htelectrical - if I have the setup I describe as planned and boot into XP, what will happen - is it just that only two of my monitors will work?
And am I right in thinking that to have two cards - say if I kept the old one - I can only run the three monitors if they are SLI / Crossfire connected?
No, they do not have to be connected.
And eyefinity only works if they all run from the same card?
I am not 100% sure on that one
When I tried to run 3 monitors off of my new card, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it would not give me the option to enable the 3rd monitor in XP at all. Win 7 it was fine.
I then found out the limitation that XP only allows 2 monitors per card. I installed a 5670 that I was using in another PC so I could do what you are attempting since I also dual boot XP and 7.
**When running Microsoft Windows XP, Eyefinity technlogy supports a maximum of 2 displays.
For info/interest of anyone else reading this post, I sent the original info and questions in this post to Sapphire before posting here, and I just got this reply back now:
1. Will the three monitor setup work OK with Eyefinity for an extended desktop given the connection types I have on the older monitors?
Yes it should work fine in eyefinity setup, you are using WinVista or Win7 right? One thing I am a little skeptical is the HDMI to VGA port, but if they make something like that it should work just fine.
2. Can I choose to have the Dell as the main desktop monitor and extend to the left and the right of that main space?
Yes you can play around with the monitor setting inside the catalyst control center’s desktop and display properties.
3. Will the three monitor setup work on both XP and Win7 operating systems?
No eyefinity/3 monitor setup is only compatible with WinVista and win7.
4. Is this PCI 2.1 card compatible with a PCI 2.0 slot on my Asrock TurboTwins 2000 motherboard?
Yes this card does require PCIE 2.0v slot to work with.
htelectrical - so it sounds like there's maybe not a way to hook things up that will satisfy both operating systems, but I could scrabble around swapping plugs depending how I boot right?
In XP when you have three monitors running from two cards, you can still use all three displays as a single extended desktop - is that right?
No, You can make it work with both as long as you use 2 cards. I am running 3 monitors as single extended desktop, and actually have a 4th led projector that is set up to be above the middle monitor if I want to enable it. Dual booting Win XP and Win 7.