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Which graphics card(s?) for 6 x high res monitors, not gaming

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#1
I want to expand from a four monitor setup to a six monitor setup. Why? Because six is two more than four and therefore obviously better, that's why! :D

--------------------
Displays
--------------------

The monitors will be 6 x Dell 27" U2715H with resolution 2560x1440px @ 60hz.

Specs:
http://accessories.ap.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=hk&l=en&s=bsd&cs=hkbsd1&sku=210-adsz

The connection options of the displays are:

- 2 HDMI(MHL) connector
- 1 Mini DisplayPort
- 1 DisplayPort (version 1.2)
- 1 DisplayPort out (MST)

--------------------
Motherboard
--------------------

My motherboard is Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 5.
Specs: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z170X-Gaming-5-rev-10#sp

Relevant expansion slots:

- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) (blocked by SSD)
- 4 x PCI Express x1 slots

--------------------
PC
--------------------

The PC runs Intel I7, have 32GB RAM, SSD's etc, so that should check all the boxes.

--------------------
Graphics Card??
--------------------

What graphics card(s?) should I go for, to feed the 6 monitors at this resolution?

It will not be used for gaming at all, so game performance is irrelevant. Budget is "whatever it takes", but I don't want to spend more than necessary.

Thanks in advance!
 
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P4-630

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#2
Well I've just checked the GT1030 and GTX1050 but they only support upto 2/3 monitors per card (including DVI-D).
If you can connect 2 monitors with DVI-D you could take 2 GTX1050's.

My GTX1070 supports 5 monitors (including one DVI-D).


Maybe other members can chime in for other ideas.
 

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#3
I think some models of NVIDIA Quadro cards have enough outputs for this. Also, there might be a custom version of current low end cards that will do this. There was one a few years ago, but I don't think it's available any more. Just have a look at the retailer's websites for special cards.

I'm curious why you want to do this other than you can.
 

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#5
Well I've just checked the GT1030 and GTX1050 but they only support upto 2/3 monitors per card (including DVI-D).
If you can connect 2 monitors with DVI-D you could take 2 GTX1050's.

My GTX1070 supports 5 monitors (including one DVI-D).


Maybe other members can chime in for other ideas.
So it seems I can daisy-chain the monitors in pairs (and not more than 2, since 2560x1440 requires a certain amount of bandwidth).

In that case, I would only need 3 displayports in one card - provided that card is OK with running the full 7680x2880 resolution, that is. Otherwise, I would need to spread it on two cards.

I did some searching on Newegg, picked 3 displayports and picked the cheapest one with 5 egg ratings:

https://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=06G-P4-6163-KR

This lists a max resolution of 7680x4320, which is great - but also lists "max monitors supported" as 4. Not sure if that refers to people NOT daisy-chaining displayports, or something else.

Comments?

I'm curious why you want to do this other than you can.
I do software development, and I currently run a 3 screen setup. Even with that, I am always switching back and forth between apps, like documentation, and then struggling to find it again.

In a given session I might have:
2 open browser windows/tabs with documentation for what I am working on
1 code editor
1 database interface
1 slack/skype window
1 Postman app to test API calls
1 project management thing (Trello)
1 browser to search for error messages, stackoverflow posts etc

The more I have to switch, the less efficient I am, so no question it will improve my productivity, although going from one to two/three monitors is a much bigger productivity gain.

So from a strict cost benefit analysis, it might not be worth it, but I dont have expensive habits otherwise - and I really want this - so why not?! :D
 
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Frick

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#6
Is Eyefinity still a thing on AMD cards?
Otherwise, Matrox is your friend.
 
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#7
Well, those DELL displays do support MST, so the number of ports on the GPU is definitely not an issue.
Anyting since DP 1.3 can drive up to four 2K displays in daisy-chain from a single link.

Basically any modern card with 2x DP should do. The cheapest option so far is a GTX1060 3GB (but I would consider getting a 6GB version just in case).
Alternatively(if you really want to go cheap) - any pair of smaller cards with at least one DP1.3. For example, a pair of passively cooled GT1030's from MSI:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814137140
 
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#8
Well, those DELL displays do support MST, so the number of ports on the GPU is definitely not an issue.
Anyting since DP 1.3 can drive up to four 2K displays in daisy-chain from a single link.

Basically any modern card with 2x DP should do. The cheapest option so far is a GTX1060 3GB (but I would consider getting a 6GB version just in case).
Alternatively(if you really want to go cheap) - any pair of smaller cards with at least one DP1.3. For example, a pair of passively cooled GT1030's from MSI:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814137140
The Dell U2715H only supports DP1.2 though, which means max 2 * 2560x1440 displays, right? Or does it not matter in this context - as long as the GPU supports it?

And can I be certain that for example a GTX1060 can actually run the combined resolution of the screens, regardless of connectivity?
 
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#10
Eyefinity on AMD card(s) and AMD ( through a partner) have done Single Card with 6 Display outputs
Visiontek. Those are still available at newegg, but unfortunately it's 7000-series and it costs the same as a GTX1060 6GB or more...

The Dell U2715H only supports DP1.2 though, which means max 2 * 2560x1440 displays, right? Or does it not matter in this context - as long as the GPU supports it?
Totally missed the DP1.2 aspect.... My bad.
I guess it's only 2 monitors per port with this resolution, so you need a card with at least 3xDP ports.
In this case, GTX1060 is your best bet. There are quite a few options with 3xDP outputs and an additional benefit of being DP1.4-compatible in case of future upgrades.
 
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#11
I guess it's only 2 monitors per port with this resolution, so you need a card with at least 3xDP ports.
In this case, GTX1060 is your best bet. There are quite a few options with 3xDP outputs and an additional benefit of being DP1.4-compatible in case of future upgrades.
I look at some GTX1060 cards, and they list 7680 x 4320 as max resolution and "supports 4 monitors", like here:

upload_2017-9-1_16-16-15.png


https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125879

So my resolution of 7680x2880 is within the limits - but not within the "multi-monitor support: 4" limit... Do you think I can ignore that when using daisy-chaining?
 
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#12
No need to get two cards, your motherboard has an HDMI and a DP out and the onboard GPU can be enabled at the same time as the graphics card. Of course, those two screens might suffer a little bit due to the weak Intel GPU, but it's at least something you could test and see if it's good enough. Just remember to enable the Intel graphics in the UEFI.
 

P4-630

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#13
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#14
No need to get two cards, your motherboard has an HDMI and a DP out and the onboard GPU can be enabled at the same time as the graphics card. Of course, those two screens might suffer a little bit due to the weak Intel GPU, but it's at least something you could test and see if it's good enough. Just remember to enable the Intel graphics in the UEFI.
I have actually tried that, and got it to run 2 * 2560x1440 monitors briefly. At the next reboot, the one monitor would no longer display anything - and I tried a bunch of things, but eventually gave up.

Adobe Photoshop (latest, completely legal etc) will also crash when trying to open JPEG files (discovered this randomly)

It would never be a stable solution, it seems.
 
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#15
I look at some GTX1060 cards, and they list 7680 x 4320 as max resolution and "supports 4 monitors", like here:

View attachment 91669

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125879

So my resolution of 7680x2880 is within the limits - but not within the "multi-monitor support: 4" limit... Do you think I can ignore that when using daisy-chaining?
It's the limit only for direct connections (e.g. not considering MST daisy chain setups).
 
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#16
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#17
I have actually tried that, and got it to run 2 * 2560x1440 monitors briefly. At the next reboot, the one monitor would no longer display anything - and I tried a bunch of things, but eventually gave up.

Adobe Photoshop (latest, completely legal etc) will also crash when trying to open JPEG files (discovered this randomly)

It would never be a stable solution, it seems.
That's weird, I've tried it in the past, admittedly on a different, but older motherboard and it worked perfectly fine on two screens, i.e. one to the Intel onboard and one to the graphics card.
 

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#18
Awesome! Looks like I am close to a solution then! A GTX1060 card with 3 displayports, and I am off to the races!
Possibly. Try it with the single card first. If it doesn't work, just toss a second cheaper GTX1050 in the machine. Drive 4 monitors from the GTX1060 and the other 2 monitors from the GTX1050.
 

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#20
Just FYI, Gigabyte is a pretty terrible brand. Their fans die quickly, and their customer service is absolutely terrible. I'd try to cancel the order and go with something from eVGA, ASUS, or MSI. Heck, I'd even pick Zotac or PNY over Gigabyte.
 
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#21
Older AMD cards supported multimonitor a lot better than newer ones, however if they have the updated DP/HDMI versions to support the bandwidth is the issue. DVI-D should be do-able if it's just feeding one 1440p monitor and if you're going to use the AMD/NVIDIA software stuffs for surround then it should be fine. DVI-D limit is 2560x1600 so if you do get a card that has, say, two HDMI, a DVI-D, and a DP or two from the older card range you could save yourself some cash using two cheapo cards.

Do show feedback on those two 1060's though. Multimonitor setups are pr0n for me.
 

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#23
Just FYI, Gigabyte is a pretty terrible brand. Their fans die quickly, and their customer service is absolutely terrible. I'd try to cancel the order and go with something from eVGA, ASUS, or MSI. Heck, I'd even pick Zotac or PNY over Gigabyte.
I just spent two hours trying to find a suitable option, that I can actually buy and get delivered to Malta, where I live. It is a jungle... I just spent another half an hour looking at the brands you suggested, but found no good options for me to get them delivered to me - except an eVGA one, that had terrible reviews for noise.

So I think I am going to roll the dice with the Gigabyte one. But I appreciate your suggestions. :)
 
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#24
Just FYI, Gigabyte is a pretty terrible brand. Their fans die quickly, and their customer service is absolutely terrible. I'd try to cancel the order and go with something from eVGA, ASUS, or MSI. Heck, I'd even pick Zotac or PNY over Gigabyte.
Gigabyte has been one of my favorite partner brands for years..until recently..SAD situation but I agree..
I went with EVGA for Nvidia...I'm still with Sapphire for AMD.....and then I like PNY and XFX

I just spent two hours trying to find a suitable option, that I can actually buy and get delivered to Malta, where I live. It is a jungle... I just spent another half an hour looking at the brands you suggested, but found no good options for me to get them delivered to me - except an eVGA one, that had terrible reviews for noise.

So I think I am going to roll the dice with the Gigabyte one. But I appreciate your suggestions. :)
You got that right about the noise on the EVGA...
It sounds like an Aluminum plate being spun at variable speeds constantly...
 
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#25
Is Eyefinity still a thing on AMD cards?
Otherwise, Matrox is your friend.
I have three Matrox cards sitting in front of me right now. Matrox M- Series M9148 which will do quad monitors.

What the OP needs is a M-Series M9188 Octal monitor solution. Of course plan to spend $1600 for a single card. But these things are made for this shiz.