Best Affordable GPU for Dual Monitors

I am looking for a GPU that will run Dual Monitors Smoothly.

I am purchasing a 23" monitor at 1920x1080
and will temporarily be using a 22" 1680x1050 monitor.

Though I am looking to soon update the 22" to possibly a larger screen.

Anyway, I have had my eye on 6950's.

This will be my first time building a system, so I am still learning a lot.
So please forgive me if I don't understand something.

Anyway, just wanted to ask the experts on what GPU I should look into.

Also, do 1GB vs 2GB make a big difference in terms of dual monitors?

And, if is cheaper to for 2x1GB or 2GB.
18 answers Last reply
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  1. What is affordable for you?? The 6950 should work just fine.
  2. What are you planning on using this for?

    For simple tasks across dual monitors a 5570 would be more than enough, if its gaming across two that gets a bit awkward due to center screen being split between the two, but it really doesnt take much extra power to handle an extra screen if all its going to be running most of the time is a web browser and a chat client, i have a dual screen setup on a 4850 512MB which works out quite well
  3. The one ur looking at the 6950 is a strong GPU at around 270$ price.
    It should handle ur resolution very well without any problems. U 'll get very good performance in gaming with high settings.
    the 1GB is a few bucks cheaper but I 'd go with the 2GB.
    also its possible to BIOS flash the 2GB version to a 6970.
  4. @Embra Well, I was looking at like a $200-250 range, but if the 6950 is going to work well and last a while, I don't mind paying for it. Thanks

    @hunter I plan on using it for gaming, video editing/rendering (my 2 main focuses) and then just the general (browsing, video, etc)
    I don't know if I will necessarily be using both screens for the game, but I do know I will be multitasking while gaming. Thanks

    @gametstr Oh ok, thanks.

    I have a few more questions for anyone who might know the answer.

    1:Will the GPU work with the MoBo I am currently going for and will it be a good fit?

    2:From what I've seen, there are multiple brands and types of 6950's (eg:MSI, Asus, etc). Exactly which brand is reliable and best?

    Have a few more questions, but will ask those once I find out which type of 6950's ill be going for.

    Once again, I apologize if I am saying something wrong, but it is my first time and I am learning. (Tell me if I am wrong :P)

    Thanks again everyone and hope you can further assist me!!
  5. For your list of uses, a 6950 would be great.

    As far as brands go; when you use a card to run dual monitors, they idle a lot hotter. It'll be important to get a card with good cooling to avoid problems with over heating the VRM/VRAM.

    The MSI Twin Frozr III idles much lower than most 6950's and are quiet.
  6. Yup that mobo will do just great, go ahead.
  7. Ok, thanks guys.

    I've decided to go with the MSI Twin FroZr III

    I hope these will be a good buy.

    I notice it uses PCI 2.1 x16

    My MoBo has PCI 2.0 x16 slots though, does it mean it will still fit and work?


    Also, I'm guessing I will have to place it in the top slot PCI 2.0 x16 slot.

    Will it cover up any other slots beside it? like the pci express slots?

  8. I am soon to build a new pc and the MSI 6950 Twin FroZr is my choice! And yeah it will take up 2 expansion slots on your case. But it's ok because your mobi has two pci slots anyways.

    Have fun with your new build!
  9. Sorry my mistake it will only cover the PCI e 1x slot next to it. I was looking at the wrong mobo.
  10. Yup it's gonna cover the PCI-E x1 below it - don't worry, if you only plan to have one GPU you can plug x1 cards into x4 or x16 slots! So see this board as having 5 PCI-E slots. All 5 could support a PCI-E x1 card. But for GPUs you want the fastest slot (not to mention they won't fit in a x1).

    x16 is x16 - 2.1 2.0 1.0 etc.. same size slot. It will plug in and run at the highest supported link speed - 2.0

    IMHO Asus, Gigabyte, MSI... all very good. Though there are duds made by any MFR. Check out reviews because sometimes a particular model will have reviews by a lot of users claiming overheating and such.. etc..

    Place it in the top slot? Should work whereever. But I'm guessing ONLY the top one does X16 mode, the second one x8, third x4
  11. I think on this board, not 100% sure, the top and second are x16 and the third is x4. Thats what is is for the pro I believe so they most likely continued it on through the higher end boards.
  12. Sweet, thanks for clarifying everyone.

    I will be going with this GPU.

    I was just wondering but is a 2GB GPU equivalent to 2x1GB GPUs (aka Dual GPUs)?

    Also, what are some other things PCI slots are used for?

    Thanks again everyone!!
  13. Well if you wanted stuff like dedicated sound cards or a wifi card. The wifi cards can be quite useful. For sound, your motherboard already ha a pretty good sound integrated so your fine.
  14. Oh ok, that makes sense. Yah, I am getting necessary components atm. Later on, I will probably add stuff like a better sound card and wifi.

    Just wondering, but do you know the answer to my other question?

  15. Well for a multiple monitor setup you would probably be better off with the 2GB, it's what im going to buy. There is no point buying 2 cards, save money. I am not sure which will give a faster picture, but if it were me, as a first time builder just go with one card and if necessary buy another one later if you want better graphics.

    Just a tip, buy all your necessary parts at once so that you can test them and make sure they all work.

    Just to be safe I would ground yourself before touching the components and as an investment if you plan on building a few more pc's, get an anti-static wrist band or mat to work on.
  16. Ok, thanks. Yah I plan on getting a anti-static wrist band. What do you mean by ground yourself?
  17. It's another way of saying discharge.

    Oh and don't forget to download the latest drivers for your motherboard and graphics cards etc.
  18. Yeah, I'm not sure how to do that.

    Im guessing I will have to build everthing, boot it, and then update. Or do I update stragiht from bios or something?
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