6 monitor sli setup

pomp

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i have been looking for information on doing this

i currently have a rig with 2 gtx 285s in sli
and a triplehead2go; however i have become more of an eve junkie and i would like to run 6 accounts at once, one for each 22" screen.
i plugged in an extra 22 i had laying around for a 4 monitor setup and removed the triplehead. i can run 3 clients right now at max settings 1680x1050 windowed mode just fine (havent tried 4 because of a current lack of accounts); however, i want to take it to the next level.

so based on what i have been reading i am guessing this is possible
if i add 2 9400/9500 cards i should be able to use them as outputs for the 6 monitor setup while still running sli on the gtx 285s
here is the complication.
i only have 3 pci express slots on my motherboard
so what i was wondering is, can it be possible to put in 1 pci express 9500 and 1 regular pci 9400.
i am guessing on this, but i believe they both support phys-x which is required for monitor output cards.

as for other system stuff im not too worried but here it is anyways.

i7 920
mb: evga 3x sli
12gb ram
1000 watt sli certified ps
a buttload of fans
5tb of sotrage and a 120gb ssd
 

belial2k

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You are going down the wrong path there, and I don't think it will work as you expect it to. Your easiest solution other than the triplehead2go is to get a third 285, and run two monitors off of each without the sli...unless all the specs I've seen are wrong, you don't need the sli to run that game smoothly with a gtx285, especially at low res like you are using.
 

pomp

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i would be running six instances of the game at 1680 x 1050 which would tax the system, thus sli is needed. also i would prefer to keep it as cheap as possible as i have already spent enough on this system.

also triplehead2go is awesome for fps games and eve if i was playing a single account; however, for multi accounts windowed mode is needed and i may be wrong on this, but it only seems to want to window at the full 5040 x 1050 res without any other options for different res.
 

belial2k

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have you ever tried running two monitors on one 285 without the sli?...It looks to me that you are spreading your cpu pretty thin to give that many commands, and that will hit the wall before the 285s, but if you haven't tried it yet it won't hurt to try.
 

pomp

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i have 4 monitors going on it right now without triplehead2go and non-sli. it runs 3 game clients just fine and i use the 4th for a web browser.
 
Agreed.
NVidia allows for an extra card to be added for physics processing but not for video output. You can find all this information layed out for you at the NVidia site (probably the SLI section).

There's not much bandwidth in a PCI or PCIe x1 slot so even if you could use these slots your video quality would be low.

I recommend sticking with the four monitor solution. Why not take that extra money and invest in a good sound card like the Auzentech Forte X-Fi and some nice speakers?

 

pomp

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nvidias site already says i can use more cards as outputs as long as they are not the same chipset (in this case a 200 series). so i could get a cheap 8 or 9 series and use it for outputs. what im wondering is whether a pci card can be used as i dont want to buy another mb for 4 pci express slots.

edit: i already have a nice sound setup, im not looking to invest more into this, i am trying to implement a specific solution.
 

belial2k

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then adding another gtx285 would be fine...if one card can run two without problem, 3 can run 6 without problem. SLI will not help anything but graphics, and you've already proven the 285s can handle the graphics load on their own without the sli. Now what you have to worry about is if your cpu can output that many commands to all 6. I don't see any other way to do it other than adding another 285.
 

pomp

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correct me if im wrong here, but without sli it would only be rendering off of one card and the others would just be used as outputs. i notice a small hit when using the third client so i know it is at the point where if i added a 4th client it would drop a lot of fps. i want to be able to utilize the full capabilities of both existing cards as well as have 4 more outputs (as sli takes out the 2nd cards outputs). i tested 2 5040x1050 windows at the same time with triplehead and there was a noticible performance hit even with sli. now i could tweak that and only have 3 running at max and tone down the other 3 clients.

also if i do a dual sli i cannot use a 3rd gtx 285 as just an output according to nvidia as it is the same chipset.
 

pomp

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ati cannot utilize the triplehead at full resolution :/
my plan is to play eve and have a hard switch to go between triplehead and non triplehead, so i dont have to unplug stuff everytime i want to play a fps.
 

belial2k

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sorry if I was giving out bad info there...I've done 4 monitor setups for people, but never 6, so I assumed you could use all the cards independently at full power if you switched off the sli. I will do a little more research on the matter and see what I can find out.
 

pomp

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its cool, all help is appreciated.
from what i have researched, it seems like i could get the outputs i need from 2 8 or 9 series cards while keeping the 285s in sli.
now if i had 4 pci express slots this would be a no brainer, i just go and buy 2 cheap cards and i get 6 outputs.

the problems is that i only have 3 pci-express so i would have to use a pci slot for the 4th. i have already found a 9500 pci on newegg, the thing i am wondering about is, will it work as a 4th output for 2 monitors at 1680 x 1050.

making this triplehead2go setup was a pain in the ass and a half. whenever things go extreme, information sources tend to dry up and i cannot find anything but stock trader setups that dont have sli.

edit: also the way i am thinking about it is, if i can get a 6 monitor setup going without spending a ridiculous amount its worth it, but if its gonna cost me too much then ill just settle for 4 monitors that i already have.

another thing maybe you have seen, i am looking for a decent but cheap 6 monitor stand and the cheapest one i can find is $550.
 

kc5sym

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Check out this site:
http://www.multiplemonitors.org/

I have been looking into changing my single 24inch to 4 22inch lcd screens and I have 2 GTX260's.