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Triple Monitor Graphics Card

Discussion in 'Computers, Games, Electronics etc' started by reckedracing, May 4, 2012.

  1. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    I was curious about going to a triple monitor setup.
    I'm not sure what exactly to look for, should I be looking for 3 DVI ports, or just 3 ports total?
    I was looking on newegg and it seems that a cheap model might run me upwards of $175
    Newegg.com - JATON VIDEO-PX309-QUAD Radeon HD 3450 4 DVI outputs 512MB DDR2 Per GPU 1GB Total Onboard PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card

    or this really cheap one for 110?
    Newegg.com - Galaxy 21GGE4AM9EKP MDT X4 GeForce 210 Multi Display 1GB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

    what sort of requirements would i need for business use vs gaming use?
     
  2. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    First off, take a look at this:
    Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart : Best Graphics Cards For The Money: April 2012

    It's a good quick reference on what kinds of graphics cards (cores) are equivalent / better in comparison for the last 10 years or so.

    The two cards you listed are pretty low on the graphics power side of things, but they'll work perfectly fine for business applications. They're both quadruple core setups on a single card, so you'd get the full power of each graphics processor for each monitor. That's good if you're going to be doing hardware accelerated video playback via separate streams on each monitor. Blu-ray and streaming 1080p h264 video is about all those graphics cores will be good for though.

    If you want to do any gaming, you're going to have to start wandering up the chart in power. The HD3450 is 6 up from the bottom, and the GF210 is 4 up from the bottom... they're about equivalent to the GeForce 6600 that I bought 8 years ago when it wasn't quite top of the line- right when everything started to migrate from AGP to PCI-E. That's how old.

    The card I have right now is an MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Hawk (384 core) that's ridiculously overclocked from the factory, about equivalent to a standard GTX 570 or slightly faster- which is 4 lines from the top of that list. It's already considered one or two generations old- it was the hot card at the very very beginning of 2011. Regardless, it's still a pretty good graphics card for gaming, and can run practically anything on the market right now at best or pretty damn close to best settings at 1920x1200 resolution with nice smooth 60fps+ frame rates. You can get them new for right at about $200 (just looked it up, weird because I paid the exact same a year ago).

    All this said, almost all of your graphics cards these days- especially the ones that provide just slightly more than the minimum business required level of performance- support dual output from a single card. My 560Ti runs dual monitors with no problem, and so will something as lowly as a GeForce GT220. If you just want three monitors for office work, grab two cheapo cards with dual outputs (DVI + VGA + HDMI is most common, with 2 functioning at a time) and plug them both in. You'd be done for about $50-60 total, and not have some weird 4 core configuration that might have proprietary drivers and all sorts of other problems. A cheap $20-30 GF210 would do fine. I see cards for free after rebate (and only $30 out of pocket to start with) all the time at Fry's.

    If you want to game and are ok with just using one monitor while blowing someone's head off, pick up the best $200-300 gaming card you can justify dropping a load of cash on, then grab one cheapo card and run your side monitors with it. That's what I do- you get economical desktop real estate with gaming/CAD power on your center monitor. I'm running a widescreen 24" 1920x1200 IPS screen in the center with my old 20" IPS 1600x1200 screen on the side- and I'm looking for an identical 20" to go on the other side. The main screen is powered by the 560Ti, and the sub screen(s) by an older GeForce 8600GT.

    So what exactly do you want to tri-monitor setup for? ;)
     
  3. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    I am going with the tri-monitor setup just for more real estate
    i'll be honest and admit that i will most likely never game on this setup, i just don't have the time, and if i do find that much extra time i just bring in my xbox with hdmi to dvi converter.

    my boss just got his new 23's, so i have a spare 17" and 2 15's
    one needs to go on my server, and the other can be my left side monitor for things like our rolodex program or simple word/excel shit

    you mentioned gaming/CAD
    by that are you refering to computer aided design?
    i know our tax software is a little intensive but i dont think it needs much in the way of graphics
    maybe i should check into that before i make any decisions.

    i think i will go for another cheap single card, as long as i can get it to play nicely with my dell optiplex 360 setup i have going on now. the dell machine came factory with support for dual monitors, so i just assumed i needed to step it up to a different card.
    did not know you can add multiples
     
  4. GSRCRXsi

    GSRCRXsi Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    if you arent trying to game on all three (but still game with one) you can use a gaming card, then a separate card for the other 2.

    if you want to game on all three. a high end dual GPU card in nvidia flavor (GTX590, 690, etc) will be required, or an SLI setup. single gpu nvidia cards do not support the use of more than 2 monitors per card, even if it has 3 ports. or use an ATI/AMD card rated for eyefinity, then you can use one card with 3 ports for 3 monitors.

    for no gaming, id recommend 2 lower end nvidia cards(dont have to be sli), or a single lower end ATI/AMD card that will support 3 monitors.
     
  5. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Yeah, by CAD I mean computer aided design- Solidworks, Pro/E etc.

    Definitely just go for two lower end cards with dual outputs- no reason to blow all the money on a non-reference design quad core card.
     
  6. dc4dude

    dc4dude Member

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    wow... now i know how customers feel when i try to explain their car woes.... i have no idea what you guys are going on about... lol
     
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