6 monitors, 1 of them for games. Options?

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Nov 19, 2019
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My current machine has 4 monitors on a GeForce GTX 960, and I use only one of them at a time for games, the other 3 for productivity.

I enjoy that setup but am thinking about upgrading to 6 monitors, still running games on only one of them at a time. As far as I figure, I have two main options:

A) Buy a second video card, and use it to drive 2 monitors, while my existing GTX 960 drives another 4. Probably use the new one as my gaming video card.

B) Buy a new video card with 6 video outputs, and use it to drive everything.

Since I don't really care about using more than one monitor at a time for games, I suppose that option A is the most efficient, right? That way my new "gaming" video card doesn't need to have 6 outputs and will probably be less expensive and/or more powerful.

Does such a two-card setup have any meaningful drawbacks? Or am I missing any third option?
 

IdiotInCharge

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Does such a two-card setup have any meaningful drawbacks?
The biggest is where you're going to put the old or new GPU. Do you have another x16 slot available in the system? Then, does it share bandwidth with the current slot? Will that bandwidth sharing be a problem?

Or am I missing any third option?
If you have onboard graphics, you can use that instead for non-gaming monitors.


Overall, while I get the appeal of using more monitors and I can see where that would be the best option, I would recommend looking for larger / higher resolution monitors instead.
 
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Nov 19, 2019
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Thanks! I actually forgot that onboard video was a real option.

For my motherboard, I'm currently looking at getting the ASRock X570 PHANTOM GAMING 4 , which says it has "2 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 Slots (PCIE1/PCIE3: single at x16 (PCIE1); dual at x16 (PCIE1) / x4 (PCIE3))". That looks like it would fit two GPUs fine, and it also has onboard video with dual output.

Using that onboard video to drive two of the non-gaming monitors might actually be a good idea, since it doesn't require me to get any new GPU immediately - and I can always upgrade later by adding a second dedicated GPU. I'll have to think about it.
 

defaultluser

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Thanks! I actually forgot that onboard video was a real option.

For my motherboard, I'm currently looking at getting the ASRock X570 PHANTOM GAMING 4 , which says it has "2 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 Slots (PCIE1/PCIE3: single at x16 (PCIE1); dual at x16 (PCIE1) / x4 (PCIE3))". That looks like it would fit two GPUs fine, and it also has onboard video with dual output.

Using that onboard video to drive two of the non-gaming monitors might actually be a good idea, since it doesn't require me to get any new GPU immediately - and I can always upgrade later by adding a second dedicated GPU. I'll have to think about it.
Just use care with using AMD onboard video. Unless you're going to use the 3400G or slower,the chips do not include onboard video.

Any chip with 6 cores or greater does not have onboard video, and I really can't see why you would buy such an expensive motherboard for an APU.

You should just buy another video card lilke you were talking about. A GTX 1660 Super would be an amazing value pickup, since it outperforms the RX 590, and is more than twice as fast as your GTX 960.
 

IdiotInCharge

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and I really can't see why you would buy such an expensive motherboard for an APU.
Now that AMD is using eight-cores as their base, we might see APUs with six and eight cores from them- but for now, four core APUs are obviously the max. If you want more cores with built-in graphics, you have to go Intel.
 

Master_Pain

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Just buy a cheap 2nd card, or buy a shiny good new one for games. You'll be fine. 2gb of vram per 4k monitor connected to a GPU for desktop work.
 
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