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New 2nd graphics card recommendation

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 6, 2012 8:00:19 AM

Hi I have an ASUS P6T SE motherboard with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 graphics card (512MB) already installed. I would like to connect 3 monitors to my PC but apparently the card only supports two concurrent ones. Therefore I need to buy another card. I need something basic to cover the needs for my extra monitor, which is best from the below (found them all at same price):

512MB EVGA G210 PCI-Express Video Card

Captiva PCI Express VGA Card 8400GS 512MB

Gainward GF210 512MB VGA Card (CRT, DVI & HDMI)


and slightly more expensive:

POV VGA CARD GF210 1GB (LOW PROFILE)

Inno3D GF 210, 1GB VGA Card

1GB Gainward GF210 PCI-Express Video Card


Also would having 2 graphics cards help performance of software like Photoshop or games?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 8:10:40 AM

Pretty sure you can only achieve that in SLI mode. All of those are pretty much very low end versions of the 200 series and 8000 series, and none will SLI im sure. Both are at least 3 or 4 generations old. Better off getting a new lower end card from Radeon to support 3 monitors.
February 6, 2012 8:14:19 AM

You mean with one of these cards I won't be able to have the 3 monitor setup?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 8:19:54 AM

Its been awhile since I had nvidia GPUs, but if I remember correctly, you have to SLI 2 cards to be able to output to 3 monitors. Cant just have 2 vid cards in your system without SLIing them for that purpose. I could be mistaken, but I dont think so.
February 6, 2012 8:27:58 AM

Hmm I see, maybe someone else can confirm this, in the meantime what Radeon card would you suggest which has the same or better performance than the one I have, and can support 3 monitors?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 8:45:02 AM

What are you trying to do with your 3 monitors and what are your system specs?
February 6, 2012 8:52:07 AM

I use the PC mainly for web development, including some work in Photoshop. I'm doing fine with my current card, just need to add a 3rd monitor to have more screen space.

i7 930 @ 2.80GHz
6GB Ram

February 6, 2012 9:00:37 AM

Looks good thanks, I'd just need a converter to one of my monitor's vga port.

I would still like a confirmation that I cannot just add another card to the one I have, as price-wise this would be preferable for me.
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 9:36:10 AM

No you can't do 3 monitors on nvidia cards without at least both same gpu in sli. there are some manufactures who put more video ports on nvidia cards but it's not the best solution. The best solution would be to go for AMD cards for multi monitor, and since you're not mainly using it for games, the radeon 6770 is enough
February 6, 2012 9:43:48 AM

So I could connect an identical card for the 3 monitor setup?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 12:01:42 PM

yes, nvidia demands 2 identical cards in SLI for 3 monitor setup whereas AMD requires only 1
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 12:03:04 PM

Thats what I thought. However on very low end cards such as the 210 and what not, you cant SLI those. Theres no where to plug in the SLI bridge.
February 6, 2012 12:03:53 PM

I see, would any of the ones I posted in my original post do the job for SLI with my current card?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 12:05:58 PM

You can check yourself, if it says its SLI, you can. if it doesnt, than no, and im betting on no.
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 12:24:52 PM

if it doesn't support it, then you definitely have to buy a different card. the 6770 or 6790 is a very value product at this point
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 12:31:27 PM

No it probably doesnt support it. You have a very low end card thats at least 4 years old. At least that was when the 200 series tech was new.
February 6, 2012 12:47:54 PM

I've read in some place that I can still buy an extra card from the one listed above and use it to drive the 3rd monitor, without going into SLI at all, is that true?
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 1:17:41 PM

drtanz said:
So I could connect an identical card for the 3 monitor setup?

It appears that your 240 does not support surround vision so you can not get another 240. Check this:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/3d-vision-surround-system-...
So the optimum way to get 3 monitor is to use an AMD 5XXX series or above. CHoose 1 that is within your budget. Sapphire Flex graphics card should be good because they support 3 monitors out of the box.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Others will need display port to DVI/VGA adaptor.
February 6, 2012 1:21:28 PM

Thanks, I would like to specify that I don't really care about surround vision, I just need to have 3 different displays, not an extended one over all 3 screens. So I would have like a different program displaying on each monitor, no need for fancy stuff like eyefinity or the like.
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 3:27:51 PM

Well offered advice on what would work, extended screen or not. If you choose not to go that route, research whatever you can to do what you need it to do. Good luck.
a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2012 10:20:34 PM

drtanz said:
My monitors are currently having an output of
17 inch: VGA
24 inch monitor: HDMI/VGA
23 inch: DVI/VGA

I assume I could also use this card with an hdmi to displayport converter for the 24 inch:
http://www.yoyo.com.mt/en/video-graphics-cards/4572-sap...

would that do the job?

Sure. Its an AMD in the 5XXX series. It will support up to 3 monitors so it suits your need in a very cost effective package.

& yes on the HDMI to display port adaptor too.
February 6, 2012 10:38:24 PM

Thanks, will going for a higher end card like the 6770 or 6790 affect the performance of the tools I use e.g. Photoshop? Or is the difference mainly seen in gaming?

Would I be able to use the current card (GT 240) I have in tandem with this Radeon hd5450 card? If so I could just leave the GT240 in there and use it to run the hdmi monitor, which is my main monitor. I believe the GT240 is better than the HD5450 from a few reviews I've seen.
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2012 12:17:05 AM

That is interesting question & made me realize that you are not interested about eyefinity or surround vision. So perhaps another nVidia card ( may or may not be the same as your 240 ) will be better option so you only need to install only one driver. You can follow this thread which involves setting up 3 monitors using 2 different nVidia cards.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/299221-33-monitors-nv...
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2012 10:40:05 AM

It should fit. The heatsink will be cleared of the PCI slot.
I saw that you got a 210 which is much weaker than the 240. Because it is weaker, you might notice some slowing down when you drag from a monitor that is connected to the 240 into the monitor connected to the 210.

Get a 430 at the least so you will have more or less the same performance irregardless of where you drag your application.
http://www.scanmalta.com/eshop/512mb-evga-geforce-gt-43...

It will be some 25Euro more expensive but I think it is worth it. Honestly, the 210 is a waste for its price. It only have 16 stream processors at around 600Mhz versus 96 streaming processors at 700Mhz on the 430. So that is more than 4x processing power at less than double the price.
February 7, 2012 11:14:26 AM

Thanks I see your point, my reasoning is that the new card will only be powering the 17 inch monitor, which I will only use for basic browsing of sites or PDFs, I can't see myself moving Photoshop over onto it when I have two other bigger monitors who render colour much more accurately. I'm also wary of having a fan instead of passive cooling, I don't want to add more noise to the setup.

If in a year or two I'll see the need for something more powerful I'll ditch these two cards and go for a good Radeon that can support 3 monitors on one card.
February 7, 2012 8:45:53 PM

Bought and installed the 210, the solution works perfectly, thanks for all the help.
!