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Building triple monitor gaming rig, need card setup <$500

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 17, 2012 9:45:56 PM

Hey guys, I'm planning a triple monitor build, and I'm not quite sure what the requirements for graphics cards are in respect to more than one monitor. Otherwise, the specs are pretty standard:

i5 2500k
8G ram
Large 7200 drive
small solid state
psu depends on cards
Monitors: 3 of these guys http://bit.ly/AlM39v (acer 23"s)

Alright, so I'm pretty familiar with just about every flagship card out there right now, but I really have no idea what the best performing setup would be when hooked up to 3 monitors. Most of the games I play will only use 1, but I'd like bf3, crysis 1, metro 2033, etc. to top out on all 3, if that's at all reasonable. Computer budget is 1500 ish, so I'd like to keep the cards under 500 total. thanks for the assistance guys!
February 17, 2012 10:05:09 PM

7950 is you only option but you will need allot more firepower than that to run the demanding games at max FPS.
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February 17, 2012 10:23:57 PM

alright, how much 'firepower' is acceptable then?
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February 17, 2012 10:33:34 PM

Xmod5001 said:
alright, how much 'firepower' is acceptable then?

At leased 7950CF and even then it will still have minor slow downs on the heavy graphically intense games and poorly coded games when running 3x 1080P HD+ resolutions. PS it also depends allot on what games you really want to run.
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February 17, 2012 10:39:33 PM

Sorry to crash your party, but you're not getting a 3 monitor 1080p rig card setup for under 500. You're gonna need at minimum (like boopoo said) some 7950's CF'd to run those.

I can barely manage BF3 on a 22 inch 1080p monitor with a i7 2600k and SLi 560 ti's.
(Maxed out, MSAA 2x)
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February 17, 2012 10:40:19 PM

A single 7950 will play triple monitors with reduced settings. But with those reduced settings you will still have good enough fps.

The problem with trying to run BF3 on Ultra with triple monitors is that no card currently has enough vram to not bottleneck bf3 @ultra with high eyefinity resolutions. Even 3gb doesn't cut it at high eyefinity resolutions with ultra textures and ultra settings. So even an XFire setup will be limited by the 3gb frame buffer.

The good news is that you don't need to run BF3 at ultra everything on eyefinity to have a good experience.

You'll want a 7950 or 7970 3gb for now with the intention of XFiring it when you have the cash and feel the need to push your settings up. Of course people will tell you that 2 x 6950 or 2 x 6970 has more raw GPU horsepower, but the 2gb vram on those cards will limit you at high eyefinity resolutions with high-res textures and AA.
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February 17, 2012 10:41:25 PM

2x 6870 is the bare minimum (wont run at max quality).

2x 6950 2gb can do ok too.

But 3 monitor is kinda for poeple who can spend a ton of $ on their PC.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/X/L/320025/original/BF3%20...

So basicaly 2x 6970 barely run the game at all on ultra with no AA and it isn't on a multiplayer game.


The only reason I could see to go for a 3monitor set-up and spending below 1000$ on GPUs is if your an hardcore PvP players since the 5760x 1080p give you a little edge (very little) over other players.

Because a 250$ GPU will run BF3 at ultra 4x AA in 1080p, a 300$+ GPU probably will do the same for maybe 2-3years on incoming games. But beeing able to run 3monitors games on best quality for the next 2-3 years you might have to spend around 1800$ or so on GPUs and having to deal with the games beeing released bugged with Xfire/SLI.
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February 17, 2012 10:44:52 PM

cyansnow said:
Sorry to crash your party, but you're not getting a 3 monitor 1080p rig card setup for under 500. You're gonna need at minimum (like boopoo said) some 7950's CF'd to run those.


With reduced settings it is easy to run a sub-$500 eyefinity setup with 3 x 1080p monitors. No one should expect max settings, but with reduced settings games still provide enough fps to be playable.
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February 17, 2012 10:48:46 PM

larkspur said:
With reduced settings it is easy to run a sub-$500 eyefinity setup with 3 x 1080p monitors. No one should expect max settings, but with reduced settings games still provide enough fps to be playable.


Wich lead to what I said.

Why playing 3monitors crapy graphix quality when you could play on single screen at max quality for cheaper ?

Especialy with the bazels ugly graphix on 3screen < beautifull graphix on a single monitor for most gamer.
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February 17, 2012 10:53:11 PM

Interesting, back when I had my eyefinity setup with 3x 1080p I ran BF3 fine maxed out with my 6970 2GB. Only thing was that I had to turn off AA and such. Everything else was basically ultra....
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February 17, 2012 10:54:35 PM

venur said:
The only reason I could see to go for a 3monitor set-up and spending below 1000$ on GPUs is if your an hardcore PvP players since the 5760x 1080p give you a little edge (very little) over other players.


I think you miss the point of triple monitors. Clearly it isn't necessarily to run games on max settings or to give you an edge over someone else. It is to provide a more immersive gaming environment that fills your vision with 3x the data. 16:9 is a lot closer than 4:3 but neither comes close to the aspect ratio of the human eye. Our eyes see much wider and filling up that width fools your brain into thinking you are actually there. I'd much rather play BF3 on medium settings with my 4800x1200 setup than maxing it out on a single monitor.
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February 17, 2012 10:55:32 PM

N.Broekhuijsen said:
Interesting, back when I had my eyefinity setup with 3x 1080p I ran BF3 fine maxed out with my 6970 2GB. Only thing was that I had to turn off AA and such. Everything else was basically ultra....

Most people are not OK with gaming @ sub 30fps framrates and especially in competitive shooters where 60fps is need to be at the top of your game.
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February 17, 2012 10:59:12 PM

larkspur said:
I think you miss the point of triple monitors. Clearly it isn't necessarily to run games on max settings or to give you an edge over someone else. It is to provide a more immersive gaming environment that fills your vision with 3x the data. 16:9 is a lot closer than 4:3 but neither comes close to the aspect ratio of the human eye. Our eyes see much wider and filling up that width fools your brain into thinking you are actually there. I'd much rather play BF3 on medium settings with my 4800x1200 setup than maxing it out on a single monitor.

+1^ that's more or less the point of three monitors plus in MMO games triple monitors really come into there own IMHO breathtaking and the buy in price is even more breathtaking LOL.
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February 17, 2012 11:13:38 PM

crossfire 7850s might be good when they come out, no idea. Crossfire scaling on the new 7XXX is amazing, the 7770 crossfire is almost able to out perform the 7950 until it hits the vram wall.


the 7950 is probably your best bet right now.
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February 17, 2012 11:13:38 PM

larkspur said:
I think you miss the point of triple monitors. Clearly it isn't necessarily to run games on max settings or to give you an edge over someone else. It is to provide a more immersive gaming environment that fills your vision with 3x the data. 16:9 is a lot closer than 4:3 but neither comes close to the aspect ratio of the human eye. Our eyes see much wider and filling up that width fools your brain into thinking you are actually there. I'd much rather play BF3 on medium settings with my 4800x1200 setup than maxing it out on a single monitor.


So basicaly you've said pretty much the same thing that i said. 3 monitor on low graphix is for PvP and well lets say it kinda for hard core players.

Someone playing BF3 casualy won't get bether score because he have 3 monitors thats kinda why I've said 3monitor on medium quality is good only for a very few players.

The average dude will probably enjoy an Ultra quality 4xAA on a single screen then medium quality over 3 screen.
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February 17, 2012 11:28:34 PM

I would only use Tri-eyefinity for non-competitive play, since I know for competitive play, max settings at very high frame rates is needed.
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February 17, 2012 11:33:25 PM

azeem40 said:
I would only use Tri-eyefinity for non-competitive play, since I know for competitive play, max settings at very high frame rates is needed.

Not sure about the max settings but high framerates is a must.
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February 17, 2012 11:35:59 PM

venur said:
So basicaly you've said pretty much the same thing that i said. 3 monitor on low graphix is for PvP and well lets say it kinda for hard core players.

Someone playing BF3 casualy won't get bether score because he have 3 monitors thats kinda why I've said 3monitor on medium quality is good only for a very few players.

The average dude will probably enjoy an Ultra quality 4xAA on a single screen then medium quality over 3 screen.


It's not just for PvPers or "hard-core players". It's for anyone who wants more immersion. Maybe you don't understand that triple monitors give you 3 times the pixels and therefore three times the "data" for your eyes. It fills your vision and makes a single monitor seem like looking through a box. If I turn off the right and left monitor then I see the same thing someone with a single monitor sees. 3 times the monitors means three times the vision. PvP or "having an edge" isn't the primary reason for doing eyefinity. It's the more realistic panoramic view.

The average dude can't afford an eyefinity setup. But money aside, if the average dude got to sit and play with three screens on medium settings vs one screen on ultra, the average dude would pick the three monitors, I'm sure of it. With three monitors you can always set your res to single monitor and play on one and max out whatever you want. I'm not saying its for everybody and yes, there are hassles involved, but its something done for its immersive effect.
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February 17, 2012 11:42:19 PM

azeem40 said:
I would only use Tri-eyefinity for non-competitive play, since I know for competitive play, max settings at very high frame rates is needed.


And if your tri-monitor setup wasn't giving you high enough frames for competitive play then you would set your res to a single monitor and play like everyone else.
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February 18, 2012 12:01:09 AM

CF 7950 gaming is off the table as yet due to driver issues. Expect it will be end of March before it all gets worked out.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7950-crossfire-...

Quote:
Crysis 2 would not scale whatsoever, we had a weird freeze in Far Cry 2, Lost Planet 2 was rather unstable, Dirt 2 showed massive corruption ...... So yeah, that's quite a bit to deal with.


With that type of investment, I'd wait for the new releases to settle out, let the vendors get past Revision A and Revision B hardware and onto Revision C with beefier VRM's, bigger coolers and all the other goodies. Methinks the sweetspot will fall in the 78xx series and whatever replaces the 560 / 570 from nVidia.


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February 18, 2012 12:23:04 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
CF 7950 gaming is off the table as yet due to driver issues. Expect it will be end of March before it all gets worked out.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7950-crossfire-...

Quote:
Crysis 2 would not scale whatsoever, we had a weird freeze in Far Cry 2, Lost Planet 2 was rather unstable, Dirt 2 showed massive corruption ...... So yeah, that's quite a bit to deal with.


With that type of investment, I'd wait for the new releases to settle out, let the vendors get past Revision A and Revision B hardware and onto Revision C with beefier VRM's, bigger coolers and all the other goodies. Methinks the sweetspot will fall in the 78xx series and whatever replaces the 560 / 570 from nVidia.

What are you talking off the table CF 7xxx work very very well and nothing in the 78xx will really be that great cause 7950 is $450 and = GTX 580 performance so then that relegates the 78xx series can only be a maximum performance in between GTX 570 and GTX 580 at the absolute best and the 7770 is $160 with GTX 460 performance. Wecome to free market Monopoly economics where the end user and working people get Fu**** outta freedom.
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February 18, 2012 12:57:48 AM

Boopoo said:
What are you talking off the table CF 7xxx work very very well and nothing in the 78xx will really be that great cause 7950 is $450 and = GTX 580 performance so then that relegates the 78xx series can only be a maximum performance in between GTX 570 and GTX 580 at the absolute best and the 7770 is $160 with GTX 460 performance. Wecome to free market Monopoly economics where the end user and working people get Fu**** outta freedom.

you are free to buy what you want.
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February 18, 2012 2:39:31 AM

Alright, from what I've heard, right now I really can't do what I've allocated. I think I'll wait a month or two for the 78xx's and nvidia replacements and see what I can do then. Right now it doesn't seem smart to jump on soon-to-be outdated hardware.
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February 18, 2012 2:52:58 AM

larkspur said:
And if your tri-monitor setup wasn't giving you high enough frames for competitive play then you would set your res to a single monitor and play like everyone else.

You just ignored what I said... I said I DON'T want to use it for competitive play.
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February 18, 2012 4:12:10 AM

esrever said:
you are free to buy what you want.

That is a highly typical highly simplistic response because Nvidia and Radeon have whats called a Monopoly so you buy what they offer not as you say what you want unless what you want is to be ripped off LOL.
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February 18, 2012 4:24:01 AM

Boopoo said:
That is a highly typical highly simplistic response because Nvidia and Radeon have whats called a Monopoly so you buy what they offer not as you say what you want unless what you want is to be ripped off LOL.

nobody is holding a gun to your head to buy it. They offer a product, the market decide to pay or not.
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February 18, 2012 4:28:30 AM

esrever said:
nobody is holding a gun to your head to buy it. They offer a product, the market decide to pay or not.

Its not the point and you just confirmed it what the problem is LOL who says anything about a gun OK...... So because Nvidia and Radeon are not holding a gun to my head means it is alright for them to over charge LOL this is why the market went to crap and how monopoly's are started cause people just do not understand it LOL.
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February 18, 2012 4:30:26 AM

Boopoo said:
Its not the point and you just confirmed it what the problem is LOL who says anything about a gun OK...... So because Nvidia and Radeon are not holding a gun to my head means it is alright for them to over charge LOL this is why the market went to crap and how monopoly's are started cause people just do not understand it LOL.
You seem to not know what a monopoly is or something.
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February 18, 2012 4:34:36 AM

esrever said:
You seem to not know what a monopoly is or something.

Absolute power over a given market share LOL.
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February 18, 2012 4:40:15 AM

Rofl, you are thinking of something else.
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February 18, 2012 4:45:28 AM

azeem40 said:
Rofl, you are thinking of something else.

Monopoly is absolute control over a select market in this case in point the market in question is GPUs which Nvidia and AMD are the head of and run a Cartel on complete with Price Fixing and Collusion that is intrinsically and typically involved in such Corporate entities.
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