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Running 3 monitors

Posted on 2012-09-03
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Last Modified: 2012-09-06
I have a GA-Z77M-D3H motherboard which although having 3 display outputs using the intel HD4000 won't let me run 3 monitors in dvi/vga/hdmi (http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intelhdgraphics4000_2500/sb/CS-033714.htm). I guess I need to add a couple of graphics cards to run 3 monitors and wondered if these will do the job? - (http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/nvidiageforcegraphicscards/nvidia210series/nov-gt2101.html)
The PC is for business only so doesn't run games. The motherboard has 2 x PCI Express x16 slots (one running at x16 and one at x4), will this be OK?
Thanks
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Question by:suroma
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markcharleton earned 750 total points
ID: 38360604
In general, and by default from what i have found int he past 90% of built in graphics cards won't provide more than one output on any of the ports as they are just not configured for it in the hardware/software/bios etc.

As you rightly state, you will need to get 2 further graphics cards (as a lot of motherboards wont support running the built in card AND an external card as the IRQ's will have some issues).

As for running them on different speed pci interfaces, it 'should' work - i have had 3 or 4 quad head cards in machines previously and not had any issues.
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by:Merete
Merete earned 150 total points
ID: 38362034
Hi  suroma
first I need to know what your purpose is,
running 3 monitors? as in a different screens on each or spanned or something else?
3 monitors are they all exactly the same model size brand etc?
AMD's Eyefinity cards which can handle 3 concurrent display outputs.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefinity-technology/Pages/eyefinity.aspx
Click on the How to
Or use a graphics expansion Matrox tripplehead2go
http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/digital/
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 450 total points
ID: 38363593
>The motherboard has 2 x PCI Express x16 slots (one running at x16 and one at x4), will this be OK?

Yes, this should work, since the Geforce 210 is not very demanding and you are just using 2D apps.  The x16 slot is for gaming cards, and the x4 has sufficient bandwidth for 2D.  As long as you have monitors compatible with the connectors, this will be the cheapest solution, cheaper than Eyefinity and Matrox.
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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 150 total points
ID: 38365572
Take a look at these...http://www.amazon.com/Tritton-SEE2-UV150-EXTERNAL-2-0VIDEO/dp/B004KN5MX8

With these adapters you should be able to add just about as many monitors as you want to.

You also won't run into an issue of your onboard graphics conflicting with these adapters.  I have used many of these in the past and they work pretty good.
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by:Callandor
ID: 38366525
USB adapters work well for static images, such as PowerPoint slides, but are bad for moving images, like videos and movies.  USB just doesn't have the bandwidth to handle these.
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by:Scott C
ID: 38367547
Callandor...the asker said it was for business use and not for games.  These work very well in a business situation and I have users who have these that run YouTube videos on them just fine.

Sure is isn't HD quality but it does work with little to no hesitation.
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by:Callandor
ID: 38369500
>the asker said it was for business use and not for games

Can you point out where I said "games"?

>Sure is isn't HD quality but it does work with little to no hesitation.

So how do you know if HD video is going to work?  The bandwidth requirement depends on the size of the image.  Making a general statement that video is going to work is inaccurate - it should be qualified as to under what conditions, which you have now stated.

We are doing the askers a disservice if we give them incorrect information which they act on.  Better to find out if the limitation is acceptable and then go forward.
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by:Scott C
ID: 38369609
Callandor...I didn't mean to imply that you said "games".  After re-reading my comment I see what you are talking about.  I simply meant that games would require a higher throughput than a USB video adapter could handle.
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by:Callandor
ID: 38370054
No problem - communication in a forum is imperfect and is subject to being taken the wrong way many times.
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Author Closing Comment

by:suroma
ID: 38371204
Thanks for the feedback. For the record I managed to get the onboard working with a single additional graphics card (radeon hd 4350) so all 3 screens are being independently displayed without any problems.
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