Six monitors and video card question

gisarme

n00b
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
2
Looking to finish buying the parts for my new build and I have some questions about it that I can’t seem to find the answer to. Your thoughts and perspective would be appreciated.


My current setup runs 6 monitors – all are 24 inch at 1080 P resolution. It runs using two EVGA GTX 650 video cards – 3 monitors per video card. When I game, I use only one of the monitors for gaming (while the other 5 have other apps open – such as browser windows, etc).

My setup has run perfectly with no issues for seven years, although its time for a new computer.


I have a new build I have almost finished buying the parts for – centered around the Ryzen 5900X. The only major component missing is the new video card(s).


I am willing to go up to the cost of a RTX 3080, or RX 6800 XT for this build.


My questions are:

1: If I buy the RTX 3080, can I run it alongside one of my GTX 650’s to run my 6 monitors? Or will there be driver problems because I have two video cards in there from very different generations – even though they are both NVIDIA cards? Or do I need two of the exact same video card? I don’t want to have to buy two RTX 3080’s to run my 6 monitor setup as the cost would be too high.

Same question if I buy the RX 6800 XT. Would I have to buy two RX 6800 XT’s to run 6 monitors, or could I buy just one of them, and then buy a lower end $100 Radeon card to run the rest of the monitors?


2: If I buy the RX 6800 XT, can I run it alongside one of my GTX 650’s to run my 6 monitors? Or would there be driver/compatibility/stability/performance issues running one Radeon Card, and one NVIDIA card in my system at the same time? In other words can the two cards co-exist successfully/harmoniously? Or better to go with both video cards being from AMD or NVIDIA?


3: If I buy the RX 6800XT, can the AMD software run my 6 monitors as well as the NVIDIA software has run my current setup?


I do have a slight preference to stay with NVIDIA, as I have had no driver issues with them with my 6 monitor display. It has all run perfectly for seven years.

But I am considering going the RADEON 6800 XT card because it is good value paired up with my Ryzen 5900X, and I might be able to get one on launch day. As opposed to potentially having to wait months for a RTX 3080. Although I am concerned about how to get my 6 monitor setup going if I go the Radeon route.


Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,375
I'm sorry man, - did you just have a massive change-up in your desired gaming GPU performance? Because living with a GTX 650 card for 8 years does not sound like you're the kind of demanding gamer who spends > $500 on a video card.

Why do you suddenly feel the need to follow all these idiots, and try to find the "not going to be back in stock until March" pearl?
 

lopoetve

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
30,430
I'm with Whateverer - that seems weird. But...
1. Yes. Just make sure the 3080 is in the top slot.
2. NO. NO NO NO. Not sanely. Not safely. Not... yeah no. In theory this should work. In reality, bad juju.
3. Sure, but you'll probably need two of them.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,375
I'm with Whateverer - that seems weird. But...
1. Yes. Just make sure the 3080 is in the top slot.
2. NO. NO NO NO. Not sanely. Not safely. Not... yeah no. In theory this should work. In reality, bad juju.
3. Sure, but you'll probably need two of them.

Technically, you can run 6 displays off a single AMD video card.

But finding a video card with those 6 outputs is hard (and higher-bandwidth MST adapters can get expensive).

This one is about as cheap as they come, and should be fine for 1080p 60hz x2
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-2-...03W6NB6H6J3&psc=1&refRID=M1FMJX9TM03W6NB6H6J3

If you are not gaming much, just pick-up a Rx 5500 with 4 display outputs, and just pick up two of those adapters I linked.

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Overclocked-DisplayPort-Graphics-DUAL-RX5500XT-O8G-EVO/dp/B082G4J2WG

It will be several times faster than your GTX 650.
 
Last edited:

BinarySynapse

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
14,978
You could replace 4 of those 24” 1080p screens with one 48” 4K screen. Then you could just get one card and drive the 48” and the two remaining 24s from it.

(I’m assuming you’re running a 3x2 arrangement)
 

gisarme

n00b
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you guys so much for the quick replies!

And yes, I am running a 3x2 arrangement. 3 monitors at eye level and the other 3 right on top of them.

Right, I don't have to buy the RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT for my current 1080P gaming resolution. I could easily go for a cheaper card such as the RX 5500 or RTX 2060. Though, if I bought a top tier video card to go along with the 5900x, I won't have to worry about any upgrades for the next five years. Or if I bought a 4k gaming monitor, then I wouldn't have to worry about it.

Ok, so if its a big No No having one video card from Nvidia and one from AMD in my system at the same time, then I will stick to both cards being from Nvidia or AMD.

lopoetve said that its okay having your top tier Nvidia card in the top slot (say a RTX 3080), and having another lower end Nvidia card in the secondary slot. In such a configuration, it would not have any problems? Just wanted to make sure I was reading correctly.

Would it be the same situation for AMD? You can have a top tier AMD card - say the RX 6800 XT in the top slot, and have a lower end AMD card in the secondary slot. I would assume that this configuration can work too? I don't mind buying a cheap $100-150 secondary video card to power some of the monitors, rather than having one card doing all the work. I just wanted to make sure that AMD can run a 3x2 arrangement for my monitors, and that I didn't need two identical cards from the same company (AMD or NVIDIA) to make this setup work. Because buying two top tier cards is too much and waste of money. But buying one top tier card and one cheaper card is doable.

I wanted to keep my options open between Nvidia and AMD. Its kinda hard to know which card I will be able to find first.

Thank you.
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 4, 2007
Messages
7,600
I kind of agree with replacing some monitors with a 4k TV. Black Friday sales are going on now, you can get one pretty cheap. I think 43" is good size for on a desk, but 48 is technically the same screen area as 4 24 inch monitors, and if you have 6 of them, you can definitely fit the TV. Your single screen gaming will obviously be a better experience due to the size, and being 4k. A 3080 or 6800xt is overkill for 1080p gaming unless it's high refresh rate (even then), but I suspect your monitors are 60hz.
 

jfreund

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Sep 3, 2006
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I don't know about other manufacturers, but LG has software that divides their monitors into "virtual" screens, so you could have 4 applications snapped to 4 1080P sections of a 4K screen.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,834
You should be able to keep one of your GTX 650 cards in to power some of the extra monitors. That probably wouldn't cause you much grief.

When I first got my 2080 RTX, I kept a GTX 680 in as a secondary card. I only run 3 monitors but the idea was to run the center gaming monitor from the 2080 and use the 680 for the side monitors so that nothing on either side monitor would ever be using any of the GPU power from the 2080. I eventually removed the 680 and now run all 3 from the 2080 as it really didn't seem to make much difference.

Using two cards that use the same driver is very helpful. Even mixing brands should still work but you are almost guaranteed to experience quirks. The GTX 650 is a Kepler card, and Kepler is the oldest GPU architecture to still use the current NVIDIA driver. The generation prior to that was Fermi, which got it's last driver update back in mid 2018. So keeping a GTX 650 in there along side a 3080 should not cause any issues because they would both be using the same current nvidia driver. At some point in the potentially near future we are likely to see support for older cards get cut off. Just like they stopped supporting Fermi and earlier in 2018, Kepler will stop being supported eventually also, at which point both cards wouldn't use the same driver anymore. Until then you should be good to go. I hope Kepler is supported for a few more years because my backup computer is still using 3x GTX 680.
 

somebrains

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I don't know about other manufacturers, but LG has software that divides their monitors into "virtual" screens, so you could have 4 applications snapped to 4 1080P sections of a 4K screen.
I just used win10 native windowing on my old 4k tv.
Worked fine for 1080p admin/document use.

34" ultra wide is my preferred productivity display.
Figure I get 2 full size windows and a IDE/terminal in the center.

Sideways 27" 1440p monitor for focused in builds.
 
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