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Cheap solution for 3 monitors

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#1
Currently I have dual monitors on my desk running just fine, and my big screen tv hooked up as well... but am unable to view all three at once. So what I currently do to watch movies and such is just mirror my main monitor and my TV while essentially "disconnecting" the secondary monitor. However, I want to keep this same setup (2 monitors, 1 tv) but add a third desktop monitor. I would like three independent monitors running at once, with the ability to "disconnect" one of them and utilize the tv as a monitor for movies etc... here is the problem. I have a gpu that only supports two outputs at once (hence why i disconnect one monitor to watch stuff on the tv) what is the cheapest way to go about this?
So to recap
Currently: have 2 independent monitors w/ability to switch over to TV
Want: 3 independent monitors w/ability to switch over to TV

My motherboard is the Asus M4A87TD/USB3 it has a single PCI Express 2.0 x 16 and three PCI slots
GPU GTX 460

Can I just buy a cheap video card and add it to a PCI slot? If I do this will it allow me to run 3 monitors independent of each other?

Also, I am not opposed to buying a new GPU in the $200 or less range that will support 3 monitors...just want them all on at the same time obviously and have the ability to switch over to the TV when needed (so technically 4 monitors need to be connected I guess, but only 3 at once is what I would like).
 

cadaveca

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#2
yes, buy PCI card, or get new GPU. Most recent GPUs can support 3 monitors fine.

You can also get USB video adapter, too(evga makes a few, I think).

USB might be the best option since you want to swap the one in use...?
 

newtekie1

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#3
You have several options, there is the two that cadaveca mentions.

However, your board also has a PCI-E x1 and a PCI-E x4 slot. I'd use one of those as they are both better than PCI and PCI cards are expensive now.

You can either buy a PCI-E x1 card like this one: ZOTAC ZT-60605-10L GeForce GT 610 Video Card - New...

OR

You can buy the same PCI-E x16 card for cheaper and use a dremel to cut the PCI-E connector on the card to fit in the x4 or x1 slot: PNY VCGGT610XPB GeForce GT 610 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI...

An idea on how to cut down a card to fit in an x1/x4 slot can be found here: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88791
 
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#4
You have several options, there is the two that cadaveca mentions.

However, your board also has a PCI-E x1 and a PCI-E x4 slot. I'd use one of those as they are both better than PCI and PCI cards are expensive now.

You can either buy a PCI-E x1 card like this one: ZOTAC ZT-60605-10L GeForce GT 610 Video Card - New...

OR

You can buy the same PCI-E x16 card for cheaper and use a dremel to cut the PCI-E connector on the card to fit in the x4 or x1 slot: PNY VCGGT610XPB GeForce GT 610 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI...

An idea on how to cut down a card to fit in an x1/x4 slot can be found here: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88791
Well I dont have a dremel nor do I want to do any cutting like that but good suggestion
Also, that seems a bit pricy for a simple way to set up an extra monitor? Close to $70 at that point Id rather just buy another GPU, I mean cant I buy a pci card for 30ish or something?

I just want to make sure I can run three monitors at once and switch over/use the TV when needed without hassle
 
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#5
i have used this with a 8400gs without any issues so it could clear the massive zalman heatsink i used to have on my HD5850
but i ended up chopping down the graphics card anyway.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flexbie-PCI-E-Extension-Cable-1x-To-16x-Riser-Card-Adapter-For-1U-2U-Chassis-/380440322602?pt=UK_Computing_CablesConnectors_RL&hash=item589402a22a



just use a low profile card so when you screw it into the case there is enough clearance between the pcie slot and the card but you will have to find a way if securing the back of the graphics card to something to stop it drooping as its not connected to the motherboard any more.

any modern DX10+ graphics card with work fine with every other dx10+ card even the drivers should work fine together.

low profile nvidia 8400gs and ati HD4350 would be the cheapest ones i can think of that would work
 
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#6
Well I dont have a dremel nor do I want to do any cutting like that but good suggestion
Also, that seems a bit pricy for a simple way to set up an extra monitor? Close to $70 at that point Id rather just buy another GPU, I mean cant I buy a pci card for 30ish or something?

I just want to make sure I can run three monitors at once and switch over/use the TV when needed without hassle
The cheapest PCI card on newegg right now is $40 shipped, but it is a shit Radeon 7000. I don't even think it is powerful enough to do Aero, forget about watching any videos on it or anything like that, and since it can't do Aero that means not Aero on any monitor. To get anything even close to being modern you are looking at about $60 for a PCI card. So if you go with a PCI card or a PCI-E x1 card you're looking at about the same cost.
 
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#7
Also, that seems a bit pricy for a simple way to set up an extra monitor? Close to $70 at that point Id rather just buy another GPU, I mean cant I buy a pci card for 30ish or something?

Buying a cheap PCI card, new or used(ebay, craigslist, etc...), may be the least expensive solution. Two things to keep in mind:

  • If you're running 2d/3d-accelerated applications on that third monitor, performance is limited to the capabilities of the card it's connected to.

  • If you use windows aero (transparency in Windows Vista/7), ensure that the card you buy is new enough to support windows aero (from memory, this means a 128MB+ DirectX 9+ GPU). This is important, because if a single enabled monitor doesn't support windows aero, you can't enable it on any monitor.

Also, drivers will be easier to manage if this new GPU is of the same vendor as your existing one. So, if you already have a Radeon, I'd get a Radeon (or a Geforce, then get a Geforce).
 
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#8
ati dx9 or older will not start with a dx10+ card in the computer. thats why i stopped using my x800gt aiw
with nvidia i think your ok down to a 6200tc but then you dont have video acceleration and anything hd will want to lag on it.



what about this



then file a bit out the back of the slot so a low profile pci express 16x graphics card can go into it.
 
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#9
ebay is your friend. Get a nice decent second hand FireGL card for cheap. Will have a great quality output for less than $20... and will fit within your budget. Say FirePro v3700 or v3750.
 
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#10
ebay is your friend. Get a nice decent second hand FireGL card for cheap. Will have a great quality output for less than $20... and will fit within your budget. Say FirePro v3700 or v3750.
totally just search ebay for pci x1 graphics card and you should find loads.
 
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#11
urm, any HD5000 or GF 600 series and above will do what you want...
Why is everyone going OH OH SECOND CARD!
A single newer card will handle 4 screens and with a budget of $200 that's a significant performance improvement even when you factor the cost of buying display adapters.