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Setting up Triple Screens

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 29, 2013 9:51:57 AM

Presently my Dell Inspiron 546 has an, AMD Phenom(tm) II x3 710 processor 2.60GHz with 4.00 GB of RAM running a ATI Radeon HD 4350 graphics card. I would like to set up triple screens for SIM racing on rFactor but unsure of the best graphics card to get.

My local computer shop has these cards in stock, XFX R7750, XFX R7770 or XFX R7850 but unsure which one would be best suited to the above CPU. Budget is okay for any of the three?

They also have these two monitors to choose from, LG E2342T or a LG IPS234V to go with my present Acer X233H monitor and wonder if anyone has any advise on best versus price?

Lastly I have read that I will also need an active adaptor, so could someone please tell me which one to order for use with the above?

More about : setting triple screens

a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 10:50:26 AM

I'd say go for a sapphire flex edition hd 7770. Flex edition cards are made for multiple screen support. Hd7850 is also a good option as it doesnot cost much more than the 7770 but your processor will bottleneck a higher end gpu.
As you are not planning any games the Hd 7770 flex is the card for you.
January 29, 2013 11:03:29 AM

Sorry I'm a complete novice when it comes to computers.

Is the "sapphire flex edition hd 7770. Flex" the same as the XFX R7770 and if not will the XFX do the same? I'm after getting the stuff this afternoon from Local shop rather than ordering and didn't see any Sapphire suff on the shelf.
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a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 1:37:50 PM

I'm pretty sure it is from sapphire. I'm not sure if the XFX will support three displays, but it must be printed on the box itself.
a c 110 U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 1:49:07 PM

The Sapphire one has the ability to run 3 DVI based screens(1 with HDMI -> DVI. OR even a VGA screen in the mix) at once because it has dual link DVI on one port and single on the other. This free's a link for the HDMI port.

This avoids needing a Display Port adapter.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/Flex/FleX_Eng_apply.html
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 2:59:01 PM

nukemaster said:
The Sapphire one has the ability to run 3 DVI based screens(1 with HDMI -> DVI. OR even a VGA screen in the mix) at once because it has dual link DVI on one port and single on the other. This free's a link for the HDMI port.

This avoids needing a Display Port adapter.

http://www.sapphiretech.com/Flex/FleX_Eng_apply.html

Why does every one hate display port so much? Any specific problem? Haven't used it myself.
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 3:08:24 PM

The cables cost more. I have a monitor hooked up with DP and have no issues with it. If you want to spend a little more on a DP cable and minidp>DP adapater (if your card doesn't come with it) then go ahead.
a c 110 U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 3:19:44 PM

Xttony said:
Why does every one hate display port so much? Any specific problem? Haven't used it myself.

Display port is great(it does everything needed and is royalty free so should actually be cheaper), but not all monitors yet have the plug for it.

The avoiding of an adapter is just because it has to be active(or it may not work right). What happens in AMD only has so many transmitters(4) for DVI/HDMI. the normal config was 2 x dual link DVI(so 2 for each), but that means you loose the HDMI port when running both the DVI ports(Or you can run DVI + HDMI[HDMI only uses 1 link afaik, but still]). So you HAVE to use display port.

By making one of the 2 DVI ports(on the FLEX cards) a single link only(1920 x 1200 MAX), you can use DVI + DVI + HDMI at the same time.

This does not have anything to do with DP it self, just that AMD only has so many links for DVI/HDMI.
January 29, 2013 4:16:41 PM

Yes, there was a picture of three screens in use on the rear of the XFX R7750 and R7770. Will visit local shop tomorrow and probably purchase the XFX R7770 as well as order an active adaptor.

Thanks very much for everyone's assistance.
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 4:26:09 PM

What settings are you planning to play at? The monitor you linked is 1080.

Here's a sample of a racing game on three monitors:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-sli...

That's on ultra but with a top-end 7970. Just be aware that you'll have to turn a lot of eye candy down to make it smooth.
January 29, 2013 5:12:07 PM

I'll be using three 23" 1920 x 1080 monitors so whatever settings best suits those resolutions.

I wont be playing any other games, other than rFactor as I'm part of a small group of like minded guys (MSR Events) that race on line every Friday evening. Have really got into it so just want to add to the realism and hopefully get better. As I'm a computer numpty I'm trying to keep it as simple as I can, as well as learn something along the way.

By the way, I expected the link to take me to a video of triple screen racing but no joy?
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 5:58:45 PM

What I was trying to get at with the link is that one of the fastest stock cards on the planet only averaged 42fps. The 7770 is two full tiers down the GPU performance ladder so you just need to be aware that you'll likely have to turn down some of the eye candy.

Just expectation management. Seem to be a lot of people who post here wondering why they can't run games maxed with lower end GPUs.

Let us know how it goes! Nothing like feedback to make us all wiser :) 
February 2, 2013 2:02:06 PM

Update just to let everyone have a tut, tut!! At my expense :( 

I bought the XFX 7780 in the end, then found I have no 6 point connectors from my PSU. Only spare connectors are 2 x SATA so now have to look for a new unit. Lesson learnt any recommendations for any other upgrades I'll need to run above card as well as a decent PSU?
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 2:10:26 PM

Why don't you get a adapter like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Remove a molex from a device, plug the molex connector to this Adapter, plug the molex from the adapter to the device you previously detached from and the 6pin power connector to the graphics card.
Do you mean XFX hd7770 or hd 7870?
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 2:34:26 PM

It may be good to see how many amps your have on the 12 volt rail before trying adapters. They even make them from SATA to PCI-E(if you have the power needed)
February 2, 2013 2:59:25 PM

Sorry, my mistake I bought an XFX 7850 and it requires two x 6 point connectors :( 

I'm trying to decide between going back to the shop and asking to change the above card to an 7770. Then using an adaptor from the two SATA plugs to a 6 point connector. Or upgrading my present computer to accept the 7850, if so, apart from a new PSU what else would I need to do?
February 2, 2013 3:01:26 PM

Sorry, how do I check the Amps from the PSU, remember I did say I was a computer numpty :( 
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 3:04:12 PM

I assume your system is NOT slimline/SFF right.

The requirement would be a new power supply. Other things like board + cpu would help overall performance, but are not required to use a new card.

Honestly, Any quality(seasonic/antec/ocz/corsair/fsp*/XFX/ect <- Ensure it has the plugs needed and you should be good to go) 500-550 watt power supply will run your system with ease(and power to spare).

*some users do not like that SOME fsp units lack a built in surge protector(MOV). While this sucks, a good power bar with protection will overcome this limitation.
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 3:06:48 PM

Wrighty 437 said:
Sorry, how do I check the Amps from the PSU, remember I did say I was a computer numpty :( 

It is on the label of the power supply it self.

If you can get a pic it may be more easy for you.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 3:07:41 PM

Wrighty 437 said:
Sorry, my mistake I bought an XFX 7850 and it requires two x 6 point connectors :( 

I'm trying to decide between going back to the shop and asking to change the above card to an 7770. Then using an adaptor from the two SATA plugs to a 6 point connector. Or upgrading my present computer to accept the 7850, if so, apart from a new PSU what else would I need to do?

Make sure that there enough wattage and amps and get the Sata to 6 pin connectors
February 2, 2013 3:43:16 PM

I thought you needed 2 x SATA plugs to one 6 point connector? If I can get one SATA plug to one 6 connector then that would be great :bounce: 

I 'll go and check my wattage now, fingers crossed it good enough :o 
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 3:51:28 PM

Wrighty 437 said:
I thought you needed 2 x SATA plugs to one 6 point connector? If I can get one SATA plug to one 6 connector then that would be great :bounce: 

I 'll go and check my wattage now, fingers crossed it good enough :o 

http://www.amazon.com/Branded-8inch-15pin-Express-Power...
February 2, 2013 5:00:17 PM

Decided to put computer back together (only removed card) and bloody thing won't turn on now :(  Power supply getting there as the green light is on at the rear but nothing after that. Will now have to take it apart again to see if I have dislodged a plug somewhere :( 
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 5:03:13 PM

You do that and report back
February 2, 2013 5:35:01 PM

Okay, (phew...) up and running again.

Been checking up and looks like the stock power supply is only 300 watts. I assume that wont be enough to get the two SATA adaptors and make the card work from this power supply?
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 5:37:16 PM

I don't think that is gonna happen. Make sure that you have enough Amps and go for the hd7770.
February 2, 2013 5:40:04 PM

What about replacing the PSU with a more powerful one with the two 6 point plugs?

They don't seem to cost much and I assume it's something I could possibly do myself (willing to learn)?
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 5:45:31 PM

Sure you can do that, The plugs are designed to only fit the right places anyway.

Because you are new to this, just recheck everything and take note of the locations of the old plugs when removing the power supply.

Make sure the power supply is a standard ATX and not some other odd-ball size(mostly an issue with SFF systems).
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 5:46:13 PM

There is nothing to it actually. When you buy the PSU, make sure you get a PSU with enough wattage and is atleast 80 plus certified.
February 2, 2013 6:07:53 PM

Okay, will go shopping tomorrow :) 

Does the actual wiring loom on the one fitted remain and if not will the new PSU come with one? Will the 6 point connectors just plug into new PSU? I assume I have to buy them separately?

Really appreciate the advice, and more importantly the patience...
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 2, 2013 6:18:19 PM

If by wiring loom you mean power cord(from the power supply to the mains), then yes they are the same.

The 6 pin connectors will be a part of the new power supply. Just like the SATA plugs, but will be only 12 volts(BLACK/YELLOW).
February 4, 2013 1:29:56 PM

I have purchased a new PSU, it's a Pure Power 630W and cost €70. pretty sure I have managed to relocate the original plugs with the new ones ( bloody hundreds :pt1cable:  ) as I videoed the removal with my pad. Only difference in cable colouring is the CPU 4 plug, original colours were brown and black (assume + & -) and new ones are yellow and blue combined and black. Could this because it's from Germany?

Right now to the problems, as the R7850 is so big there are a couple of wires that will now not reach, the CD/ DVD player, the Front SIM card, USB etc compartment and the hard drive :( 

The nine pin female plug for the USB's at the front is blue and the male pin point is blue, but there is an identical male pin point to the side (nearer) but it is white, could the blue plug be placed there instead?


a c 110 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:01:57 PM

Sometimes you can run the cables before placing the card so they run under the overhang from the card(as long as they do not push on any parts of the board).

The extra color on the cpu cable may just be to show different rails.
February 4, 2013 3:18:52 PM

Bought long cables and fitted the card.

Switched it on and everything seems to be working okay on the computer, ie my G27 wheels has turned on, speakers are working and it has beeped several times to indicate it has picked up new devices etc. Unfortunately my screen remains blank :(  I have an LCD TV connected through the HDMI Cable. Does this mean the graphics card is not in correctly?
February 4, 2013 5:17:41 PM

Removed the card and the RAM and put back together but still no joy. So took apart again and put the old card back in and absolutely no problem, everything back to normal.

Could the card be to powerful for the rest of the system and is the new power supply good enough to run the graphics card, 630W?
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 5:32:25 PM

If you have all the correct cables plugged into the new graphics card that power supply should have no problem powering it. If you are sure it is connected correctly then it sounds like you got a dud of a card and should RMA/return it.
February 4, 2013 5:54:11 PM

Just a thought and I know I'm clutching at straws, but, there are several 6 point plugs with the new PSU, would there be specific ones I have to use to power up the card?

Think I'll give it one more go and try and reinstall the new card again.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 6:01:04 PM

Is there writing or a label that says PCIe? It may be a straight 6-pin or a 6+2-pin.
February 4, 2013 6:42:44 PM

Just done it for the 3rd time and exactly the same, no bloody monitor signal :( 

Going to leave card in the computer and take it back to the shop tomorrow so they can test it there. I'll take old card to make sure they know it's not the computer.

Appreciate all the help.
February 4, 2013 7:50:40 PM

Okay, got it going now, phew...

Changed it across to the second DVI port and it's now working. According to one of the cards it says you can only connect a DVI - VGA adaptor to DVI port 1 and DVI port 2 is a digital signal only. As I'm using a VGA to DVI cable I used the 1st port but it obviously needed to go in the second one. I've loaded the drivers and everything is running fine now.

Will have to wait for a short time to set up the triple sceens and eyefinity as I'm still building the monitor stands.

Once again guy's, appreciate the help and the patience you have all shown, THANK YOU.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 7:57:17 PM

Wow. Grats! Please hook us up with the results when complete.
February 4, 2013 7:58:34 PM

Will do, Thanks.
February 4, 2013 8:21:12 PM

Not sure how I'm going to sort out the eyefinity at the moment.

I bought an active MiniDP to HDMI https://be.hama.com/portal/picType*abb/action*2599/articleId*28213159 with the intention of using this on the centre screen, but didn't realise the Acer x233H does not have HDMI, Dohh!! I have bought two LG IPS234V so wanted to put them either side to balance it out, but will have to use one of them as the centre display so I can use the active adaptor with an HDMI cable.

So my array of cables for use as it stands is:

1 x active MiniDP to HDMI adaptor
2x HDMI cables
1 x DVI to HDMI cable
1 x VGA to DVI cable
2 x DVI to DVI cables

Any suggestions on the best set up for the triples when I have them mounted?
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 8:24:26 PM

I suggest you send them to me and I'll figure it out...
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 8:54:32 PM

The DP -> HDMI should be usable with the HDMI -> DVI cable if you have that kind of setup.

I have used HDMI -> DVI with no issues.
February 4, 2013 9:06:49 PM

My main issue is where to use the mini dosplay port to HDMI active adaptor as I thought you had to use it with the centre screen to get eyefinity?
a c 110 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 9:59:59 PM

one of the screens has to be DP, You should be able to move them around.

You will be stuck with a fixed screen for booting and the bios, but once in windows, you can tell eyefinity what screen is what.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZAkCoaq384
!