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Hooking up 3 monitors to a GTX 470/480

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, currently I use 3 monitors. 2 of them go though a powered DVI splitter and 1 goes into the other DVI connector on the video card.

However these cards have 3 connections. 2 DVI and 1 Mini HDMI. Unfortunately I don't have a long enough HDMI cable to test this. But what happens when you connect 2 monitors through DVI and the third one on the Mini HDMI connection?

Will the Nvidia control panel allow me to choose which two monitors to use and to change them when I want to? Will it detect that you have 3 monitors hooked up?

Well for me, my third monitor is actually my TV and it displays exactly the same thing the other monitor that goes through the powered DVI splitter displays. However I love using my TV to play emulators, HD Movies and even some games.

I'm just trying to figure out if getting a long Mini HDMI to HDMI cable will allow me to have my 2 monitors and my TV connected so I can get rid of the powered DVI splitter. How does the Nvidia control panel handle 3 monitors connected?
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post #2 of 11
Last time I checked, NV only could support 3 monitors if you was using SLI.
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post #3 of 11
NO only two monitors at a time is supported, that is my understanding. Won't support it.

DVI and HdMI ---- YES
DVI and DVI ---- YES
DVI/DVI/HDMI ---NO
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not trying to use 3 monitors at the same time. Currently I use 2 at the same time but 2 of them display the exact same picture because they go through a powered DVI splitter.

I know I can only use 2 at the same time but can I have 3 connected at the same time and will the Nvidia Control Panel see 3 of them conencted and let me choose which ones I want to use?
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by saulin;9289887 
I'm not trying to use 3 monitors at the same time. Currently I use 2 at the same time but 2 of them display the exact same picture because they go through a powered DVI splitter.

I know I can only use 2 at the same time but can I have 3 connected at the same time and will the Nvidia Control Panel see 3 of them conencted and let me choose which ones I want to use?

Did you ever get a response to this? Or experimented yourself? I have the exact same setup (minus the DVI splitter, I just plug/unplug them), and am curious as if there is a software solution that can intelligently pick up if a monitor is hooked up or not, or at least flip between the two ports to sense and see if a device is connected.

I'm not at home at the moment, but I'll see what I can find when I can test it.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by saulin;9289887 
I'm not trying to use 3 monitors at the same time. Currently I use 2 at the same time but 2 of them display the exact same picture because they go through a powered DVI splitter.

I know I can only use 2 at the same time but can I have 3 connected at the same time and will the Nvidia Control Panel see 3 of them conencted and let me choose which ones I want to use?

When you connect 3 monitors to the card, you can get picture to only 2 of them as I guess you figured out.

As far as my experience goes, the card will choose which monitors it will let you get a picture, and if I'm not mistaken, it will choose the DVI over the HDMI as a result of how the internal clocks are connected.

It will not let you choose in the NV control panel, or allow you to flip between them.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defoler;13069556 
if I'm not mistaken, it will choose the DVI over the HDMI as a result of how the internal clocks are connected.

It will not let you choose in the NV control panel, or allow you to flip between them.


It's correct frown.gif, DVI overrides HDMI. Still wonder if there's a third party software solution to it, but... oh well.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHShadowrunner;13073588 
It's correct frown.gif, DVI overrides HDMI. Still wonder if there's a third party software solution to it, but... oh well.

There is no third party software which can overcome this hardware "issue".

Simplest solution is to power the main monitor with the main card, and use a second hand cheap card like a GTS250, or even a cheap ATI card, and power the two other monitors.

That way all monitors will work just fine, no need for some magic changer between them, and it will make life much easier.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHShadowrunner;13073588 
It's correct frown.gif, DVI overrides HDMI. Still wonder if there's a third party software solution to it, but... oh well.

DVI overrides HDMI because one of the DVI jacks shares a clock generator with the HDMI jack. In order for the display to be active, the jack must have its own, active, clock generator.

The same goes for AMD's cards, hence the need for the active display port --> DVI adapter.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltar;13075446 
DVI overrides HDMI because one of the DVI jacks shares a clock generator with the HDMI jack. In order for the display to be active, the jack must have its own, active, clock generator.

The same goes for AMD's cards, hence the need for the active display port --> DVI adapter.

That is not 100% true.

AMD and Nvidia use the clocks a bit different.

What AMD does, is use two clocks in their cards, but the clocks aren't really coded to DVI before HDMI, and actually, its the other way around.

If you connect to a 5870 for example 3 monitors, to two DVI and one HDMI, the outer DVI won't work. Same with the 5970 (and this is from personal experience from both cards along with the 6870).

Also AMD doesn't force clock per connector. Meaning they have two clocks, which can go to each of the connectors, which ever is connected, either the HDMI, 2xDVI or DP (if not connected to DP monitor or used with adapter with a clocker)

Nvidia on the other hand, uses the HDMI as a secondary connector.
What they do is set one clock per DVI, and the HDMI only works if one of the DVIs is free.
Its a crappy solution, but it saves them in terms of hardware design and code.

Also, just so you understand how odd nvidia are:
I'm using 4xGPUs for 3 monitors and SLI with surround.
So you expect that you can connect each monitor to the first 3 GPUs, and you get it working fine, like you do with 3xGPUs.
But noooooo, for nvidia its too simple.
You have to use GPUs numbers 1,2 and 4 instead.
It took me a couple of weeks to figure that crap out...
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