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9 monitors on 1 computer?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 14, 2012 5:09:25 PM

Hi,

I have a friend who wants me to build him a computer and wants to connect 9 monitors to it. i know with eyefinity i can connect 6 monitors no problem. my question is, with this motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) can i use eyefinity with 2 radeons in crossfire mode on the 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 for the main 6 displays, then add a 3rd graphics card in the PCI Express 2.0 x16, and be able to run the extra 3 screen independently as a extended desktop?

or is there a better way to run 9 monitors?

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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
May 14, 2012 5:19:23 PM

If he has the 6 connector version on the radion cards yes you can do this it will not play games accross all of them as there is no card powerful enough to push to that many screens even in 2 3 or 4 way SLI/CF...
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 5:20:00 PM

Some AMD cards can have 6 monitors per card, so two of these special Eyefinity edition cards (usually with six mini-Displayport outputs) can do the trick and still have room for three more monitors. I assume that this is not a gaming build because there is no way that 9 monitors (unless they are low resolution monitors) could be gamed on at once like this, no matter what.
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May 14, 2012 5:30:35 PM

blazorthon said:
Some AMD cards can have 6 monitors per card, so two of these special Eyefinity edition cards (usually with six mini-Displayport outputs) can do the trick and still have room for three more monitors. I assume that this is not a gaming build because there is no way that 9 monitors (unless they are low resolution monitors) could be gamed on at once like this, no matter what.



i was checking out these cards. something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?

so you would recommend 2 of the cards running separately? 6 on 1 card, and 3 on the other?
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a c 259 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 5:51:57 PM

I suspect what you are looking for is a PC for day trading or such that can display on a bunch of monitors.
The displays would be largely static with periodic updates, not full gaming displays with high FPS needs.

Here are two possible approaches that are a whole lot less expensive:

1) Start with a motherboard that has lots of pci-e slots. It might be a workstation board, or something like this EVGA P67 FTW 160-SB-E679-KR extended ATX motherboard. It has 6 pcie slots of various power from X4/X8 to X16.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There might be some other motherboards listed under workstation types.
Into each put a basic pcie graphics card. Each card wil be able to control 2 graphics cards, and cost < $50 each.
Like this, for example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note that this card can run only two of the three outputs at the same time.

2) Each 1080P monitor will be 1920 x 1080 resolution, able to display about 2 million pixels.
As an alternative, consider using 2560 x 1600 monitors which can display 4 million pixels each.
Or, use 2560 x 1440 monitors which are a bit cheaper. That will cut down the need to use many graphics cards or insanely expensive graphics cards.
Larger monitors will reduce the number of bezels too.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 5:59:04 PM

Or, get two cheapy Eyefinity edition cards that support up to 6 monitors each, reducing the cost of the motherboard and the amount of graphics cards needed... low end Eyefinity edition cards are not expensive.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 6:00:10 PM

hendrix141 said:
i was checking out these cards. something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?

so you would recommend 2 of the cards running separately? 6 on 1 card, and 3 on the other?


Neither of those are what I had in mind. Those are very expensive. I was thinking more along the lines of a 6850 Eyefinity edition or 6870 Eyefinity edition, about $200 per card.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 6:08:13 PM

Heh, false alarm. It seems that these sorts of cards are all sold out, where ever I look. I guess AMD doesn't intend to make affordable cards with more than four display outputs per card anymore.

I was thinking something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Except they don't seem to make any of them anymore. My bad.
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May 14, 2012 6:17:09 PM

geofelt said:
I suspect what you are looking for is a PC for day trading or such that can display on a bunch of monitors.
The displays would be largely static with periodic updates, not full gaming displays with high FPS needs.

Here are two possible approaches that are a whole lot less expensive:

1) Start with a motherboard that has lots of pci-e slots. It might be a workstation board, or something like this EVGA P67 FTW 160-SB-E679-KR extended ATX motherboard. It has 6 pcie slots of various power from X4/X8 to X16.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There might be some other motherboards listed under workstation types.
Into each put a basic pcie graphics card. Each card wil be able to control 2 graphics cards, and cost < $50 each.
Like this, for example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note that this card can run only two of the three outputs at the same time.

2) Each 1080P monitor will be 1920 x 1080 resolution, able to display about 2 million pixels.
As an alternative, consider using 2560 x 1600 monitors which can display 4 million pixels each.
Or, use 2560 x 1440 monitors which are a bit cheaper. That will cut down the need to use many graphics cards or insanely expensive graphics cards.
Larger monitors will reduce the number of bezels too.



yes, he is a day trader. i appreciate your suggestions and will take them into consideration. however, he has an unlimited budget and would like a top of the line computer. cost is no problem which is why i was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . he did specify wanting eyeinfinity. i asked him what exactly he had in mind, and he basically said if there was a way to use eyeinfinity across the max 6 screens, and add 3 screens as a extended desktop that would be ideal.

i believe he is looking for a machine that can play games at ultra high settings and still have 3 screens available for trading at the same time. hence my original thinking of a config of 2 7970 cards in crossfire and 1 extra for the other 3.


i appreciate any and all info given. thanks
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 6:21:06 PM

How many MP of resolution does he want to game on? Two 7970s won't do much more than 6MP very well, so three 1080p displays would be almost the limit of two 7970s during gaming, leaving the other 6 to be used for non-graphically heavy work (or no work) during gaming. There's also the problem with 7970s in CF and Eyefinity at the same time. They only work in CF and Eyefinity at the same time if you use the original beta drivers, so no new drivers for these 7970s until this problem is fixed (the newer drivers are all incompatible with both Eyefinity and CF at the same time, I don't know whyand AMD doesn't seem to plan on fixing this until at least Catalyst 12.5).

He might be better off with two or three GTX 680 4GB cards instead, because of this. It would have marginally better gaming performance, but crap DP performance. I don't know if he needs DP compute performance or not. Three 680s would be beaten by two 580s for DP compute performance and three 580s are beaten by a single 7970.
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May 14, 2012 6:31:49 PM

blazorthon said:
Heh, false alarm. It seems that these sorts of cards are all sold out, where ever I look. I guess AMD doesn't intend to make affordable cards with more than four display outputs per card anymore.


This is more of a business application. I don't think AMD's marketing strategy was to develop cost effective 9 monitor solutions.

You can do 9 monitors with 3 cheap AMD cards (3x3 = 9) and motherboard with 3 pcie slots.
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a c 259 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 6:34:52 PM

One of the problems anybody will have with a bunch of monitors is viewing angles.
With a 160 degree viewing angle, typical of 1080P monitors, you need to have your head positioned directly in front of the monitor or the image will look washed out.
I think this will be a real problem with 9 monitors.
The best monitors will have 178/178 viewing angles, but they will be more expensive.
Here is an example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest a set of 6 such monitors. That will be able to display 21 million pixels, which is a bit more than the 18 that 9 conventional 1080P monitors can do.

For gaming, connect three to a GTX680, or, better yet, to a GTX690 since price is no objext.
The static three can be attached to a lesser card such as a GTX670.

Most any top Z77 motherboard will have the requisite number of pcie x 16 slots.

One other suggestion, include a 240gb Intel 520 SSD. It is the one thing which will make the pc feel responsive.
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a b U Graphics card
May 14, 2012 7:00:15 PM

Or just grab one of those big CUII cards and add 1 cheap one for the other 3 monitors...
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 7:03:04 PM

I'd take a Vertex 4 SSD over any other SSD at this time, unless you are absolutely sure that you will deal with almost purely highly compressible data. Otherwise, I agree with geofelt's above post. Get two GTX 680 4GBs for the main three monitors (resolutions that high will need the extra VRAM for gaming) and a weaker card for the others. Don't be shy about overclocking those two 680s a little either because for triple 2560x1440, they will most likely need a little more power anyway.
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May 14, 2012 7:15:53 PM

Vram shortage with the 3 X 2560X1440 using the 680?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 7:18:26 PM

goombaxiv said:
Vram shortage with the 3 X 2560X1440 using the 680?


There would be a VRAM capacity bottle-neck (quite possibly the worst kind of graphics card bottle-neck) if it was a 2GB model. That kind of resolution would need the 4GB GTX 680s. The GTX 690s don't have 4GB per GPU models, last I checked, so they're out for such resolutions, leaving GTX 680 4GB SLI as the one and only practical approach. Heck, it would probably need three GTX 680s for such a large resolution, depending on the game. Triple 2560x1440 is no joke.
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May 14, 2012 9:43:33 PM

Thanks for all the information guys.

so if i ran 3 gtx680 with 4gb ram each, independently meaning no sli, and connected 3 monitors to each would be good? the motherboard i picked out only has 3 pcie x16 slots, 2 3.0 and 1 2.0. obviously the 2.0 would not be used in gaming.

he also has the matrox triple head2go, and that z77 mobo does has a built in hdmi. so we were also thinking about using that hdmi for the matrox for the 3 screens that won't be use in gaming, and leaving the powerful gpus for the other 6 monitors. have about a month to figure this all out when hes ready for me to build it. basically got everything picked out, just gotta figure out this graphic card/monitor situation.

a little more info, we talked earlier today, and he won't be trading and gaming at the same time, but wants 9 screens for trading, then be able to use 6 for gaming when needed, in eyeinfinity if possible as that seems ideal since it doesn't seem like nvidia can do more than 3 at a time as far as stretching the desktop across multiple monitor goes

also we are definitely putting ssd drives in a raid 0 on this thing. i was unaware the vertex 4 had come out, i just bought my vertex 3 drives like 3 months ago when i upgraded my person comp. of course thats how things work though isn't it?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 9:52:22 PM

Not a chance of using six screens for gaming. Not a chance. Also, SSDs in RAID 0 is a bad idea. Most SSDs lose TRIM support in RAID. Vertex 4 is one of the best SSDs possible because it has excellent performance on both in-compressible and highly compressible performance on account of it not having a SandForce controller, but a Marvel controller with excellent Indilinx firmware.

Six screens in gaming means that two screens would be in the middle, so bezel problems. Gaming should always have an odd number of screens. 6 1080p screens would need greater performance than any graphics card setup possible right now, so it's not doable. Four GTX 680 4GBs (with overclocks) might be able to do 5 1080p screens very well, but six is both not practical and jsut too much for even four 680s or four 7970s.

Also, Nvidia's Kepler cards, such as the GTX 680, can do four displays per card in Nvidia Surround, basically Nvidia's Eyefinity, and more displays with multiple cards. However, a single 680 does not have the graphical power to fuel that many displays and the problem with SLI is that other than dual SLI, it does not scale very well. This is a problem inherent to all multi-GPU technologies, going beyond two GPUs does not scale performance very well (although it does do wonders for stutter).
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May 14, 2012 9:59:22 PM

blazorthon said:
Not a chance of using six screens for gaming. Not a chance. Also, SSDs in RAID 0 is a bad idea. Most SSDs lose TRIM support in RAID. Vertex 4 is one of the best SSDs possible because it has excellent performance on both in-compressible and highly compressible performance on account of it not having a SandForce controller, but a Marvel controller with excellent Indilinx firmware.

Six screens in gaming means that two screens would be in the middle, so bezel problems. Gaming should always have an odd number of screens. 6 1080p screens would need greater performance than any graphics card setup possible right now, so it's not doable. Four GTX 680 4GBs (with overclocks) might be able to do 5 1080p screens very well, but six is both not practical and jsut too much for even four 680s or four 7970s.

Also, Nvidia's Kepler cards, such as the GTX 680, can do four displays per card in Nvidia Surround, basically Nvidia's Eyefinity, and more displays with multiple cards. However, a single 680 does not have the graphical power to fuel that many displays and the problem with SLI is that other than dual SLI, it does not scale very well. This is a problem inherent to all multi-GPU technologies, going beyond two GPUs does not scale performance very well (although it does do wonders for stutter).



hmmm ok, he will be sad about not using 6 screens for gaming.

i know when intel released the driver update, TRIM will be supported in raid. i've read many different things about a raid config with ssd. some say the garbage collection is good enough without trim that as long as you log off and let the computer idle, you don't see much decrease in speed. i put my personal comp in a raid 0 with my ssds, and my god is it fast. the benchmarks are just insane. i have the linux tool that allows you to update the drivers without breaking the array so as soon as intel gets around to what they've been talking about since nov i'll be golden.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 10:02:31 PM

hendrix141 said:
hmmm ok, he will be sad about not using 6 screens for gaming.

i know when intel released the driver update, TRIM will be supported in raid. i've read many different things about a raid config with ssd. some say the garbage collection is good enough without trim that as long as you log off and let the computer idle, you don't see much decrease in speed. i put my personal comp in a raid 0 with my ssds, and my god is it fast. the benchmarks are just insane. i have the linux tool that allows you to update the drivers without breaking the array so as soon as intel gets around to what they've been talking about since nov i'll be golden.


Well, if he's not happy with 5, then I'll be surprised. 5 should be doable.
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May 14, 2012 10:03:16 PM

thanks again guys
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 10:04:07 PM

You're welcome.
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May 14, 2012 10:04:41 PM

blazorthon said:
Well, if he's not happy with 5, then I'll be surprised. 5 should be doable.



hes a day trader with unlimited funds right now and want the best possible. i've shown him some commercial applications but they aren't really built for gaming. so we're trying to figure out what is needed to do this if possible, but i guess its not.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
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May 14, 2012 10:31:04 PM

hendrix141 said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMbHZ8Mn__g

basically wants the set up with 3 extra on top.


That simply isn't practical for gaming. You need to have a single monitor in the middle to focus on and have other monitors on the sides for peripheral vision. Having six set up like that would make it very difficult to game. It's great for watching graphs and such (stock market and all that fun), but not for gaming.

EDIT: it's not great for gaming because of the bezels.
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