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Help! Graphics Card Upgrade - 3 Monitor setup

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by ArtificialFoxx, 27 Sep 2009.

  1. ArtificialFoxx


    Joined: 26 Oct 2008

    Posts: 141

    Hi, I'm looking to upgrade my 8800gt - generally I wouldn't have a problem deciding but I have a couple of complications:

    1) I currently have a 3 monitor setup where the 8800gt is connected to a single 23" monitor @ 2048x1152 and the other two 19" monitors are connected to a 7800gt.

    2) My motherboard only supports Crossfire. It has 3xPCI-e connectors (2 @ 16x, 1 @ 4x) ga-ep45-ds3p So if I go with ATI, in the future I could add another card in crossfire for a little more power

    Here are my options:

    1) Buy an ATI card (Giving the option of Crossfire in the future) - But I would be forced to buy a second, cheaper, ATI card for £44.99 (4650 w/dual dvi connectors) for the other monitors (both cards must use the same drivers)

    2) Buy an nvidia card - And use one of my current nvidia cards for the other monitors (No extra cost but I would have to replace the card in a future upgrade)

    I'm looking for good perfomance now and good future (1+ years) proofing/upgrade posiblities
    My budget is fairly free - I could go up to a gtx295 but I don't want to spend more than I need to. Generally I don't play newer games - but that is mainly because my 8800gt struggles with them however I would like to try out crysis and such.

    SO BASICALLY... Is it worth switching to ATI (stronger atm) for an extra £44.99 or just stick with nivida?

  2. Jimbo Mahoney


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,231

    ATI 5xxx series support 3 monitors on one card.
  3. Nick1881


    Joined: 4 Feb 2007

    Posts: 9,595

    Location: Nuneaton, UK

    With ATi don't you need Display Port monitors?
  4. ArtificialFoxx


    Joined: 26 Oct 2008

    Posts: 141

    I have read that 3 monitors on the 58xx Cards require that one monitor has a display port connector
  5. Zarf


    Joined: 11 Jul 2007

    Posts: 2,527

    you can buy displayport to dvi adaptors if you wanted to go the ATi 58** route.

    Alternatively, Windows7 allows you to use a mix of card manufacturers.
  6. ArtificialFoxx


    Joined: 26 Oct 2008

    Posts: 141

    Ah yes, I had read that it didn't work with an adaptor but looking at this thread now, it looks like It does work with a specific type! Also I will be upgrading to Windows 7 so actually I shouldn't have a problem anyway!

    Thanks for the input!
  7. MDPlatts

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,422

    Location: 2nd City - Manchester.

    it will work with non-DP monitors (e.g. 2 x DVI, 1 HDMI) - just in extended desktop and not eyefinity mode (i.e. large virtual 3d play-space) - is my understanding.
  8. ArtificialFoxx


    Joined: 26 Oct 2008

    Posts: 141

    Yeah, I've just been reading up on it and Windows 7's Heterogeneous Multi-Adaptor feature - I'll probably just use 2 monitors with a 58xx card until windows 7 comes out since my main monitor is a different resolution to the others.
  9. unknownsock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Mar 2009

    Posts: 1,691

    Location: Leeds, UK

    With a 58** card you can run with 3 monitors yes, with a little bit more compatibility.
    Although you will need 1 monitor out of the 3 to have a display port.

    DP > DVI adapters do not work. It requires a 'active' DP > DVI adapter which sell for approx $100, and dont currently sell in the UK to my knowledge.

    Edit: This is for eyefinity mode.
  10. LoadsaMoney


    Joined: 8 Jul 2003

    Posts: 29,590

    Location: In a house

    Don't think you can use the adapters at present, so can't be done that way, has to be straight displayport to displayport.