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How do you connect 3 monitors on one Computer

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Computer
  • Monitors
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 12, 2012 7:09:17 PM

Hi guys. I thought I ask the experts in here. I'm currently running a old ATI 4850 with just 2 DVI port in the rear. I do just photo editing and watch movie, music, and misc stuff. No gamer at all here. Here's my question.

How do you connet 3 monitors to one PC computer?

I have a 2 x 27" monitor and the 3rd one is a Wacom Cintiq.

My rig

i7 bloomfield
Asus P6T
12GB RAM
ATI XFX 4850

Do I need a adapter? Run 2 same graphic cards? (if so what's a good one for CS6 or photoshop). Thanks!

More about : connect monitors computer

a c 291 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 12, 2012 7:21:48 PM

To display on more than two monitors at a time, you'd need either a card that can supports two monitors, or a second card. The latter option in your case would be a better one if you are happy with your current PC performance. You motherboard has three PCI express slots, which means that it can support up to three graphics cards.

My suggestion is getting the cheapest card you can get - as it will only be used for video output and not playing computer games:

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

Also, if you're gonna get something else, make sure to get an AMD (it bought ATI a few years ago) card. Nvidia and AMD card in one system could cause driver problems.
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a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2012 7:27:49 PM

AMD's newer cards can run three monitors off of one card.
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Related resources
November 12, 2012 7:33:15 PM

Sunius, can't I just try to buy another used ATI XFX 4850 and install it and hook the wacom cintiq to it. Or I was thinking about these 2. Will they work also?

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

Maestro - Can you link a AMD card for me? Most of the ones I see only show 2 DVI port in the rear. Thanks!
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November 12, 2012 7:40:15 PM

Maestro - I just saw the price on the 3 DVI port that AMD has on newegg. Yikes!!! I don't have money $1000+ to blow on one. I think 2 GPU is probably going to be cheaper for me.

BTW, I also want to upgrade my ATI 4850 GPU to something newer.

Can't I just buy a "Y" adapter for it? Will that work? Something like this?

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/1118918585433053...
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November 12, 2012 8:05:41 PM

Smorizio - I believe my p6t can only support 2.0 x 16 GPU.

What's a pci video card? Do you have a link for one? Please explain I'm not computer savvy guys. Sorry.
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November 12, 2012 8:10:31 PM

What is your budget?
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November 12, 2012 8:25:00 PM

No too much. 200-300 the most. I believe a decent GPU will work great with photoshop vs. a high end one for gaming.
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November 12, 2012 8:37:48 PM

The first one you mention. Will that support 3 monitors? Or will I need to buy 2 of them? I only see 2 DVI port. Also that's a 3.0 x 16. My motherboard only support 2.0 x 16 will it work?
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November 12, 2012 8:39:40 PM

If your dead set on spending that much go with a 7870 or even a 7950 if the price keeps falling.

You could probably get by with one 7770 for all three of your monitors if your not gaming on them. 7770's are right around 100 buck now-a-days. Sorry, i dont have time to post links but searches on Newegg of 7770 and 7850 will show you what im talking about.
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November 12, 2012 9:09:07 PM

Schlect - Would I just plug in the HDMI to one of the monitor or do I need an adapter convert for the HDMI on that card.

Mother - 2 x DVI, 2 x HDMI? Does that mean I can connect 4 monitor as well?
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November 12, 2012 9:20:03 PM

Yeah, you would have an HDMI cord going from 1 monitor to the card, and 1 DVI cord for each of the other monitors. Most monitors have an HDMI cord slot, but check just in case.
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November 12, 2012 9:26:52 PM

Thank you so much sir! I'll try that and report back.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 13, 2012 3:20:29 AM

I still don't understand why you'd want anything more than a cheap HD 5450. The GTX 560 Ti supports 2 monitors at most.

Also, I wouldn't advice getting a single card for that purpose: AMD 7 series to support 3 monitors need an active display port adapter, without which it will just not work.
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 13, 2012 3:29:25 AM

Most older display cards will support two monitors at the same time.
Even if they have three outputs, you can only attach two at a time.

Some newer cards support three with some attachment caveats, but they tend to be top of the line cards...expensive.

A second video card is the best choice.
It need not be expensive.
Since you use photoshop, you might want to make that card a Nvidia card which also has a CUDA capability that helps photoshop performance.

Waay back, you could install only one graphics driver, so both cards had to be supported by the same driver.
That is no longer true with windows 7.
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November 13, 2012 11:36:26 PM

Geofelt, what Nvidia card would you recommend? I'm sure a $100 bucks x 2 gpu would work fine with it.
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 13, 2012 11:44:13 PM

kouasupra said:
Geofelt, what Nvidia card would you recommend? I'm sure a $100 bucks x 2 gpu would work fine with it.

Without a need for gaming, buy something inexpensive like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 13, 2012 11:56:05 PM

I want something that will support 2560 x 1440 on my Dell U2711.
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 13, 2012 11:59:54 PM

kouasupra said:
I want something that will support 2560 x 1440 on my Dell U2711.

The one I linked will support up to 2560 x 1600.
You are good.
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November 14, 2012 12:05:29 AM

What is the difference between the one you show me and the one I want? I noticed that they both support 2560 x 1600, but the $104 gpu has a casing on it. Is the speed faster?

Also the link you provided. Is that faster or better then my ATI 4850?
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 14, 2012 2:07:58 AM

kouasupra said:
What is the difference between the one you show me and the one I want? I noticed that they both support 2560 x 1600, but the $104 gpu has a casing on it. Is the speed faster?

Also the link you provided. Is that faster or better then my ATI 4850?


Any discrete graphics card will display static images well, and will display movies well.
The GT610 card will do that job about as well as any. For gaming, the 4850 will be better, but not so much better that it would be considered a good gaming card.
Once you get past a $30 card, you start to get into the realm of gaming, where fast actions have to be displayed quickly.
Such cards increase in gaming capability, and also in cost. Perhaps up to $1000.

I would add just a single Nvidia GT610 so you can attach a third monitor.
The reason for adding a Nvidia card and not a AMD card would be so that you can use CUDA capabilities for photoshop.
If that is not a compelling reason, then any AMD card with the required number of ports supporting the 2560 x 1440 displays would be fine.
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November 14, 2012 2:23:40 AM

So bascially I can mix different GPU cards and it'll still work fine? Never knew that.

Here's another question.

Why would Adobe CS6 photoshop recommend Quadro 4000 and up GPU then?
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 14, 2012 2:46:34 AM

kouasupra said:
So bascially I can mix different GPU cards and it'll still work fine? Never knew that.

Here's another question.

Why would Adobe CS6 photoshop recommend Quadro 4000 and up GPU then?


I am no expert on photoshop.
But, some research led me to this article, which you may find interesting and understand better than I.
From what I read, the Quadro 4000 is really not the optimum pick.
http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....
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November 14, 2012 4:11:50 AM

Do you know if I can just add a Nvidia card to my existing ATI 4850?
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 14, 2012 4:35:48 AM

kouasupra said:
Do you know if I can just add a Nvidia card to my existing ATI 4850?


Yes, you can.
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November 15, 2012 7:37:25 AM

After doing some more research. I'll probably just get one GPU card with 2 x dvi and one with a display port. I'll get an adapter for the display port to DVI to support 3 monitors.

What do you guys think of that idea?
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a c 288 U Graphics card
a c 79 C Monitor
November 15, 2012 10:16:09 AM

kouasupra said:
After doing some more research. I'll probably just get one GPU card with 2 x dvi and one with a display port. I'll get an adapter for the display port to DVI to support 3 monitors.

What do you guys think of that idea?


Why bother with a dp to dvi adapter?

I always think you lose something every time you use adapters of any kind. Not enough to make a difference if you have another reason though.

If you might want dp for some future reason, there are cards with both dvi and dp capabilities.
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November 22, 2012 8:26:10 AM

Okay so I picked up a XFX ATI 7770 which has 2 dvi, 1 HDMI, and 1 dp. I bought a DP adapter from newegg. The 3 monitors that I'm running are

Dell 27" IPS 2560 x 1440
Acer 27" 1280 x 1080
Wacom Cintiq 24" 1900 x 1200

It looks like the gpu is supporting the monitor just okay. Only problem is that once in a while it looks like the monitors blink or have a line in the middle of the screen for a split second. Do you guys think I should pick up another 7770? I'm running a corsair 850 psu in my computer. Please help. Thanks!
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