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I am about to build a new linux workstation.

After having a bad experience with my ATI video cards, I decide that the graphic cards need to be chosen more carefully.

Is there any graphics card, that

  • Can run 4 monitors on 1920x1080 simultaneously
  • in porttrait mode (monitors are rotated 90 degrees) (Important!)
  • on Linux
  • with everything put together in one virtual screen (ATI calls this "Xinerama")?
  • (open source driver preffered.)

Please no wild guessing. I know that in theory this should work with almost any recent graphics card. In practise, it just doesn't.

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closed as off topic by Karan, Renan, Mokubai, Windos, Dave M Mar 12 '13 at 12:14

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2 Answers

Nearly all of the mid-to-high end Kepler based NVIDIA cards (the 600 series) support 4 monitors on one card.

Check out the specifications for any card you might be considering to see if that one does support 4 displays. See where is says :

Display Support:
Multi Monitor          4 displays

That said, I only use the NVIDIA supplied driver and it does support a unified desktop (Twinview, even with more than 2 monitors, is what they call the one-desktop mode) and rotation of any/all monitors. Use the nvidia-settings tool to set the rotation and monitor positioning. Run as root to save the changes permanently.

Pre-Kepler GPUs, the 500 series and earlier, do NOT support more than 2 monitors per card. You'd need a multi-gpu (non sli) setup to get that.

I should also add that depending on which desktop environment and version you're running, you may have issues with 3-d acceleration on very wide desktops. This I don't know for sure, but I recall reading about issues with earlier versions of Gnome3 and desktops wider than 5000px. This issue, if it ever really existed, doesn't seem to any longer, or, at least not at anything close to 5000px in general. BUT lower-end GPUs cannot do 3D acceleration across very wide desktops. All GPUs have limitations on how large an area pixel wise they can perform 3D acceleration but documentation on these limitations is not easy to come by. My current desktop is 5440px wide is is fine on a GTX 670 (and would be on anything 650 or above. that's a guess, though).

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I have 3 23" 1080p monitors in portrait mode and 1 27" 1080p monitor in landscape mode. This is working properly under Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS 64bit Desktop version with the latest stable ATI drivers. My graphic cards are ATI Radeon HD 6970 in a Crossfire setup. I've not experienced any issues as you have mentioned. I also have a 23" Landscape and 20" Landscape on the integrated graphics card. There are a few quarks when switching an application from an ATI driven monitor over to the IG monitor, but I really wouldn't expect anything less.

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What kind of motherboard/IG do you have? Or did I misread and is your IG a 6970 as well? –  Anthon Apr 3 '13 at 7:55
    
I have an ASUS Sabertooth Z77 with Core i7 3770 with HD4000 IG –  kobaltz Apr 10 '13 at 12:39
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