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Advice on getting 3 Monitors working.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2011 8:52:29 PM

Hi Guys,

I have three 17" displays and would like to connect them all to my computer.

I have a 9600GT with two DVI ports and an S-Video. It only supports up to two outputs (I have tried all three in the past).

My motherboard is an AMD M3A785GXH/128MB with 3 PCI-e slots (16x or 8x 8x or 8x 8x 4x iirc) and supports crossfire.

It also have a built in HD4250 which supports Hybrid Crossfire.

I have an 8400GS available to use as well.



I have a few ideas as to how I may solve this problem.

If I can use my built in video card as well as my 9600 then that would be great.

If I can use two nVidia cards (9600 and 8400, they use the same drivers) on my crossfire board just to increase the number of displays, that would be good too.

If someone has any ideas as to how I can achieve 3 displays with this hardware your help would be much appreciated.
December 29, 2011 3:00:29 AM

You should be able to use your onboard video and your 9600. It may take some work to get it working right. The easiest would be the 9600 and 8400. Like you said same driver and should work with no hassles. The only downside would be more power usage.
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a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 3:17:39 AM

wellll..... you have many options depending on what you want to do.

If you only want to display on 3 monitors at the same time then go throw in a 2nd GPU (of whatever brand, but preferably matching the current one), install the drivers, and tell windows to extend windows to the other screen. For a little while I did this with an old AGP ATI card as my main 'accelerated' display for video and games, and then a crappy PCI Matrox card for 2 additional screens for web browsing and programs. It worked fine for daily use, but the Matrox card did not have enough guts to playback video or games, so those activities were religated to the main (in my case center) display.

There may be a way in BIOS to use onboard graphics along with your card, but most boards automagicly disable the onboard when a PCIe card is in use, and you can choose between the two, but you cannot use both. But someone who owns your board may be of better help on that topic.

If you are wanting to do tripple head gaming then you need xFire or SLI, it is simply required by the drivers/games in order to do things correctly. And the 9600 (while a respectable daily use card, I use one in my wife's PC) simply will not have the guts to do it even with SLI. You would need a pair of much more modern graphics cards in order to accomplish tripple head gaming. Something in the 560ti SLI range would be a starting pint, but you would want multiple 570/580s (or AMD equivilants) to really do things proper.

Lastly, make sure your PSU has enough umph to push 2 GPUs. Even onboard GPUs take a little bit of juice to really get going, so you will want an aptly sized (and quality) PSU to back up whatever configuration you choose.
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a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 3:34:02 AM

Well, putting it simply, yes you can use the 2 Nvidia GPUs you have on that board for a multiple display setup.
Of course you can't SLI them together and don't need to. But this setup is going to be good just to increase workspace, not for gaming. You will be able to watch movies stretched over to the 3 Screens though and you'll get a max capacity of using 4 screens.
The point to keep in mind is going to be the resolutions that you plan to use for each display. The rest will all work fine. And , yes, having 2,3 or 4 displays is a lot more productive then using 1 display and fun doing to.
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December 29, 2011 11:37:31 PM

After posting I decided to just chuck the 8400 into my second of three PCI-E 16x slots and see what happened.

Windows and the NVidia drivers picked up both cards and I was able to output from both GPUS. All three monitors are now working perfectly. I did not know you could utilise multiple GPUs without an SLI or Crossfire bridge, let alone two Nvidia GPU's on a crossfire board, but I guess you can.

Thanks for the help guys. :) 
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June 2, 2012 1:47:05 PM

Hi I have a similar question. I recently purchased this computer and I'd like to run 3 monitors. I've been told that I need a second graphics card to do this. So I;m thinking of buying another NVidia GTX550Ti . I'd like to run second life the game on 2 separate screens (not stretched across both ) in ultra setting (shadows enabled). and photoshop on the third screen. What I'd like to know is whether 2 NVidia GTX550Ti card would do the job or should i scrap the cards and go with something like eyefinity? Also, could you please advise me on the monitors . I 'd like to go with 21.5/22 inch and have been looking at the Samsung BX2250 22 inch widescreen Series. Thanks in advance for any help.

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