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  1. #1

    Standalone GPU for 3 monitors?

    Hey everyone, first I would like to say if this is a stupid question to you, I am sorry. I did search but when I started reading about GPU's to support 3 monitors on their own I started getting into a ton of information that I don't understand.

    Right now I am only looking to run one GPU because my ASUS server board only has one pci-e x 16 slot. I don't game but I do use three monitors for work so I was wondering what you guys would reccomend for this situation.

    I am looking for something that I could upgrade to a dual setup in the future if I do start to play some games, but as of right now I don't play anything other than Spider solitaire on my computer.

    I really don't know anything about GPU's as I am not a gamer so I figured instead of making an expensive mistake I would ask the pro's.
    I was looking into the gtx 295 co-op I believe which said it has 2 avi outs and one HDMI out but I wasn't sure if this would work or not.

    If you guys have any suggestions please let share away because I am lost. If there is a cheaper GPU than the 295 that will support 3 monitors that would be great.

    I have only one REQUIREMENT, it is that there is a waterblock made for that card. My box is fully water cooled and I don't want anything I have to air cool. I went though the ordeal once of ordering a 9800gtx+ only to find out that EK does not make a block for that card, only the 9800gtx which I am currently running.
    This is not a requirement because it is doubtfull but I would like the card to be SLI upgradeable if I do ever add a new MOBO that can handle two GPU's


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    checkeredhat09's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that you need to slide on over to the ATI forum. AFAIK there is no nvidia card currently that supports 3 monitors. To run three monitors you need SLI.

    I know for a fact there is at least one ATI card that can do like up to six screens or something.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by checkeredhat09 View Post
    I'm thinking that you need to slide on over to the ATI forum. AFAIK there is no nvidia card currently that supports 3 monitors. To run three monitors you need SLI.

    I know for a fact there is at least one ATI card that can do like up to six screens or something.
    He is correct. The ATI Eyefinity card can run up to 6 monitors at once. I thought about it, but I've had bad luck with ATi and their drivers, so I stuck with Nvidia.

  4. #4
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    thideras's Avatar
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    You don't need SLi to run three monitors, but you would need two cards. They wouldn't even have to match.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thideras View Post
    You don't need SLi to run three monitors, but you would need two cards. They wouldn't even have to match.
    I think that depends on whether he wants surround gaming or just to have 3 monitors to multi-task. To enable this, I have to run my cards in SLI.

  6. #6
    Member pwnmachine's Avatar
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    The only way this is possible for gaming is eyefinity, the max you could do is 2 displays with an Nvidia card.

    EDIT: apparently according to this it is possible on a 295 however you can't run the monitors @ 120hz, also this is only available on the pcb with the 2dvi and 1 hdmi connector. Check here.
    Last edited by pwnmachine; 11-24-10 at 01:48 PM.
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  7. #7
    I don't game at all, I might in the future but it is doubtful.

    I can't get another GPU because my board only has one pci e x16 slot, so I need a card that can run all three at the same time.
    And I am 100 percent positive I have seen a system on this board with an Invidia 295gtx co op running 3 monitors.

    I just wasnt sure if there were other options

  8. #8
    Senior Member Knufire's Avatar
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    Any ATI 5xxx or 6xxx card can run three monitors. NVIDIA can't, but workstation cards might be a different story.
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  9. #9
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    I was in the same boat you were 1-2 years ago. For what you want/need pick yourself up a ATI 5870

    Newegg has Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express Video Card w/ Eyefinity for $280 - $35 with code VGA112235 - $30 rebate = $215 with free shipping. Next lowest on Google Products is $270 after rebate (Amazon).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102883

    you will also need an active display port adapter
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackintosh View Post
    Hey everyone, first I would like to say if this is a stupid question to you, I am sorry. I did search but when I started reading about GPU's to support 3 monitors on their own I started getting into a ton of information that I don't understand.

    Right now I am only looking to run one GPU because my ASUS server board only has one pci-e x 16 slot. I don't game but I do use three monitors for work so I was wondering what you guys would reccomend for this situation.

    I am looking for something that I could upgrade to a dual setup in the future if I do start to play some games, but as of right now I don't play anything other than Spider solitaire on my computer.

    I really don't know anything about GPU's as I am not a gamer so I figured instead of making an expensive mistake I would ask the pro's.
    I was looking into the gtx 295 co-op I believe which said it has 2 avi outs and one HDMI out but I wasn't sure if this would work or not.

    If you guys have any suggestions please let share away because I am lost. If there is a cheaper GPU than the 295 that will support 3 monitors that would be great.

    I have only one REQUIREMENT, it is that there is a waterblock made for that card. My box is fully water cooled and I don't want anything I have to air cool. I went though the ordeal once of ordering a 9800gtx+ only to find out that EK does not make a block for that card, only the 9800gtx which I am currently running.
    This is not a requirement because it is doubtfull but I would like the card to be SLI upgradeable if I do ever add a new MOBO that can handle two GPU's


    Thanks in advance
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  10. #10
    Member RADIO_ACTIVE's Avatar
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    You can possibly look into this: TripleHead2Go
    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/
    This allows you to add 3 monitors to your existing desktop/laptop/etc. making a total of 4 monitors. They also have a dual version that allows you to add 2 monitors to desktop/laptop/etc giving you a total of three monitors. Plus you won't have to mess with your loop and it may be cheaper than buying a GPU, Video Adapter and water block.
    Last edited by RADIO_ACTIVE; 11-24-10 at 04:41 PM.
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  11. #11
    Thanks Radio I might actually look into that.
    Going to search for some reviews. I really like the idea of not having to order a new waterblock and all the other bs I would have to deal with

  12. #12
    GTX 460, 470, 480, 580 all have 2xDVI + 1xHDMI.

    you cant use all three to drive 3 monitors?
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gsrcrxsi View Post
    GTX 460, 470, 480, 580 all have 2xDVI + 1xHDMI.

    you cant use all three to drive 3 monitors?

    I know there is someone on xtreme, and I think here also who has a 295gtx and he is running all three of his monitors off of his one card and I am pretty sure that is an Invidia card. He has pictures of his system and there is no other card and he has images of his 3 monitors working together, so I am not really sure why everyone says Invidia cards can't run 3.

    I have been looking for a day now trying to find that pic again but it was in one of the forums under the show off your box threads.

  14. #14
    Member pwnmachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackintosh View Post
    I know there is someone on xtreme, and I think here also who has a 295gtx and he is running all three of his monitors off of his one card and I am pretty sure that is an Invidia card. He has pictures of his system and there is no other card and he has images of his 3 monitors working together, so I am not really sure why everyone says Invidia cards can't run 3.

    I have been looking for a day now trying to find that pic again but it was in one of the forums under the show off your box threads.

    Check here.

    There is only a certain type of 295 that can do it, it is the one with the 2dvi and 1hdmi ports.
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  15. #15
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    I tested a 3 monitor setup on a Nvidia 9800 GX2 (EVGA) and it worked for all 3 monitors.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by pwnmachine View Post
    Check here.

    There is only a certain type of 295 that can do it, it is the one with the 2dvi and 1hdmi ports.
    yea but what about the fermi cards that have 2xDVI +1xHDMI?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsrcrxsi View Post
    yea but what about the fermi cards that have 2xDVI +1xHDMI?
    I've got 2 GTX 460s in my system right now. I'm going to be working on the overclock and putting the SLI bridge on it later today. I'll test it out by pulling out one of the cards before putting the SLI bridge on it and let you know if it works.
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    my money is on the yes for 2 dvi + 1 hdmi for 3 monitors for the fermi cards

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by djscrew View Post
    my money is on the yes for 2 dvi + 1 hdmi for 3 monitors for the fermi cards
    Nope.

    1 GTX 460 will power 2 monitors, 1 hdmi + 1 DVI or 2 DVI.

    Even in the Nvidia control panel it says that it will only power 2 monitors.

    The 9800 GX2 and the GTX 295 will power 3 because they have 2 GPUs on board.

    So it looks like Nvidia cards can only power 2 monitors per physical GPU, regardless of the connectors.

    For the OP: A 9800 GX2 would probably be the cheapest option if you can find one. GTX 295 with 3 physical connectors should work, but the dual PCB one will definately work if it has 1 HDMI and 2 DVI connectors on it.
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  20. #20
    Aw that's lame. 2 in SLI would be fine for 3 monitors though right?
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