After going to dual monitors in 2006, I would see pathetic frame rates while gaming. ATI support suggested disabling 2nd monitor while gaming or adding a secondary cheap card to fix problem. So I added a cheap gfx card to drive second monitor and saw my regular single monitor frame rates return. Problem solved. One monitor is used as a completely calibrated monitor for photo and video work, for WYSIWYG when I send to lab for prints, and video authoring. The other is completely UNcalibrated so that I can see the my work as it would appear on the average monitor.
Budget is ~$200. I like XFX for their advance replacement and no issues lifetime warranty. Overclocking maybe, but not likely beyond ati's auto overclock. Crossfire, no
As I understand it now, a single eyefinity card should be able to drive both monitors with no appreciable loss in FPS while gaming on a single monitor. An XFX 6850 or XFX 6870 is what I'm looking at. for the little extra money the 6870 looks to be the leader. I'm not interested in the best of the best of the best, just setting up a great system that will last me another 4 years like this one has.
Should this card do what I need, or will I still need to use a second gfx card to drive my 2nd monitor and keep single monitor frame rates high? Going to order the new card on the 30th and need to know if I should go ahead and grab another 5450 for chump duty or if I only need the 6850/70 and can move the current 5450 to the new htpc.