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Old 06-15-2005, 12:33 PM   #1
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Question Need help regarding multiple moniters/users per computer.

Here's my situation: a family friend owns a buisness, and has sort of an odd request for a new computer. They want a computer with 3 moniters running to one computer. I know that its easy to do with 2 moniters/one comp, but I've never done 3 before. I have two questions regarding this:

1). What all would I need to do 3 moniters/1 comp? Does windows support 3, and would i just need a second video card or somthing?

2). Here's the weird one. Would it be possible to get 3 moniters, 3 keyboards, 3 mice, running to 1 comp, and each moniter/keyboard/mouse using a different user? Basically, get 1 comp to act as 3 separate ones?

I've got no idea where to start with this :S The first one(3 moniters same desktop and all) isnt too tough I think, but hell, 3 people using 1 comp at the same time? I've never heard of that :|

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-15-2005, 12:43 PM   #2
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Default Hmmm...

Simplest way in my book is to set up some p1 or p2, a p3 if money allows, as smart terminals and just network them to the main box. The main box will have to have two LAN cards or two lan ports on the motherboard. Just bridge the lan connections in the network settings and you're set.
There is a place near me that sells p3 rebuilts for around $110.00USD. Used monitors go for $50.00USD around here. And mouse and keyboards will set you back a whole 10 or 15 US dollars. You could try hunting around the local repair shops. Might be something worth considering...

edit: If you go the network route you have to use crossover cables instead of patch cables. You don't need a router or a switch or a hub. Just go from one terminal to the main box and the same for the other terminal. Down and dirty...

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Old 06-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #3
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Alright, things just got alot easier. It turns out they just want 3 moniters on one comp for one person; like the typical multi-moniter setup.

However, i've never done 3, just 2. For 3, do i need two video cards? If so, what would be the best kind for this, 1x APG and 1x PCI?

Just for reference, here are the parts im looking at getting right now (from newegg, so just search for the part name at the site):

Antec Solution SLK1650 Beige Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail

ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe Socket 478 Intel 875P ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600SB 160GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM

Kingston HyperX 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model KHX3200AK2/1G - Retail

NEC Display Solutions V91LCD Silver&Black 19" 16ms LCD Monitor - Retail

Microsoft Windows XP Professional With Service Pack 2 - OEM

intel Pentium 4 3.0E Prescott 800MHz FSB Socket 478 Processor Model BX80546PG3000E - Retail

Havent added keyboard/mouse yet; those are no-brainers anyway

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:41 PM   #4
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The increase in productivity between two and three monitors is less than the difference from one to two monitors.
But, if you need one computer and three monitors you can do it two ways:
1-A dual monitor board (Asrock) and a dvi/agp card (one monitor attached to the onboard video agp card and the other two to the added agp (agi) card.
2-A NVIDIA Quadro NVS 400 card, that supports up to 4 monitors.
(The Flight simulator fans can run on four monitors).
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help regarding multiple moniters/users per computer.

Not being rude, just general interest in what do you need 3 monitors for? sounds a bit excessive
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:41 PM   #6
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Dont ask me; I'm making this for someone else.

I've searched all over for the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 400, but cant find any place to buy the stupid thing. Gunna look into the motherboard thing now.

There isnt any way to just get an AGP and a PCI card and plug 3 moniters in?
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Old 06-15-2005, 06:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help regarding multiple moniters/users per computer.

No I'm afraid there wouldn't be. AGP will automatially cancel out a PCI video card.

Couldn't SLi be used to do this? It has a switch on the motherboard to switch between using it for games where both are used at same time, and having a seperate one for each monitors, allowing 4, 2 on each, though would need a new motherboard and 2 new PCI-E video cards... I wouldn't think they had to be great ones though.
Not a great soloution though, huh? It'd work alright though...

I hope this helps

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