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Multi-Monitor Performance hit?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 18, 2012 2:32:45 AM

Hello there. Planning on possibly running a GTX 670 in my new build.
I'll probably also pickup a 24" Dell Ultrasharp, and use my current 22" monitor to the right to view IMs, game guides, and/or Teamspeak + Vent windows. Would this cause a performance hit in games? Most taxing game is probably BF3. I also have a 8800gt and a ati 5500 lying around that I could use if running a 2nd monitor off those is needed. The 8800gt is loud and hot though.

Thanks!
a c 99 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 2:55:43 AM

At most a little bit, because you are not using both monitors for gaming. The GTX 670 is pretty strong to handle 2 monitors, if you are planning on playing at high settings, I recommend getting a 4GB version. Because some games use a lot of VRAM because they are graphic-intensive such as Battlefield 3.

If you want to take the load off the 670, then you can use the ati 5500 for the second monitor.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 3:02:57 AM

Most likely, the only thing that will affect your performance is if the new monitor supports higher resolution than your old monitor. As long as you are still playing on a single monitor, you are still getting the same performance you would get with only one monitor hooked up. What is the resolution of your old monitor vs. the new monitor?

Also the GTX 670 can easily run two monitors on its own so you won't need to add the second graphics card. I wouldn't recommend using one of those old cards alongside the brand neww one.
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July 18, 2012 3:14:26 AM

fantastik250 said:
At most a little bit, because you are not using both monitors for gaming. The GTX 670 is pretty strong to handle 2 monitors, if you are planning on playing at high settings, I recommend getting a 4GB version. Because some games use a lot of VRAM because they are graphic-intensive such as Battlefield 3.

If you want to take the load off the 670, then you can use the ati 5500 for the second monitor.


If I do use the 5500, would I install the 670 drivers first, then pop in the 5500, and it'll be all plug and play (aside from settings in NVCP)? I'll look into the price difference between 2gb and 4gb, I'm sure springing for the 4gb also gives me more future-proofness.

Edit: Well on Amazon at least for EVGA its $400 for the base 670 vs $485 for the Superclocked 4gb (do they have a ref clock 4gb, I didn't notice it on Amazon). I'll have to think long and hard on the extra $85 as the base version is pushing my budget.

JKatwyopc said:
Most likely, the only thing that will affect your performance is if the new monitor supports higher resolution than your old monitor. As long as you are still playing on a single monitor, you are still getting the same performance you would get with only one monitor hooked up. What is the resolution of your old monitor vs. the new monitor?

Also the GTX 670 can easily run two monitors on its own so you won't need to add the second graphics card. I wouldn't recommend using one of those old cards alongside the brand neww one.


I'm stepping up from Samsung 1680 x 1050 to Dell Ultrasharp 1920 x 1200.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 3:22:18 AM

1200p is a trip in the park for the gtx 670, don´t worry, 2gb will do just fine, maybe 2 or 3 games like bf3 may need some more but that is the minority out there.
a c 99 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 3:24:53 AM

invertedbottles said:
If I do use the 5500, would I install the 670 drivers first, then pop in the 5500, and it'll be all plug and play (aside from settings in NVCP)? I'll look into the price difference between 2gb and 4gb, I'm sure springing for the 4gb also gives me more future-proofness.


Make sure your computer is off.
Assuming you have windows 7, you can plug in the GTX 670 on the fastest PCI-E slot and plug one monitor into that (the 1920x1200 monitor). Then plug in the ATI 5500 in the slowest PCI-E slot most likely the x4 (mode) and plug in the other monitor (1680x1050) into this card. On boot, both cards should be recognized and both monitors should turn on. Then in Windows desktop go to Desktop Properties and set one as primary and the other as secondary, if give the options.
July 18, 2012 4:36:01 AM

pit_1209 said:
1200p is a trip in the park for the gtx 670, don´t worry, 2gb will do just fine, maybe 2 or 3 games like bf3 may need some more but that is the minority out there.


Yeah I've been reading up on the same comparison between 2gb/4gb but for crazy triple monitor setups, and even 4gb doesn't seem absolutely necessary. I'll probably stick with the 2gb.

fantastik250 said:
Make sure your computer is off.
Assuming you have windows 7, you can plug in the GTX 670 on the fastest PCI-E slot and plug one monitor into that (the 1920x1200 monitor). Then plug in the ATI 5500 in the slowest PCI-E slot most likely the x4 (mode) and plug in the other monitor (1680x1050) into this card. On boot, both cards should be recognized and both monitors should turn on. Then in Windows desktop go to Desktop Properties and set one as primary and the other as secondary, if give the options.


Probably a dumb question but following that I'm assuming in the Nvidia settings I leave it as outputting via a single monitor since it only affects the GTX670? And I should not install ATi drivers because that'll cause a conflict?
a c 99 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 5:10:41 AM

Don't install the driver until the 2nd monitor gets booted with the 5500.
July 18, 2012 6:07:54 AM

fantastik250 said:
Don't install the driver until the 2nd monitor gets booted with the 5500.


Bear with me because I'm a little slow and it's fairly late here, but I see two possibilities from your directions:

1) install 670 card first, then install nvidia drivers, then install 5500, and then install ati drivers

or

2) install 670, then install 5500, then install nvidia drivers (leaving ati drivers off computer)

Sorry about the confusion. I'll need the spoon-feeding because I really fail to understand how drivers communicate.

Thanks for the help!
a c 99 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 7:28:50 AM

option 1, after installation of Nvidia drivers, turn off computer and put in the 5500 while the GTX 670 is in the other PCI-E slot.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 18, 2012 3:41:29 PM

You really dont need to use the onboard for your second monitor. I run a 4 monitor setup (all connected to my 7950). Any modern video card should be able to handle running games on one screen while still having small tasks on the other without a noticeable performance hit during gaming. I often run 1080p video on my 4th screen when gaming at EyeFinity resolutions (5760x1080) or when gaming on one screen I can have 1080p video on another, live tv on another, and monitoring software open on my 4th screen.
July 18, 2012 6:55:15 PM

I've been checking out monitors and have been attracted by the Korean 2560 x 1440 IPS that is for around the same price as the Dell. If I get that monitor instead, would I have problems gaming, particularly BF3? Mind you, I've been using a 8800gt and a Q6600 for BF3 for a while, actually been on medium settings at around 30FPS (playable for me personally, I can stand it) and a 60Hz monitor. I wonder if the extra screen real estate is worth the lower graphics settings?
!