Sub $800 dual monitor setup

Hello everyone.

A non-technically inclined friend of mine has tasked me with coming up with a dual monitor setup for him that he will use primarily for business/stocks etc type of uses. This will not need to run any games, but I assume it will need a decent video card to run that dual setup. I need to buy everything for about $800. If there is a significant advantage in spending a bit more, then it is a possibility.

I would like some advice on this setup, I have done a bit of searching so far and included some pieces others have recommend as well as from the latest toms $600 build price. The big thing here is that this build must include 2 monitors. There is no specific size requirement, I was thinking maybe in the 19'' range.

Here is what I am thinking so far:

Processor: Intel Core i3-2120

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H61M-S2H

Ram: G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W

Graphics Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi)

Case: NZXT Source 210 S210-001

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB

Optical: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner 22X

Wireless Card:Linksys WMP600N Wireless Adapter

Some specific things:
- the build must have a wireless card, is an internal adapter the way to go? I don't have much experience with these
- Is the power supply and GPU overkill? The gamer side of me loves the price/performance of the 550 Ti and while it needs to support dual monitors, I can probably get away with less here. Same with the power supply?
- I am going off of suggestions on the motherboard, if I need to have a slot for a wireless adapter this would not work as the GPU would eat up two spots. Is there a better solution here?
- I need some guidance on the case, motherboard, GPU interaction. I feel like this build doesn't need a mid-tower, but can i fit the GPU + motherboard for a wireless adapter into a mini tower?

Obviously some of the choices I do not love right now and I am turning to these forums for some help. Especially on my last point. Also, I haven't bought a monitor in a few years, I assume a 60 Hz pair is plenty but I could use some help here. Finally, would a usb plugin in wireless stick be a good option here?

Thanks in advance
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about dual monitor setup
  1. Yeah the PSU and GPU are overkill. The integrated graphics on the i3-2120 can actually run dual monitors by itself. If you're concerned with the performance of the integrated graphics then maybe go for the i3-2105, it has HD 3000 graphics instead of HD 2000.

    This build is in the upper end of the budget but should be fantastic for his usage:

    Intel Core i3-2105
    8GB G.Skill VS 1333Mhz
    ASRock H61M/U3S3
    Crucial M4 64GB
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB
    Fractal Design Core 1000 mATX Tower
    SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W
    LG DVD Burner
    Linksys WMP600N PCI Wireless Adapter
    2 x Acer G215HVAbd Black 21.5" Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor

    Total - $802.89

    Top end of the budget but the i3 and 8GB should give plenty of umph for this usage and the SSD should make it feel that bit quicker. As mentioned previously as well, Intel HD can run dual monitors and this build has the slightly better HD 3000. It also all comes in a nice little mATX tower with 2 1080P monitors. It should be pretty quiet too.
  2. Best answer
    hello op

    my suggestion is

    i keep few parts like case , hdd , wifi adaptor and ram(just increased it).

    you wont need a powerful card to run 2 monitor.

    a 350 w psu is enough for a gpu with no external connectors.

    their are two possible setups for wireless connection.

    1. get a motherboard with an integrated wifi adaptor.

    or 2. get a mother board which has eough expansion slots and buy an seperate wifi adaptor.

    for the option 1 the motherboard i suggest is

    H67M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard $119.99

    but i would choose the later one as it has more expansiblity and it has better future.

    hope this helps.

    feel free to ask any question.

  3. Hello.
    I would change a few parts for your needs.

    Case: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series $39.99 (same price but better cooling and looks)

    Mobo: ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 $69.99 (since we have a midi tower this would fit perfect, has the same price as the gigabyte one, but has a lot more features)

    GPU:. 550ti is not good at the price of $144.99
    Faster, better and cheaper:
    1. SPARKLE SXX4601024D5UNM GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $139.99
    2. MSI N460GTX-M2D1GD5/OC2 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 $139.99
    3. GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI V3 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 $139.99
    4. EVGA 01G-P3-1464-KR GeForce GTX 560 SE (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 $134.99
    These will perform equal or ~10% less but they are a lot cheaper:
    1. SPARKLE X450S1024KDL GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 $109.99
    2. GIGABYTE GV-N550D5-1GI GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 $119.99

  4. my second suggestion

    this one has four cores and integrated gpu.
  5. thanks for the responses thus far

    @serialkiller - atm I am favoring your option of a discrete GPU and a motherboard with room for a wireless adapter. The wish list looks good but I only see 1 monitor? If we step down the monitor size can we get two of them for a similar price?

    @memnarcho - thanks for that list, I am going to review the options although I still think a card that big might be overkill. I do like that case though.

    should I pretty much give up on trying to fit this into a mini tower and just go with a mid-tower? get suggestions so far, I like them much better than my original choices

    edit: also, should I have any concerns about running 1 monitor off of DVI and another off of VGA/hdmi (whether that comes from the motherboard or a stand alone card)? I have never run a dual monitor setup before
  6. no the price of the list has 2 monitors included.

    you can buy 2 monitors in that budget buy selecting those parts.
  7. Best answer selected by earneszm.
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