I own a mobile photography business, and am wondering about a new graphics card. This is my situation:
I used to display pictures on laptops shared from my tower over a wired network. I want to switch to virtualizing, instead of using physical computers for displaying pictures. I currently have a 460 SE, which supports two displays. This means I can only run one VM for displaying pictures, along with using the server. I would like to run 5 screens simultaneously: one for my host machine, and 4 display screens using VMs. My motherboard supports 2 graphics cards, and I have plenty of power to run it.
16GB @ 2133: 11-11-11-30
460 SE (High overclock)
I understand that running a Radeon card with an NVidia in my system would cause driver issues. I am ok with ditching the 460 if Radeon would be the way to go. I would like the gaming performance of the new rig to at least equal the 460, but that is not as important to running 5 screens. What would be the cheapest and/or best option to run 5 displays?
I need to run 5 screens, and I already have a 460. I can run two cards. Best options?
Lot's of AMD Radeon cards support up to five displays now. Browsing on Newegg, it seems that most XFX cards even at the low end have five outputs. Be advised that one of the DVI ports is a single link DVI which means it cannot drive a monitor at a resolution about 1920x1080.
As unksol stated, you can run both AMD and NVidia cards on the same system so long as you have Windows 7 or newer. Older versions of windows only allow for one graphics driver. In general, I would recommend against matching AMD and Nvidia graphics cards just to avoid the hassles of maintaining two different drivers.
I wouldn't say a 7850 is low end. Single link can still do 1080p/60hz. It can go higher res but will require lower than 60hz. Not an issue if it's for displaying still pictures. I use my hd 3000 with my 560ti, it is not a hassle at all to maintain drivers. Auto update. I think dealing with multiple adapters is more hassle, if only using one card like the 7850.
The cheapest option would just be the cheapest card you can find. Your integrated supports 2, the 460 supports 2, so you just need 1 more and any card can do that.
There isn't a best option, but many ways to accomplish this.