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Assuming the monitors can take any kind of port and signal (digital/analog, DVI/HTMI, VGA, DisplayPort) so as to keep this only video card related:

I'm looking to get a three-monitor setup using a single ATI Radeon HD 5XXX card. If I understand correctly the ATI hardware, the DVI and HDMI ports share the same video feed (since they're exactly the same digital video signal). However, what about VGA and DisplayPort?

For instance take this video card from Gigabyte:

Gigabyte video card with DVI, DP and VGA ports

It has DVI, VGA and DisplayPort connectors. Can it feed three monitors?

If not, what card should I get that can feed three monitors? I think it would need to have two DVI and one DP. The monitors are 1920x1080 and two 1280x1024.

Here is another image. This one has a DVI, VGA and HDMI:

Asus video card with DVI, HDMI and VGA ports

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Not posting this as an answer because I'm not sure, but I am pretty certain that a video card only has 1 type of output unless it specifically specifies that it can work with dual monitors. To use 3 monitors you will need at LEAST 2 video cards with 1 supporting dual monitors. – Daisetsu Jun 18 '10 at 21:11
Well, I have an HP Z200 with a nVidia Quadro FX580, 1 DVI and 2 DP and it works fine. Pretty sure your can will take 3 monitors! Give it a try my friend! – r0ca Jun 18 '10 at 21:21
@Daisetsu, the new ATI Radeon 5 series support several monitors, as many as 6 with standard hardware - this is called Eyefinity. The question is whether these cheap models will support exactly three monitors or are they limited to two as most video cards. – Mircea Chirea Jun 18 '10 at 21:21
@r0ca, I don't have the hardware, which is why I'm asking here, so I don't buy it and end up with it not feeding three monitors. You are using two DP connectors, these cards have one or none, and are gaming ATI cards, not expensive Quadro cards - they are TOTALLY different. – Mircea Chirea Jun 18 '10 at 21:22
Quadro cards expensive? I don't know, office computer ;) – r0ca Jun 18 '10 at 21:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Reading AMD's ATI Eyefinity Validated Dongles page I can confirm this:

  • A maximum of two VGA, DVI, HDMI or passive DisplayPort connections can be used.
  • Active DisplayPort is required for three or more connections.

That means I can connector three monitors, two using the DVI/HDMI/VGA ports and the other using DisplayPort, either directly or via an active converter.

share|improve this answer
Right on boy!!! +1 – r0ca Jun 18 '10 at 21:33

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