3 monitors extended display for new build on XP workstation

I need some advice on building a computer for a customer. They want to run 3 monitors (extended display, business user, not gamer). Right now they have 3 VGA monitors to use, but are willing to buy one HDMI monitor is necessary. This will be an XP Pro system (workstation).

I have been looking at the BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138296

(I need a LGA 1155 for my Sandy Bridge i5, but not necessarily one from Biostar.)

The video ports from above are VGA/D-Sub, DVI and HDMI.

I don't seem to understand some discussions that I've read where you can't convert a DVI to VGA and also use the VGA/D-Sub jack on two VGA monitors and the third HDMI port on an HDMI monitor.

As I understand it, I will need to get an extra display card to drive 3 monitors... at least 2 VGA and one HDMI?

I'm looking for the least expensive solution and NOT seeking best fit for future expansion.

Buying more than one monitor to replace one of the 3 VGA's is out of the question, due to the position of the employee getting approved for such purchase.

Any advice on:

1) What display card I will need?
2) Can I add a display card without disabling the internal motherboard display?
3) A better setup than the above for the best price?

Thanks in advance folks!
AnselAdamsAsked:
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jamietonerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I wouldn't trust the integrated card to work with an add-on card. I'd get a board from a different brand(not a big fan of biostar). Make sure the board has 2 16x pci-e connectors and get 2 of these, this setup would be able to drive upto 4 vga monitors.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814187114
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Rob KnightConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
Hi,

You can consider afew options:

1. Buy a USB VGA adapter to provide the 3rd display and use the VGA and HDMI ports on the motherboard
2. Use something like Matrox DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go
3. Use a PCIe Video card that supports 3 monitors -a Radeon HD5450 EyeFinity would do the job - these come with a DisplayPort rather than HDMI so ask your customer to get a display with a DisplayPort input othewise you'll need to buy an Active DP to HDMI 'dongle' at around $160.00 US.

DisplayPort monitors include: Thinkvision L2251P Wide Monitor, Dell E1909WDD, Dell P2010H, Dell P2310H,


Suggested Radeon card would be:

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Display-Low-Profile-PCI-Express-HD545XZAF2/dp/tech-data/B0036TFXWC/ref=de_a_smtd

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102875&cm_re=displayport-_-14-102-875-_-Product - PSU would need to be more powerful for this one, though.

Regards,


RobMobility.
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