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Old 04-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Triple Monitor Question

Hey everyone!

So I recently got a new 42" LED TV and wanted to hook it up to my computer so that I could watch movies and what not on it. However, at the moment I realize I can only use 2 of the 3 ports on the HD5870 I currently have in my build. I do however have a 2nd HD5870 that I am planning on putting into a crossfire set-up. If I put them into a crossfire set-up would that allow me to have triple monitors? If not what would be my best bet to be able to use 3 or possibly 4 monitors in the future. My hope would be that I could run two monitors off of each card but I am not sure if that will work with them in crossfire.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I also have one more question/problem I have run into. I currently have a set-up with two speakers for playing games listening to music and what not through the normal speaker jack in the back of my computer. However I would like to have the sound of the movies playing on the 42" TV (Which is hooked up via the HDMI output) to play through the TV speakers not my separate computer speakers. I can't seem to get it figured out how to accomplish that if it is even possible. I hope I explained that in the correct way. If you need a better explanation please let me know.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

You can't use your 2 DVI, and HDMI?
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
You can't use your 2 DVI, and HDMI?
From what I have read apparently the card will not support all three inputs at the same time. That is why I was wondering about if when I add the second HD5870 in crossfire if I'd be able to hypothetically run 4 monitors. The sound is going to be a bit of a pain to figure out I believe. I can't have anything other than the HDMI audio wise plugged in for it to play via my TV. Hopefully someone will have had a similar set-up or something.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

If you put two 5870's in CrossFire you may only use one card's monitor outputs. If you disable CrossFire you may use both cards' outputs but you will not get enhanced game performance and you cannot build Eyefinity groups off of monitors from different cards.

However, the 5870 is capable of 3 outputs minimum but only 2 DVI/HDMI/VGA. The third MUST be DisplayPort. If you do not have any monitors that use DisplayPort, you can use an ACTIVE DisplayPort to DVI/HDMI/VGA adapter. That is how I'm running 3 DVI Dell ST2210's on my 5870. I have one regular 5870 and one Eyefinity 6 Edition. On the Eyefinity 6 Edition there are 6 Mini DisplayPorts. The same rules apply though, only 2 DVI/HDMI monitors allowed (using PASSIVE DVI/HDMI to DisplayPort adapters). However, with this card, up to 4 additional monitors may be connected provided they all use DisplayPort connections (or ACTIVE adapters). In this fashion, I have 2 Dell ST2210's hooked up with passive adapters, 1 Dell ST2210 hooked up with a DVI active adapter, and my Toshiba HP4266 plasma hooked up with a VGA active adapter.

To review:
Normal 5870 - Up to 3 monitors, 1 must use DisplayPort/Active Adapter
Eyefinity 6 5870 - Up to 6 monitors, 4 must use DisplayPort/Active Adapter

The HDMI port on the normal 5870 may be used to provide audio, but if you're using it then one of the DVI ports must not be used (1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort or 2 DVI 1 DisplayPort, you cannot do 2 DVI and 1 HDMI at the same time).

On the Eyefinity 6 5870, a passive HDMI adapter on any of the 6 ports will provide audio, but again only 2 non-DisplayPort signals may be used (1 passive HDMI, 1 passive DVI, 4 DisplayPort or 2 passive HDMI, 4 DisplayPort or 2 passive DVI, 4 DisplayPort or 1 passive HDMI/DVI and 5 DisplayPort)
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
If you put two 5870's in CrossFire you may only use one card's monitor outputs. If you disable CrossFire you may use both cards' outputs but you will not get enhanced game performance and you cannot build Eyefinity groups off of monitors from different cards.

However, the 5870 is capable of 3 outputs minimum but only 2 DVI/HDMI/VGA. The third MUST be DisplayPort. If you do not have any monitors that use DisplayPort, you can use an ACTIVE DisplayPort to DVI/HDMI/VGA adapter. That is how I'm running 3 DVI Dell ST2210's on my 5870. I have one regular 5870 and one Eyefinity 6 Edition. On the Eyefinity 6 Edition there are 6 Mini DisplayPorts. The same rules apply though, only 2 DVI/HDMI monitors allowed (using PASSIVE DVI/HDMI to DisplayPort adapters). However, with this card, up to 4 additional monitors may be connected provided they all use DisplayPort connections (or ACTIVE adapters). In this fashion, I have 2 Dell ST2210's hooked up with passive adapters, 1 Dell ST2210 hooked up with a DVI active adapter, and my Toshiba HP4266 plasma hooked up with a VGA active adapter.

To review:
Normal 5870 - Up to 3 monitors, 1 must use DisplayPort/Active Adapter
Eyefinity 6 5870 - Up to 6 monitors, 4 must use DisplayPort/Active Adapter

The HDMI port on the normal 5870 may be used to provide audio, but if you're using it then one of the DVI ports must not be used (1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort or 2 DVI 1 DisplayPort, you cannot do 2 DVI and 1 HDMI at the same time).

On the Eyefinity 6 5870, a passive HDMI adapter on any of the 6 ports will provide audio, but again only 2 non-DisplayPort signals may be used (1 passive HDMI, 1 passive DVI, 4 DisplayPort or 2 passive HDMI, 4 DisplayPort or 2 passive DVI, 4 DisplayPort or 1 passive HDMI/DVI and 5 DisplayPort)
Thanks a lot!

That helps me quite a bit. I will have to get an adapter because neither of my two monitors have a display port input nor does my TV. However I do not have the Eyefinity 6 Edition like you do. I have this model which only has the one display port I believe. I think what I'd ultimately like to do is go with a 4 monitor display with 3 of them being computer monitors and the 4th being my TV. However, it looks as though I will only be able to use the 3. I doubt it but is there a display port splitter that would allow for me to use 2 monitors via the one display port hook-up?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

Just doing a quick search on Newegg I found a splitter but I'm not sure if it will work properly or not.

Newegg.com - Tripp Lite 1 ft. Displayport to Displayport Splitter, Male to 2 x Female Model P584-001-D2D

I also found another that I assume would probably work but is much more pricey...

Newegg.com - Accell K087B-005B DisplayPort to DVI Multi-Monitor Adapter

I guess basically would either of those be able to do what I am asking? If not is there any product I could use to accomplish basically splitting the Display Port so that I can use more than just the one input on the video card itself.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

You want to hook up 3 monitors and a TV right? Most likely if you're using the monitors you won't be using the TV and if you're using the TV you won't need all 3 monitors. You can physically connect all 4 outputs at the same time, but you may only enable up to 2 DVI/HDMI at a time and the DisplayPort. This means that if you hook up two of your monitors using DVI cables and the third using an active DP-DVI adapter, you can still run HDMI to the TV. However, you need to set up profiles so that you can switch between your monitors and your TV. This is how I had mine set up before I got my x6 card (actually I had 1 DVI monitor, 1 HDMI monitor for audio, 1 active DP-DVI monitor, and the TV connected using a DVI-VGA adapter to the second DVI port, I could use either my 3 monitor setup or my TV but not both at the same time).

I wouldn't recommend a monitor splitter, they aren't very reliable and won't work the way you would want them to. The Tripp Lite one you showed will not allow you to add another display, it merely outputs one signal to two monitors (they'll show the same picture) and both must support DisplayPort anyways forcing you to buy 2 active adapters to use with it. The second will allow you to connect 3 DVI monitors to one DisplayPort. It will probably treat all 3 monitors as one wide monitor (having 3 set next to each other). It said the maximum resolution is 1280x1024, so if you're using newer or widescreen monitors you won't get a good picture, plus you will never be able to use the monitors independently. Plus at that price you might as well just buy an Eyefinity x6 card, I paid $230 for mine last week though I think they sold out.

To use the DisplayPort you will need an ACTIVE adapter. I have both the Sapphire VGA and DVI models and both work very well. Newegg doesn't have the Sapphire VGA one but either of these should work depending on if you need DVI or VGA outputs.

Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE Active DisplayPort Adapter 100924 DisplayPort to DVI Interface
Newegg.com - BYTECC DP-VGA005MF DisplayPort to VGA Female Cable Adaptor 0.5ft (6") w/IC

If you don't plan on doing any intense gaming on your TV (just using it for video streaming, web browsing, basic gaming) you could just stick a second cheap video card in to run it (Radeon HD 5450, 56xx, or 57xx would work well). This would allow you to run all 4 monitors at the same time but the graphics performance on the TV would be limited to whatever second video card you get, the 5870 only renders for the monitors connected to it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
You want to hook up 3 monitors and a TV right? Most likely if you're using the monitors you won't be using the TV and if you're using the TV you won't need all 3 monitors. You can physically connect all 4 outputs at the same time, but you may only enable up to 2 DVI/HDMI at a time and the DisplayPort. This means that if you hook up two of your monitors using DVI cables and the third using an active DP-DVI adapter, you can still run HDMI to the TV. However, you need to set up profiles so that you can switch between your monitors and your TV. This is how I had mine set up before I got my x6 card (actually I had 1 DVI monitor, 1 HDMI monitor for audio, 1 active DP-DVI monitor, and the TV connected using a DVI-VGA adapter to the second DVI port, I could use either my 3 monitor setup or my TV but not both at the same time).

I wouldn't recommend a monitor splitter, they aren't very reliable and won't work the way you would want them to. The Tripp Lite one you showed will not allow you to add another display, it merely outputs one signal to two monitors (they'll show the same picture) and both must support DisplayPort anyways forcing you to buy 2 active adapters to use with it. The second will allow you to connect 3 DVI monitors to one DisplayPort. It will probably treat all 3 monitors as one wide monitor (having 3 set next to each other). It said the maximum resolution is 1280x1024, so if you're using newer or widescreen monitors you won't get a good picture, plus you will never be able to use the monitors independently. Plus at that price you might as well just buy an Eyefinity x6 card, I paid $230 for mine last week though I think they sold out.

To use the DisplayPort you will need an ACTIVE adapter. I have both the Sapphire VGA and DVI models and both work very well. Newegg doesn't have the Sapphire VGA one but either of these should work depending on if you need DVI or VGA outputs.

Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE Active DisplayPort Adapter 100924 DisplayPort to DVI Interface
Newegg.com - BYTECC DP-VGA005MF DisplayPort to VGA Female Cable Adaptor 0.5ft (6") w/IC

If you don't plan on doing any intense gaming on your TV (just using it for video streaming, web browsing, basic gaming) you could just stick a second cheap video card in to run it (Radeon HD 5450, 56xx, or 57xx would work well). This would allow you to run all 4 monitors at the same time but the graphics performance on the TV would be limited to whatever second video card you get, the 5870 only renders for the monitors connected to it.
Thanks again especially for the detailed explanation.

I won't need 3 monitors when I am using the TV so that will work out fine now that you laid it out that way. So making the profiles and getting the active display port adapter seems like my best bet for the time being. I will look into getting an Eyefinity card for my new build which I am putting together tomorrow. Since it will have newer components and what not.

I just want to get this straight though in regards to the Eyefinity x6. If I were to get that would I hypothetically be able to run 9 monitors? Three of them off of my HD5870 or for my new set-up HD6970. Or am I understanding that incorrectly.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Triple Monitor Question

The regular 5870 can run 3 monitors, the Eyefinity x6 edition can run 6. If you have both in one PC you can run 9 monitors, but if you want to use CrossFireX (which uses both GPU's together to render one scene) you can only use the monitors attached to the primary card (whatever is in the PCIe #1 slot or configured in BIOS). This means you can put your 3/6 gaming Eyefinity monitors on the primary and your TV/non-gaming monitors on your secondary. When you game, switch on CFX and enjoy maximum performance on your gaming monitors, when you're not, switch off CFX and get all monitors enabled at once.

Note that the 5xxx and 6xxx cards do not CrossFire together. To use CrossFireX you must have two cards of the same series (58xx, 68xx, 69xx, etc). You can CrossFire a regular and Eyefinity x6 edition and cards from different brands as long as they have the same series chipset.

The 6xxx cards are different (replace the HDMI port with a second DisplayPort, but both DisplayPorts are the mini size I think). You may be able to run 4 monitors (2x DVI, 2x DP), I'm not sure, haven't looked into a 6xxx card because I invested too much into my 5xxx card, but with 2 5870's in CrossFireX it exceeds many of the higher end 6xxx cards.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
The regular 5870 can run 3 monitors, the Eyefinity x6 edition can run 6. If you have both in one PC you can run 9 monitors, but if you want to use CrossFireX (which uses both GPU's together to render one scene) you can only use the monitors attached to the primary card (whatever is in the PCIe #1 slot or configured in BIOS). This means you can put your 3/6 gaming Eyefinity monitors on the primary and your TV/non-gaming monitors on your secondary. When you game, switch on CFX and enjoy maximum performance on your gaming monitors, when you're not, switch off CFX and get all monitors enabled at once.

Note that the 5xxx and 6xxx cards do not CrossFire together. To use CrossFireX you must have two cards of the same series (58xx, 68xx, 69xx, etc). You can CrossFire a regular and Eyefinity x6 edition and cards from different brands as long as they have the same series chipset.

The 6xxx cards are different (replace the HDMI port with a second DisplayPort, but both DisplayPorts are the mini size I think). You may be able to run 4 monitors (2x DVI, 2x DP), I'm not sure, haven't looked into a 6xxx card because I invested too much into my 5xxx card, but with 2 5870's in CrossFireX it exceeds many of the higher end 6xxx cards.
Thanks for the explanation again. I have already purchased and have in-hand two HD6970s for my new build. I just took a look at their inputs and it has 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, 2 Mini-DP inputs. So I am assuming that means I can run 4 monitors which will be nice. When I was talking about getting an Eyefinity (if I decide I want that many monitors) than it would be used as a separate card more than likely. I guess I could put all three of the them (the HD5870s) into a crossfire set-up but I think it'd be nice to have the huge amount of extra monitor availability by making it separate while still keeping the performance of my two HD5870s which I currently have. I just have not installed the second one as of yet.

But yes I do know that you cannot CrossFire the 58xx w/ 68xx etc. My current set-up has one HD5870 installed but I have a second one in-hand that I have yet to install. I than also have two HD6970s which I am using in my new Sandy Bridge build to CrossFire together. Thus I know I couldn't crossfire the HD5870 Eyefinity x6 with the HD6970s. However, I could use it as a separate card to run more monitors correct?

EDIT: I am not sure if I am reading this wrong. I probably am however on the back of the box of the HD6970 it says "AMD Eyefinity Mutli-Display Technology (up to 6 displays)." That was written under the key features. I'm probably reading it wrong and more than likely can only use 4 monitors but who knows.
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