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Upgrade dying GTX280 to run 2 monitors + TV

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Monitors
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 15, 2013 1:08:59 PM

Hello, I building a brand new rig (already ordered all these):

Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
CPU: i7 3770k
RAM: 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz
PSU: Corsair AX850
SSD: Intel 520 180GB SSD
Cooling: Water (single loop)

and I was gonna use my old GTX 280, but it seems to be on the verge of death (after 5 years of use) and I have a little money left so I'm looking for a new (single) card.

My budget is up to €350 ($470), the card is primarily for gaming (95% just SWTOR) although I participate in the BOINC project - expansion of the original SETI@home - which can use CUDA/OpenCL

I don't intend to play games with more than one monitor (1920x1080) but want to have two monitors (diff. manufacturer) + TV, all connected at once (so that I don't have to plug/unplug cables like right now). The TV will be on only for movies/tv shows. I'd like the 2nd monitor on for browsing while playing.

I suppose most nVidia / AMD cards these days wouldn't have a problem with that, right? e.g. 2xDVI/DisplayPort + 1xHDMI (video only, audio is separate)

So, I'm looking at GTX 660 (€230), GTX 660 TI (€280), GTX 670 (€350), HD7950 (€300), HD7970 (€380 a little over the budget).

Will all of these allow me to do the 2 monitors + TV setup easily?
Will the 850W psu be able to handle a future SLI/CrossFire (adding 2nd water loop)?

Thank you

More about : upgrade dying gtx280 run monitors

a b U Graphics card
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January 15, 2013 1:49:33 PM

Why are you suggesting him a last gen mid range cards? I don't get it... And a gtx 560 Ti won't do 2 monitors + a tv... It can only do 2 displays..

Here check this one out its really good for the price and can support up to 4 displays.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-NVIDIA-Signature-Edition-G...

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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 1:51:53 PM

You can SLI 670's on a 650w psu if you had to.. 850w is plenty, if its a decent brand, can you give us the model number?
January 15, 2013 2:09:00 PM

Hi, the PSU is Corsair AX850 (as listed among the parts I've already ordered).

So, with a single GTX 670, I can do two monitors (DVI-D, DVI-I / mDSP) and TV (HDMI), right?
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 2:11:21 PM

Yes, you can do 4 monitors if you so choose. I have the 680 with 3 monitors and a tv connected to it.. the 670 has the same display capabilities as the 680.

And yes that is a very good psu and will easily support SLI 670's.
a c 302 U Graphics card
a c 82 C Monitor
January 15, 2013 2:24:41 PM

The simple answer is to attach your gaming monitor to the discrete graphics card of your choice and attach the two side monitors)of 1920 x 1200 resolution or less) to the graphics ports on your motherboard. If you are running windows 7 you should have no issue with multiple graphics adapters.

Yes, the modern high end discrete cards can attach three or more monitors, but there may be restrictions such as requiring displayport attachments or adapters.

The Corsair psu is a good one, but probably overkill. No problem with a bit of overprovisioning though.
A psu will only use the wattage demanded of it, regardless of it's maximum capacity.
A 620w psu can handle even a GTX690.

I suspect that a future graphics upgrade will not be a dual card upgrade, but a replacement with an upcoming GTX7xx or amd 8xxx single card.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 2:28:18 PM

The nvidias do not require that the display port be used... that is only an issue with AMD cards, you can use any of the 4 ports in any combination.

With your setup i think anything less than a 670 or 7970 would be a very unbalanced gaming computer. I still stay by my recommendation of the 670 i linked you for your needs.
January 15, 2013 2:35:12 PM

Thanks, so I think I'll go with the 670 GTX.

Could you describe your 3 monitor + tv setup? I'm guessing you have the monitors on the DVI-I, DVI-D and the mini DisplayPort and the TV on the HDMI? So for the 3rd monitor you need either displayport input on it or a DP-DVI cable (which I gather are quite cheap and common). Anything else to be aware of?

Which one of the EVGA, MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte flavors would you recommend. From what I'm reading the only difference is a very small base clock and the cooling (which I'll replace with a water block anyways).
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 2:43:56 PM

I have my monitors hooked up to DVI-I, DVI-D, and displayport with the tv on the HDMI. All 3 of my monitors had displayport cords with them, but yes you would need a DP-DVI cable if yours do not.

As for what flavor of GPU to get... So you plan to watercool them no matter what card you get? Do you also plan to overclock it? I ask this because if you have no problem overclocking your card there is no reason to spend extra money on a overclocked model, or one with custom cooling... and I think switching to watercooling will void any warranty, but i could be wrong. So based off of all of that i would say buy the cheapest 670 you can find.
January 15, 2013 3:10:25 PM

I don't really see the regular (non-OC) GTX 670 model anywhere in my local stores. I looked at the possibility of buying one with a waterblock already on it but that seems to be unnecessarily expensive (and limits the metals on other blocks in my loop).

I'm not 100% decided on watercooling it. Also, it may take a while to get the water block as I have to order it from abroad so the card will definitely be running with stock cooling for 1-2 weeks. I don't think I want to overclock unless the card already comes OCed as I don't think there would be any need for me (so I opt to keep it alive a little longer).

a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 3:16:09 PM

scibuff said:
I don't really see the regular (non-OC) GTX 670 model anywhere in my local stores. I looked at the possibility of buying one with a waterblock already on it but that seems to be unnecessarily expensive (and limits the metals on other blocks in my loop).

I'm not 100% decided on watercooling it. Also, it may take a while to get the water block as I have to order it from abroad so the card will definitely be running with stock cooling for 1-2 weeks. I don't think I want to overclock unless the card already comes OCed as I don't think there would be any need for me (so I opt to keep it alive a little longer).


Get this card then, i think it will serve you the best.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-NVIDIA-Signature-Edition-G...
January 15, 2013 3:17:16 PM

It seems the EVGA allows aftermarket cooling so I should be able to keep the warranty but I'll double check on that - I guess that settles that issue. Thank you very much
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 3:20:46 PM

scibuff said:
It seems the EVGA allows aftermarket cooling so I should be able to keep the warranty but I'll double check on that - I guess that settles that issue. Thank you very much


NP, happy to help!
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 15, 2013 7:27:34 PM

You could repair that 280 if you are ok at soldering, the most common problem with these cards is thermal degredation of the coil inductors that result in shorted and weakened inductors. If any doubt just Google and you will see but the 280 isn't fit as a HTPC due to it's massive power consumption. 60w at idle if the 2D clocks are not set and driver doesn't downclock and 160-180w at full load at stock cocks. 230w maxed after overclocking but when modded they can last a lot longer, they are some of the best performing cards for older openGL games.
January 16, 2013 2:31:20 AM

Derza10 said:
Why are you suggesting him a last gen mid range cards? I don't get it... And a gtx 560 Ti won't do 2 monitors + a tv... It can only do 2 displays..

Here check this one out its really good for the price and can support up to 4 displays.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-NVIDIA-Signature-Edition-G...

oh I thought he only had 2 displays. because that last gen mid range card can do what he needs (minus the third display) even then an SLI of it would work.
!