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Thread: Controlling 3 Screens with a 2 GPU SLI setup ?

  1. #1
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    Controlling 3 Screens with a 2 GPU SLI setup ?

    Right ...

    I made the decision, I'm getting a new computer !

    All the parts have been sorted and i want to go for a Tripple LCD setup but where it falls on its face is when I try to see how I'm going to set it up I run into a lot of forum posts from the earlier SLI day's where they say you can't run 3 LCD's on a 2 card SLI setup.

    Is this still the case ? I though it'd just be as easy as connecting 2 Screens to 1 GPU, the other one to the other GPU but apparently I've been out of the loop for a bit ...


    So am I mistaking that it works like I think it works, or do I have an issue ? (since I already ordered the 3 screens )

    EDIT:

    New GPU's are going to be MSI N460GTX Hawk cards.

  2. #2
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    I know I ran a dual monitor configuration in SLI with 1 monitor connected to each video card. I don't think it's a limitation anymore. I thought the limitation was that you could only get output from one GPU.

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    it is true, even if you'd be running TRI-SLI you can still only control two different screen across all cards combined. You can get around this buy installing a new GFX in your system that is not a part of that SLI setup.

    however, if you want to use 3 identical screens for surround gaming, you NEED to have atleast 2 cards in SLI, you can't do it with 1 card on NVIDIA.

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  4. #4
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    Right, apparently after reading some more, since my cards support 3D Vision surround thing, I can set it to 2D Mode and use all 3 Screens with 2 Cards in SLI.

    Or thats how I understand it anyways ?

  5. #5
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    Yeah, you can run three non-3D monitors in surround too, but they have to be identical and you have to have 2 cards in SLI
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  6. #6
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    The no multi-monitor-with-SLi is history, the restriction is a holdover from the early days of SLi. Previously you had to choose between multi-monitor and SLi, whereas you could run as many displays in a Crossfire setup as your main card had display outlets.

    Now, both Crossfire and SLi will let you run as many monitors as you can plug into the main card. nVidia still has a restriction with their 2D Surround, whereby you can't actually enable the monitor-spanning single large display mode without SLi - so SLi is actually a necessity now for surround gaming when using nVidia cards.
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  7. #7
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    So I can run 3 monitors only if they fit into the main card ? the "master" of the SLI setup so to speak ?

    I can't just put 2 in card A and 1 in card B?

    Edit:

    this wouldn't be a big issue since i have 2 DVI dual links on the card + 1 HDMI so ... i'd just need to have a HDMI to DVI converter, which I think is delivered with the card. But I just don't want to use a crapton of adapters and clutter the build
    Last edited by Entity_Razer; 12-01-2010 at 05:28 AM.

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    This works with ATI cards but not with Nvidia; irrespective of the number of outputs, only two displays are supported per card (as far as I know).
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entity_Razer View Post
    So I can run 3 monitors only if they fit into the main card ? the "master" of the SLI setup so to speak ?

    I can't just put 2 in card A and 1 in card B?

    Edit:

    this wouldn't be a big issue since i have 2 DVI dual links on the card + 1 HDMI so ... i'd just need to have a HDMI to DVI converter, which I think is delivered with the card. But I just don't want to use a crapton of adapters and clutter the build
    It depends very much on the cards in question and whether we're talking nVidia Surround or Eyefinity.

    Generally, only the display outputs on the primary, or "master" as you term it, card are active. Enabling SLi or Crossfire disables the outputs of the secondary card.

    When setting up an Eyefinity set, nothing changes - only the primary card outputs are active. This is why you have to use a DisplayPort adapter for at least one monitor.

    When setting up nVidia Surround, you need to use certain of the ports on certain cards - for a two-card SLi setup, you need the two DVI ports of the first card and the primary DVI port of the second. The second DVI port of the second card is disabled. This page has a handy summary.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulsCollective View Post
    words

    Thank you !!! for a very sane and understandable reply



    Cheers dude !

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    Ok, i got a question about Nvidia surround (not 3d).

    I have ordered 2 580s (should get them next week), and i have a single BenQ G2420HDB monitor. And my question is, will it work if i get 2 BenQ G2420HDBE monitors to go with the one i got now? The monitors look identical to me, and i cant find the model i have now in the store.

    I want to make sure it will work before i go out and buy 2 of them, and not end up with 2 useless monitors :/

    Thanks.


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  12. #12
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    Unfortunately, no.

    nVidia control panel will not allow you to enable 3D Surround unless you have exactly the same screen for all three monitors. Even if the panels are functionally identical, a minor difference in EDID will prevent you from using them together.

    Edit: Whoops, missed that you were saying you weren't talking about 3D surround. For 2D surround below poster is correct.
    Last edited by SoulsCollective; 12-01-2010 at 08:16 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mp3 View Post
    Ok, i got a question about Nvidia surround (not 3d).

    I have ordered 2 580s (should get them next week), and i have a single BenQ G2420HDB monitor. And my question is, will it work if i get 2 BenQ G2420HDBE monitors to go with the one i got now? The monitors look identical to me, and i cant find the model i have now in the store.

    I want to make sure it will work before i go out and buy 2 of them, and not end up with 2 useless monitors :/

    Thanks.
    Yes it will work in 2D surround. For 2D surround the monitors only have to have the same native resolution and same refresh rate.
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  14. #14
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    hey thanks for that summary link. very helpful. was hoping i could get away with monitors that were close, but seems i'll need exact make and models. =\
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