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Old 04-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for general multimonitor answers

Here's the deal. I've never dealt with multimonitor setups, and thus don't know much about it at all. I may add more questions as this thread progresses, but one main question is how the monitors are connected. All the cards I've seen thus far have one VGA port and one DVI port. Is there an additional piece of hardware needed to connect more than one of each? Are there cards with more than 2 ports, and more than one if each? I'd ultimately like to extend my desktop across 3 monitors, utlilizing the 19" as the main monitor in the center, and 2 17" monitors on both sides. All monitors have both VGA and DVI ports. My main uses for this setup will be for Flight Simming and audio recording. The card I'm looking at is the Nvidia GeForce 7200GS ( 256 MB's of RAM, and again - only 2 ports...one VGA and one DVI). My system is running Windows XP SP2, with a 2.4 GHZ processor and 4 GB's of system RAM. Am I headed in the wrong direction here?

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for general multimonitor answers

Alright lets see if we can work thru this.

Most video cards now only have 2 ports. Most cards now also come with 2 DVI or even HDMI ports now. My 8600GT and my 8800GTS both have DVI for both. My 6800 had a DVI and VGA.

There is hardware out there that will allow you to attach more than 2 monitors. If you want more than those 2 ports you would need a system with either SLi or Crossfire capabilities.

You may be able to use something like this:

Newegg.com - StarTech 1 ft. LFH 59 Male to Dual Female VGA DMS 59 Cable Model DMSVGAVGA1 - Cables

To hook up the 3rd monitor. You may stress the card a bit. Since they are not designed to force run 3 monitors. you might have to run the flight sim games at a bit lower settings.

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Old 04-07-2009, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for general multimonitor answers

Interesting. Actually, after posting, I had the idea of cables and found similar items to that, but I wasn't sure if I hooked up two monitors through that, if the card (and subsequently the system video properties) would be able to differentiate between the two monitors and be able to identify them as 1 and 2, rather than just both monitors receiving the same signal. Then I read up on quad cards and the like ( again - all new to me). Two would actually be adequate for the time being. Just want to make sure that if I plug one monitor into the DVI port and one into the VGA port, I can use it for that purpose - in other words, using the VGA bus doesn't cancel out the DVI bus, and the card will see 2 monitors.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for general multimonitor answers

Fior an easy 3rd screenn use this:
EVGA | Products
Foldie = i7 950@ 4.0Ghz Gigabyte x58a-ud3r EVGA 970 SC Corsair H100 Corsair hx520 3x2gb OCZ Gold Corsair 650D
Woohoo = L5639 @3.1Ghz EVGA SR-2 gtx 260-216 Hyper 212+ Corsair 1050hx 6x2gb Corsair XMS3 Blackhawk Ulra
Alienware 18 - SLI 770M 4700mq 16Gig

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Old 04-08-2009, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for general multimonitor answers

Once you have the hardware, do yourself a favour and splash out for UltraMon. This will make your work with multiple monitor much MUCH more pleasant. There is a full-feature trial version available, and at 39.95US$ it is a steal.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for general multimonitor answers

Much thanks, all. I went ahead and ordered the aforementioned card. It shows up on my doorstep tomorrow, but the wife's got some kind of surprise planned for me during the day, and we're off to catch an Indigo Girls show at night with a bunch of friends. It'd be mighty rude of me to get all involved with any such project tomorrow, so it's gonna hafta wait till Saturday most likely ( h3ll hath no fury like a woman scorned...). If and when I decide to go with 3, that EVGA usb contraption seems like a great idea, Patonb. I do wonder, however it'll work with existing specialized display software like Nvidia has. Ditto for UltraMon, Snowsurfer. Though with a full-feature trial, I'd be an idiot to not give it a whirl. I still wonder at the ability for a vidcard to be able to differentiate the monitors connected via a splitter cable, but at an average of $10 - $15 cable price, I don't mind experimenting. This is, after all, how I learned everything I know, and it was good enough to enable me to make my living doing hardware fixes. It's the expensive stuff that scares me away right now! I'll report back for anyone who's curious.

Thanks again,

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