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Old 01-22-2011, 01:18 AM   #1
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Default Multiple Monitors

I'd like to set up four monitors but I'm not quite sure if that's possible. If I get two GPUs would that work out? Most GPUs I see are quite large so I don't know if I'd be able to fit a second one anyways. Are there any mobos that one could recommend that would be able to handle this?
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

What kind of computer do you have?
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

Ah a very bad one. Pre-built end of the line ect. ect. I've been saving up to build my own computer. One of the main things I would like, if possible is to set up four screens. I'm just wondering if that is even possible. If I have two GPUs with two VGA or DVI slots each would a computer recognize all four monitors and let me use them. I plan on running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit edition.

The next problem I see is not even being able to fit both GPUs into the mobo. So I'm wondering if there are any mobos that anyone can suggest that can handle this.

TL;DR Can a computer run four monitors with two GPUs? What mobo can run and fit two GPUs?
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

No, not in the fashion I think you want it. It'll recognize up to six but only in certain formats. For instance, two side by side or three side by side or six (2x3). I think ATI has an explanation on their site somewhere.

And you need a good mobo. Odds are you don't even have a pcie slot.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

what you're looking for is what ATI call EyeFinity.



although, unless you're a serious programmer or graphic designer, i doubt you'll see much use for 4 monitors.

what you're talking about is CrossFire (ATI) or SLI (NVidia). Essentially linking two GPUs together to work as one. Obviously, to have CrossFireX or SLI you need dual PCI-e slots, this means looking for a Motherboard that is 'CrossFire Ready' or 'SLI Ready'.



also, you'll need a PSU with enough kick in it to power dual cards, and two 6-pin PCI-e power adapters.



Overall, its going to end up being costly.

something else i just thought of it, if you have a factory built PC, i doubt the case would be big enough or have the correct 'form factor' as it were to house SLI/Crossfired cards. The buggers can take up some serious space, especially if they are dual-slot cards already.


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Old 01-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

By saving to build my own computer mean completely from scratch. Thank you for the detailed answer though. I vaguely understand, but I thoguht crossfire made people have a lot of issues with several things. Has it been improved?

Costly is something I expect completely. I plan on saving up to 5,000$ dollars for a computer, the monitors, and the speakers. I'm about 1500$ in. I'm not really all that knowledgeable in how much computers really cost so I want to be prepared. I'm going to post another thread sometime in the future asking more questions but this was one of my main concerns.

I just looked up EyeFinity and I had no idea screens could do that. I've only used up to two monitors and they both acted as separate screens. That's pretty much what I'm looking for. The ability is use four screens separately on one computer. Although EyeFinity looks really cool it's seems more complicated.

Newegg.com - Intel BOXDP67BG LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb&#47;s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard <- this mobo is able to crossfire it seems. And with it I can do something ridiculous like 24gb RAM I think I'll go ahead tomorrow an make the other thread.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

If it's for gaming I'd move to AMD. A lot cheaper than Intel and you get better frame rates in some cases. Generally, bang for buck award goes to AMD. Asus M4A79T deluxe <--This mobo will handle your GPUs better and throwing in this CPU will get you some fine tuned horsepower -->AMD Phenom X6. I can't see why you'd need more than 16 GB of good RAM, 24 is a bit over kill.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

The cheapest route is to go single card and make use of the onboard graphics.All you need to do is run a mobo with onboard graphics with a dual output video card. Plug two monitors into the video card, and two into the onboard graphics. Then, go into the BIOS and set onboard graphics as the primary. This will leave them enabled, even with a dedicated video card installed. When you boot up Windows, it will then detect the video card, and let you install the driver for it. Make sure you install just the video driver, not the whole control center. If you do it this way, I recommend using an AMD chipset with an AMD video card to prevent driver issues. You also have to use Windows 7 or XP, NOT VISTA. Vista only allows a single graphics driver to be installed, which will limit your video card choices. I can confirm that it does work on 780G and 790GX chipsets.

If you go the multiple video card route, you do not need SLI or crossfire compatibility. SLI and crossfire combine the two cards' power for a single output. What you are doing is simply multiple cards. It will work on any motherboard with two PCI express slots. The cards don't even have to be the same, though I recommend that they are to prevent potential driver conflicts.

You could also use an eyefinity compatible card. Most only support three monitors, though there are a couple of exceptions, namely the 5870 eyefinity 6 (6 monitors) and the 5770 eyefinity 5 (5 monitors). You do not have to span the screens, they can also be used as individual monitors. Note that when going this route, two of your monitors have to be displayport enabled. This means that they will either have to have a native displayport, or you will have to use an active adapter to convert the signal. You will also have to use Vista or Windows 7, as there is no XP support.


All that being said, may I ask why you want four monitors? I have found three to be a much better number. It's easier to manage, it looks better, and it's much easier to keep organized. It's also amazing for gaming, because the two extra screens simulate peripheral vision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbrikha View Post
If it's for gaming I'd move to AMD. A lot cheaper than Intel and you get better frame rates in some cases. Generally, bang for buck award goes to AMD. Asus M4A79T deluxe <--This mobo will handle your GPUs better and throwing in this CPU will get you some fine tuned horsepower -->AMD Phenom X6. I can't see why you'd need more than 16 GB of good RAM, 24 is a bit over kill.
I am using that mobo right now with three video cards. I've used four before so I could have eight monitors(random experiment). Works perfectly. My only complaint is that it's not a great overclocker, but with AMD that hardly matters since multipliers are usually unlocked.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

Actually I'm not quite sure myself, four just feels like a good number to me. My desk is also a quite large L desk (about 3.5' both sections) So I'll probably have three screens set up directly in front of me and one to my side.

Would EyeFinty work with three screens and then letting one sit out to do it's own thing?
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Multiple Monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenter View Post
Actually I'm not quite sure myself, four just feels like a good number to me. My desk is also a quite large L desk (about 3.5' both sections) So I'll probably have three screens set up directly in front of me and one to my side.

Would EyeFinty work with three screens and then letting one sit out to do it's own thing?
I used to have four monitors, but I found myself only using three of them most of the time. Get three huge monitors (I highly recommend these) and you won't be disappointed.

And yes, eyefinity can span three monitors while leaving one on its own. It can do pretty much any setup you can think of as long as the spanned monitors never exceed the 8192^2 directX limit.
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