I'm thinking about going from 2 to 3 or more monitors, before I do i'd like to be sure about whether what I want to do is possible.
Currently, I have one ati radeon hd 5850 running a 22" and a 15". Is it possible to buy another graphics card for not much money and run the additional monitors using that? Does it need to be the same model of graphics card?
If you just want to run the extra monitors for productivity such as ms office internet or what ever then any video card will work. Keep in mind most mother boards only have 1 PCIe slot. Unless you have an enthusiast mother board chances are you will not be able to add another PCIe video card. You can get a older style PCI video card but they offer half the performance at twice the price.
Many of the AMD 5000 Series and 6000 Series can support 3 or 4 monitors out of the box. Check the manufactures specs on your card you may be able to run that 3rd monitor with only a little displayport to DVI or VGA adapter.
If you want to do surround gameing where all 3 monitors display parts of the game then you must have 3 identical monitors and an Eyefinity card. Your 5850 may or may not support eyefinity. Check the manufactures specs. If it does your good to go you just need 3 monitors, if it does not and you have a mother board with an extra PCIe port you can get a second 5850 and crossfire them.
All 5850's support Eyefinity. However, you cannot add another 5850 and do 6 displays. Adding a card in crossfire just increases your performance. You need a 5xxx card that is an Eyefinity 6 edition to do this. I'd stick with 3 displays for now.
Note: if you're in the market for a second 5850 for to increase performance I may have one available
I believe there are plans to make 6 displays possible from a single 7xxx card, but I'm not certain.
Thanks for the help guys. I just want to do it for productivity, i'm fine with gaming using one monitor. I would do eyefinity, but I want to use the extra monitors with XP - which i've heard does not support eyefinity. One other thing, does the brand have to be the same, e.g. asus, gigabyte etc? Thanks a lot for all the help .
The 7xxx series will have some 7 monitor capable cards (though likely only on the high end)
Otherwise, yes; Just throw in a 2nd GPU and enjoy Windows currently will support up to 9 monitors without any major tweaking and tom-foolery.
Eyefinity will only limit you if you want to do tripple head gaming. Having 2 seperate cards will work fine for most things... just not games.