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Multi-Monitor Rig Advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Looking for some build advice for a multi-monitor setup, never messed around with this kinda setup before so its new territory.

The setup will utilize 3 24" LED monitors (HDMI & DVI connections available), but leaving a path of upgrade-ability to 6 monitors would be ideal

Dad bought a 6 monitor stand, got 3 monitors, may get 3 monitors for the top later on - the top monitors would primarily display static info. His use will not be intensive - no gaming, if watching movies probably only one, the monitors will mainly be fore information analysis (stock, real estate, etc). He is pretty price sensitive

Onto the questions
  • How many video cards would I need for 3 monitors? For 6? And which video cards would be suggested? Bear in mind, nothing graphically intensive will be occurring, so focusing more on price than performance
  • Suggested power? Im thinking 600-700W should suffice but could be badly mistaken on this
  • Motherboard - guessing it doesnt matter too much as long as it supports the number of video cards
  • CPU - leaning towards an i5
  • Suggested RAM? Thinking ~8gB should do just fine as games/etc would be eating it up

Will update this post with possible builds once I've gotten these questions answered.
post #2 of 8
im in a game, ill put some info here when im done.

you probably want to decide on NVidia vs ATI as a starting point.

edit -

so I only know about NVidia stuff. you can check which cards support how many monitors on NVidia site if u look around.

as mentioned below, depending what you are doing you may not need much graphics horsepower. games are the most common reason for needing a good gcard(s). other reasons include any 3d modelling software, basically anything that renders in 3d. 2d charts and such whatnot will run fine on a very small gcard(s).

another thing to keep in mind is that large displays can require large gcard memory even if the gpu usage is light. I recommend going with a heavy duty card(s) for this reason, even though it will be overkill.

3 displays on sli is like.. .plug and play, your good to go.

check this link
you can play with some settings at the bottom to find out what cards do how many displays in what modes.. should help a lot and also be really confusing, if that's possible.

gl and if u have any question at all u just post them I will try to answer.

RAM - whatever u need, u can get more if u don't have enough. depending what you are doing you might get away with 8GB, id just get 16GB. the amount of stuff your likely to have open at once to fill 6 displays is going to fill up some RAM.

CPU- the better the better, spend your money here, i5 minimum, and I recommend a K with a small OC on it even if your not into overclocking. really you should probably be looking at i7 series unless none of the programs you intend to run concurrently are cpu intensive. especially if you wont be overclocking. when you open a ton of stuff, your average cpu usage might not be that high, but when you ask the computer to do something like move a window playing a movie, its going to whine about it cause theres so much other crap open. if you don't mind a bit of lag, then this wont be an issue for you, go with i5, should be fine, unless ur running software with calculations to do. (edit: were talkin a very small amount of lag, barely noticeable, but it really drives some of us nuts)
Edited by Jollyburner - 5/29/13 at 8:16pm
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA6 Samsung Noctua NH-C14 7 Pro 64 - edited 
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2x Samsung 24'' 1920x1080, 1x Acer 24'' 1920x1080 Azio Levetron Mech4 OCZ Z-series 1000W 80+ Gold Coolermaster cm 690 II Advanced - Black 
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Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 7 - custom Steelseries 9HD Semi Rough Glide Sennheiser PC330 G4ME Headset / Genius SW-2.1 8... 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jollyburner View Post

im in a game, ill put some info here when im done.

you probably want to decide on NVidia vs ATI as a starting point.

Im open to both nVidia and ATI. I would say ATI if it was AMD but as its going to be a Intel based setup, both are fine by me.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud007 View Post

  • How many video cards would I need for 3 monitors? For 6? And which video cards would be suggested? Bear in mind, nothing graphically intensive will be occurring, so focusing more on price than performance
  • Suggested power? Im thinking 600-700W should suffice but could be badly mistaken on this
  • Motherboard - guessing it doesnt matter too much as long as it supports the number of video cards
  • CPU - leaning towards an i5
  • Suggested RAM? Thinking ~8gB should do just fine as games/etc would be eating it up

You're going WAY overkill. All that stock/real estate/securities stuff is all 2D graphics. A 20 year old, $5 garage sale,16 meg (0.015 gig!) PCI or AGP video card will easily run at 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 (some even support 6X9 resolutions) on two monitors. I ran that set up on a PII 500 mhz CPU with four monitors (1282 x 1024). You could put together a whole system, computer, video cards, 6 monitors, speakers for less than $200-$300. And 23" 6 x 9 monitors will only stretch the 4x5 graphics all those sites use.

That being said, I doubt you will be doing that, as you mentioned an Intel i5.

Most modern cards will support 2 monitors, but not HDMI with DVI and VGA at the same time. Some will, some will support 4 monitors.

8 gigs???? Even high end games can't use that much.

What you will need though is the fastest internet connection you can afford.
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Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

You're going WAY overkill. All that stock/real estate/securities stuff is all 2D graphics. A 20 year old, $5 garage sale,16 meg (0.015 gig!) PCI or AGP video card will easily run at 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 (some even support 6X9 resolutions) on two monitors. I ran that set up on a PII 500 mhz CPU with four monitors (1282 x 1024). You could put together a whole system, computer, video cards, 6 monitors, speakers for less than $200-$300. And 23" 6 x 9 monitors will only stretch the 4x5 graphics all those sites use.

That being said, I doubt you will be doing that, as you mentioned an Intel i5.

Most modern cards will support 2 monitors, but not HDMI with DVI and VGA at the same time. Some will, some will support 4 monitors.

8 gigs???? Even high end games can't use that much.

What you will need though is the fastest internet connection you can afford.

Ah forgot, the monitors also have VGA connection though Im not a fan of that one (ghosting/etc).

Currently setup is a basic amd build
CPU: AMD FX-4100
RAM: 8gB Kingston hyperX
Mobo: ASUS M5A97
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 5450 1GB
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 500W

Monitors
3x Samsung T24C550 LED HDTV 24"

What has me wanting to redo the build (actually thought it was a intel build, lol) is that the other day my dad decided to connect all 3 monitors (1 to DVI, 1 to VGA, 1 to HDMI) and it was fine for a bit, then when he restarted the machine, there was no signal to the monitors. Thought he burned out the video card but apparently the computer simply overheated.

Im not the most experienced with multi monitor setups but I figure the 500W psu is too weak, will obviously need to throw a better cooler in there (Hyper 212+ maybe?), and that the motherboard is not the best (second slot that would allow a video card is only x4... though I'm not sure if that would matter for his uses or not).

If I end up rebuilding along an Intel route, this computer would simply go to the office.
Edited by Cloud007 - 5/29/13 at 7:49pm
post #6 of 8
also if anyone can jump in and say for sure whether gcard vram is going to be an issue in 2d desktop mode, plz do.

OP you will want to look into this ,driving large display areas may require cards with decent vram total, ie 2GB, maybe even 4GB. I have no idea whether it applies outside of 3d rendering. were you to be gaming on 6 1080p monitors I would want MINIMUM 4GB vram on the card. im sure someone will come along to answer this.
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA6 Samsung Noctua NH-C14 7 Pro 64 - edited 
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2x Samsung 24'' 1920x1080, 1x Acer 24'' 1920x1080 Azio Levetron Mech4 OCZ Z-series 1000W 80+ Gold Coolermaster cm 690 II Advanced - Black 
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Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 7 - custom Steelseries 9HD Semi Rough Glide Sennheiser PC330 G4ME Headset / Genius SW-2.1 8... 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA6 Samsung Noctua NH-C14 7 Pro 64 - edited 
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2x Samsung 24'' 1920x1080, 1x Acer 24'' 1920x1080 Azio Levetron Mech4 OCZ Z-series 1000W 80+ Gold Coolermaster cm 690 II Advanced - Black 
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jollyburner View Post

OP you will want to look into this ,driving large display areas may require cards with decent vram total, ie 2GB, maybe even 4GB. I have no idea whether it applies outside of 3d rendering. were you to be gaming on 6 1080p monitors I would want MINIMUM 4GB vram on the card. im sure someone will come along to answer this.
I understand this, and were it for me, it would be a much more expensive build as I game. But its for my dad who hates games and only watches videos on the TV lol
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud007 View Post

I understand this, and were it for me, it would be a much more expensive build as I game. But its for my dad who hates games and only watches videos on the TV lol

ya afaik since you wont even notice the refresh rates unless watching video, and assuming you only do that on one monitor at a time, any tiny little gcards would work, vram wont be an issue. but I don't know for sure, so I wouldn't want to steer u wrong, u better check it out thoroughly.
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA6 Samsung Noctua NH-C14 7 Pro 64 - edited 
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2x Samsung 24'' 1920x1080, 1x Acer 24'' 1920x1080 Azio Levetron Mech4 OCZ Z-series 1000W 80+ Gold Coolermaster cm 690 II Advanced - Black 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 7 - custom Steelseries 9HD Semi Rough Glide Sennheiser PC330 G4ME Headset / Genius SW-2.1 8... 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA6 Samsung Noctua NH-C14 7 Pro 64 - edited 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2x Samsung 24'' 1920x1080, 1x Acer 24'' 1920x1080 Azio Levetron Mech4 OCZ Z-series 1000W 80+ Gold Coolermaster cm 690 II Advanced - Black 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 7 - custom Steelseries 9HD Semi Rough Glide Sennheiser PC330 G4ME Headset / Genius SW-2.1 8... 
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