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Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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but since I have a three monitor setup, and given the arrangement of my monitors, the images are both HUGE and odd looking, when one just views them. Here's an example:
http://www.geekcavecreations.com/images/Wallpapers/NebulaeAndEarth.jpg


Is this a standard layout for 3 monitors? I have never come accross is before. Can I have a template of where each monitor starts/ends and rotation. Oh, and order starting from left most 1,2,3. I have several very wide angle pics that would fit well accross multiple monitors.
Posted August 17, 2011, 13:31:49 PM Logged
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

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Offline Freddy
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Actually you have me wondering if I need a special card or monitor to do three screens.  I have two screens and there is a tasty looking space where another one could live.
Posted August 17, 2011, 18:46:46 PM Logged

Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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As far as I know you can only run 2 monitors from 1 graphics card. So the main requirements are a motherboard that can Xfire or SLI and 2 graphics cards.

There maybe a 3 monitor port graphics card but I've never noticed one. Though I haven't looked either.
Posted August 17, 2011, 19:16:01 PM Logged
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Offline DaveMorton
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@Snowy: I'll post a photograph of my actual setup later today, showing which monitor is which.

@Freddy: If your motherboard has onboard video, you can enable it in the BIOS, and use it to extend your desktop. My Motherboard has both a DVI and HDMI outputs, so if I had the room, I could add a fourth monitor, but that's just a bit of "overkill", and would force a re-arranging of my desk. Smiley
Posted August 17, 2011, 19:18:34 PM Logged
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Offline Freddy
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My onboard graphics are crap to be honest.  I was thinking for playing games when you really need the processing power.

I think this might be on my new year list : ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 Graphics

Or something similar.
Posted August 17, 2011, 20:23:31 PM Logged

Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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But that graphics plus your on board will give you 3 screen capability.
Posted August 17, 2011, 21:57:08 PM Logged
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

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Offline DaveMorton
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For gaming, you certainly need a 'high end' graphics card, but the load on a graphics card when it's being used as an extension to your desktop is really very low. You may have some difficulties with doing so if the OBG is of a different manufacture than your graphics card; I just don't know (both of my "cards" are ATI).

As for the layout of my monitors, here's the scoop:
http://www.geekcavecreations.com/images/misc/MonitorLayout2.jpg
Graphics Cards


(the image is a link to a larger version)

Now that's what my desk looks like. Here's how it's laid out, as far as for creating wallpaper images goes:


(I forgot to put into the diagram that the secondary and tertiary monitors both have screen resolutions of 1280x1024)
Now the reasons why one of the wallpaper images is split roughly in half has not only to do with the way that Windows deals with image tiling, but also the fact that I've got the locations of the monitors relative to each other offset by 512 pixels (see below)

This way, when the cursor leaves one screen, it appears in a visually similar location on the other screen. That way there's no "jump" from one monitor to another. It took me quite a while to figure all this out, most of that time spent in the Display Properties, nudging screen locations up and down four pixels at a time, till I got it right, and then doing the same with a 'test image', to make sure that they aligned with no "seam lines" between screens. The results are quite pleasing to me, though, so it was well worth the effort. And now that I know where the boundaries need to be, making new wallpaper images is quite simple. Smiley
Posted August 17, 2011, 23:48:20 PM Logged
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Offline Data
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I know I’ve said it before over at dreams but I do like you monitor set-up Dave.

Quite a lot of the socket 775 motherboards or newer have two PCI Express slots for graphics on theses day, my one for example “GA-EP43-DS3” has:

      1 x  PCI Express x16 slot

      And

      1 x PCI Express x4 slot

The board can’t Xfire or SLI but you can put in 2 graphics cards and go up to 4 monitors.

Just thought I would point that out.

EDIT:
PS thread went a bit off topic, have split it.
Posted August 18, 2011, 10:38:19 AM Logged

Offline Freddy
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SO coming back to this and wanting to clarify...

If I want three screens, I would need SLI/CrossFire (which I don't have) and two graphics cards ?

There's no single card you can get that will do three screens and work without using the onboard graphics ?
Posted November 12, 2011, 16:37:20 PM Logged

Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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Good question and I have no definite answer as I have never done it.

Installing a graphics card normally disables the onboard graphics and to fit two cards requires a motherboard with two PCI-E slots. All modern cards can X-fire (ATI) or SLI (GeForce), I think but it is best to get two that are matched. Some motherboards can do 2 cards at 16X but most have either 8X or 4X for the second slot.

This is why the motherboard is the most important choice when building your system.

What is your motherboard? Make and model please. I'll look into it.
Posted November 12, 2011, 17:38:41 PM Logged
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Offline DaveMorton
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While it's true that I have two graphic cards that are Crossfire capable, I'm not using that capability, because to do so causes both cards to pool their resources into a single monitor. All you really need is enough functional connectors to accommodate all of the monitors you wish to use. In my case, that happens to require two cards. If one could find a card with more than two connectors (that are active at one time), one might be able to do this with only one card.
Posted November 12, 2011, 18:16:40 PM Logged
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Offline DaveMorton
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To clarify the last part of my previous post, both my On-board and PCI-e graphics adapters have three "heads" each: one DVI, one HDMI and one VGA. The problem is that if a device is detected in the HDMI slot, the VGA slot gets disabled in Windows, and I haven't found a way around that yet. The really irritating thing is that in Win 7, all three connections "show up" as available, but the VGA connections are still not usable if there's something in the HDMI slot. If I were ever able to overcome this limitation, the PCI-e card would get removed, because the OBG adapter is the "better" of the two.
Posted November 12, 2011, 18:40:13 PM Logged
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Offline Data
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@ Freddy

I believe your motherboard has two PCI express slots but the board doesn’t crossfire, that’s ok because you don’t want them to, you just need 3 monitors, so you could get a cheaper entry level card and put it in the second PCI express slot on the motherboard.

I admit I haven’t done it but that’s why the second PCIe slot is there, for a none crossfire or SLI configuration and up to 4 monitors.

Something around the £40 mark (Off the top of my head) should do it, It would be good if you had an older card that you could get your hands on to test before you go and buy one.
Posted November 12, 2011, 20:34:50 PM Logged

Offline Freddy
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Evening gents, good to see your replies Smiley

I'll just drop my MB details in here for now : http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5QLE/

I think there is only one PCI-E... there are a couple of PCI connectors that I don't know what they are for - they are about an inch long and may be for networking ?

Other than that there are three 'normal' PCI slots, but I think they are pretty much useless for graphics these days ?
Posted November 12, 2011, 20:38:58 PM Logged

Offline Freddy
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BTW, I just realised ( I think ) that I do not have on board graphics anyway - at least there is no port on the motherboard so that seems to settle it.
Posted November 12, 2011, 20:41:29 PM Logged
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