Quote: Originally Posted by Kemf
Thanks! I've never seen a video card that can run 3 monitors; can you show me which one you're referring to?
Without a price range, it's hard to narrow down the field
(And I'm not sure of your location so I'll just newegg as a reference)
But for some rough examples: Newegg.com - HIS iCooler H775F1GD Radeon HD 7750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card ( 11202-00-20G) Newegg.com - HIS IceQ H657QO1G Radeon HD 6570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card Newegg.com - XFX CORE Edition FX-777A-ZNF4 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
For AMD cards, to run three monitors, typically 2 monitors will connect via DVI and the 3rd will connect via what's called a Display port, or mini DP. (it's a new connection type). Alternatively, one via DVI, one Via HDMI and one via DP. It depends on the card itself.
If your monitor doesn't have a 'native' DP port, you can use a Display/Mini Display port to DVI or hdmi adapter. Even VGA if need be.
ie: (These are just a couple of examples) Newegg.com - macally MDDVI Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adaptor Newegg.com - BYTECC MDPDHD-15CM Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort + DVI + HDMI® Adaptor Newegg.com - StarTech DisplayPort to DVI Video Adapter DP2DVI DisplayPort to DVI Interface
Do you currently have the 4 monitors or will you be buying them as well?
If you currently have the four monitors, do know what connection types they are capable of?
Either way there's a plethora of ways/workarounds to connect.
Alternatively, there is nvidia. The GTX 670/680 can actually run four monitors off one card - however price is a factor as the cheapest GTX 670 is around $400
ie: Newegg.com - MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
(I've got two of the cards in the second link and have 2 monitors and two TVs connected to the primary card. Then again my needs are very different to yours and to me the price was acceptable. For an office role, it would be overkill. )
Lastly is your original choice of two cards. Since the cards will simply be used for displaying screens and nothing more strenuous, you could simply purchase two cheap cards with the monitor connections you need. All you need is a motherboard with two PCI-E slots and you're good to go. Most ATX boards will have two PCI-E slots. Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Desktop Graphics Cards, NVIDIA
But you have at least 3 options to run 4 monitors to choose from
So basically you'll need a case, a PSU, motherboard, video card/s, RAM, and SSD. Do you need an Optical disc drive as well? (DVD-RW)
If you can give a budget, I could put together examples of IVY and Sandy bridged systems for you if you'd like.
Many years ago I read that prebuilt systems have LESS issues than custom built ones due to compatibility testing from the manufacturer--is there truth to this?
There is a kernel of truth that simply because prebuilt machines are so homogeneous. Carefully selected components for a custom build completely mitigates that.