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4 Monitor Setup Help...

Hi all,

I wanted to see if you can help me select 1 or more video card(s) for my new system that I am setting up. I want to me able to have 3 smaller monitors and one larger one that i will use to watch tv on most of the time and only sometimes I will like to play some games on the comp. The system I'm setting up is a Processor: I7 2600K, Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D X58 1366, Memory: 12GB DDR3, HD: 2x120GB SSD Force3, I'm just stuck on the video card as I don't know much about them?

Thanks for any help
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  1. You need some help.

    1) The 2600K is a fine cpu, but it will not run on a X58 motherboard. You need a Z68 based motherboard.
    I would suggest the 2500K which is $100 cheaper and will generally perform the same when overclocked. The"K" cpu's can be simply be overclocked to 4.0 or so.

    2) For the gaming monitor, you will want a better than average graphics card. Pick any in the $100 $300 range. You will get fair value for your dollar, and your gaming gets better the more you spend. Something like a GTX560ti would be appropriate. All cards will handle a second auxiliary monitor with no trouble.

    3) With a Z68 motherboard, you can use the integrated graphics to power two additional monitors.

    4) 12gb of ram is doable, but with 4 ram slots, a Z68 motherboard will usually have 8gb(2 x 4gb) or 16gb(4 x 4gb) Ram is cheap, get lots if you are a big multitasker.

    5) It is better to get a single 240gb SSD vs. two, planning to use raid-0. Performance will be similar with less issues. I know, I have tried it both ways.
  2. Thank you for the fast reply geofelt and great help.
    I have a fry's store like 5 blocks away from where I live and I went and got the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO motherboard. the guy at the store said maybe the Delux one would be better but they didn't have it so I got the PRO, let me know if I should switch it before I open it. :-) as I don't know the diffrence.
    I also got the 16gb of (4x4) ram like you said, I was not so lucky with the SSDs they didn't want to exchange them because they where scraped when I was putting them into the case so I gotta keep them, they never been used and I just got them 2 days ago, but still I understand so I gotta live with them 2 for now.

    Now for the video cards they didn't have the GTX560ti so I didn't get a video card yet, but I have a question you say that the Z68 has intergraded graphics, so can I power two additional monitors + the main monitor for a total of 3 ? or is it a total of 2 monitors that the motherboard supports ? also are they ok to use for some gaming ? or should I just get the ASUS GTX560Ti OC 1GB and if i get this video card will I be able to play the games and see them on all 3 or 4 monitors ? or should I and can I get 2 of the GTX560Ti's video cards? and if I get the 2 cards will the game screen span/play on all 4 monitors on them 2 cards ? is that possible?

    Thanks so much for your help I really do appreciate it.
  3. The motherboard you got should be fine.
    The delux is more expensive, primarily because It can handle a ridiculous 4 card gaming rig.

    On the SSD's, no matter. I suggest you just install them like two sata hard drives. Use one for the OS and some apps, and the second for whatever else you might want fast access to. Use a large hard drive for any overflow and backups.
    When you load windows, set the sata mode in the bios to AHCI, not raid or IDE.

    I like EVGA as a graphics card vendor. Something like a GTX 550ti should be good.
    EVGA has a 90 day trade-up program if you register, and want to trade up for a stronger card later.
    The stronger cards let you increase the detail and eye candy, as well as increasing the normal frames per sedond you see for smooth gameplay.

    Games will be played on your primary monitor, so attach that to your discrete graphics card.
    Some games can span multiple monitors, but I think that is unusual. Out of a dozen games I have, none will do that.
    Unless you are thinking of a particular game, expect that all games are one monitor games.

    The integrated graphics is perhaps the power of a $50 discrete graphics card. That is plenty for HD movies and the like.
    Even though there are three ports on the motherboard, you can only use two at a time.
    It is no problem to attach your fourth monitor to the second port on the discrete card.

    Windows will let you use all of these as an extended desktop. You can drag the windows around as you wish.

    You will want an adequate psu. Here is a list of the psu's you will need for different cards:
    GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

    GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

    GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

    GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

    GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

    GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

    My short list of quality cards would include Seasonic, PC Power & cooling, Corsair, XFX, and Antec.

    It is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit.

    I also suggest you get a modest aftermarket cpu cooler.
    The stock intel cooler is notoriously difficult to mount properly.
    A cooler with a backplate mount is easier to install, and a 120mm fan will keep the pc cooler and quieter.
    Look at the cm hyper212 or Xigmatek gaia which should cost about $30.

    ---good luck---
  4. I'm sorry that every time that you reply I end-up having more and more questions for you, I'm just trying to understand everything and I'm afraid that you will go away and I will get stuck with alot of questions and noone to help me, so here is another set of questions that I think will close out and and answer any/all questions that I have/had, so not to bug you so much.

    Can I plug in 1 or 2 monitors in the integrated video card that is on the motherboard and then just buy one EVGA GTX 550 Ti and then I can plug in 1, 2, or 3 monitors into the 550Ti also and run all of them at the same time ? will that even work ?

    or what about just buying this one and run all 4 monitors from that one single card and forget about the integrated video?

    Do you think that will be smart/ok to do ?
    And finally, what would you do if you had 3 smaller LED monitors and one 27 inch LED monitor overhead, like what setup would you want for yourself but without going over like $500-550 or so.

    Thank you so much for all the help and support that you have provided me with today...
  5. Best answer
    Can I plug in 1 or 2 monitors in the integrated video card that is on the motherboard and then just buy one EVGA GTX 550 Ti and then I can plug in 1, 2, or 3 monitors into the 550Ti also and run all of them at the same time ? will that even work ?

    Almost. On a GTX... card , and most others, you can only use two of the outputs at one time.
    So, two go into the motherboard out of 3 places, and two go into the gtx... out of 2/3/4 available places.

    or what about just buying this one [...] llFullInfo and run all 4 monitors from that one single card and forget about the integrated video?

    Again, only two out of 3. But that GTX570 is about as strong a card that you would want to get for gaming.

    Some Radeon cards can support three monitors, but not 4 so far as I know, so you will have a discrete card regardless.

    I would want the three eye level monitors to be exactly the same. That is so you can drag windows across from one to the other without changing size or color tone. I would attach the center eye level monitor to the big graphics card for gaming, and the others could attach anywhere.
    I would look for largish monitors, like 24". When you have several, they tend to be farther away so they need to be a bit larger for text reading.
  6. So I should buy one GTX570 and plug in 2 monitors to it and plug the other 2 monitors on the motherboard video card, right ?
    Also, later on ig I wanted more power can i get another GTX570 and SLI them.

    Thanks geofelt.
  7. Best answer selected by lukk.
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