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Multi-Mon + Gaming Capability

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, so here's the deal. I've got an ATI 4850 x2 right now, with quad DVI ports to drive my monitors. Thing is, it's aged.. and I think the RAM is beginning to bite it, I'm getting artifacts and lockups and all sorts of fun stuff, especially when I'm trying to game from time to time, and tbh the stupid thing has always given me trouble anyways.

So, since I've converted over from AMD to Intel lately, I figure I may as well follow it up with an nVidia GPU. I need something that can drive up to 4 monitors @ 1920x1200, but still handle gaming (single screen, I usually run windowed) when I feel like it.

I was looking at this today, and it looks pretty solid, but I'm no expert.

My question to you is, what do you think is the best solution here? A dual GPU card like the one I linked above, or a true SLI setup (even though SLI would be disabled in order to run more than 2 monitors)? I don't have a huge budget at the moment, but something in the neighborhood of $400-500 would be acceptable if you guys have any suggestions.
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post #2 of 4
When 2 GPUs are used in SLI mode, only 3 monitors can be active.
When the 2 GPUs are not in SLI mode, then you can have 4 monitors working simultaneously.

This GTX460 2Win has 2 GPUs and works the same way.

This card is selling at US$400. I am seeing GTX560 selling at around US$250 and so a pair is right at the limit of your budget ($500). If money is not tight, I would prefer the latter.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
3 monitors? Hm. To be honest that's what I'm running now, my current card throws a fit if I put 4 on it, so I've adjusted to 3 pretty well.. I thought the limit was 2 monitors when in SLI mode, that's really good to know!

So getting dual 560's would be a better bet in your opinion? I'm tired of always settling for something that "just works" and then getting screwed later down the line, so I can deal with a bit more cost, if it'd be worth it.

Also, if I went tri-SLI later on, could I then have 6 monitors functioning if the cards weren't running in SLI mode? I should already know the answer but bah.
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by BittenReaper View Post
3 monitors? Hm. To be honest that's what I'm running now, my current card throws a fit if I put 4 on it, so I've adjusted to 3 pretty well.. I thought the limit was 2 monitors when in SLI mode, that's really good to know!

So getting dual 560's would be a better bet in your opinion? I'm tired of always settling for something that "just works" and then getting screwed later down the line, so I can deal with a bit more cost, if it'd be worth it.

Also, if I went tri-SLI later on, could I then have 6 monitors functioning if the cards weren't running in SLI mode? I should already know the answer but bah.
1) Nvidia Surround + SLI:- (see pic below)

Maximize 3D Performance: SLI is enabled and only 1 active screen which receives full attention of the SLI setup, resulting in maximum performance.

Span Display with Surround: SLI is enabled and 3 active screens. This is the standard Nvidia Surround mode. 3 monitors are treated as 1 big monitor. In desktop, it is spanned across.

Activate all Displays: I am not sure but I suspect this also gives you 3 active screens but treating them independently as opposed to considering them as one big monitor. I am not sure how SLI scales among the 3 monitors.

Disable SLI: no need to explain.

2) GTX560 SLI is stronger than the GTX460 2Win and so would last longer, performance wise. I would choose this route.

3) 3 cards for 6 monitors under non 3-way SLI mode.
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