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Old October 15, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Default Video card choices for 3 or 4 monitors

I am looking for advice on a video card upgrade to my system.

My system has an ASUS P7P55D-E Premium motherboard. To date, I have been very happy with it, excepting that I wish I had gone with an i7 processor instead of the i5. The system currently has 16Gb RAM installed, and is runnig three drives - Intel 240Gb 330 Series to boot, Velociraptor 150Gb and 300Gb drives for applications and data.

I have been running a 24" 1980x1200 monitors and a 19" 1280x1024 monitor from an XFX HD5770 video card. I would like to add a third monitor. The current video card drives two monitors max.

The motherboard has two PCI-e 2.0 X16 slots. Adding a second video card should be very easy. However, when you use both X16 slots, they drop to X8! There are also two PCI slots and two PCI-e X1 slots.

This leaves me with two choices:
1> put another video card in the second slot and live with the slower speed

2> buy a video card that will drive 3 or 4 monitors.

Please note - I do not use this system for gaming. However, it is used for video editing and photo editing with Adobe CS6, along with the normal video viewing, email, web browing, document editing, etc, etc. Therefore, a new video card in the GTX series that supports CUDA would be a good thing, since some of the Adobe applications work with CUDA to accelerate some effects.

My questions:
1> will the drop from X16 to X8 be noticable? Since I don't do gaming, when what types of applications would show the difference?

2> which GTX 560/570/650/66/etc cards support more than two monitors? For some reason, doing searches for this information does not provide much clear information, on NCIX, using Google, etc.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:11 AM
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You could pick up a GTX 650ti pretty cheap, it can run 4 monitors
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:02 AM
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If you don't game at all, how about a AMD workstation card, they support eyefinity, have better image control if you are working off this PC and the entry level ones are not badly priced $100-150. I don't think photo shop directly takes advantage of the special drivers of these cards, but it seems better suited for your work needs then a gaming card. If you are only going to run 3 monitors the FirePro V4900 would be decent enough for what you do and is ~$150. 4 monitors jumps you a price bracket the ATI FirePro™ 2460 is about $100 more.

if you light game at all on this PC, this would not be the option for you.

I have not looked in awhile but I don't think nvidia has workstation cards in this price bracket.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:44 AM
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Entry level gaming cards would do the trick, too. As previously mentioned, the GTX650Ti is a great option, so is the HD7750/70
.
The 650Ti can run up to 4 monitors by itself and should run you anywhere from $160-$200

The 7750 can be had for $90-$100 while the 7770 can be had for $100-$160. The HD 77XX series can run up to six monitors off one card (using a combination of display port, HDMI and DVI)
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:50 AM
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For your uses I would go for a 7750 or 7770 and sell off your old card to help pay for it. Ensure you check into the specific card you are buying to ensure it supports that many monitors. I believe some manufacturers drop it.
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:21 AM
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I was not aware that all GTX 6xx cards supported more than two monitors! Good to know - thanks!

As much as I have always like ATI videoc cards (whoops - am I dating myself? ), as well as Matrox when they were competing in this space - if I am buying new, it will be nVidia to get CUDA.

The suggestions about the GTX 650 series are interesting. However, I think a 660 or 660 Ti would be better - the 650 and 650 Ti has less memory bandwidth than a GTX 460.

From Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...k106,3318.html):
Memory Bandwidth
GeForce GTX 650 80 GB/s
GeForce GTX 650 Ti 86.4 GB/s
GeForce GTX 660 144.2 GB/s
GeForce GTX 560 128.2 GB/s
GeForce GTX 460 115.2 GB/s
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Old October 19, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for the input of those who responded!

I picked up an MSI GTX 660 card (twin frozer) and installed it yesterday. This allowed me to attach a third monitor to my system using an HDMI to DVI cable, which is working well. Premiere Pro CS6 also seems very happy.
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