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Multi Monitor (at sensible price)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2012 12:50:09 PM

Hi All,

I want to run 3 monitors from my PC; one analogue (15 pin vga), one DVI, and a HDTV via HDMI.

I'm not a gamer. I simply want all 3 showing different windows at the same time.

I bought a Radeon HD 5670, but found it would only run two of the three at a time - no good. I now see on the Sapphire webite that Radeon's Eyefinity will only run two monitors with my OS (xp).

Without spending pots of money, do I have any options? Will I have to upgrade :lol:  to Windows 7 first?

Any help appreciated.

Andy

More about : multi monitor price

January 14, 2012 1:05:42 PM

They key to eyefinity lies in the mini display ports and devices. Just as your computers old PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports are considered "Legacy" devices, Your VGA/DVI ports are considered legacy as well.

So i've got a Radeon 5870 Eyefinity 6 with all 6 ports mini-DP. This 2GB card came from Sapphire and included a handful of mini-DP adapters for HDMI/DVI/VGA monitors (to be exact, there were 2 of each for a total of 6) so anyway i tried to plug in my 3 monitors and i could only get 2 of them to work. So after reading up, you can only run 2 of your legacy devices and the 3rd monitor needs to support mini display port. Short of buying an expensive monitor, you can buy an "active mini display port to hdmi" adapter to be used on that 3rd device and then it will work as your GPU thinks that the monitor is a display port monitor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 2nd link is the adapter that i purchased as i have Mini displayport not the normal display port.

So i'm not sure how or if its possible on your card without mini-DP ports but short of grabbing a higher end card that can support 3 monitors, I used to run 3 and 4 monitors on my computer back in the windows XP days, i just used 2 graphics cards. So you can purchase a 2nd cheap graphics card simply for the 3rd display. Now keep in mind that if you want to play games (you said you arent big into it) you cannot support the eyefinity, meaning your games will not span all 3 displays but only whatever monitor is set to your primary.

When i ran in XP, i would use a nice GPU for my primary (which is the GPU the PC uses when gaming, if gaming) and then the other just puts out a display so you can continue to run with windows XP by purchasing another GPU which would actually be your cheapest way to accomplish this.

Make sure you have the ports available in your computer. Hope this helps
a c 259 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 14, 2012 2:08:30 PM

hidnmine said:
Hi All,

I want to run 3 monitors from my PC; one analogue (15 pin vga), one DVI, and a HDTV via HDMI.

I'm not a gamer. I simply want all 3 showing different windows at the same time.

I bought a Radeon HD 5670, but found it would only run two of the three at a time - no good. I now see on the Sapphire webite that Radeon's Eyefinity will only run two monitors with my OS (xp).

Without spending pots of money, do I have any options? Will I have to upgrade :lol:  to Windows 7 first?

Any help appreciated.

Andy


If your motherboard has integrated graphics, you could run the third monitor off of that.

Assuming you have a few expansion slots, just get another graphics card. I think XP restricts you to one graphics driver, so it needs to be a radeon card. Get the cheapest you can find. Non gaming usage does not require any great graphics performance.
Something like this will do the job for $25 if you have a second pcie slot available.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not, you will need to find a radeon card that will use a pci slot, and that might be difficult to do.

If you upgrade to Windows 7(good idea anyway), that can run multiple graphics drivers, there are nvidia cards that use a pci slot.
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January 14, 2012 4:02:51 PM

Thanks for the replies,

I tried the on-board display port but it looks like that's disabled when a graphics card is plugged in.

The idea of a second graphics card sounds good. Unfortunately I only have one pci-e slot so would have to find a suitable pci card..

A usb-hdmi adapter looks like a possible solution, but would usb2 be fast enough?
a c 259 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 14, 2012 5:22:12 PM

hidnmine said:
Thanks for the replies,

I tried the on-board display port but it looks like that's disabled when a graphics card is plugged in.

The idea of a second graphics card sounds good. Unfortunately I only have one pci-e slot so would have to find a suitable pci card..

A usb-hdmi adapter looks like a possible solution, but would usb2 be fast enough?


I think there will be some unacceptable limitations.
1. What is the max resolution suported? I think it may be less than 1080P.
2. Will it run on XP?
3. Image quality and speed.

I think you can find a radeon pci(not pci-e) based graphics card, and your motherboard will have such an expansion slot unless it is a truly tiny itx.
What motherboard do you have?
January 14, 2012 6:11:30 PM

I've found a number of usb adapters which run hdmi with audio. Only one so far which claims 1080 (doesn't say P or I)

I borrowed a cheap (<$20 from hong kong) 720P adapter to test, and it worked, so I guess xp can drive it.

Image quality/speed. I suppose the only way would be buy it and try..

I'm overdue an upgrade. Maybe it's time to go for Win 7

I don't know the motherboard model, but it has one pci-e and two (unused) pci.
January 14, 2012 9:08:24 PM

Success!

I dug out an old (ancient) VGA only Matrox graphics card, stuck it in a pci slot, and connected it to my analogue screen (leaving the Radeon HD 5670 to control the DVI and HDMI screens).

The Matrox card is working at its limit - 1280 x 1024 with 24 bit colour - but it proves the idea's valid.

In the next week or so I'll order up a more modern pci card and all should be fixed.

Thanks for all the help.

Super forum!!

Andy
a c 259 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 14, 2012 9:47:27 PM

Good job!
January 16, 2012 2:39:43 AM

newegg has a handful of PCI GPUs to look at. Now keep in mind that your not going to find many ultra new generations because the bandwidth limitations of the PCI slots, it would be irrelevant for these mfgs to make more. But that said, these cards are more than suitable to put out a display on 1 or 2 additional monitors.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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