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Multiple Monitor Acceleration

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 26, 2003 3:58:01 PM

What are the possible setups for a graphics workstation with multiple monitors (general setups).

The one I'm using right now has an agp card and a dual pci card, BUT if I run the PCI as the primary card from the motherboard I get no 3D accerleration features from the AGP, and vice versa. What solution would any of you suggest to get 3D acceleration across all monitors?

System:
AMD Athlon XP 2200 @1800 MHz
512 DDR 2700 (333 MHz)
Asus A7V8X
ATI Radeon 7500 PCI
ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder AGP (the original)

Thanks in advance for your help,

Syrus
June 26, 2003 4:10:59 PM

If you want 3 monitor 3d acceleration, I think you might be stuck with the Matrox Parhelia.

------------------
Radeon 9500 w/256 bit memory bus @ 367/310
AMD AthlonXP 2000+
3dMark03: 3439
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
June 26, 2003 6:24:15 PM

What is your current setup? I know that ATI cards CAN be used in conjunction, but it IS tricky.

You might wanna check out these guys if you've got some coin to spare. <A HREF="http://www.colorgraphic.net/newsite/misc/home.asp" target="_new">Colographic</A>

That and the Matrox Parhellia (reasonable price for the 128mb, a little much for the 256) would be my suggestion for seemless implementation.

However you SHOULD be able to run 3 on the PCI card, it may depend on your card configuration. I have run dual, but not triple monitor, so I'm not sure. Best ask the maker of your Main AGP card, they may know of a solution that requires little extra coin from you.

But being a Matrox Fanboi, I'd say go with the MAtrox, it's almost Guaranteed to work. :smile:


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
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June 26, 2003 6:54:25 PM

Thanks for the help Cleeve and TheGreatGrapeApe,

My setup is currently dual monitors on the 7500 PCI, but I find that the data bandwidth is not enough to handle some games like C&C Generals, which I don't really care about, but when I try to work with some of my graphics apps I need that AGP bandwidth, which means I gotta make the AGP Radeon primary instead of the PCI 7500, but then the 2D applications suffer ridiculously, which only tells me that the OS or the board is not using any of the hardware acceleration on the PCI card.

Assuming money is no object (I AM considering some of the 3D Labs cards) what are some cards that can be linked together for multiple displays, and what are the work arounds for the ATI cards?

Thanks again for the responses,

Syrus

Windows XP
ASUS A7V8X
Athlon 2200XP @1800 MHz
512 MB DDR 2700
ATI Radeon AiW (AGP)
ATI Radeon 7500 (PCI)
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
June 26, 2003 7:28:03 PM

I'm not sure what the work-arounds are, I just know that they DO have a way to do it, I just never had 3 monitors, sorry. I would ask ATI if I were you.

If you plan on gaming, then forget the 3Dlabs cards (which are GREAT/GOOD work cards). Check with ATI first, you may be able to keep the 7500. And simply add something like a 9700/9500/9600 (R9700Non-pro might be best). But check there are sometimes built in features that disable other cards (that's what happened to my PCI AIW when adding an AGP)

Are you running 2 monitors on the one 7500? If so, that's probably part of the problem, run 2 off the AGP and simply run one of the PCI. 2 on the PCI at any resolution has got to kill that card (which is already somewhat hampered by the PCI).

I'd still suggest starting with the Matrox, REAL serious EASE of use. They even have Quad monitor solutions in their MMS series. And their multi-head/monitor support is unequaled.

For all of the other makers 3Dlabs, PNY/Nvidia, ATI, I would have to say contact them directly. They usually respond pretty quickly (within 72 hrs [although we are approaching the weekend])

I DO know that 3Dlabs has ALOT of info on their website about just about EVERY feature of their cards, so you might wanna check <A HREF="http://www.3dlabs.com/" target="_new">HERE</A>.

Hope that helps a bit, sorry like I said most of my personal experience is limited to dual monitor but I AM considering going triple moniotr when the PCI-EX cards come out (end of this year / beginning of '04) and allow me to run 1 top-end card per monitor. Until then dual monitor works fine for me.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
June 27, 2003 3:34:08 PM

Yes currently I'm running two off the 7500, but the 7500 is the PCI card lol.

Anyway I'll look into the solutions from ATI, they just sent me a long disorganised email that looks like they just ran a word search on their articles, but it might help.

I checked out the Matrox cards and they look pretty sweet, I would eventually like to play some nice games, how do you find the Matrox cards at gaming? The G450 MMS series is PCI as far as I can tell, which may or may not run me into the same bandwidth problem.

Thanks for the advice man,

Syrus

Windows XP
ASUS A7V8X
Athlon 2200XP @1800 MHz
512 MB DDR 2700
ATI Radeon AiW (AGP)
ATI Radeon 7500 (PCI)
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
June 27, 2003 8:55:46 PM

Yeah I'm an admitted MATROX Fanboi, but I still won't blow Sunshine up your back passage. The MAtrox Parhellia is GREAT for the opps side of things, and unparralleled in the 2 arena IMO. However I can't lie to you , it's not a GREAT gamer. It will keep pace with a Radeon 9000 in most circumstances so it will play most of todays games OK, but just don't expect it to compete with the other DX9 class hardware out there. I think the only one it can compete with is the FX5200, and it barely beats that low-end thing.

As for the MMS being PCI, yes it is but it has multi-GPUs and is pretty efficient. However yes, if you like pumping hi res. images for 2D/3d applications you may encounter the same bottleneck, especially if there is anything else on the bus stealing resources.

I think you may need to do alot of reading up on this because it's not a common problem/issue (wish I had your problem, I LIKE the idea of 3 monitors, just don't have the space or justification right now). IT may be alot of your own ground work on this one. However try to share your knowledge once you've aquired it, eh!

Good Luck!



- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: 
June 30, 2003 11:00:23 PM

Alright, this is by no means the solution, but I got this to work some what better than my previous setup.

I don't know the reason why my PCI 7500 was suffering that ridiculous performance hit, but this is how i got rid of it:

I installed the PCI 7500 on it's own first, THEN installed the AGP AiW second. My guess is that when it installed the PCI 7500 files it installed the best/most recent ones for that card. Therefore when I installed the older AGP AiW Radeon, it used the newer files as well. Why I do not know, don't ask me lol.

There is now a different problem and I will post it in the same board: my ATI cards, using the recent 7-84 to 7-90 drivers are crashing very often. at least twice a day now, BUT only when I play games are use DirectX/OpenGL intensively.

None of my other colleagues are having this problem to this extent, and I figure my dual radeon card configuration may be at fault. Anyone know what's going on? Ati seemed to be on a pretty good roll with their drivers, but now it seems the higher the version number the more that is inflicted on you.

Thanks for your help peeps,

Syrus

Windows XP
ASUS A7V8X
Athlon 2200XP @1800 MHz
512 MB DDR 2700
ATI Radeon AiW (AGP)
ATI Radeon 7500 (PCI)
!