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I currently own a 27" iMac and 2 24" monitors. This configuration usually runs in a triple monitor config with the 2 monitors plugged into the iMac's 2 thunderbolt ports.

I have another desktop which runs Ubuntu and I want to hook it up to use all 3 monitors. The current graphics card on it is 9800GT which has 2 DVI ports and no display port so I'm able to connect the 2 smaller monitors but not the iMac. As I understand it, the iMac screen can only be used as an external monitor through a DisplayPort output.

My question is if I buy a new graphics card with 2 DVI ports and 1 display port, will it allow me to run the Ubuntu desktop with all 3 screens? If so, can anyone advise me where I can buy such a graphics card? I'm sure there are good places to buy such things cheaply. Right now I'm going through each card since I don't know a site that searches specs. To confirm, the purpose of the card is purely for the triple screen config, not for gaming, etc. so hopefully I don't need to buy a really recent card.

Note: I'm in the UK

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closed as off topic by studiohack Jan 24 '12 at 16:03

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Per the faq this Superuser is "for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about … •computer hardware •computer software •personal and home computer networking" It is not for shopping or buying recommendations. If you edit your question to only ask if a specific model will work, I think it will be OK. –  CharlieRB Jan 24 '12 at 14:39
    
@CharlieRB - I think this question is fine - it's less about 'what should I buy' and more 'if I buy this, will it work'. –  Shinrai Jan 24 '12 at 15:30
    
It needs to be edited to be clearer, right now, it is too much of a shopping question. –  studiohack Jan 24 '12 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

Also note it's the GPU's capability, not the ports on the card, that ultimately decides how many displays you can use. Some cards may have 3 outputs, but you may find that you can only use 2 of them at a time.

Better check the specs of the GPU on nvidia/amd's website to make sure how many displays are supported and the max resolution for each.

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This. Some cards with that combination will support three simultaneous outputs, some won't. You need to research the specific cards. For example, two current generation cards as of this writing - the Nvidia Quadro 2000 has two DisplayPort and one DVI, but only supports two connections simultaneously between the three ports. The AMD FirePro 4800 has the exact same ports, but supports using all three at once as long as one is native DisplayPort (no passive adapters). This sort of distinction is what you need to look for. –  Shinrai Jan 24 '12 at 15:30

Display port is sort of a multi-purpose port... you can use an adapter to convert it to a DVI port quite easily. Keep in mind, as it's a mac, it's more likely that it's a mini-display port... not the full-sized port... but there are still adapters. It should work fine as long as you get the correct adapter. Alternatively, HDMI ports are becoming more common as a 3rd port on many video cards... which also have an adapter to convert to DVI.

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