PCI express + 4 monitors

shoeless

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I plan to build a new PC soon and need advice concerning graphics cards. I mainly use my PC for my Futures trading business and need to drive 4 monitors (with the ability to add more) One option would be to buy a Matrox G450 MMS PCI card. It will drive the 4 monitors by itself, but I'm wondering if I could use something like an Asus A8N-SLI mother board and install two PCI express cards but NOT use them in SLI mode. Would each of these drive two monitors and give better perfomance than the Matrox setup? If so, which cards would you recommend? Any other suggestions?thanks, shoeless
 

cleeve

Illustrious
Moderator
If it's futures trading, then you're using the internet and 3d performance isn't an issue.

What you're looking for is flexibility to use the monitors to display the data how you'd like, and I believe Matrox has the edge.

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shoeless

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Thanks for your prompt reply. You are correct that 3d is not needed. The matrox card would be a simple setup, but won't make it any easier to configure the monitors because that is done in my trading software. The Matrox card is also VERY expensive. I'm just curious to know if using the PCI express cards would give better thruput/bandwith or whatever else it has that would contribute to good performance. I want to relieve the CPU of as much work as possible so it can do all the number crunching more easily and quickly. shoeless
 

RichPLS

Champion
I do not think the Matrox card will have any problems for what you are requiring in PCI-e or AGP versions.

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RichPLS

Champion
and the cost should be insignificant, since this ability will enable your career and increase your efficiency, thus increase revenues.

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shoeless

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The Matrox card is only available in the old PCI standard, no AGP or PCI express. Also, if I go with the Matrox card and it fails, I can't run any monitors and I'm out of business. With a two card setup, I could alway run two monitors if one card failed. There is much to weigh in making the decision, the thing I'm trying to find out is: are there performance benefits or penalties for using a pair of PCI express cards in NON SLI mode vs using the PCI Matrox 4-monitor card. BTW, the matrox card has 4 individual processors to run each monitor.
Does this muddy the water enough? thanks, shoeless
 

cleeve

Illustrious
Moderator
Like I said, thruput/bandwidth, any performance numbers are irrelevant. The type of functionality you require would see no difference on old PCI videocards, light years behind AGP or PCI-express.

You could likley use a cheap AGP card and a PCI-videocard, or a PCI-express card and a PCI videocard to do the same thing, if the software supports it... which is what you need to find out.

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Matrox has a PCIe P650 (2 outputs), and it will work with the SLI board too, and would be able to work in tandem like the other options. But if you want the monitors, 1 cards, your options are limited.

2 X300SEs (or GF6200s) would work also, but it depends on if you want the best 2D and multi-monitor support, or whatever does the trick.

are there performance benefits or penalties for using a pair of PCI express cards in NON SLI mode vs using the PCI Matrox 4-monitor card.
Not really performance benifits so much as quality benifits. If you run ultra high resolutions then you'll want a more modern card from either Matrox or it's competitors, something with faster RAMDACs to support higher resolution with higher refresh. But even then you may not notice the difference because you'll not be limited by the cards' performance so much as your information source giving you information need to refresh your screen.

Even for running models, you're not going to see much difference.


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