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GTX680 or GTX690 - Need to have at least 3 LCD setup question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 16, 2013 9:34:44 PM

I am going to buying either a GTX680 or GTX690, probably the GTX690. I will be hooking up two Dell U30 Ultra Sharps (2560x1600) and another 24". I dont need to play games across all three monitors but want to use them with Windows 7 with three different views, ie (outlook on one monitor, adobe on another, and chrome on the last one.

GTX690, has 3 DVI connectors, so will this support the three LCDs? Also I notice two of the DVI's look slightly different than the third one. Will I be able to add a fourth one with the mini display port?


GTX680, has 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 display port. Will this do the above?



System - Windows 7, 3930K, Asus Sabertooth, 16GB RAM, Samsung 840SSD.

a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 9:38:47 PM

You'll want the 690 even for a single screen 1600p gaming. It requires double the horsepower 1080p does and there are some games already that give 680 difficulties running constant smooth 60 fps when fully maxed out.
Oh and, 690 will run 4 monitors, no problem.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 9:50:19 PM

You mentioned 3-4 monitors, but did not mention anything about gaming. Do you plan to game on this system? For the purpose of 3+ monitors, you might not need that much power, depending on what the system is being used for. What is the intended purpose of the system?
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a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 9:50:39 PM

Yea, I agree. If you're going to attempt to game at 1600p and expect to keep your highest settings, then I think you should just go for the gtx 690. Technically, the gtx 680 (or AMD Radeon 7970) can handle gaming at 1600p, but their performance takes a huge hit when gaming at that high of a resolution. I believe there is a graph benchmarking the 7970's and the 680's. They should be found in the articles section if you have time to look.

And yes, the gtx 690 can be hooked up to 4 monitors at once and display different things on each one (and with different resolutions).
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January 16, 2013 9:52:12 PM

75% development work (photo/video editing) and 25% gaming, but need to support the two 2560x1600 of the two DELL Utlra Sharp 30" LCD and then one 1920x1080.
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January 16, 2013 9:52:46 PM

So would I need three DVI cables then?
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 9:53:47 PM

69developer said:
I am going to buying either a GTX680 or GTX690, probably the GTX690. I will be hooking up two Dell U30 Ultra Sharps (2560x1600) and another 24". I dont need to play games across all three monitors but want to use them with Windows 7 with three different views, ie (outlook on one monitor, adobe on another, and chrome on the last one.

GTX690, has 3 DVI connectors, so will this support the three LCDs? Also I notice two of the DVI's look slightly different than the third one. Will I be able to add a fourth one with the mini display port?


GTX680, has 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 display port. Will this do the above?



System - Windows 7, 3930K, Asus Sabertooth, 16GB RAM, Samsung 840SSD.


For a multi-monitor setup I always suggest AMD. Eyefinity is just easier. The great part is the Powercolor DEVIL13 HD7990 or HIS HD7970 x 2 are excelent cards that perform better than the GTX690 and are better cooled. Here are some reviews.


DEVIL13 :
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/5016/powercolor_devil...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_7990_D...

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/11/20/powercolor_de...

HIS HD7970x2 :

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5133/his_radeon_hd_797...

personally I prefer the HIS looks but the PowerColor for everything else.
This card is a beast that will put a GTX690 to shame.
If either is available to you, get them rather.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 10:17:36 PM

I'd actually say Nvidia is easier for his desire. He is not trying to game across 3 monitors, only 1 with an extended desktop. AMD will require displayport connections to go beyond 2 monitors unless you get a Sapphire flex card, which they only have a couple old models of.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 10:29:04 PM

bystander said:
I'd actually say Nvidia is easier for his desire. He is not trying to game across 3 monitors, only 1 with an extended desktop. AMD will require displayport connections to go beyond 2 monitors unless you get a Sapphire flex card, which they only have a couple old models of.


I only saw his post of not gaming across 3 later.

Not true. The PowerColor DEVIL13 HD7990 adn HIS HD7970x2 are both dual GPU boards, so they natively have 2 outputs each for a total of 4.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5015/powercolor_devil1...

The actual card has 2 DVI ports, and one HDMI, all of which + one Display port will output without active adapters.

The HIS card has only one DVi and one HDMI but 4 Mini-DP port. You will not need active adapters for 2 of the mini-DP ports to output.
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January 16, 2013 10:42:43 PM

But will the GTX690 drive the three monitors with the three DVI connectors? Anyone know if the third DVI connector is different than the other two?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 10:57:46 PM

Novuake said:
I only saw his post of not gaming across 3 later.

Not true. The PowerColor DEVIL13 HD7990 adn HIS HD7970x2 are both dual GPU boards, so they natively have 2 outputs each for a total of 4.

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5015/powercolor_devil1...

The actual card has 2 DVI ports, and one HDMI, all of which + one Display port will output without active adapters.

The HIS card has only one DVi and one HDMI but 4 Mini-DP port. You will not need active adapters for 2 of the mini-DP ports to output.


From my experience, that is not the case. If you can find some reference that says otherwise, I'd love to see.

It is hard to search, as AMD doesn't make things as clear as they could, this is the best guide I could find:
http://www.sapphireforum.com/showthread.php?28155-EWP-G...!!

Quote:
What if I just want to connect three or more separate monitors and play games on only one monitor, do I need to use the same "Eyefinity" setup??
Yes and no... There are two main rules a person has to follow when trying to run an extended desktop while using three or more monitors, and that is that you need to to use an "ACTIVE" Mini-DP/DP adapter, as well as the fact that you need to be running Windows Vista or Windows 7. (These rules are further explained in "Part 1".)


EDIT:
I found a source from AMD directly:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...
Quote:
What are the basic requirements for connecting multiple displays?

Connecting multiple monitors for AMD Eyefinity technology couldn’t be simpler. There are four easy rules to remember:

The first two monitors can connect to the graphics card with any display output on your product: HDMI, VGA, DVI or DisplayPort.

The third (or greater) display must be connected to the graphics card via DisplayPort.

If your monitor does not have a DisplayPort connection, you will need an inexpensive active DisplayPort adapter for it. DVI to DP adapters can be had for less than $30 USD.2

Every family of GPUs supports a different maximum number of displays.


Quote:
I’ve heard all of the monitors need to be the same resolution for AMD Eyefinity technology to work. Is that true?

It’s partially true. AMD Eyefinity technology is a brand name that actually describes three distinct functions:

1. Hardware support for three or more monitors attached to a single graphics card.

2. Software support to independently configure and run each of those displays.

3. And software support to combine the resolutions of all of those displays into one big resolution.


They consider all multiple monitor setups as Eyefinity, even if you don't use it as a single screen resolution.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:01:22 PM

bystander said:
From my experience, that is not the case. If you can find some reference that says otherwise, I'd love to see.

It is hard to search, as AMD doesn't make things as clear as they could, this is the best guide I could find:
http://www.sapphireforum.com/showthread.php?28155-EWP-G...!!

Quote:
What if I just want to connect three or more separate monitors and play games on only one monitor, do I need to use the same "Eyefinity" setup??
Yes and no... There are two main rules a person has to follow when trying to run an extended desktop while using three or more monitors, and that is that you need to to use an "ACTIVE" Mini-DP/DP adapter, as well as the fact that you need to be running Windows Vista or Windows 7. (These rules are further explained in "Part 1".)


EDIT:
I found a source from AMD directly:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...
Quote:
What are the basic requirements for connecting multiple displays?

Connecting multiple monitors for AMD Eyefinity technology couldn’t be simpler. There are four easy rules to remember:

The first two monitors can connect to the graphics card with any display output on your product: HDMI, VGA, DVI or DisplayPort.

The third (or greater) display must be connected to the graphics card via DisplayPort.

If your monitor does not have a DisplayPort connection, you will need an inexpensive active DisplayPort adapter for it. DVI to DP adapters can be had for less than $30 USD.2

Every family of GPUs supports a different maximum number of displays.


Think of it like this, its 2 GPUs, so that means you don't NEED eyefinity. Would you need active adapters for a Xfire setup?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:04:21 PM

Novuake said:
Think of it like this, its 2 GPUs, so that means you don't NEED eyefinity. Would you need active adapters for a Xfire setup?


Yes you would.

Clearly you've never run multiple monitors with AMD. I have. AMD requires every monitor to be on the master card, the 2ndary card's outputs will not not work in crossfire.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:05:27 PM

69developer said:
But will the GTX690 drive the three monitors with the three DVI connectors? Anyone know if the third DVI connector is different than the other two?


Two of the DVI ports will be capable of analog output. The third will only be digital. If your monitors have DVI inputs then you have no worries. They are capable of digital. HD screens are mostly only digital anyway. But you may need different DVI cables.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:07:08 PM

bystander said:
Yes you would.

Clearly you've never run multiple monitors with AMD. I have. AMD requires every monitor to be on the master card, the 2ndary card's outputs will not not work in crossfire.


AMD Eyefinity requires all on the master card. The OP is using independant monitors.

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Anonymous
January 16, 2013 11:07:59 PM

I believe you need 3 monitors the at the same resolution to work. I could be wrong...
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:08:03 PM

Novuake said:
Two of the DVI ports will be capable of analog output. The third will only be digital. If your monitors have DVI inputs then you have no worries. They are capable of digital. HD screens are mostly only digital anyway. But you may need different DVI cables.

Not that I want to nit pick again, but not all DVI ports allow for analog. Only DVI-I ports do. Many cards only have one DVI-I on them, and a 2nd DVI-D (all that I've seen).
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:09:36 PM

Novuake said:
AMD Eyefinity requires all on the master card. The OP is using independant monitors.


Yes, but AMD considers all 3+ monitors setups Eyefinity (read the last quote above from AMD and the other guide). And in Crossfire, the 2nd cards ports are disabled.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:22:47 PM

bystander said:
Not that I want to nit pick again, but not all DVI ports allow for analog. Only DVI-I ports do. Many cards only have one DVI-I on them, and a 2nd DVI-D (all that I've seen).


http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/1921/geforce...

You are currect, but if you look at the image you will see 2 DVI-I(bottom 2) ports and 1 DVI-D(top) port. This obviously depends on manufacturer but most manufacturers are following Nvidia standard PCB.

Anonymous said:
I believe you need 3 monitors the at the same resolution to work. I could be wrong...

Yes for multi-monitor Eyefinity gaming you are correct, but not for an extended display on a dual GPU card.

bystander said:
Yes, but AMD considers all 3+ monitors setups Eyefinity (read the last quote above from AMD and the other guide). And in Crossfire, the 2nd cards ports are disabled.


So it seems they consider it to be Eyefinity with an extended display. But this does not change that you don't need an active adapter on dual GPU cards for the third AND fourth display.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:22:52 PM

Anonymous said:
I believe you need 3 monitors the at the same resolution to work. I could be wrong...

Most people here, including Novuake, do not think of an AMD 3+ extended monitor setup to be an Eyefinity setup. This is a common confusion that I also had in the past, but AMD treats all 3+ monitors on a single graphics card, as an Eyefinity setup. They have the same active DP requirements as the single resolution 3 monitor setups, but they do not require the same resolution.

Novuake's thought would work if the cards didn't use more than 2 monitor per card and the cards were not in crossfire, then Windows can handle it without AMD's Eyefinity software.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...
Quote:
I’ve heard all of the monitors need to be the same resolution for AMD Eyefinity technology to work. Is that true?

It’s partially true. AMD Eyefinity technology is a brand name that actually describes three distinct functions:

1. Hardware support for three or more monitors attached to a single graphics card.

2. Software support to independently configure and run each of those displays.

3. And software support to combine the resolutions of all of those displays into one big resolution.

At a basic level, many users like AMD Eyefinity technology for the first reason: connecting more than two displays is no longer a challenge as it has been in the past. And whether you run Linux, Microsoft® Windows® or Mac OS®, each operating system works seamlessly with AMD’s hardware/software to connect and configure multiple displays.

Assuming for a moment that you never perform any additional configuration once the monitors are connected, these displays are running in what’s called “extended mode.” Monitors do not have to be the same size or resolution in this mode, and you should feel free to rearrange your games and applications across the extended displays as you see fit.

The primary drawback to extended displays is that a game or video cannot readily be maximized to take advantage of all the displays at the same time, which is where AMD Eyefinity technology’s SLS mode steps in.

Single Large Surface (SLS) mode is activated when you create an AMD Eyefinity technology display group in the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center. SLS mode combines the resolutions of all the connected displays, and then essentially “tricks” the operating system into believing that there is one display with that large combined resolution.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:26:13 PM

Novuake said:
So it seems they consider it to be Eyefinity with an extended display. But this does not change that you don't need an active adapter on dual GPU cards for the third AND fourth display.

Do you have a link that supports that claim?

I have two that say otherwise:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...
http://www.sapphireforum.com/showthread.php?28155-EWP-G...!!

I have heard of people getting around the active displayport requirement in an extended setup, though officially that isn't supported, but not the displayport requirement all together, except with the Sapphire Flex cards.

Edit: The ASUS DC2 cards also get around this requirement. There could be other special cards as well.

Quote:
What are the basic requirements for connecting multiple displays?

Connecting multiple monitors for AMD Eyefinity technology couldn’t be simpler. There are four easy rules to remember:

The first two monitors can connect to the graphics card with any display output on your product: HDMI, VGA, DVI or DisplayPort.

The third (or greater) display must be connected to the graphics card via DisplayPort.

If your monitor does not have a DisplayPort connection, you will need an inexpensive active DisplayPort adapter for it. DVI to DP adapters can be had for less than $30 USD.2

Every family of GPUs supports a different maximum number of displays.

Remember that these are the most basic requirements. Creative designs like the Sapphire FleX HD 6870 or the Asus EAH6970 DCII make it even easier to configure AMD Eyefinity technology by reducing, or even eliminating some of these requirements for AMD Radeon™ graphics products. In that respect, always make sure to carefully explore these non-reference solutions and their product specifications when configuring a system with AMD Eyefinity technology.
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January 16, 2013 11:29:23 PM

I am 99.9% sure the GTX690 is going to fast enough for me.

My current setup: Radeon HD5770, using two DVI ports to two DVI LCD monitors and then the display port (adapter to DVI) to another DVI monitor.

So the GTX690 has 2 DVI-I ports and 1 DVI-D, so I am assuming that card will drive the two 2560x1600 LCdD's with the 2 DVI-I port and then the other DVI-D will drive my 1900x1080 LCD. I really just like to confirm this part is true?

Another question will the mini-display drive a 4th monitor?


Then the GTX680 has 1 DVI-I and 1 DVI-D and then HDMI and Display port, which would be very similar to my current HD5770. Right?

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a c 164 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:34:21 PM

69developer said:
I am 99.9% sure the GTX690 is going to fast enough for me.

My current setup: Radeon HD5770, using two DVI ports to two DVI LCD monitors and then the display port (adapter to DVI) to another DVI monitor.

So the GTX690 has 2 DVI-I ports and 1 DVI-D, so I am assuming that card will drive the two 2560x1600 LCdD's with the 2 DVI-I port and then the other DVI-D will drive my 1900x1080 LCD. I really just like to confirm this part is true?

Another question will the mini-display drive a 4th monitor?


Then the GTX680 has 1 DVI-I and 1 DVI-D and then HDMI and Display port, which would be very similar to my current HD5770. Right?


Yes all of that is correct.

But the GTX680 would be much faster and capable than a HD5770.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 11:35:17 PM

69developer said:
I am 99.9% sure the GTX690 is going to fast enough for me.

My current setup: Radeon HD5770, using two DVI ports to two DVI LCD monitors and then the display port (adapter to DVI) to another DVI monitor.

So the GTX690 has 2 DVI-I ports and 1 DVI-D, so I am assuming that card will drive the two 2560x1600 LCdD's with the 2 DVI-I port and then the other DVI-D will drive my 1900x1080 LCD. I really just like to confirm this part is true?

Another question will the mini-display drive a 4th monitor?


Then the GTX680 has 1 DVI-I and 1 DVI-D and then HDMI and Display port, which would be very similar to my current HD5770. Right?

According to Nvidia site, you can connect all 4 monitors how ever you please for 2D surround, or 4 monitor extended mode. http://www.geforce.com/optimize/guides/how-to-correctly...

However, DVI-I doesn't necessarily mean it supports 1440p or 1600p resolutions. You need a Dual link DVI-D connection, and some if not most DVI-I connections do support dual link.
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