I have a GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH and I plan on using Intel Collage to set up a 4k display with four monitors. While this may be fine for watching videos, I also want a graphics card to be able to play the latest PC games so this is my predicament. Will I still be able to use the processing power of my graphics card (looking at gtx 690) but still be able to output the image through my mobos dual thunderbolt ports?
P.S. I've never owned a desktop or graphics card and this will be my first build so I don't have a good understanding of how this will work.
No, if your monitors are hooked up to your motherboard then you are NOT using the power of your graphics card. However, the gtx 690 supports Nvidia Surround (basically the same thing), and you should be able to run AT LEAST 3, maybe 4 monitors off of a single card. I am attaching a link that demonstrates how that works.
Please note: They are using TWO 690s in SLI. I don't know what one alone is capable of doing, but, I imagine it could run all 4 perhaps at a lower graphics setting. It also matters as to what your CPU is. Even a i7 will bottleneck two GPUs in SLI running multiple monitors.