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Graphics Card for 3 monitors, non-gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 27, 2011 3:33:12 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible

BUDGET RANGE: hoping for under $200, but I'm willing to pay more if the performance is better for my usage.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
- General office use (word processing, spreadsheets, internet)
- Photoshop
- Light video editing
- no gaming

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Two 9800 GTs (running three monitors, non-SLI). One of the 9800GTs fried, so it needs to be replaced. I planned to continue using the other 9800 GT.
Power supply is Corsair 750HX 750W PSU.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: (e.g., make/model of CPU, MoBo, memory - this can help us determine whether or not a given card is compatible with and makes sense for your system. For high-end cards, knowing your case/cooling setup may also be helpful)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Microcenter

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: The resolution of each monitor is 2048 x 1152.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Needs to have two DVI outputs, so I can run two monitors off the card.

I know that most graphics cards are overkill for non-gamers, but this is a work computer, so I don't want to save $150 and end up with a GPU that bottlenecks my system.

I would like the card to be quiet, so either passive cooling or a large fan.
May 27, 2011 3:40:43 PM

I forgot to mention that I'm considering a GTS 450 or maybe a GTS 550ti.

Warranties don't matter much to me, because my fried 9800GT is a BFG. Apparently they've gone out of business, so the lifetime warranty on my card is meaningless.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 27, 2011 3:56:14 PM

So you rally want to keep that card or you want a single card for three displays? The AMD cards can do that.
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May 27, 2011 3:58:09 PM

I didn't realize that the two cards had to match. If that's the case, I can just pick up two new cards (each with two DVIs), or get one card with 2 DVIs and one HDMI, like you suggested.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check out the 5750s that Microcenter has right now.
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May 27, 2011 4:01:01 PM

mosox said:
So you rally want to keep that card or you want a single card for three displays? The AMD cards can do that.


No, I don't need to keep the card. It's working fine, so I just thought I'd keep using it. (I'm also interested in seeing if I can tell the difference between the 9800GT and whatever new card I get.)
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May 27, 2011 4:52:17 PM

I was just doing some research, and I remembered something that came up when I first bought my system. Some AMD cards require you to use either 2 DVIs and a DP or 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 DP. I don't have a DP input on my monitors, so I would need to buy one of those $100 active DP to DVI adapters to use the DP output.

Apparently some cards are now allowing the use of two DVIs and 1 HDMI (you're not forced to use the DP), but I can't seem to find any on Microcenter's website.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 27, 2011 5:21:24 PM

You gotta get the card(s) from Newegg or Amazon, they're cheaper.

All the new AMD cards can run three monitors, two of them on VGA or DVI or HDMI and one on Display Port. If you don't have a monitor with DP you must use this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suppose this one is overkill for your needs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maybe this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 28, 2011 1:04:55 AM

I personally use the gts 450 and it works great.
I only use it for 2x monitors though, but I use it for gaming and it plays all the new games on highest settings.
So I'd imagine it would do what you want, no problem.
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a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2011 4:13:47 AM

Sapphire Flex would be perfect, but I would suggest the 5770 ===> 5770 Flex

A little more power.
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May 28, 2011 5:23:57 AM

I'm trying to use the SAPPHIRE 100293DP Radeon HD 5570 with Eyefinity to run three monitors. And can't get the CCC software to configure it for the three monitors. I have two monitors going into DVI and one going into Displayport with an active adapter. If someone can tell me how to configure the latest version of CCC to get this to work I will pay you money. All the video tutorials are for an older version of the CCC. This is very frustrating. I can't imagine anyone getting this to work. Recently. At least since they've updated the CCC.
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May 28, 2011 6:34:27 AM

hm..
if you buy that ati card you better not use it together with the gt card...
their drivers are very different from each other for being from different companies
it will cause you a lot of problems and frustrations

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May 28, 2011 1:01:40 PM

He does edit video and uses photoshop. So he could go with the best he can afford.

130$ is well with in his budget. (200)
I suggest the 5770 flex

heres a HD6770 flex
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

@tomate2
U cant really use a nvidia card with a ati card together. That technology is not widely available.
The Lucid hydra is only available with a few latest mobos which is out of the question here.
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May 28, 2011 5:12:42 PM

Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I checked out those Sapphire Flex cards, and I'm not sure that they will work for me. My monitors are 2048x1152, and the Flex cards have

1 x Dual-Link DVI (2560x1600)
1 x HDMI (Sapphire doesn't say, but I think it's 1920x1200)
1 x DisplayPort (2560x1600, but I wouldn't want to use this because I would need to get a $100 active adapter. The resolution on the ~$30 active adapters is too low)
1 x Single-Link DVI-D (1920x1200)

So, at best, the single-link DVI-D resolution is too low, and at worst, both the single-link DVI-D and HDMI resolutions are too low.


I'd really like to switch from Nvidia to AMD. I've had two computers over the last 5-7 years or so, and each had an Nvidia card that failed. So, I was thinking about just getting two new AMD cards to run the three monitors. I'll probably decide later today.

BTW - I would prefer to buy from Microcenter because it's local, and I won't have to wait for the card to be shipped. I want to get back to using all of my monitors ASAP. If I wasn't dealing with a failed part, I'd probably be focusing on Newegg and Amazon. Their prices and selection on very good.

Thanks again for your help!
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a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2011 6:18:39 PM

If your using that high of a resolution, then this Sapphire flex is what I would use ===> Sapphire 6950 2gb Flex ;) 


Newegg ships FAST!! I get stuff in 2-3 working days standard ship.
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May 28, 2011 11:40:07 PM

OK, I think my issue is fixed. I picked up an EVGA GTS 450 for $99 after rebate at Microcenter. I installed it, and it seems to be working great along with my remaining 9800GT. Now, I just have to pay close attention while I'm using the system to see if there's any difference in the performance.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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