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Adding third monitor and video card(s) to support

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Monitors
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 25, 2011 7:13:29 PM

I have a question on video card(s) to purchase to move to a three monitor system. I would greatly appreciate your advice.

I am not a gamer... I am a power business computer developer that primarily uses MS products including custom Access databases, Excel and Word. I often have multiple programs open including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, several different browsers, etc. The main reason I bought this machine is that my previous computer died unexpectedly and I needed a computer THAT DAY. Here are the specs:

My desktop is an HP p6687cb (Costco, Jan 2011) with the following specs:
Win 7 home premium
16gb DDR3 1333
built in onboard ATI Radeon HD 4200 for graphics
(3067mb total avail graphics memory, 256mb dedicated, 0 system video, 2811mb shared system memory)
quad processor AMD Phenom II X4 840T 2.9GHz
1T drive SATA 7200 RPM
250w PSU
1 - PCIe 16x slot
2 - PCIe 1x slots


I currently have 2 Samsung SyncMaster 2220WM 22" monitors at 1680x1050 (1 DVI, 1 VGA).

I want to expand to 3 monitors by adding the 25" 2509m HP monitor that came with the computer (1920x1080, DVI, VGA, and HDMI ports). The Windows Performance rating shows the worst part of the machine is the graphics which are rated 4.3. I would hope that adding a PCIe 16x card would improve the performance and allow me to expand to 3 monitors. I would consider adding 1 PCIe 16x and 1 PCIe 1x cards if it would keep the cost down, but I would want to know my options. My budget can include a solution up to $250, but I would rather spend closer to $100.

I purchased an Antec NEO ECO 620w and it should arrive in a week. I have to check if it will fit.

The machine is performing quite well for my use, and the primary goal is to expand to the third monitor for a reasonable price.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

More about : adding monitor video card support

a c 302 U Graphics card
a c 81 C Monitor
November 25, 2011 8:31:37 PM

Do not worry about the wei index for graphics. Your integrated graphics should be fine for any non gaming(read fast action) use.
Just get a minimal add in card which will give you two added monitor attachments.
You may not need the new psu for a basic card which is powered only by the pcie slot. Try the card first.
Here is an example 6450 card for $30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 25, 2011 8:38:21 PM

Unfortunately integrated graphics are disabled if I add a video card, so will this card support 3 monitors? From HP:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

I agree that normally non gaming needs require less video horsepower, but the apps I build put demands on video where faster/more powerful would be beneficial.

Thanks.
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November 25, 2011 9:32:41 PM

For now, the AMD/ATI HD 5000/6000 series are the only single gpu cards capable of running 3 monitors. Nvidia does have 2-3 dual gpu cards but they are very pricey. ;) 

A HD 57/6750, 57/6770 will give you plenty of power to run those monitors. Or buy the best card your power supply and wallet can handle ! lol.. you won't regret it.

pEACe
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December 1, 2011 12:49:40 PM

Thanks to your guidance I purchased a Gigabyte 6850 card and it should arrive today. It has 2 DVI ports, 1 HDMI port and 1 DisplayPort.

Am I able to plug in the 2 22" monitors (1680x1050) into the 2 DVI ports and the 25" monitor (1920x1080) into the HDMI port to run 3 monitors off the card? Do I need to use a DisplayPort for one of the monitors (and presumably purchase a DP to DVI converter)?

Thanks!
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December 1, 2011 12:52:20 PM

And if I need a connector, which is better: DP to DVI, or DP to HDMI?
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December 2, 2011 2:34:16 PM

Congrats on your new card ! :) 

Your gpu manual/ specs will show how to set things up.
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