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I want to set up multiple monitors to one computer but in a bit of a strange way and I need some help. I currently have an Nvidia Geforce 9500GT with 2 DVI ports and an S-Video. I've got two LCD screens connected to the DVI ports and the S-Video is running to my DLP HDTV. For reasons beyond my understanding, the card will only let me run two monitors at once (so a work around is I've got a nifty AutoHotKey script that switches from the dual monitors to the TV and back).

What I want to do is get a third monitor and turn it vertical for web browsing and keep the other ones horizontal for gaming and movies. Also for obvious reasons, I'd like to connect my HDTV through DVI -> HDMI instead of S-Video. I'd like to be able to run all 4 displays at the same time (TV isn't too big of a concern, but the 3 monitors must absolutely work at the same time). So my question is how would I go about achieving this? My video card supports SLI but Nvidia doesn't do a great job explaining how to use it. Also at my work we have video cards in our computers with one DVI port but splitters going to two different monitors. The computer recognizes both as separate monitors. One guy adds a third to the motherboard's onboard video. Is that another option I can use for at home (even though it's VGA)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

it depends on the slots available on your mainboard. if you only have free PCI slots, you my add a PCI video card, not the greatest performer (PCI is a bottleneck) but certainly good enough for 'web browsing'.

P.S.: SLI is a multi-GPU solution developed a for linking two or more video cards together to produce a single output.

here's a little tutorial for a 'makeshift multi-monitor solution' from Ask-the-Admin.com

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So if I got a second card with another two outputs could have each card output two monitors? Is there a way to then switch on SLI for when I'm gaming? If so can I choose which display gets the good stuff (choosing between a display on my desk and my HDTV)? –  mandroid Aug 26 '09 at 20:33
    
SLI usually requires two PCIe slot and two identical Graphic adapters, although there are few dual GPU cards for SLI with only one PCIe slot, but that's not what you're looking for here. –  Molly7244 Aug 26 '09 at 20:52
    
When I bought my motherboard I made sure I got an SLI ready one with two PCIe slots. I'm starting to understand how SLI works, but one of the negative draw backs is it kinda limits my multiple monitor support. I know if I get the same GPU I have now I can run SLI, but I was wondering if I could disable the SLI when I wasn't gaming and just run it as a second generic card to serve two more displays. –  mandroid Aug 26 '09 at 21:14
    
you may upgrade your system to SLI and still be able to add a third (PCI) graphics card to feed the pivoted monitor for 'web surfing' –  Molly7244 Aug 26 '09 at 22:26
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Your card only has two RAMDACs, so it will only run two outputs at once. Even in Clone mode, which I don't get.

You need to buy an additional card, or replace that one with a card with more than two RAMDACs like a Matroxx.

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splitting the cable depends on the video card. it must support that and im guessing it wont. I would say the easiest thing to do would be to add another video card altogether. If you have a spare slot you can use it (could be PCI-E, or AGP, even PCI) If you get one that will support dual display then 2 cards x 2 display each= 4 displays.

PCI is definately the most universal, but not the best performer. however, so long as you aren't playing left 4 dead (or whatever the kids play these days) you should be fine.

Correct me if i am wrong, but i believe SLI is intended more for load balancing across the cards for games and high graphic processing use

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SLI is for two graphics cards to communicate. If you are doing things that can be split among GPUs, SLI can help make that possible. –  Michael Kohne Aug 26 '09 at 20:22
    
So just adding a second card that wasn't SLI would let me have each output to two monitors? –  mandroid Aug 26 '09 at 20:31
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You might want to consider buying something like the Matrox TripleHead2Go.

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