
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 27, 2010 1:03:58 PM

The 8200 can only power 2 monitors. The AMD 5 and 6 series cards can do 3 or 4 monitors at once.

I did a search on newegg, the lowest card that has 2DVI connectors is the 5750. Do none of your monitors take VGA? I did run across this 5670 with only digital connections.

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

You might need some adapters to make it work. No clue what you have.
December 27, 2010 3:02:30 PM

The monitors can take VGA, DVI, or HDMI so 1 DVI and 1 VGA port on the card shouldn;t be too much of an issue. It would just be nice to have 3 ports rather than to have to run one of the monitors off a USB port.
The USB runs fine but the image isn;t as clear and it uses up memory as well?
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 27, 2010 10:03:44 PM

So one monitor gets hooked up VGA to VGA. The second gets hooked up DVI to DVI. The third will be an issue because it needs to be DP. You'll need to get that DP to DVI (and then possibly a DVI to DMI if you need to) adapter to make it work. If you can use VGA then just get whatever cheap card you want. I personally wouldn't get anything lower then a 5570, but the choice is yours.
December 28, 2010 7:48:14 AM

What's DP?

I have a UDB to DVI adapter - is that the same thing?

The Radeon card seem to take 3:
VGA to VGA
DVI to DVI
HDMI to HDMI
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 28, 2010 9:06:19 AM

DP = Display Port. Different from what you have.

From what I know Eyefinity requires the use of one monitor to use DP. I'm not sure a VGA/DVI/DMI card can do eyefinity.
December 28, 2010 12:34:22 PM

4745454b said:
The 8200 can only power 2 monitors. The AMD 5 and 6 series cards can do 3 or 4 monitors at once.


Can any of the cards in the 5 and 6 series run 4 monitors as long as you aren't actually using eyefinity mode?

I.E. 4 separate displays at once or is 3 the limit. If yes, which cards can support 4?
December 28, 2010 12:44:59 PM

I'll upgrade later I think and get an integrated card to start with.
Does the Radeon 4250 have 3 slots or will it be 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and then I can attach the 3rd monitor with a displayPort adapter?
Are the graphics from a DisplayPort as quick as direct with VGA/HDMI/DVI?
Just asking as currently I have a DIsplayLink USB connection for the 3rd monitor and it can be pretty slow at times.


Onboard ATI Radeon HD4250 Graphics with a maximum memory or 512mb (shared with system memory).
Mobo: Biostar a880G+
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 28, 2010 1:08:58 PM

Log, it depends on the card. I think all 6 series can and some 5 series can. You might need to use one or two DPs depending.

Qwerty, 5xxx, not 4xxx. You need to go up a level.
December 28, 2010 1:50:49 PM

4745454b said:
Log, it depends on the card. I think all 6 series can and some 5 series can. You might need to use one or two DPs depending.

Qwerty, 5xxx, not 4xxx. You need to go up a level.


Yep, got that but I wanted to start with an integrated card and only upgrade when I felt like I needed it. I haven;t got access to a site like newegg in the country I live to build it up from scratch (especially at a good price) so I have to buy something as close as I can and then update the vid card if necessary.
Only real issue is whether 3 monitors will work with the 4250 - I can't find any information on the ATI site as to how many vid ports it has and what types - it just says HDMI, VGA, DVI, and DP are supported.
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 28, 2010 4:37:57 PM

It supports two, thats what I've been trying to tell you. I don't mean to be rude here, but do you see the 4 in the 4250? That 4 means its a 4 series card. All (consumer) Nvidia cards and all AMD/ATI (consumer) cards prior to the 5 series only support 2 monitors. The 5 series supports 3 (and sometimes four) while the 6 series supports 4. If a cheaper/older card supported what you wanted then I would have said so.
December 28, 2010 5:34:22 PM

4745454b said:
It supports two, thats what I've been trying to tell you. I don't mean to be rude here, but do you see the 4 in the 4250? That 4 means its a 4 series card. All (consumer) Nvidia cards and all AMD/ATI (consumer) cards prior to the 5 series only support 2 monitors. The 5 series supports 3 (and sometimes four) while the 6 series supports 4. If a cheaper/older card supported what you wanted then I would have said so.


alright chill :) 
This said it perfectly:
All (consumer) Nvidia cards and all AMD/ATI (consumer) cards prior to the 5 series only support 2 monitors.

So, I'll stick with USB for the 3rd monitor and DisplayLink until I can get an upgraded card.

Thanks for the advice :) 
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 28, 2010 5:46:40 PM

If thats what you want to do. No 5 series cards in your price range? I'd rather buy a 5 series card and use your USB thing until you can get the DP to DVI adapter if thats the issue.
December 28, 2010 5:54:08 PM

4745454b said:
If thats what you want to do. No 5 series cards in your price range? I'd rather buy a 5 series card and use your USB thing until you can get the DP to DVI adapter if thats the issue.


Yep, there are plenty on ebay but all seem to be about $135+
Wish we had some access to a store like newegg but in the UK.
So, I reckon I'll get the combo package with the integrated card and then upgrade later as I can't build this from scratch for a cheap enough price unfortunately.

Speaking of which, when I install a stand alone card into a system that has an integrated card, presumably the integrated one just needs to be disabled and the stand alone will take over?
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 28, 2010 9:09:05 PM

It should.

Actually, some newer boards allow the onboard to continue to be used, even with the plug in card. I think the ones you want will say something about supporting hybrid CF/SLI. You don't want to enable that feature, but I think those are the ones that will stay on with a card installed.
December 30, 2010 11:57:06 AM

4745454b said:
Log, it depends on the card. I think all 6 series can and some 5 series can. You might need to use one or two DPs depending.


From the Sapphire website -

Quote:
allowing you to drive up to four separate monitors from a single DisplayPort 1.2 connector (requires DP1.2 monitors or Multi-Stream compatible hub)


I am looking at the Sapphire HD6970 2GB GDDR5 PCIE as my best solution. I have two monitors that have dvi and two tv's that have hdmi (no DP).

What is a 'multi stream compatible hub' ?

These are my specs - can this card go into my PC and does it look strong enough?

Q6600 quad 2.4 ghz
2.00 gb ram
GeForce 8600 GT
650w Antec Power supply
Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 30, 2010 3:17:02 PM

Its a hub that supports DP 1.2. If you don't have DP monitors though its not going to do you a lot of good. Your CPU is ok, a bit weak by todays standards. Your ram is a bit on the smallish size and your motherboard supports PCIe 1.0 which MAY pose a problem. Why are you looking at such a huge card for a 2GB of ram/G31 system?
December 30, 2010 10:15:11 PM

4745454b said:
Its a hub that supports DP 1.2. If you don't have DP monitors though its not going to do you a lot of good. Your CPU is ok, a bit weak by todays standards. Your ram is a bit on the smallish size and your motherboard supports PCIe 1.0 which MAY pose a problem. Why are you looking at such a huge card for a 2GB of ram/G31 system?

Hi again, thanks for your help.
Quote:
Why are you looking at such a huge card for a 2GB of ram/G31 system?

I'm just looking to solve my situation and that is just my misguided noobish attempt at doing so :D  .

I have always ran a 24 and 22 inch dual setup for Poker and coding scripts. Recently I bought a 57" TV and got a 22" TV free with it, so the 22" is now above my monitors and the 57" is in the same room. I want to hook it all up to my PC so that I can -

1) watch the dual monitors and the small TV all at once or
2) watch movies etc on the big TV

That led me to the 4 monitor capability of the sapphire cards. I've been studying the forum for days while on holidays. I've seen that people buy a PCI card (and use two cards) in situations like mine also - feasible? The other thing I liked about that card was that it was more 'next generation' and I figured it could come along when I upgrade.

I'm not against spending some money on this improvement - whatever gives me the best solution. I don't do gaming but might in future (if I head down that path I will likely buy a new PC at that point so not a current concern). If that was you, what direction would you head? The PCI solution is fine by me if it will work, no point burning money and I could just sell this PC when it's time to upgrade. But like I said, if I have to spend $500 or so to get a few more years from it then that wouldn't bother me either.
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 30, 2010 10:45:58 PM

You can run two cards, it would likely be cheaper as well. Its up to you on how you want to do it.
December 31, 2010 12:21:17 AM

4745454b said:
You can run two cards, it would likely be cheaper as well. Its up to you on how you want to do it.


Thanks, seems like the way to go.

I looked at this card -

eVGA GeForce 8400 GS Graphics Card

One thing I'm confused about - I notice that this model doesn't have multi monitor support (but I only want to link it for recorded videos). Will the DVI work for one of the TV's and the TV Out connection work for the other or do I need the model below that has dual monitor support?

eVGA e-Geforce 6200 Graphics Card



a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 31, 2010 12:32:44 AM

Where does it say it doesn't support dual monitors?
December 31, 2010 12:39:52 AM

It wasn't that it said it didn't, it was more that the other one said that it did -

For Connectivity and Additional Features

First says -

1 x DVI-I,
1 x TV Out,
1 x 15-pin HD-15 VGA
SLI


Second says -

1 x 15-pin VGA,
1 x S-Video
Dual DVI, Multi-Monitor Support


!