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Hardware for running three HD Displays

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 29, 2012 10:44:09 PM

I need to run three LCD/LED menu boards for a restaurant in HD 1080p. What hardware will I need to get the job done. I am assuming a moderately fast computer with three GPUs capable of HDMI output. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 10:52:57 PM

No, fast PC isn't necessary. You'll just need two graphics cards (each card can support up to two monitors) and a motherboard with two PCIe slots. Something like these cards would do:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also get a card with three monitor support, but that would be more expensive.
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August 29, 2012 11:02:26 PM

Thanks Sunius! DVI and HDMI both produce 1080p? This seems like a good deal. Can you recommend a computer as well?
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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 11:03:17 PM

Yes, they can both produce 1080p. Are you willing to build a computer yourself? I could recommend all the components if you want :) . It would end up being much cheaper and you will certainly not run into incompatibility that way.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 11:12:00 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($43.90 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($35.99 @ Compuvest)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.74 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.76 @ Amazon)
Total: $339.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-29 19:13 EDT-0400)

+ $70 for the graphics cards will place you just at $400. Depending on what you want to display on those monitors, you might not need Windows - you could go with free OS Ubuntu. That way you could save almost $100.
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August 29, 2012 11:17:40 PM

Thanks again Sunius! You are a life saver. This is more than what I needed. I very much appreciate your help.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 11:19:42 PM

Glad I helped ;) . Just a note: you will not be able to get separate audio for the displays. The audio for all the displays will be mix of whatever you're showing on the computer.

Let's say you have sport programme on one output, and movie on another one, so both TVs will play sound from both videos.
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August 29, 2012 11:20:47 PM

Actually, audio is not required since the displays will be used as menu boards. :) 
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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 11:27:54 PM

Oh I see :p .
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August 29, 2012 11:29:33 PM

Do the displays have to show different things? If all three displays can show the same thing, all you need is an HDMI splitter.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_i...

Even if just two displays can show the same thing, you can get away with a single video card and a splitter. One output goes to the splitter and two displays. The second output shows a different menu board.
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August 29, 2012 11:30:19 PM

Best answer selected by daziguy.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
August 29, 2012 11:36:49 PM

Well, those splitters cost as much as extra graphics card, and I think it's better to have the option to show different things if he wants to :) .
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August 29, 2012 11:45:23 PM

All three displays will show different so I will need graphic cards.
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