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I have a client who has 3 diskless workstations, all running Embedded XP, each running a copy of a very basic 'slideshow' program I wrote for him. Each PC has a DVI output which we run into the HDMI socket on a large widescreen LCD TV. The resolution of each TV is 1280x786 (if I remember correctly, it's possible 13xx across) and the 3 TVs are all physically installed along a wall, next to each other in a line.

For various reasons we're a bit unhappy with the diskless workstations and I want to switch over to a single PC with 3 graphics cards (either 3 desktops or a single desktop spanning 3 monitors - because I have the code for the slideshow software, I could cope with either scenario). The PC would run XP or Server 2003, I don't mind which and I guess it might be constrained by the available graphics card drivers etc.

I've seen dual-head cards; can you buy a card with 3 DVI outputs? Or could you possibly get a dual-head card and then a second card containing the third DVI? Or even 3 cheap cards each with a single DVI? Has anyone ever got 3 different DVI outputs out of a PC?

To be clear - I'm either looking for 3 DVI outputs each giving me around 1280 pixels; such that the PC either thinks I have one single desktop of 3740, or 3 separate 'monitors' of identical resolution which are arranged horizontally to form a large overall desktop.

The PC I had in mind to sacrifice for this is a couple of years-old Dell Dimension (I forget exactly which flavour) - it has a SVGA output but nothing else onboard. I don't know what kind of AGP socket (if any) it has and obviously the available resources inside the PC might have an impact on the solution we can use.

Has anyone tried anything like this before? Any cards/combinations to particularly recommend or avoid? Price is possibly going to be a factor here although if there's only one solution in town then I'd seriously consider it, regardless of the price.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are already several answers here about running three monitors off a single PC:


for example

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Thanks, ChrisF - I guess the wording of my question was too confusing for the automatic 'question already asked' search. :-) – robsoft Sep 13 '09 at 18:25

You say "which we run into the HDMI socket". Many cards (like my NVidia GeForce 8500 GT) have both a DVI and HDMI output. This card could output to the first two monitors, and a second cheaper card could handle the third.

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