With the current setup I have I am running a single 24" display. I plan to get a couple more once I get heavily invested in school (business/IT major) and I'm wondering if this setup would work with the settings and applications I plan to use. If not should I look at investing in a 68-- or wait for the 7--- series?
The card I'm currently running is a Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 1GB.
Yes it will work but don't expect miracles. It depends on what "settings and applications" you're talking about. If you want to game on them - that's probably the most demanding thing. I'd guess you could get by with low settings in most newer games. If you're just planning to run Word, Excel, and other Windows programs that aren't needing 3D rendering then you'll definitely be a-ok.
Just remember that at least 1 monitor needs to be using a DisplayPort output from the video card. Generally speaking, most monitors don't have DP so you'd need to use an Active DP to DVI/HDMI adapter. Single Link if it's 1920x1200 or less, otherwise for big monitors you need Dual Link which are $100 more.
Oh this system isn't for games. It's strictly for school/work purposes. I made sure to get a non-OC Intel SB processor just for that purpose.
So what you're saying is that I can run three as long as I have one hooked up to DP? If I were to move to a 68-- series would I be able to use any number of configurations of display ports so I could get by using multiple monitors without an adapter? Or is using the system with DP a universal thing to Eyefinity?
So far both 5xxx and 6xxx work the same way and need a DP. Something to do with internally the cards only have 2 decoded outputs or some gibberish, and DP can kind of handle the "raw" video stream so it's decoded inside the DP adapter, or alternatively inside the monitor that uses a DP input. At least that's the gist of it, I know I'm not using any of the technical jargon...
Anyway, an active single link DP adapter is only $30-40.
though there are 'special' cards that can drive 3 dvi/hdmi screens at the same time like the Sapphire FLEX edition cards, (and some other manuf i forgot, they advertised it as Ready-to-See (RTS) eyefinity, could have been HIS)