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Minumum GPU for dual monitors while gaming?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Dual Monitors
  • Monitors
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Last response: in Displays
March 12, 2012 5:39:58 PM

Hey everyone,

I prefer to always use dual monitors but I am not sure how to calculate how much video card I need while gaming, and what the best setup is. I set the games to windowed mode / full screen in my primary monitor, and then use the second monitor for ventrilo, a browser, a movie, or whatever at the same time.

My current setup is one GTX460 with 4gigs ram and a 3.0GHz quad core cpu. I play Battlefield 3 at 1920/1080 resolution, with a movie on the second monitor. It runs smoothly about 90% of the time, but in an intense firefight or sometimes while zooming my scope I get bad video lag.

For my next build what is the most efficient video card setup for 2 monitors? I can do 1 more powerful card, 2 cards in SLI, or 2 cards seperately? Also, is it possible to use the integrated graphics on a Core i5 CPU to run my second monitor, while using 1 video card to run the primary monitor? Thanks for the help!

More about : minumum gpu dual monitors gaming

March 12, 2012 6:11:28 PM

hmm... I would think the 460 should ok with what your doing but well, apparently not.

Most efficient in what? power/performance, price/performance? What kind of mb, psu, and cpu do you have?
Almost all cards can run dual monitors. Asking a card to run a full movie at blu ray and a demanding game is a lot.

Getting a second gtx460 for sli would be cool if your board supports it. But your current setup isnt bad at all. I would consider becoming a pretentious gamer or a movie nut. Doing both at the same time is cheating you!

Sry but to my knowledge u pick either integrated graphics or card graphics.
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March 12, 2012 6:49:20 PM

I would try a video card with more memory on it and maybe a step or two higher. An example would be a GTX 580 with 3gb of ram.

EVGA 03G-P3-1584-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$549.99 and a 420 rebate makes it $529.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course two of these while they might break the bank will give you everything that you need. One will work and you should get no dropoff in performance while playing a game and watching a movie.
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March 12, 2012 6:51:34 PM

For dual monitors, an SLI solution often grants you the best peformance, I know this from experience. I built a cheap computer for my brother using 2 ATI radeon 6850s, which are currently (along with the 6870s) the best buck-per-performance crads on the market. A single 6850 outperforms your 460, and you can get 2 of them for about 250 bucks. ANother cheaper solution would be to SLI your 460s. The only issure would be your power supply and MoBo.

How many watts is your power supply?

What motherboard do you have?
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March 12, 2012 6:54:57 PM

inzone said:
I would try a video card with more memory on it and maybe a step or two higher. An example would be a GTX 580 with 3gb of ram.

EVGA 03G-P3-1584-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$549.99 and a 420 rebate makes it $529.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course two of these while they might break the bank will give you everything that you need. One will work and you should get no dropoff in performance while playing a game and watching a movie.



Thats a good suggestion, 3 gigs would allow great multi monitor support, and exceptional performance in 3d gaming. And the fact thats its a 580, just speaks for itself. Though his PSU might not be able to handle it. (If purchasing one, it would be good to wait until mid-april when kepler is released then snatc up the "outdated" fermi card for much cheaper.)
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March 12, 2012 6:56:06 PM

I considered the SLI route but I would rather save the money for my next build. How about using both the integrated graphics on a Core i-5 2550k for my non gaming monitor, and using a GTX560 ti for the gaming monitor? Is it possible to use both at the same time?
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March 12, 2012 6:58:26 PM

filschaos said:
I considered the SLI route but I would rather save the money for my next build. How about using both the integrated graphics on a Core i-5 2550k for my non gaming monitor, and using a GTX560 ti for the gaming monitor? Is it possible to use both at the same time?


I5 2550k doesnt have an IGU (integrated card) yet the 2500k does, makes no sense eh?
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March 12, 2012 7:04:07 PM

holykalo said:
A single 6850 outperforms your 460

When did that happen?

And that is with a stock clocked gtx460. Not mentioning that most of them are o/c.
The real advantage of 6850 over the gtx460 is that you cannot find a gtx460 with 256bit ram anymore.
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March 12, 2012 7:09:46 PM

Memnarchon said:
When that did happen?
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/images/perfrel_1920.gif
And that is with a stock clocked gtx460. Not mentioning that most of them are o/c.
The real advantage of 6850 over the gtx460 is that you cannot find a gtx460 with 256bit ram anymore.


http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html It happened here. Benchmarks are inaccurate, I am relying upon my own experience with video cards, we can all use benchmarks to our own ends. For Anti Aliasing, and playing at VERY high resolutions, the 460 is exceptional. For gaming with light (or none) AA, at a standard HD resolution of 1080p, the 6850 outperforms the 460, and as I said, it is the best price-per-performance card on the market.

EDIT: Amd I also mentioned the 6870, 10-20 bucks more than the 6850, which even in your benchmark outperforms the 460... experience>benchmarks
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March 12, 2012 7:26:27 PM

holykalo said:
For dual monitors, an SLI solution often grants you the best performance, I know this from experience. I built a cheap computer for my brother using 2 ATI radeon 6850s, which are currently (along with the 6870s) the best buck-per-performance crads on the market. A single 6850 outperforms your 460, and you can get 2 of them for about 250 bucks. Another cheaper solution would be to SLI your 460s. The only issure would be your power supply and MoBo.


You're right in single card, but the 460 has lower cost per frame in SLI .... I hadda update my cost tables as the prices on the 460 / 6850 have dropped since the 78xx series broke. The 460 ius a bit higher than it should be though as the 768 MB model was tested and the only ones for sale at this point are the 1GB models.

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

Ranked by cost per frame, single card configuration

$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46
$ 140.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.38 - $ 0.44
$ 125.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.40 - $ 0.42
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 250.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.50 - $ 0.60
$ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71
$ 350.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.67 - $ 0.85
$ 450.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.73 - $ 0.94
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.81 - ERR
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61


Ranked by cost per frame in SLI / CF

$ 125.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.40 - $ 0.42
$ 140.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.38 - $ 0.44
$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 250.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.50 - $ 0.60
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71
$ 350.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.67 - $ 0.85
$ 450.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.73 - $ 0.94
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.81 - ERR
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March 12, 2012 7:31:21 PM

holykalo said:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html It happened here. Benchmarks are inaccurate, I am relying upon my own experience with video cards, we can all use benchmarks to out own ends.


I would agree that a benchmark might be inaccurate. Even more inaccurate might be a synthetic benchmark like passmark, which noone really takes it seriously (not even saying that you posted a benchamrk which is showing GTX590 LOWER than GTX470).

But a lot of real world gaming benchmarks are not innacurate. Its the whole performance a card can give.

holykalo said:
For Anti Aliasing, and playing at VERY high resolutions, the 460 is exceptional. For gaming with light (or none) AA, at a standard HD resolution of 1080p, the 6850 outperforms the 460,


And since he asked for Battlefield 3:

And even without AA they are the same:


holykalo said:
and as I said, it is the best price-per-performance card on the market.


Well I would disagree here too. 6870 (160$) is.

And filschaos, I would agree with inzone that 1GB is not going to be enough for resolutions beyond 1920x1080:
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March 12, 2012 7:34:03 PM

Aaah, thank you JackNaylorPE. I was looking for that list to be sure about the 6870.
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March 12, 2012 7:39:40 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I'd agree on the 6870 .... 6850 is a tie

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

Ranked by cost per frame, single card configuration

$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46
$ 155.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 155.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.49 - $ 0.52
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 270.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.54 - $ 0.65
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61

Ranked by cost per frame in SLI / CF

$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46
$ 155.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 155.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.49 - $ 0.52
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 270.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.54 - $ 0.65
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.81 - ERR



$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.81 - ERR



:)  I can agree with that, both of them are reasonable cards at reasonable prices. Either one in SLI/Crossfire would bring exceptional performance for dual monitors, but for a longer lasting solution, I would break the bank on a 7950, which instead of being replaced in a few years like the 460s or 6850s (dual), could just be crossfired at that point in time, giving your computer an even longer lifespan.
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March 12, 2012 7:50:32 PM

Oops....I hadda update.....the 460 had outta date prices to...in SLI it edges the other two at today's prices.
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March 12, 2012 7:55:46 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Oops....I hadda update.....the 460 had outta date prices to...in SLI it edges the other two at today's prices.


Fair enough, I have to admit I read the initial post wrong. If i read he were NOT looking to upgrade, I would have recommended the top of the line 7950, in which he can SLI later on if he feels he needs more power (Which wont be for a while) . Yet being me I had to read it wrong and cause counter-productive arguments :)  . I have came to my final answer. single 7950 is the way to go.
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March 19, 2012 1:10:40 AM

Best answer selected by filschaos.
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March 19, 2012 9:10:31 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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