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Graphics cards for gaming on 3 monitors

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 14, 2011 5:06:32 AM

I currently have:

ATI Radeon HD 5800 with 1024 ram


Other components:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80GHz
8.0 GB RAM
Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (build 7601), 64-bit
GIGABYTE GBB36X motherboard

So here is where I'm at.

I would like to upgrade my graphics card back to an Nvidia chipset card, somewhere in the budget range of about 250 bucks (I have a little wiggle room). I would like to do this sometime in the next couple weeks.

Eventually (hopefully by year end), I want to be gaming on 3 monitors. I already know about the Matrox Triple head, digital.

The majority of what I play is:

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Battlefield 2: Bad Company, Battlefield 3 (*drools*)
Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
Star Craft 2

I play currently with a Samsung 24" LED 2ms 1080p monitor (1920x1080). I would like to end up with three of these.

So my question is... what graphics card will best suit me? Should I eventually go SLI with a second card for when I go to three monitors?

Thanks
September 14, 2011 6:53:48 AM

Well for triple display set-ups, make sure its a 2GB version in the least, then just check whatever they have in the buying guide at that price point :p  Maybe a notch higher, and see if you cant find a bargain. Just make sure its at least a
2gb card, because the extra resolution really needs it.

If you've got the technical know how, or the ability to understand and follow technical online tutorials you could get a real bargain with a ATI HD 6950. Read up on the card a bit and you can find quite a lot of success stories on people upgrading their 6950's to 6970's. Note: Not all 6950's have this upgrade, double check before you settle on one of these cards, its not a given, but a sweet possibility. Hacking a 350$ card out of a 250$ card is reason enough to not even consider anything that Nvidia is offering at that price point.
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 14, 2011 7:17:38 AM

for nvidia cards, you need 2 cards for 3 monitors. If you stayed with AMD cards, you only need 1 card. Why must you use Nvidia?
Related resources
September 14, 2011 6:23:31 PM

I've had a bad time with driver compatibility with AMD cards. I can't even use the HDMI cable because they don't have proper drivers (when I use it, the screen size shrinks by an inch around all sides of the monitor, and no one with either the monitor or the card manufacturer could help, finally Samsung told me it was a driver issue). Also, I was told by AMD that they don't support both cross-fire and eyefinity at the same time. It's a one or the other thing.

So I'm going back to the brand that works for me, plus, I like PhysX and quite a few of the games I play support it, not to mention they just seem to work better with Nvidia cards.
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 14, 2011 10:02:57 PM

really, AMD drivers work perfect for me. Maybe you just dont know how to use AMD's software properly. And they DO support xfire and eyefinity at the same time. You really have all your facts wrong.
September 15, 2011 3:56:33 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
really, AMD drivers work perfect for me. Maybe you just dont know how to use AMD's software properly. And they DO support xfire and eyefinity at the same time. You really have all your facts wrong.


Perhaps that's true now, iam2thecrowe, but at the time when I was fighting it, and spend a month going back and forth with Samsung, and ATI (the manufacturer was -completely- unreachable. ATI was only so much help, and they were the ones that said they did not have drivers that supported crossfire+eyefinity). Still, I have had such a bad experience with Radeon cards it even beats getting 5 bad PNY GeForce cards from BestBuy -in a row-

I'm very leery about which manufacturers I choose now, which is a primary reason I haven't bought an OCZ SSD yet either.

I know lots of people that swear by ATI, and I know just as many people that had serious problems with them.
September 15, 2011 5:32:06 AM

Argh, I had that same 1 inch off the sides of the screen issue when I used my computer on my TV, but theres an option to fix it. Also it happens with Nvidia cards (well on my old 8800 GTS) I think its just my TV that gets read wrong or somthing by the hardware/software even though its 1080p. It was a fairly hidden setting, and I can't remember the name of the setting nor am I able to google it right now but it is there.

Originaly I was "fixing" that issue by first plugging the HDMI cable into my PS3, then booting it after which I swapped it into my PC which was just the craziest thing in the world.

Having issues with drivers and hardware is going to happen no matter what manufacturer you go with. Kinda comes with the territory of PCs.
September 15, 2011 6:26:57 AM

I can vouch that the 5970 drives three monitors great.
September 16, 2011 12:29:37 AM

I am really not interested in AMD cards at all. Period. Can someone please respond to my question?
September 16, 2011 3:19:50 AM

What's a 5800?
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 6:22:51 PM

Well, the reality is this Lord_Paladin:
1- You need 2 nVIDIA video cards for three monitors. Nvidia 3D sourround

2- At a $250 budget your are stuck with a SLI configuration of This Gtx 460 $139 after rebate each. OR a single Gtx 560 Ti $225 after MIR (again two monitors only)

If you want to stick with nvidia and get good framerates get a Gtx 560 Ti now, and another one later. Get the 2 GB version if you can find it. BTW, make sure your PSU can handle both cards.
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 6:26:40 PM

OP:

Maybe sli gtx 560 2GB if it must be Nvidia...

really I think the best would be 6950 crossfire (that is for your needs)

edit:

with that budget you are probably best suited by 460 sli imo
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 6:30:28 PM

Ananan said:
What's a 5800?



Im guessing a 5850
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 6:35:09 PM

Jack4Lope said:
Well for triple display set-ups, make sure its a 2GB version in the least, then just check whatever they have in the buying guide at that price point :p  Maybe a notch higher, and see if you cant find a bargain. Just make sure its at least a
2gb card, because the extra resolution really needs it.

If you've got the technical know how, or the ability to understand and follow technical online tutorials you could get a real bargain with a ATI HD 6950. Read up on the card a bit and you can find quite a lot of success stories on people upgrading their 6950's to 6970's. Note: Not all 6950's have this upgrade, double check before you settle on one of these cards, its not a given, but a sweet possibility. Hacking a 350$ card out of a 250$ card is reason enough to not even consider anything that Nvidia is offering at that price point.



the flashing is very much so a thing of the past..... but you can always oc the 6950 to make up for a good chunk of the performance gap (which is not much).. in the OP case if he already has a 5850, then a single 6950 will not be much of an upgrade, and given that they want NV then I think 460 sli is the best choice regarding price/raw perf... otherwise get a nice gtx 560ti and oc that crap out of it. I have the asus DC2 and it holds a 1ghz core oc with low temps and little voltage increase and furthermore at those speeds it is practically a gtx 570. Now im not saying it would be great at running triple 1080p displays but it should be decent in most games and for the price you get a lot of performance imo and sli'ing it down the road would net you even more even without the 2 GB of ram you would still have a lot of GPU throughput imo whether you ultimately went with 460 or 560ti sli, my 2 cents anyways
!