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Triple Monitor setup

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 8, 2012 5:34:17 AM

Hi guys,

I'm just wondering what my best and/or cheapest option is to get a third monitor on my setup. I use it mostly for cad / office stuff, so it doesn't have to be bleeding edge. Since I put my dual display setup into portrait mode the aspect ratio is just begging for the third monitor (2400x1920 or 1.25:1).

I have the Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 motherboard, with quad 3.2ghz and 12gb ram and an Integrated ATI Radeon™ HD 4250 GPU. I also have an NVIDIA GT440 (cheapy) which does the job. I wanted to use the integrated and discrete graphics card at the same time, but obviously ATI (AMD) and NVIDIA simultaneously is pretty much unfeasible. This motherboard supports ATI Hybrid CrossFireX™.

Should I ditch the NVIDIA card and get an entry level ATI (even though as an occasional linux user I prefer NVIDIA) to get the a third monitor using the integrated graphics as well, or should I splurge for a 3 monitor graphics card (which bumps up the price a tad?)..

Appreciate any and all advice,
Cheers!

More about : triple monitor setup

a b C Monitor
July 8, 2012 5:51:09 AM

If you wish to stick with Nvidia you will need to use a gtx680 or higher to run 3 monitors. If you go with ATI any series from hd58xx will run 3 monitors I believe. I would suggest something like an hd6950 or better. Good luck.
July 8, 2012 6:12:40 AM

I can't find an Nvidia GTX680 for under $500.. which prices me out of being choosy between brands. When you suggest any series ATI above HD58xx you mean for this card to be run simultaneously with the onboard GPU right? I don't need hardcore performance and am happy with this, but I can definately stretch a little above the entry cards, especially if my viewports will render faster.

For example, the 7770 Sapphire 1GB card is 135.00 locally. This is well within what I was considering. There are also Firepro, FireMV, Powercolour etc.. Would any of these result in a better choice of card? I'm basically looking from this list if you have any recommendations:

http://www.megabuy.com.au/ati-pci-express-video-cards-c...

Keeping in mind I mostly use Revit for CAD and Openoffice for study, but occasionally I use software like Lumion or 3DS Max which would benefit from extra grunt.
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a b C Monitor
July 8, 2012 6:44:53 AM

lets back up a step. in windows 7 you should be able to use an.nvidia card and the onboard AMD GPU at the same time(if the board allows it). it just might be a pain. and you can't use them as one big display. but you could try if you felt like it.

if you are not going to game at all or do 3D work a GTX680 is rediculous, although a GTX670 will also run 3(also rediculous if not gaming)

If you use any software that can benefit from gpgpu compute look at the AMD7xxxs

Anything from AMD in the 5xxxs, 6xxxs or 7xxxs can run 3 monitors IF it has a displayport connection, (or its a special card). you must use an ACTIVE display port to single link DVI adapter for the 3rd monitor. they are about 30 bucks

the sapphire flex cards will run 3 monitors with no adapter
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681410296...
a b C Monitor
July 8, 2012 6:48:07 AM

morgazmo said:
I can't find an Nvidia GTX680 for under $500.. which prices me out of being choosy between brands. When you suggest any series ATI above HD58xx you mean for this card to be run simultaneously with the onboard GPU right? I don't need hardcore performance and am happy with this, but I can definately stretch a little above the entry cards, especially if my viewports will render faster.

For example, the 7770 Sapphire 1GB card is 135.00 locally. This is well within what I was considering. There are also Firepro, FireMV, Powercolour etc.. Would any of these result in a better choice of card? I'm basically looking from this list if you have any recommendations:

http://www.megabuy.com.au/ati-pci-express-video-cards-c...

Keeping in mind I mostly use Revit for CAD and Openoffice for study, but occasionally I use software like Lumion or 3DS Max which would benefit from extra grunt.


No, admittedly I'm no expert, but afaik when you add a gpu, the onboard gpu's output is disabled and therefore unuseable. A single hd7770 from Sapphire is fine and will run 3 monitors on its' own. I'm quite partial to ASUS and Gigabyte, but I'm also running a pair of hd5870' vapour x from sapphire in xfire, and am entirely happy with them. I suggested the hd6950 because it's not at the top of the hierarchy, but by no means near the bottom either. However, if you wish to expand your desktop into one huge screen at any point you will need to connect the 3rd monitor via a displayport ACTIVE adapter if your monitor does not support displayport. Here I would suggest an active dp/dvi adapter (I've heard of some ppl having trouble with the dp/hdmi adapters, others have had no problems). From what I understand of the firepro cards, they're far better at rendering applications like autocad, solidworks and the like, but the amd site says you will need to use a firepro 2460 multi-view or better to power more than 2 monitors http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/fir...
Hope this helps, good luck.
July 8, 2012 6:59:28 AM

Cheers fellas.

Simultaneous onboard and discrete on this mobo doesn't seem to be an option (no surroundview in bios?), but I could've easily missed something. There is no need for a 3 display card if I can get around it, but I'm not sure I can. The other option would be a 2nd discrete card, since I don't need uber-power, but my GT440 is in a PCIx16 slot and I think I only have a PCIx4 and PCIx1 slot available.. Can I run x16 and x4?Can I put another GT440 in the x4 slot and since they share drivers, hopefully run 3 (or maybe 4? :)  ) screens?

Firepros and Quaddros are recommended for Revit, but I'm really not looking at $500+ cards at this stage.. Thanks for your time and expertise..
a b C Monitor
July 8, 2012 7:10:59 AM

the majority of onboard GPUs are automatically disabled, however on most boards, including his since it supports hybrid crossfire, you can re-enable the onboard GPU. This is why he should be able to use the GT440 and HD4250 at the same time. Windows 7 should detect it, ask to install the drivers, and keep them separate without an issue, allowing all three monitors to work with what he has.

Its only if it acts up, or he wants to use eyefinity that he needs a new card.

edit: AMD doesn't call it surroundview, but it should be in the same spot you select onboard/pcie/hybridx. let me see if I can find it in the manual
a b C Monitor
July 8, 2012 7:25:26 AM

I lied they do call it surround view LOL.

go to advanced, Chipset, internal graphics.

set the pcie card as primary, the internal card to UMA mode, and surround view to enabled. this is on page 65 of your manual.

July 9, 2012 7:48:46 AM

Thanks for the ripping advice.. I have had a play with the bios and tried the 4 options in internal graphics..

GFX0-GPP-IGFX-PCI (default)
GPP-GFX0-IGFX-PCI
PCI-GFX0-GPP-IGFX
IGFX-GFX0-GPP-PCI

The last option gave me something from the integrated card, but no GT440. I didn't go crazy with testing, but nothing came up straight off the bat and there is nothing in my bios about surroundview.

I'm not sure if my computer is "acting up", but so far I haven't a hint that both cards will work simultaneously. I'm leaning towards getting another GT440 and using both.. although a 3 monitor ati card (or even a dual monitor card if I can be sure the integrated will work at the same time) could also be a viable option.

My board is hybrid-cross fire capable, but I'm a noob and I haven't found both vid cards in device manager at the same time yet.

Cheers for all your help, appreciate your advice.
!