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jerryuscg

correct video card(s) for three monitor setup

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I'm about ready to buy my new computer (for FS2004) and 3 Viewsonic 22" (VX2235wm) monitors for a 3 monitor set up. What are the requirements for the video cards, or the BEST way to set these up; what are the BEST vedio cards out now for a 3 monitor setup and what are the other concideration that I must concider? I want the BEST money can buy now. Thanks jerrycwo4

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It depends on what you want to display on each monitor. If you just want to run windowed mode and undock 2D panels and run a few addon windows or a web browser, then you don't need a very powerful graphics card - something like 2 x 7900 GS 256M (dual output) would do the trick. If you want to run a 3D view spanned across all three displays then a Matrox triplehead2go (TH2G) is needed which can be adequately driven by a single 7900 with 512M. One point to note with the TH2G is that it is limited to a maximum spanned resolution of 3840x1024, which is much better suited to 3 x 19" non-widescreen monitors to drive them at native resolution. I run 4 x 19" monitors this way from a single 8800GTS 640MB and it works very well with FS9.Gary

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I've been running 3 or 4 monitors for over a year now and I lean toward ATI for multimon because getting AA to work on all using nVidia and nHancer historically has just been too big a pain for me.My 8800 GTX gives good frame rates in dense clouds but runs hotter than heides - so much so that it's become a problem. My ATI 3870x2 OC gives beautiful screens and fewer blurries (when frame rates are locked at an arbitrary 24), but has lower FRs in heavy clouds and ultra complex sceneries -- although not all THAT much lower. Crossfire helps this card when I hook up my Matorx Dual Head to Go, and I can further compensate for the lower frames by adjusting the CPU mode UP on the software that came with my ASUS motherboard, but I've noticed that doing so risks the chance of a system lock up, as though I'm over clocking too much. (This kind of makes sense to me since the ATI is already "over-clocked" at the factory.)With either card, I'm not comfortable with the current cooling setup, even though I employ 2 case fans that came with my case, a 3rd case fan I added up front and a custom, directed stick fan I bought on impulse at Best Buy, which is directy cooling the video card.I'm going to make a decision between the two cards this weekend. If you want, I'll let you know what I finally decide and why. My system specs are below.

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Just to confirm, and thanks again to Gary for advice way back when, I got an eVGA 7900 GTO card, 512 MB, before getting the MATROX TH2G set-up, and am delighted with its performance in FS2004 on my DELL XPS Gen 4. It renders the PMDG 747-400 in VC (i.e. 3-D) mode very well and I have little texture lag except when loading up for the first time in a session. I run three DELL LCDs with it, a 24" widescreen, and 2x20.1" panels and the images are outstanding. The total screen res is 3840x1024. The GTO also handles antialiasing very well. 4x is sufficient but for overkill the 8x is superlative and razor sharp.I thought about getting an 8800 card but as I have an older P4 processor (3.80Ghz), I figure I shan't be able to utilize it as fully as should be the case on my rig.JS

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I just packed up my ATI 3870X2 OC and delivered it to the UPS store - it was just too squirrely for my system. I think the factory overclocking was just too much and I was getting some lock ups and a lot of artifacting. So, after over a year as an avid ATI only for multiscreens fan, I'm back with nVidia and very, very happy with overall performance.

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nVidia make good reliable cards but I have to say I think ATI makes sensational cards. Too bad they don't work optimally with Triplehead2Go though.JS

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