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Thread: 3 or more monitors?

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    Question 3 or more monitors?

    I've been doing some research into setting up 3 or more monitors on 1 PC and I thought I'd put it to the experts on here as I trust your opinions more!!

    I've got dual monitors for my PC but I've also got my HDTV. My graphics card supports dual outputs so I can have 2 out of the above 3 devices plugged in, but I want to be able to use all 3 at the same time. I know there are switching ports which can have multiple inputs and then will output to one device but I'd rather have all 3 viewable at once!

    I realise being able to specify what motherboard I have right now would be useful, but I can't remember off the top of my head (and I'm not at home to have a look.) My primary graphics card is pci express of course but throughout my research I have seen that you can install a second graphics card which, if it has dual outputs as well, can allow up to 4 monitors. I have also read that generally its a good idea to have cards from the same manufacturer e.g. both nvidia.

    My question is basically if anyone can share their experience in this regard as to whether it is a simple process or if they experienced technical gremlins. I can't remember if my motherboard supports SLI, as if it did I would imagine this would be a very simple process. I have a number of pci express expansion slots, although they are not x16, so would I need to find a graphics card that fits into one of those?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :-)

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    If your running Win XP or Win 7, then it doesn't matter what make cards you have.....only Vista added the silly restriction of 1 video card driver model.

    So, depending on what OS you have, buy a PCI or PCI-E (whichever you need/want) video card and slap it and connect the 3rd screen to it. It's the same procedure to setup as it was configuring your second screen.
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    Overclocking Since 1988 nightkhaos's Avatar
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Simples! *squeek*

    As said, there is no fancy procedure, just that the card must use the same video drives as your current card.
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Sadly I am running Vista! That was something else I had read that I have to be using the same graphics drivers for both cards? Is that right?

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcfstep View Post
    Sadly I am running Vista! That was something else I had read that I have to be using the same graphics drivers for both cards? Is that right?
    Yes. That is correct. Now because ATi and nV both use "catch all" driver packages this does not in any way limit your choice of graphics cards except that you cannot put an ATi card with an nV one.
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    Yes. That is correct. Now because ATi and nV both use "catch all" driver packages this does not in any way limit your choice of graphics cards except that you cannot put an ATi card with an nV one.
    Also worth noting that Nvidia Quadro cards have a different drive pack than the standard consumer cards, so you can't mix them under Vista. I think this is the same with ATIs FirePro and FireGL cards.

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Well I'm running an Nvidia BFG 8800 GTOC2 so shouldn't be a problem

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Also worth noting that Nvidia Quadro cards have a different drive pack than the standard consumer cards, so you can't mix them under Vista. I think this is the same with ATIs FirePro and FireGL cards.
    Didn't know this! I thought the Quadro and FirePro/FireGL cards were in the same drive pack as the consumer grade (GTX and Radeon) cards.
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    Didn't know this! I thought the Quadro and FirePro/FireGL cards were in the same drive pack as the consumer grade (GTX and Radeon) cards.
    My Quadro NVS definitely uses a different driver pack than the GTX range. Just had a look on AMDs site, and the Fire line also uses a different pack, although the actual driver might be the same, it's listed as Catalyst 8.633. There are different release notes and a different set of compatible products, so I guess Vists would have a fit if you tried to mix either manufacturers series.

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    If the additional monitors are for normal 2D use and no 3D work, you can always use the USB to VGA adaptors that allow upto 6 displays to be on one PC.

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    thouse USB to VGA ones are just horrible thou, they really slow down your system.

    your better off with things like those matrox splitters if your on a laptop.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    PCI gfx cards.

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaineoliver View Post
    PCI gfx cards.
    Thank you for repeating a previously stated, and possibly redundant, suggestion.
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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    They're relatively expensive, but if you're using low res monitors you could potentially consider a Triplehead2go.

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Well I think I'll go for a second nVidia card as that is nice and straight forward however, I've never purchased a PCI card before - always AGP8x or PCIe - so would something like this be suitable, bearing in mind of course this card will not be for my main gaming or media watching useage:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PNY-NVIDIA-GeF...d=p3286.c0.m14

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    Re: 3 or more monitors?

    Yeah, that will almost certainly be fine....although personally I wouldn't pay 50quid for a card for the use you want it for!

    If you have a spare PCI-E slot (16x size, although it does not need to be 16x electronically connected) then I would start looking for something dirt cheap second hand.....even a 6 or 7 series.
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