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Low-end 3-output cards/IGP's that support 3 monitors

T

twilyth

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#1
I'm looking at building a new system and want it to be able to handle 3 monitors simultaneously.

I know that a lot of pricey workstation cards will do this, but that would be a complete waste of money for me. I don't game or do anything that would require that kind of power. However, I do have one system that I would like to use with a third monitor.

Most of my gfx cards are nvidia GT210's or m/b IGP's. I also have a 220 - which I think is the one I tried this on. I figured that if there were 3 outputs I could run them simultaneously. Yeah, I know. What dweeb.

Go ahead, yuk it up. Get it out of your system.

OK. If you're back now, what are my options for this kind of a set up - low-end options that is. I know the 5570 can do this but I think one of the outputs is a display port and to run a DVI/VGA monitor off of that port I've heard you need an active (rather than passive) adapter. That's not a huge deal if it works. I think DP to VGA costs $20-30 - for anything up to 1920x1080 anyway. Like I said, I don't game.

I would rather not have the hassle of using a display port though. Plus, I've never actually talked to anyone who has used a 5570 in this way, so i have no idea of whatever else might be involved.

Last night I was looking at the chipsets that work with the HD2000/3000 graphics on the new i7's. It didn't spell things out, but it looked like it would support simultaneous, integrated output on all 3 ports. I think I was looking at the Asus P8H67 board if that helps.

I don't care if I go IGP or discrete card. I sort of like m/b's with an IGP and I'm perfectly happy with them since I probably don't do anything that would stess those chips.

But if I have to get a card, that's cool too as long as it's in the $50-100 range. I won't go over $100 unless the difference is small and it's clearly the smarter choice.

I really appreciate the help. I tried to research this on my own, but I guess my google skills really suck.
 

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#3
Get a xxxG board from AMD, use that output. Then get any old graphics card, then run the other 2 monitor off it. Problem solved ;)
 
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#4
T

twilyth

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#5
Get a xxxG board from AMD, use that output. Then get any old graphics card, then run the other 2 monitor off it. Problem solved ;)
The HD 5550 does Eyefinity for up to 3 monitors.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desk...n-hd-5000/hd-5550/Pages/hd-5550-overview.aspx

Single slotted card and when paired with an IGP you should be well covered for when you think to go 4 monitorz.
OK, both of you lost me completely (not hard to do, for the record).

FS, are you saying I can run a discrete card like a gt210 at the same time as the IGP? I thought you had to turn one off. But you're saying no I assume. If so, then wouldn't you at least need the same chipset in both the integrated and discrete devices? How would that work?

Mlee, same question for you plus, are you sure that that it's the 5550 and not the 5570? I know all 3 of the 5x70's can do 3 way output. Didn't see anything about 5x50's, but I'll check out your link. Thank you.

However, is one of the 5550 ports a display port? If so, then I will need an active adapter - right (see OP)?

To both of you: What about H67 boards for the 2600 chips? Can they do 3 monitors or is it the same problem as with other 3 port cards where it can only drive 2 of them at any one time?

Thank you. I appreciate it.
 

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#6
FS, are you saying I can run a discrete card like a gt210 at the same time as the IGP? I thought you had to turn one off. But you're saying no I assume. If so, then wouldn't you at least need the same chipset in both the integrated and discrete devices? How would that work?
Yes, I think it would work, take a look at this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-780g-chipset,1785-5.html
and this :http://forums.vr-zone.com/troublesh...es/312879-onboard-discrete-graphics-card.html
and a newer one: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1522289

Edit; Opps, I realised that those are rather old solutions. But given that they exist, we might be lucky :D

To both of you: What about H67 boards for the 2600 chips? Can they do 3 monitors or is it the same problem as with other 3 port cards where it can only drive 2 of them at any one time?
I am not too sure about the new SandyBridge ones, but I would imagine they will be able to run off the onboard too.
 

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#7
OK, both of you lost me completely (not hard to do, for the record).

FS, are you saying I can run a discrete card like a gt210 at the same time as the IGP? I thought you had to turn one off. But you're saying no I assume. If so, then wouldn't you at least need the same chipset in both the integrated and discrete devices? How would that work?

Mlee, same question for you plus, are you sure that that it's the 5550 and not the 5570? I know all 3 of the 5x70's can do 3 way output. Didn't see anything about 5x50's, but I'll check out your link. Thank you.

However, is one of the 5550 ports a display port? If so, then I will need an active adapter - right (see OP)?

To both of you: What about H67 boards for the 2600 chips? Can they do 3 monitors or is it the same problem as with other 3 port cards where it can only drive 2 of them at any one time?

Thank you. I appreciate it.
you are using a desktop right?
 

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#8
I know a HD5670 will run 3 monitors simultaneously, a HD5450 or HD55x0 might as well.
 

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#10
Aha. In that case, it seems like he has an affordable option: Radeon HD5450
 

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#11
Aha. In that case, it seems like he has an affordable option: Radeon HD5450
Which is precisely the problem, because 5450's have display ports (at least a quick search in egg tells me so) and he cannor (or rather, don't want to) afford a displayport->whatever converter, so he is looking for a workaround.
 

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#12
AFAIK, there are no single card solutions that let you run 3 monitors without one of them being DisplayPort.

The simple solution would be to do what people have been doing for ages, use two graphics cards.

You can grab two of these and for $30(AR) your problem is solved. Don't have two PCI-E x16 slots? No problem, just dremel one of the cards down to fit in a PCI-E x1 slot. That is what I've done at work to drive 3 monitors.

Yes, you can also use an IGP along with a descrete card. However, I avoid this situation for a few reasons. First, you would likely need to run two different display drivers(unless you went with an ATI IGP and ATI descrete card). And I hate running multiple drivers if it isn't needed. Secondly, a lot of boards will disable the IGP when a descrete card is inserted, so it can kind of be a pain if you get one of those boards. Third, the IGP will pull from system memory most of the time, and I hate that.
 
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#14
I used to use a Matrox solution, but after experiencing too many problems, moved back to a true triple monitor setup. The matrox products are nice, but aren't a perfect alternative to true triple display support.
 
T

twilyth

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#15
Thanks everyone for all of the information. :toast: Special thanks to Newtekie and Fourstaff. :respect: :respect:

I'm going to try to digest all of the information and do some more research. I need to get the 2600k up and running though and pull together all of the part for the rig I'm selling. Those are my top priorities so it might be a couple days before I report back, but I will definitely follow up and let you know what I find.

In the meantime, if anyone happens to hear about a review or article that talks about the graphics capabilities of the H67 boards with the on-chip HD2000/3000 Intel graphics, I would be very grateful.

Thanks again.

edit: Just off the cuff, right now I think I like the 2 card, non-xfire/non-sli approach. If I go this way, what do you all think of 2 GT210's or 220's? I like those cards and although I'm an AMD man, I like nVidia's drivers better.

Thank you.
 

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#16
Just off the cuff, right now I think I like the 2 card, non-xfire/non-sli approach. If I go this way, what do you all think of 2 GT210's or 220's? I like those cards and although I'm an AMD man, I like nVidia's drivers better.

Thank you.
Those cards would work perfectly. As I said, if you aren't doing anything graphically intense, two 8400GS cards work just fine, so anything more powerful will also do fine.
 
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#17
If you're not going to be doing any gaming at all and just need an expanded desktop for running apps then you can add a couple of those USB monitor adapters that give you basic graphics without any 3D.
 
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#18