Three monitor support for 2008 era quad core dell

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Ive got a 2008 era dell with a quad core cpu q6600 at 2.4ghz, with a 9600gt powering two monitors. One is 1680x1050 and one is 1900x1200. Of course this is starting to annoy me, and I wanted a third monitor. so I got another 1900x1200 monitor, and goal is to get a third one 1900x1200 and get rid of the oddball, So right now, current config is 3 monitors. One is 1680x1050, next to the two dell u2412m monitors.

I don't play many games, in fact it's been years. When i get all three 1900x1200 I might think about it though... lol. 9600gt was good enough for me in the past for gaming, of course it was only powering 1 monitor.


I will mainly use all three monitors for productivity reasons, but never had three monitors side by side... that might be awfully fun. :D

My current 9600gt will not power 3 monitors, and the built in video to the motherboard will not operate concurrently with the pci express 9600gt. The bios says "cannot support this video configuration, bla bla bla "

The short term solution is either a replacement for the 9600gt with display port and hdmi or dvi converters, or a crappy pci card video card in addition to the pciexpress card, which obviously won't be fast enough for anything other than 2d stuff.

Any suggestions on a video card or other solution that I haven't thought about?
 
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choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
yeah... im looking at specs for my old 9600gt with its 57.6 gb/sec bandwidth , so I figured with three x the monitors, it might be a good idea to shoot for 3x the bandwidth as a starting point. I realize there is a lot more factors to consider, but was thinking maybe the radeon 7850, as it has 153.6 gb/s bandwidth ...http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/7850/Pages/radeon-7850.aspx#3

Anyone got a used one for sale? :)
 
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choppedliver

Limp Gawd
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Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Quick question: Lets say I buy an older used video card today... say a radeon hd 48 or 58 series ( purely hypothetical at this poing ). If I build a new rig, with two PCI express slots ( or more ) , can I use my old 9600gt in conjuction with the old radeon for multiple monitor gaming, or will the game only display on the monitors hooked to one of the cards. I know windows doesn't care, but what about the games? I understand crossfire would be the smarter way to go about it, Im just trying to figure out what my options are since I never throw anything away or sell. I've got an entire room just full of computers/parts. lol.
 

Inches

Weaksauce
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Jan 4, 2013
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69
I'm not 100% sure, but whatever card you set as the primary will render the game and display it only on the monitor connected to that card. You'd probably would run into a world of headache with drivers too..
 

S[H]ady

Gawd
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
858
if you want to run a 3 monitor setup, get yourself a newer card that supports 3 displays together.
any radeon 5xxx, 6xxx or 7xxx will do the trick
nvidia gtx 660ti, 670 and 680 will also work, but likely way too much money to justify for your current setup unless you plan to upgrade your cpu in the nearish future and will bring the card along.
 

257Tony

Gawd
Joined
May 18, 2011
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723
Radeon HD5870 would be the absolute minimum I would even consider if you are trying to game on all 3. Used ones run around $100. Next up would be a Radeon 7870 at around $200 if you find the right deal, 7950 at ~$280, 7970 at ~$360.
 

Schro

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
7,891
To get acceptable performance on 3x 1920x1200 screens in gaming (for current gen games), you really need a pair of current generation cards running in crossfire/SLI. In order to get the 3 screens running, they must be the same resolution, which means you'd be buying a third U2412m.

Even if you picked up a pair of 5870s, your gaming performance won't be great - I'm in the 50-60fps range with BF3 multiplayer at 5400x1050 (or whatever is a notch down from 5760x1200) at medium level settings. Skyrim is not playble due to low vram. I could go on and on - if you want a good gaming experience on 3 screens, be prepared to spend cash.

It might do well to flip through the GPU article archive. Brent has done many reviews that would help you gauge 3d performance of various combinations in crossfire/surround/eyefinity/SLI.

Ninja edit: either way, you'll be CPU bound in many games with that CPU...
 

Toconator

Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
754
I'm not 100% sure, but whatever card you set as the primary will render the game and display it only on the monitor connected to that card. You'd probably would run into a world of headache with drivers too..

Definitely a headache. ATi and NV don't like to live together in the same box. I've seen cases where guys render with ATi/AMD and run a lesser NV card for PhysX but it requires hacks which can be inconsistent, not to mention driver updates breaking the hacks. I'd go ATi 58xx series or maybe 68xx series at most. Anything beyond that will probably be bottlenecked by the CPU. Speaking of the CPU see if you can overclock it a little to .Try changing the FSB to 1333, this will net you 3 GHz if it's avail in the BIOS of your mobo. Might require a tiny bit more voltage but it'll give you an added boost to tide you over til the next upgrade ;)
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
1,369
Do you have a timeline on when your PC will be replaced? If it is fairly soon (year or so) then you might want to wait until the next round of video cards come out. You will be CPU-bound with any big card, especially in Eyefinity/nVSurround 3x.

What power supply is in your Dell? That could also be a limiting factor.
 
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