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5 Monitor Setup ATI + nVidia - Moving to Linux - Input Needed!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all, first post long time reader...

This one may be a bit of a doozy - bear with me!

Currently my desktop is running two GPU's, one of which is a XFX Radeon HD 5870 (using 2x DVI and 1x DP) and one ancient nVidia GeForce 6800GS from 2006 using both the D-SUB and DVI port. With this setup, I have 5 monitors... and it MOSTLY works. I do notice some graphical bugs from time to time, probably due to conflicting drivers or something. Regardless, I want to perfect this setup.

I work as a Linux server administrator and Web Developer, so going home to my Windows 7 PC feels a bit awkward. I'm switching over to either Ubuntu 11.04 or Fedora 15, however I do not want to sacrifice my (what some may argue as unnecessary) array of monitors. Despite my wall-o-monitors, I have yet to have a lady run out of my room shouting "NICE TRY NERD!!!" so I've decided the monitors are here to stay.

I don't really use my rig for gaming, besides the occasional night of Minecraft with my housemates, so GPU throughput isn't really my highest concern - more so just keeping my cancer-emitting face tanning solution. I've decided I could sell my 5870 at a bargain-rate to my housemate who games more than I do, and in turn buy a couple 5770's as they're the cheapest card I can find with 2x DVI + DisplayPort.

As I understand, running the cards in CrossFire will not allow me to use the additional display outputs, so I would have to run the cards independently. My mobo has 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots (one of which will run at x4, again this is not a concern of mine) so I --THINK-- this would work fine and dandy.

Now that I've thoroughly described my somewhat unique setup, concerns, and goal, I have a couple questions that I hope one/some of you fine folks can help me with...

1) Is there a cheaper/easier way of achieving this? Is there some obvious solution I've overlooked? Remember, Linux compatibility is a concern, however I am comfortable recompiling my kernel although I'd like to avoid this if at all possible.

2) This one is for you Linux folks out there - Are any of you running two independent ATI cards successfully? I know that nVidia drivers tend to work better in both Ubuntu and Fedora, however there are usually ATI drivers available in Fedora's RPM Fusion repo. I'd just like a little peace of mind before I start ordering components and blowing away my Windows install. If it will really save me a lot of headache, I'll go with a couple GTS 450's.

3) Will having matching GPU's make my life any easier, or could I keep the 5870 and slap in a lower end ATI card in the other PCI-E slot and achieve the same results?

Thank you for reading, I'm looking forward to hearing some informed opinions! If clarification is needed on any of these points, please ask and I will offer my best explanation.

-- John
Home Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
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Corsair Modular 700w CoolerMaster Stacker Full Tower Logitech G5 Steelseries 
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Home Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair Modular 700w CoolerMaster Stacker Full Tower Logitech G5 Steelseries 
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post #2 of 5
Maybe trade your card for an Eyefinity 6 version? Card plus adapters wont be cheap though.
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128gb crucial c300 + 3tb storage LG DVD-RW Noctua nh-d14 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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3x 22" LG Model m2 Antec TP new 650 Element T 
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Lawn Mower
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
128gb crucial c300 + 3tb storage LG DVD-RW Noctua nh-d14 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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3x 22" LG Model m2 Antec TP new 650 Element T 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crUk View Post
Maybe trade your card for an Eyefinity 6 version? Card plus adapters wont be cheap though.
Appreciate your input, but yeah-- I'm trying to do this on a minimal budget as I think it's quite possible. As is, I do think that 2x 5770's would work in Non-Crossfire, I would just like to have this confirmed by a Linux user. I suppose I could just order the two 5770's and boot to a LiveCD, then figure it out from there.

I'm most interested in an affirmation/response to question #3
Home Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
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Home Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
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post #4 of 5
If you need the crossfire GPU power, the monitors can only plugged to main rendering card or else, crossfire will be disabled by default.

You can use any generations of AMD cards as a secondary to support the other 2 monitors. Just make sure the card is included in 5870 Unified Drivers Linux Version.

As for Nvidia + AMD/ATI, have no idea if Linux supports hybrid configuration.



@Mobile
ケンジ
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ケンジ
(16 items)
 
  
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GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
2x 6990 + 580 16GB 2133 MHz 24GB 2000 MHz 120GB x 2 RAID0 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
120GB x 4 RAID0 Raptor 300GB x 2 RAID0 CPU-370 CPU-370 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken1649 View Post
If you need the crossfire GPU power, the monitors can only plugged to main rendering card or else, crossfire will be disabled by default.

You can use any generations of AMD cards as a secondary to support the other 2 monitors. Just make sure the card is included in 5870 Unified Drivers Linux Version.

As for Nvidia + AMD/ATI, have no idea if Linux supports hybrid configuration.



@Mobile
Thank you for your response! I do not need the extra GPU power. I know having two cards and NOT using CrossFire may be silly to some, but for my purposes it is the only option. Thank you for clarifying the card compatibility question. From what I see on AMD's website, both the 5870 and 5770 use Catalyst 10.10 (latest) which is available for Linux x86_64. Thus I should be able to order a 5770 and simply plug it into my second PCI-E x16 slot and be good to go!

I have no desire to try to get the ancient nVidia GPU (looted from an old work machine, hehe) to work - considering it would probably take quite a few hours of troubleshooting, $90 for a new GPU is well worth it.

For anyone wondering....
Driver - http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...eon_linux.aspx
Compatibility Chart - http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Hardware

Sounds good to me!

Thanks again!
-- John
Home Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair Modular 700w CoolerMaster Stacker Full Tower Logitech G5 Steelseries 
  hide details  
Reply
Home Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE OC @ 4.02GHz Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Radeon HD 5870 8GB Mushkin Blackline 996744 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Mushkin SSD 60GB + 500GB RE4 RAID0 + 1TB RE4 RAID1 Fedora 15 x64 2x Samsung 23" + 1X Asus 27" + 2x 21" LG(Portrait) Logitech UltraThin 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair Modular 700w CoolerMaster Stacker Full Tower Logitech G5 Steelseries 
  hide details  
Reply
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