I recently purchased a desktop that someone built. I haven't had a desktop in quite a few years because I've had a laptop, but now I need a 3 monitor setup for work. The last desktop I had (6 years ago) I built myself. And if I have a desktop with 3 monitors I might as well also be able to play some games from time to time. I have been doing some research and I'm a little lost with all the new options. Here is my setup and any advice/opinions would be helpful. Thanks.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In next week or 2
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Working on 3 monitors and then want to game sometimes. I do not have to have the details turned all the way up or the best FPS. I need a balance between a workstation and a game machine. Occasionally watch DVDs.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: I only have a Thermaltake TR2430. I can upgrade this. Been using 2 monitor setup on the integrated graphics.
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Thermaltake case n cooling fan. Asus P8H67 M PRO, updated BIOS to 3802, 8 GB of Memory. My mobo has PCIe 2.0 x16 and 2nd PCIe is 4x on Windows 7 64bit. 1 TB SATA drive.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Ebay, Amazon, Newegg or any other place with good deals. USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: In the past Ive had good performance from ATI and Asus. I prefer name brands, but it doesn't have to be.
OVERCLOCKING: I would overclock perhaps. I have Crossfire ready Mobo.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have 2 monitors that can run at 1680x1050 and one that seems to be maxed at 1600x900. Im guessing I have to run at the lowest common resolution.
Ok, if any of you gurus need additional information just ask. And thanks for your assistance.
3 monitor gaming requires a lot of GPU power, though I realize you are ok with turning down settings. So basically, I'd see about getting the best setup you can within your budget. You'll probably need a new PSU as well.
If you wanted any chance of running all 3 with reasonable FPS, though on lowered settings, I'd start at a GTX 670 at about $400. If you wanted to play near max settings, you could try 2 in SLI for about $800. One of these recommends a good 550 watt PSU, two would put you into the 800 watt range.
I might add that I recommended the Nvidia, because it seems to be less hassle to get 3 monitors working on the new 600 series than AMD's, which requires an active displayport connection, and if all 3 aren't connected in the same way, their refresh rates don't seem to sync well. Or at least, I see this complaint a lot.
For $400 you should get the gtx 670 and it should be good for everything you need it for. You'd probably have to upgrade your powersupply as well.
If you just care about work then the 7750 is a great card for it since its low power consumption and should do everything you'd need a graphics card for unless you are into professional 3D modeling or something.