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Tech Gods - Triple Monitor Setup

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July 9, 2011 3:36:03 AM

Hello,

I am a business proffessional and currently ready to upgrade my PC.
I am building a custom system and have a few questions for you tech gods.
I do not need to be able to play high end video games, but require enough power to be able to process video without any lag

My requirements are as follows:
The system must be able to flawlessly run 3 LG L196WTQ monitors at 1440 x 900
The system will be constantly on and never off and will be used about 16 hours a day by multiple users.
Therefore it must be reliable.

What video card(s) should I go with and what kind of power supply should I go with. Keep in mind I am trying to keep this at a reasonable budget.


I am proabably going to go with the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 motherboard with a Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz . Although this may change based on your opinions. All comments/suggestions welcome!
July 9, 2011 10:26:25 AM

Quote:
1. if u're not doing anything intensive u wont need a z68 board and i5K chip,
a simple H67 baord with i3-2100 will do
2. a Radeon HD5450 should be enough to drive 3 monitors in eyefinity,
I would personally prefer a HD5750 though since it would provide 2 DVI output


Processing can get intensive. More importantly it will definitely hamper the ability of the other 2 screens. I believe having the extra processing power is important. I will generally start rendering a video, browse the web and run some sort of financial application all at the same time. Quad-Processors are important and the i5 has that. More important is that the computer runs consistently and the Hyper Threading Quad Core of the i7 makes that happen. The difference between the cheapest i5 is about +$50 from the most expensive i3.

I just took an intense read-up on eyefinity and the 5750. From what I understand only 2 of the monitors will run DVi while the 3rd is on HDMI. That would not be good especially considering these monitors do not possess HDMI inputs. From what I understand having 2 DVI ports on 1 card is the maximum because of a hardware limitation. Therefore the only possible way to run 3 dvi cables would be with dual cards, (SLI?).

If you or anyone elses have any more opinions on this please do chime in.

FYI. Motherboard + RAM + video card(s) needs to be under $1000 preferably around $800
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July 9, 2011 11:55:55 AM

Just because he's not gaming doesn't mean he isn't doing anything intensive. If however reliability is important, you probably won't be OCing. If true, get the 2500, not the K version.

Quote:
From what I understand only 2 of the monitors will run DVi while the 3rd is on HDMI. That would not be good especially considering these monitors do not possess HDMI inputs.


Not true. When using Eyefinity, you can use the two DVI ports, but the third monitor MUST use the display port. Eyefinity only works when one of the monitors uses DP. If your monitors don't use DP you can get an adapter, I think this one will work. (it claims to anyways.)

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

Another option it to use a solution from Nvidia. This will require an SLI motherboard along with two identical cards. (two GTS450s for example.) One thing to note going this route is ALL monitors must use the same tech. Meaning you can't mix and match digital and analog ports on the cards. There was a guy on here not to long ago who was having issues setting this up because he was using a DVI to VGA adapter.
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July 10, 2011 2:24:52 AM

The one linked said the max res was 1200. It's probably one of those cheaper single link DVI adapters they came out with.
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July 11, 2011 2:55:58 AM

You are correct, I will not be over clocking and therefore will not require the k version. I am a photographer on the side and usually always have either (hundreds) of photos exporting from raw files or (hours) of video rendering from my 5d Mk II.

Do you believe that the single 5450 has enough power to be able to run my system efficiently? Personally i'd rather use DVI and not have to mess with adapters. The ATI route requires me to use the dv port therefore I am removing that from my options. Is there a major advantage to having twin GTS450's? Through further research i'm finding out that I may be looking at this the wrong way...

Should I have 2 computers running instead? 1 to handle all the media processing with 1 monitor and a second simpler computer with a reputable card to handle the other 2 screens and connect them both together with synergy/maxivista over my gigabit network? This way the performance load of 1 computer would not affect the 2nd? Also does anyone know if the exact mobo that I chose is SLI ready? Also, how powerful of a PSU do I need for all this and can you recommend a "modular" PSU?

Updated computer build should be as follows (prices current as of 7/10/11)
Mobo
1a. GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 -- $158
1b. ASUS P8Z68-V Pro LGA 1155 -- $$195 (favored)
Are these motherboards both SLI ready? Recommendations on different models?

CPU
2a. Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3 GHZ -- $180 (favored)
2b. Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1 GHZ -- $150

RAM
3a. G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB 4x4GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) 9-9-9-24 -- $125 after $40 off w/ promo code from newegg
3b. G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB 4x4GB DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) 9-10-9-28 -- $165
Anyone know a place to get cheaper ram?

GPU
4a. Twin SLI'd eVGA GeForce GTS 450 Graphics adapter - 1 GB GDDR5 -- $88 x 2 = $176 (favored)
4b. Twin SLI'd GeForce GTX 460 SE Graphics adapter 1 GB GDDR5 -- $123 x 2 = $246

HDD
5a. Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0 $150
5b. Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0 $150 (favored 4.16ms seek vs WD Caviar 4.20 ms seek)

195+180+165+176+150= $866, in budget but still missing a PSU
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July 11, 2011 3:59:59 AM

While I'm not sure the 5450 has all the power you want, the 5570 or such card should. I mentioned the GTS450 because its the cheapest cards from Nvidia that will do what you want. They have the added benefit of supporting CUDA, so if any of your programs support that you can use it. There is no harm in using a 5570 and the DP to DVI adapter. (DP, not DV.)

I'd get the 1600 ram for $125. The price is actually quite good. You can normally find 2x2GB (4GBs) for $40ish these days. To get 16GBs (x4) you could expect to pay x4 as well, which would be $160 It's the price you pay for 16GBs.
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Best solution

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July 11, 2011 7:56:48 AM

Quote:
or u can grab one of those Sapphire Flex cards and have the 3rd monitor running a HDMI to DVI, since HDMI to DVI is cheaper than mini display to DVI

This should fill ur needs
Sapphire Flex HD5670


I agree with greghome that Sapphire Flex is an optimum solution. For these specialized cards, the Eyefinity works right out of the Box if you have 3 DVI monitors. This video card comes with an activated HDMI port ( different from others ) and the accessories includes an HDMI to DVI converter so you get 3 ready to work DVI ports in effect.

Since you are willing to spend more around $200 for video cards, this will be ideal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Please note that with this, there is no need to buy a display port adaptor if you will use it for 3 monitors only. You will only need to buy DP to DVI active adaptors if you wish to connect more than 3 monitors. And with the sapphire flex 6870, you can connect up to 5.
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July 11, 2011 9:05:53 AM

Best answer selected by kaeo.
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July 11, 2011 9:13:13 AM

randomkid said:
I agree with greghome that Sapphire Flex is an optimum solution. For these specialized cards, the Eyefinity works right out of the Box if you have 3 DVI monitors. This video card comes with an activated HDMI port ( different from others ) and the accessories includes an HDMI to DVI converter so you get 3 ready to work DVI ports in effect.

Since you are willing to spend more around $200 for video cards, this will be ideal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Please note that with this, there is no need to buy a display port adaptor if you will use it for 3 monitors only. You will only need to buy DP to DVI active adaptors if you wish to connect more than 3 monitors. And with the sapphire flex 6870, you can connect up to 5.

Dude, that choice is a mistake.

The single AMD card has to have at least one display port/mini display port to drive 3 monitors.

As far as eyefinity is concerned, you really don't have to set up eyefinity for this to work in a business setup either as regular multi-monitor setup will work fine if you're not gaming across 3 monitors. On the other hand, if you want your start bar to span all 3 monitors, you could setup an eyefinitey panel group (don't know why you'd want this though).

Just don't want you to have to live and learn...
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July 11, 2011 9:19:46 AM

ubercake said:
Dude, that choice is a mistake.

The single AMD card has to have at least one display port/mini display port to drive 3 monitors.

I have explained what a Sapphire Flex is. Please do your reading.

I have a Sapphire Flex 6950 2GB and have enable 3 monitors in Eyefinity without any display port monitor/adaptor.
3 monitors ( Eyefinity or not ) right out of the box.
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July 11, 2011 9:34:23 AM

randomkid said:
I have explained what a Sapphire Flex is. Please do your reading.

I have a Sapphire Flex 6950 2GB and have enable 3 monitors in Eyefinity without any display port monitor/adaptor.
3 monitors ( Eyefinity or not ) right out of the box.

OK. Sounds cool. Does have display ports, but also allows 3 monitors with non-display port hookups. Great concept. Sorry I missed it.
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July 11, 2011 10:10:13 AM

Quote:
U elaborated everything I meant pretty well, but I dont get why u suggested the OP a card that's much more gaming oriented and much pricier than the HD5670 Flex........

Would help if he decides to play Crysis one day though.................. :lol: 

He was considering the following in his earlier post so I believe he have the budget and willingness to spend:

GPU
4a. Twin SLI'd eVGA GeForce GTS 450 Graphics adapter - 1 GB GDDR5 -- $88 x 2 = $176 (favored)
4b. Twin SLI'd GeForce GTX 460 SE Graphics adapter 1 GB GDDR5 -- $123 x 2 = $246

And in any case, I already said your recommendation is the optimum and the 6870 is only an "IF". :) 
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July 11, 2011 10:49:13 AM

The higher end Nvidia card will help if his programs support CUDA. If they don't, then the cheapest flex card is fine. (or a 5450, 5570, etc with the adapter.) The GTS450 makes a good CUDA card.
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July 11, 2011 11:11:34 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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