Need a good video card with support for three monitors.
March 3, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Good video card option for three monitors (Windows 7)? I only have PCIe-16 and PCI. Right now I have a dual-head PCIe card and a single head PCI card, but that PCI card is a drain. I need a solid three-headed PCIe-16 card. I'd like to stay in the neighborhood of $300 or less.

I've looked at the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 420 and 450, but they're a bit more than I want to spend ($450-$500 each).

The machine is a beast (core i7, 8GB), but that SLOOOOOW third monitor is killing me. Help!
posted by mickmel to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might look at ATI's EyeFinity technology for multiple monitors. I've not witnessed it first-hand but it's supposed to be quite excellent.
posted by kbanas at 9:32 AM on March 3, 2010

The 5830 is your best bet .HAs the Ati Eyefinity stuff and can handle three monitors at once.

ITs also a great fast card that is also direct x 11 capable.

I have a 5770 which is a step below but has eye finity and direct x11 also and it rocks.

Since its direct x 11 its fully compatible with windows 7.

Newegg has them .

2 of them for $249 and one for $264
posted by majortom1981 at 9:40 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: @majortom1981 -- It doesn't seem to come with a DisplayPort --> DVI adaptor so I'd have to order one of those too, right?

Also, the machine only has a 350 watt power supply. Will that be an issue?
posted by mickmel at 9:56 AM on March 3, 2010

Is this a machine you put together or is it say a Dell? You might be stuck with the 5770 then .

The card does not come with a displayport to dvi connector. So yes you would need to buy one.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2010

Post the model of your machine.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:42 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: It's a Dell Studio XPS 8000
posted by mickmel at 10:57 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: Also, not that it probably matters much, but my current cards are:

-- NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
-- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240

I had spent more than I intended to on the machine, so I went cheap with the cards. Now I'm trying to catch up... :)
posted by mickmel at 11:07 AM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: The 5570 claims to need a 450 watt PS as a minimum, so that might be out too...
posted by mickmel at 11:09 AM on March 3, 2010

You should be okay with the 5830 . Dells powe rsupplies are rated differently then regular ones are. IF you have a gts 240 in there the 5830 Should be just fine.

I have a xps 410 and people put in 8800 nvidia cards with the 350 power supply and they were big draw cards.

I also had an ati 4870 in my xps 410 with a 350 power supply at one point and it ran just fine . The 5830 uses less power then the 4870 .

I would look to get the 5830 at new egg.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:00 PM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: Awesome. I'll do it. Thanks for the help!
posted by mickmel at 12:41 PM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: I just ordered it! Thanks again for the help.
posted by mickmel at 2:46 PM on March 3, 2010

3 monitors eh? You still have a few options even with though you dont have another express slot.

I'm actually running 3 monitors as well. This is how i did it with a single express slot and a pci slot. I was going from 2 to 3 monitors. so i was already using my 8800gt for both. I bought an 8400gs PCI card and now i have that one plugged into the smallest monitor i have. the other 2 monitors are plugged into my beefier 8800gt.

It works for me. The smallest monitor is only for desktop work. The other 2 are for games.

If your going after spanning a desktop across 3 identical monitors, especially do gaming across them, what i do will never work. In that case, you will need to get a 5000 series GPU from ati. They are all powerful for their respectably price ranges. The most important thing to remember though is that you HAVE to use the displayport to use 3 monitors. so either get a monitor that supports it or get an active displayport adapter.

have fun :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 5:03 PM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: I have three now, in a similar setup as you. My problem is that the performance on the third screen is pitiful. I don't do much active work over there, but I have a number of programs that somewhat use all three screens when they're active (like Jing), and it's a pain to use because it moves pretty rough with the slow redraw on that slow screen.

Another question -- when I purchased this new card today, I picked up a normal DisplayPort --> DVI adaptor. Now I see that there are active vs. passive adaptors, and I wonder if I made the wrong move. What do I need to know?
posted by mickmel at 6:51 PM on March 3, 2010

« Older Looking for a Tablet, any suggestions?   |   One unlucky couple. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.