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Old 10-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need a PC with four monitors

Just wondering what I should look for in building a PC with four monitors. I won't be doing it right away, but I might in the near future, so I want to get a good idea of what I'll need.

I assume I'll want two video cards, since they usually come with two DVI connectors each.

I'll want semi-half-decent cards, since these machines will be running Micro$oft Vista. They won't be playing many games, but they might play some. However, gaming is definitely not the focus here, so that would be the first thing I'd sacrifice to cut costs.

My real question is, what type of motherboard should I look for? I assume I'll need one with two PCI Express x16 slots, but it seems that there is more too it than that. This motherboard, for example, has two PCI Express x16 slots, however, one of them only runs at x8 speeds? Would this be a good choice or would I rather have one that they both run at x16?

Also, that motherboard I linked supports crossfire, but not SLI. Could I use both ports with nVidia cards (not in SLI) to output to four monitors? Or would I need ATI?

Never really done the multiple monitor thing, so I really want to get some advice. Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

you only need two gfx cards for 4 monitors....gaming with 4 monitors is going to be very tricky though. Best just to use 1 when gaming
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

Well, this is more for a work environment. I'm going for four monitors to really help with multi-tasking... however, work gets tiring after a while... I think I'd like the option to play basic games, hehe.

But yeah, mostly for work. I'm thinking Quad-Core, 4-8 GB RAM, just need help deciding on a motherboard, or rather, what to look for in a motherboard. Is simply having two PCI Express x16 enough?
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

A borad with 2 x16 slots is all you need. I would look toward the P45 series as they are PCI-E 2.0 which is better than PCI-E 1.1....and also they deal with large memory amounts better than other chipsets as well.

In fact I think the P45 chipset is currently the only available desktop chipset that supports 4gb modules (eg: 2x4gb kits)
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

You could use either nVidia or ATI.. I personally have 3 "complete" sets of video cards for SLI and have used all of them in testing to run at least 4 monitors at once (Note that due to nVidia drivers not supporting multiple monitors in SLI, SLI was disabled for testing)..

Even my two lower-end XFX 7900GS 256MB OC cards ran all 4 monitors without much trouble.. Also ran two MSI 8800GT 512MB OC cards and 3 MSI GTX260 896MB OC cards.. The last configuration actually allows me to run 8 monitors (3 cards x 2 DVI ports on each = 6, then add in the two outputs from my 780a motherboard for a total of 8)..

BTW.. Monitors used are 3 Samsung 225BW 22" Widescreens + 1 Lilliput 7" Touchscreen..
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

you could go with 3 monitors. that way, there's a centre monitor for a crosshair.

If you do it with 4850's, they'll give you nice performance too.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

just thought id add, if you want high performance gaming, ull need sli/crossfire, currently on crossfire supports dual monitors and and sli only one for the time being. what im trying to say is you cant game over more then one monitor without haveing crossfire becuase just having dual cards isnt supportred by games. the mobo you mentioned has 8x on the second slot ONLY in crossfire mode, otherwise normally both cards can run at full 16x, even 2 nvidia cards so long as crossfire is disabled. your best bet is maybe to go crossfire IMO (4850's like apoko said)
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

Just running multiple monitors is not extremely taxing on the system.

Any card from last year or so will run four monitors for you in a work environment.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by baron5 View Post
you cant game over more then one monitor without haveing crossfire becuase just having dual cards isnt supportred by games.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Need a PC with four monitors

I recall there being an ATI card either in the 3000 or 4000 series range that had 4 DVI outputs...
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