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Need advice on a new video card


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#1 flobiwan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 06:59 AM

I have a Dell XPS 8700 running three monitors and 3 hard drives (the C drive and two additional storage drives).  The PC has a stock 460W power supply which is running everything fine.

 

I'd like to add a 4th monitor.  Can anyone recommend a decent video card that will run 4 monitors without costing a fortune?

 

Also, can anyone give me an idea of the power requirements you think i'd need?  I'd rather not upgrade the PS but i will if i have to.

 

It should be noted that i don't us the PC for gaming, just work and internet.  I'm an accountant so accounting softwares and spreadsheets mainly.

 

 



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:42 AM

Your current video card is what?

#3 flobiwan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 09:25 AM

Sorry.  I wrote that in a hurry and should have given more info.  My current video card is a NVIDiA GeForce GT 720 (came with the PC) and i am running Windows 7 64bit Professional edition with 32GB of RAM.  There is only 1 PCI-e slot  



#4 Drillingmachine

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:46 AM

Sorry.  I wrote that in a hurry and should have given more info.  My current video card is a NVIDiA GeForce GT 720 (came with the PC) and i am running Windows 7 64bit Professional edition with 32GB of RAM.  There is only 1 PCI-e slot


If it has displayport 1.2 or better, you should be able to use MST hub that converts one displayport connector into 2-3 displayport connectors.

#5 KB0

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 05:42 PM

If you don't get a specific recommendation, I would do a little bit of staring and comparing at Passmark's benchmarking results. They have several categories to browse including a best value category. Now, you can't beat someone's recommendation based on experience but lacking a specific recommendation, I would look at Passmark's results:

 

https://www.google.com/#q=passmark+gpu+benchmarks

 

Also, to go one step further, you can download their software and use it free for 30 days. And, that software allows you to search all previous benchmarks using your CPU + mobo to find out which GPU performs the best with that combo.

 

Good luck!

 

KB0



#6 Drillingmachine

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 03:31 AM

If you don't get a specific recommendation, I would do a little bit of staring and comparing at Passmark's benchmarking results. They have several categories to browse including a best value category. Now, you can't beat someone's recommendation based on experience but lacking a specific recommendation, I would look at Passmark's results:
 
https://www.google.com/#q=passmark+gpu+benchmarks
 
Also, to go one step further, you can download their software and use it free for 30 days. And, that software allows you to search all previous benchmarks using your CPU + mobo to find out which GPU performs the best with that combo.
 
Good luck!
 
KB0


Passmark benchmarks are outdated synthetic benchmarks and so useless.

Edited by Drillingmachine, 12 August 2016 - 03:31 AM.


#7 KB0

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 04:28 AM

@Drillingmachine:

 

Instead of bashing an idea, make a positive suggestion or be silent please. The procedures I described work perfectly to narrow down your choices for a graphics card and, BTW, they work much better than your recommendation (or lack thereof) which is absolutely nothing worthwhile.


Edited by KB0, 12 August 2016 - 04:32 AM.


#8 flobiwan

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 07:12 AM

I didn't mean to start a fight.  In response to DrillingMachine, what is DisplayPort?



#9 Drillingmachine

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 08:02 AM

@Drillingmachine:
 
Instead of bashing an idea, make a positive suggestion or be silent please. The procedures I described work perfectly to narrow down your choices for a graphics card and, BTW, they work much better than your recommendation (or lack thereof) which is absolutely nothing worthwhile.


You get much better just googling "insert video card here" benchmarks and ignoring anything Passmark related from results.

That recommendation was included in my post and beats everything Passmark can offer.

Even better one is to look for real world game tests. Like "insert video card here" benchmarks "insert game here".

That was positive suggestion. Better ones can be asked.

For example Passmark lists GTX970 much higher than RX 480. Very "useful" list.
 

I didn't mean to start a fight.  In response to DrillingMachine, what is DisplayPort?


Display connector in newer video cards. Advantage is that Displayport signal can be easily "split" to support multiple displays.


Edited by Drillingmachine, 12 August 2016 - 08:03 AM.


#10 jonuk76

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 02:23 PM

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

This assumes you are running monitors with a digital connection (DVI, HDMI or Display Port).  If you are using VGA only monitors you may struggle.  Do check the exact configuration of the card before you buy, as there are different port combinations available within the same basic model of card.

 

The Firepro card runs off the PCIe slot only, and has low power requirements.  The two Radeon's need a PCIe connector from the power supply as they draw more than 75w.  However, they should be perfectly OK with a 460w power supply.

 

Video benchmarks are pretty irrelevant for running accounting software, any modern video card will have sufficient performance, you just need it to support your display configuration (and the GT 720 doesn't support 4 displays at all, if Nvidia's official specs are right).  


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#11 Drillingmachine

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 03:20 PM

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

From what I know for 4 monitors with AMD card you need connect at least 2 monitors to Displayport. So that 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI combo does not support 4 monitors without adapter as there's only one Displayport and so three monitors must be connected to legacy connectors (2 maximum).


Edited by Drillingmachine, 12 August 2016 - 03:20 PM.


#12 KB0

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 04:06 PM

 

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

From what I know for 4 monitors with AMD card you need connect at least 2 monitors to Displayport. So that 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI combo does not support 4 monitors without adapter as there's only one Displayport and so three monitors must be connected to legacy connectors (2 maximum).

 

Not only did you not offer any useful suggestion, you actually went off-topic and started to talk about a display port. So, did the OP ask for help understanding what a display port is or did he ask about a recommendation for a graphics card update. Say what you wish about Passmark but it is a great place to start comparing benchmarks against using your existing CPU and mobo. Now, try finding that with your "insert card here" search. So, in summary, you not only bashed a decent recommendation with your google "insert card here" recommendation but you also diverted from the main topic of the subject with your display port comment. Next time, stick to the topic, make your own recommendations, stcik to the subject and let the OP decide if other suggestions are worthwhile pursing. Google and insert video card here? Are you kidding me?



#13 jonuk76

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 07:33 PM

 

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

From what I know for 4 monitors with AMD card you need connect at least 2 monitors to Displayport. So that 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI combo does not support 4 monitors without adapter as there's only one Displayport and so three monitors must be connected to legacy connectors (2 maximum).

 

 

I think that is right for the older HD series cards, but if I'm understanding correctly it's different for the Rx series cards.  AMD's website states:

 

 

 

Maximum displays: 3 with DVI/HDMI, 4 using DisplayPort, 6 with DisplayPort MST hub

 

and also

 

The table below illustrates the combination of outputs that can be used with the number of connected displays.  Please note when connecting 4 displays, one of the displays must be connected using DisplayPort™ output.

 

Which appears to contradict the maximum 2 displays on legacy connectors "rule"?  


Edited by jonuk76, 12 August 2016 - 07:37 PM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#14 Drillingmachine

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 02:26 AM

 

 

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

From what I know for 4 monitors with AMD card you need connect at least 2 monitors to Displayport. So that 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI combo does not support 4 monitors without adapter as there's only one Displayport and so three monitors must be connected to legacy connectors (2 maximum).

 

Not only did you not offer any useful suggestion, you actually went off-topic and started to talk about a display port. So, did the OP ask for help understanding what a display port is or did he ask about a recommendation for a graphics card update. Say what you wish about Passmark but it is a great place to start comparing benchmarks against using your existing CPU and mobo. Now, try finding that with your "insert card here" search. So, in summary, you not only bashed a decent recommendation with your google "insert card here" recommendation but you also diverted from the main topic of the subject with your display port comment. Next time, stick to the topic, make your own recommendations, stcik to the subject and let the OP decide if other suggestions are worthwhile pursing. Google and insert video card here? Are you kidding me?

 

 

Displayport is generally needed for 4 displays. OP asked for graphic card upgrade on first post.

 

I'm not kidding. Passmark is not great place for anything as it's outdated test software. Google and insert video card here is much better than Passmark. Because problem is not that someone doesn't know something. They don't know = they ask. Problem is that someone thinks he knows something. They think they know = they don't ask. Or in case they ask, they already have some false opinions.

 

This means that if they look at Passmark, they think they know what's good buy. When they google, they realize that this issue is much more complex than just one number that tells everything.

 

I don't care if you believe it or not, but I have years of experience about people who think they know something today just because they knew something 20 years ago. But things change. Also you won't find anyone who knows computers at least as much as I do and really thinks Passmark is good tool for any comparison. There's also no chance that Passmark can offer better recommendations than I can. If you're right, why anyone ask here for recommendations and not just use Passmark?

 

 

 

Last year I installed an AMD Firepro W4100 in a machine for someone that is used with 4 large screens for financial trading purposes and some Photoshop (but no gaming).  It's equipped with 4 mini Display Port plugs (can be converted to DVI or HDMI with suitable leads or adaptors). At the time it seemed one of the more cost effective ways to run four screens, doesn't draw much power, and it suited his needs fine.

 

Not saying it's the only way.  For example a cheaper option is a Radeon R7-250X which according to AMD supports 4 displays using the built in ports (1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI) or up to 6 combined with a DisplayPort MST hub.  Similar situation with the newer/higher spec Radeon R7-360.

 

From what I know for 4 monitors with AMD card you need connect at least 2 monitors to Displayport. So that 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI combo does not support 4 monitors without adapter as there's only one Displayport and so three monitors must be connected to legacy connectors (2 maximum).

 

 

I think that is right for the older HD series cards, but if I'm understanding correctly it's different for the Rx series cards.  AMD's website states:

 

 

 

Maximum displays: 3 with DVI/HDMI, 4 using DisplayPort, 6 with DisplayPort MST hub

 

and also

 

The table below illustrates the combination of outputs that can be used with the number of connected displays.  Please note when connecting 4 displays, one of the displays must be connected using DisplayPort™ output.

 

Which appears to contradict the maximum 2 displays on legacy connectors "rule"?  

 

 

From what I know, that 2 legacy connectors rule apply to all eyefinity cards.

 

Now I got it. You can connect 3 monitors using DVI+HDMI. One to HDMI and 2 to DVI with splitter. But then 2 monitors share same signal from DVI port.


Edited by Drillingmachine, 13 August 2016 - 02:26 AM.


#15 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 10:07 PM

I'm not kidding. Passmark is not great place for anything as it's outdated test software. Google and insert video card here is much better than Passmark. Because problem is not that someone doesn't know something. They don't know = they ask. Problem is that someone thinks he knows something. They think they know = they don't ask. Or in case they ask, they already have some false opinions.


I have to back up drillingmachine on this one. Besides, I don't think the OP needs a powerful card, just a cheap one with 4 display outputs. Jonuk has a very good link.

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