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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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looking for video card to support 3 monitors

I'm setting up a new system and I'm going to have 2 20" LCD monitors (4:3) and one 32" LCD HDTV (16:9). I'll have a Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz with 2 PCI-E slots (ASUS P5n SLI).

I saw a recommendation in forums about the Matrox Parhelia PCI 256mb but after checking out the Matrox website I read it could only run 1280 x 1024 when running 3 monitors. I'd like to keep my 1600x1200 resolution on my LCD monitors, and my HD TV can do 1366 x 768.

I also found the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 X2, but its a little over my price range. I'd like to keep it under $800. I'd prefer to have all DVI interfaces, but if I have to go VGA to keep it within price range thats ok.



any recommendations?
Bret Pritchett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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How about using 2 video cards?

You would have a 4 display capable system, and as far as I know, free of the resolution limiting factor.

Hope it helps.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old May 16th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnaldo Paixao View Post
How about using 2 video cards?

You would have a 4 display capable system, and as far as I know, free of the resolution limiting factor.
Do the cards have to be identical?
Stephen Knapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #4
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2 Video Cards

Hi Bret.

In my systems I'v always used identical cards for the sake of compatibility (only using one set of drivers). But, as far as I can remember, I'v seen post talking about people having two diferent cards from diferent makers without issues.

I have in one system two NVIDia cards and on another two from AMD/ATI.
Those two configurations run without any problems.

One thing to notice:
Newer cards often need power directly from the PSU through a PCI-E power connector, besides the power they receive from the PCI-E slot. You have two ways to acomplish that:

- Buy a PSU wich has two of those PCI-E power plugs (normaly refered as SLI approved PSUs) or,

- Check if the cards you'r buying have MOLEX to PCI-E power adapters.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #5
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I have a similar setup to yours. I have a Geforce 7900 as my primary card. It has my main LCD for desktop connected to it. I have a 26" HDTV (CRT) connected to the Component Out on the back of the 7900 also. I setup the hardware overlay to automatically display any video image full screen on the HDTV. So even just clicking and playing a file in media player yields full screen output to the HDTV. Also, the Premiere, Vegas and Edius timelines also appear there.

Now.....I added a 2nd card, a Geforce 7300 series. This is more of an economy card but it simply drives my second LCD. It has a lot of features but is weak in the 3d graphics and gaming departement. But who cares? So I now have 2 LCDs for my desktop work and an HDTV for monitoring my timeline and playback. I actually could hook up another to the 2nd output of the 7300....but that would be overkill wouldn't it? :)

This works great. I highly suggest you install one card at a time. Let your primary card take over the main display. Setup your HDTV and make sure it is all working as you want it. Then install the second card and it natively becomes your second desktop display and does not mess with your overlay or video out options.

If you really want you can buy 2 identical Nvidia or ATI cards and run them in SLI mode or crossfire mode (if your motherboard is compatibile) and get almost 2x the 3d performance out of them but you will lose your dual display capabilites. You can toggle this on and off so you have dual display "or" a maxed out 3d gaming box....but you can't have it set for both at the same time.

One thing to watch out for is with the new 8000 series Geforce cards Nvidia has taken away the hardware overlay capability to display video onto a 2nd monitor. The FAQ state that the 8800 hardware does not support this feature. This is crucial to me as I edit with Cineform Aspect HD and it relies on the cards overlay to output to HDTV. When Nvidia took this feature out, it also crippled Aspect HD if you use this card.

Good Luck!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #6
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After re-reading the initial post I saw that your board has an SLI in its name so I am going to assume that means it supports Nvidia SLI. So I'd go toward the Geforce Series. I can't recommend the 8800 at this time as it's drivers aren't mature and there are a lot of video playback issues. And as far as I know the video overlay to 2nd monitor is gone for good.

I just ordered a EVGA 7950GT card for a new machine I am building. I had the 8800 but the poor video performance and lack of overlay has me sending it back.

Thanks again.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:35 AM   #7
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I have Matrox APVe and for editing purposes it is a very decent video card. It supports up to 3 monitors.
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