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Wanting to do a triple-quadruple monitor rig.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by B1gg3stN00b, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    I've been planning a new rig for a while and have been curious if I crossfire 2 ATI cards if I can do 3-4 monitors running at once.

    Also I would like to know the size of the monitor(s) I should buy to match my two 17" CRTs in the following fashion to keep the heights flush.
    [​IMG]

    The reason for this is to have one screen broadcasting, sometimes recording TV all the time (I'm buying a TV tuner), one for gaming, or to have two free for my school/work projects (lots of internet browser windows open at once, usually 1-3 instances of MS Word/Excel) I am a multitasker to the max and want a really good desktop gaming/work-station.

    Would CrossfireX be capable of doing this? (Two 3450s or something of the sorts just for the extra monitor hookup)

    Also, would 2 3450s or 2 3650s outperform a 512mb GDDR3 2600XT?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  2. aCid888*

    aCid888* New Member

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    I dare say that a single 3650 will outperform a 2600XT! the 2600XT is about on par with a 7600GT and if I remember right a 3650 is a little faster than a 8600GTS.

    BUT! Why buy 2x3650s when you can have 3870s for pretty cheap now, or even 8800GTs (that are a little faster) for around $120 each????

    Have a look into both ATI and nVidia cards before you stick to one brand, I'm sure you'll find something cheaper and faster if you do! :) :toast:


    Edit: ATI 3870 and nVidia 8800GT <- $99.99 and $110.99 respectivly
     
  3. wolf2009 Guest

    HD 3650 is sometimes lesser than HD2600XT and is not better than 8600GTS .
     
  4. aCid888*

    aCid888* New Member

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    The 3650 will often beat the 2600XT (and 7600GT) as its newer 55nm (vs 65nm) core allows for higher OCs vs the 2600XT (and 7600GT again) and a whole lot less heat! and to be honest, if you don't OC your gfx card, CPU, ram or anything else you can get your sweaty palms on you shouldn't own a PC! :rockout:

    The top and bottom of it all is that the 3650 and 2600XT are both low end cards in all honesty, I wouldn't buy one as they are a waste of money when you can have an 8800GT for $40 more or even get yourself a 8800GS for around the same price ($85) :toast:
     
  5. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Well I'm looking for a productivity rig that'll be doing VERY basic gaming (CSS:S, Spore, stuff I can do on low with my 7000M integrated card easily), so why not? Also, I don't like OCing, because more heat made is more heat that goes into my tiny room, which already gets up to 95-100 degrees during the day because of my tube amplifiers and the fact I'm on the third floor.

    But yeah, can these run 3 monitors? What size monitor should I get?
     
  6. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    crossfire and SLI are incompatible with more than one screen. You would be running outside of crossfire/SLI in order to do this.

    (modern) Video cards can only handle 2 screens at a time. Very, VERY few games work with multiple screens enabled - and you wont be running a TV tuner display on one and a game on another without problems.
     
  7. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    So what I want to do is impossible?
     
  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    pretty much. games do not like sharing with multiple screens, which means you'd be disabling them every time you want to launch a game.
     
  9. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Well that's not often, but darn :(
     
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    the problem is that very few games are multi monitor designed. lots of apps arent either - a good example is power DVD, which adds the volume/track/media buttons on the top and bottom of your screen... you move the video window to another screen, and the bloody buttons stay on the primary no matter what you do.
     
  11. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    I never experienced any issues with any of my commonly used apps when I ran a dual setup.

    On that note, my brother just ruined his CPU and mobo via OCing and gave me a Samsung Lightscribe SATA burner, 2gb Patriot 1066 RAM, 250GB WD Cavier, Raidmax Smilodon Case and an 8800GTS for 100$

    Badass!
     
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    Its mostly things that require video card acceleration, such as media players and games. Lots of media players work better these days, i'll definately say that.
    It goes back to XP not being able to do hardware acceleration on secondary screens for a long time, therefore many apps were made to do it on the primary monitor only.

    Epic win!
     
  13. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Yeah, but I mainly use Vista too.

    I have like a 20gb XP partition and the rest of my HD is Vista.

    But since I've not had any issues with dual screening on any of my programs/games before, do you think it'd be safe to triple monitor?

    What would be the best solution for running 3 at once, video card wise?

    I'd like to keep it under 200$ total for video cards.
     
  14. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Having run a multi-monitor set up I will have to agree with Mussels, there are still programs that aren't multi-monitor capable (even with Vista).

    Not only that, but when playing games you should all but forget about multi-tasking across the screens. Unless you have a game that likes to run in a window, or is ok to be Alt-tabbed out of constantly then you could have crashes, freeze ups, and lose any progress you've made (if you're like me and hardly ever save).

    It's not the hardwares fault either, the hardware is fully capable of supporting as many monitors as you can hook up, as long as they don't exceed the cards maximum resolution. It's Window's fault, even Vista isn't fully multi-monitor capable, which is why there are so many 3rd party programs out there to add in functionality that would seem like something you would obviously need.

    If I was thinking of setting something like this up. I'd have a big beast of a card for my main monitor, and run say a 3850, or 4650 and run my other monitors off that (I'd make sure I had something with HD decoding so I could move WMP between monitors and not lose video if I'm watching HD).
     
  15. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    But how would I determine which videocard my game would use? Just run the application on my main monitor?
     
    Darknova says thanks.
  16. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Yup, basically. Run the program on the monitor attached to the good video card :)
     
  17. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Oh, that works out, I never knew computers could run two videocards independent of one another.

    Thank god for TPU!

    Will the other two monitors still act as secondary monitors, just controlled by a different card? or will I have two primary monitors?
     
  18. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Also another question, since I go between my two legal copies of XP 32 bit and Vista 64 bit, and want good memory speeds, would 2gbDDR3 be a big improvement over DDR2?

    I'm afraid to get 4g, then two 512mb video cards because I know for a fact XP would give me a fraction of that.
     
  19. Darknova

    Darknova

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    To go DDR3 you'd have to get a new motherboard and CPU, because at the moment only Intel supports DDR3.

    Just get 4Gb of DDR2. Trust me, the benefits outweigh the cost IMO.

    And to answer your previous question, your primary monitor will be based on the first plug of your primary video card (IE the one in the primary slot).
     
  20. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    But I don't have a motherboard and CPU?
     
  21. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Going by your specs on the left, you're running 2Gb of DDR2 and an AMD board and chip yes? Well AMD doesn't currently have DDR3 support.
     
  22. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    That's my laptop, baha.

    I could never run a desktop with a 1.9, I'd shoot myself.
     
  23. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Then what are you running?
     
  24. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Nothing.

    I've got my laptop, I've had it for a few months, that's all :(

    I miss my dual 17" crts, and I want even more screen real estate.
     
  25. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Ah, well even so I wouldn't go DDR3 currently. Just grab 4Gb of DDR2 for much less than 2Gb of DDR3.
     

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