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Windows 7: Triple Monitors - Win7

26 Nov 2010   #1
Keir Azuma

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Triple Monitors - Win7

Hi, first time posting here.

Model: Asus Essentio CM5570-CP006 (Few mods to the specs)
OS: Win7 Ultimate 64

I currently have a 3 monitor setup for my computer and would like to use all 3 at once. I currently am using a PNY Geforce 9800GT. From researching, I've found out that to use two cards they have to use the same driver otherwise only one card can be used at a time, while the other one is disabled. Which of the following cards would solve my problem? I have no other PCI-E x16 slots so dual 9800`s is out of the question. Also are there any other possible cards I could use instead? Any input would be appreciated.

TLDR: 3 Monitors, currently using 9800GT, need second graphics card for 3rd monitor, which one should I get? Avalible slots are PCI and PCI-E x1.

Possible cards I found:

EVGA 9400 GT (PCI) | 01G-P1-N948-LR | EVGA GeForce 9400 GT 1GB DDR2 PCI Low Profile
Sparkle 9500 GT (PCI) | SP95GT1024D2LHP | Sparkle GeForce 9500 GT 1GB DDR2 PCI Low Profile
Zotac ION
(PCI-E x1) - ZOTAC ION-GPU-A-E ION Graphics Processor 512MB DDR3 PCI Express x1 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

Keir, welcome to the Seven Forums.

How about none of the above and this one instead, - SPARKLE SFPC84GS256U2LP GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Video Card

about the cheapest you're going to find that has Windows 7 support, that and it uses the same driver as your current 9800.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #3
Keir Azuma

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Thank for the welcoming Stormy.

Ouch, 8400GS? That bad of support for 7? I wish I had another PCI-E slot now, I ironicly have a Asus 8600GS PCI-E on me too.

Regardless, thanks!

EDIT: Cheapest? What other possible cards could I use?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Nov 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

With windows 7 support, not much outside of a few old ATI or Nvidia cards, - Computer Hardware,Video Cards & Video Devices,Desktop Graphics / Video Cards,PCI

at $40 that 8400 GS is more than enough for running a 3rd or even 4th monitor off of, and uses the same Windows 7 driver model (WDDM 1.1) as your current card and won't cause any conflicts.

There have been quite a few threads here about just this sort of thing where someone is using a current/semi current card (ATI HD 2xxx series and up, or Nvidia 8xxx series and up) that uses the WDDM 1.1 driver, and trying to run it with an older card (for ATI anything from the X19xx series and down, and Nvidia from the 7xxx and down) that can only use the WDDM 1.0 (or worse, XP driver). The problem they run into is that the driver for the older card causes the driver for the newer card to not function. From what I have seen this only happens when you try and use a new ATI with an older, or new Nvidia with an older, haven't seen yet that the problem occurs if you mix a new/er ATI with an older Nvidia card and vie versa.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #5
Keir Azuma

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Ah, that would explain my situation then. Thank you very much for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Have a look at this, this should clear up some of the confusion for triple monitor setups. It's not so much the GPU as the software that is being used. With the AMD cards starting with the 5xxx series you get the software to do that. You also will need a monitor that has a display port or a display prot to DVI adapter. There are some third party software out there like Ultramon and Display fusion Pro that should allow you to do the same thing but their limited in features.

AMD Eyefinity Technology for Consumers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

What do you plan on doing with the 3 screens? If you want to game across the 3, then you need an ATI HD5K or 6K series card, or a Matrox Tiple Head to Go.
If you just want an extended Desktop then adding a PCI or PCIx1 card will work fine for you.
You can use AMD and Nvidia cards at the same time in Windows 7.

Ultramon is a great program that adds a taskbar to the other screens, as well as a few other nifty features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #8
Keir Azuma

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Thank Bassfisher, but I want to stay with Nvidia; they have better support with Ubuntu (dual booting).

Zepher, I'm just wanting to use 3 monitors. My monitors are in a triangle design (one on top with the two on under it; think of a triforce). Extending games over mutiple screens is a pointless design idea in my opinion, I'd rather just buy a 24" widescreen...which would be kinda cool and possible with a second card. o-o

Also I have a new question on compatible graphics cards. Nvidia's latest driver for the 9800GT shows an entire list of cards that are supported by that exact driver.

GeForce 400 series:
GTX 480, GTX 460, GTX 465, GTX 470, GTS 450, GT 430

GeForce 300 series:

315, GT 320, GT 330, 310, GT 340

GeForce 200 series:

G210, GTX 275, GTS 250, GTX 295, GTS 240, GT 230, 210, GTX 260, GTX 285, GTX 280, GT 220, 205, GT 240

GeForce 100 series:

GT 130, GT 140, GT 120, G 100

GeForce 9 series:

9300 GE, 9300, 9600 GS, 9400 GT, 9300 GS, 9800 GTX/GTX+, 9500 GT, 9800 GT, 9200, 9100, 9400, 9600 GSO, 9600 GT, 9800 GX2, 9500 GS

GeForce 8 series:

8200, 8600 GT, 8300, 8800 Ultra, 8400 GS, 8800 GTS 512, 8800 GTS, 8100 / nForce 720a, 8800 GS, 8400, 8400 SE, 8600 GS, 8800 GTX, 8500 GT, 8200 / nForce 730a, 8600 GTS, 8800 GT, 8300 GS

GeForce 7 series:

7500 LE, 7800 GS, 7800 SLI, 7950 GT, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 620i, 7800 GTX, 7900 GT/GTO, 7150 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7025 / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7650 GS, 7050 PV / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7900 GS, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i, 7900 GTX, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7100 GS, 7300 GT, 7600 GT, 7600 LE, 7300 GS, 7950 GX2, 7550 LE, 7350 LE, 7300 SE / 7200 GS, 7300 LE, 7600 GS

GeForce 6 series:

6200, 6150SE nForce 430, 6600, 6800 Ultra, 6500, 6800 LE, 6100, 6100 nForce 420, 6150, 6200 LE, 6600 LE, 6800, 6150LE / Quadro NVS 210S, 6800 GS/XT, 6200SE TurboCache, 6610 XL, 6250, 6100 nForce 400, 6700 XL, 6100 nForce 405, 6800 GS, 6150 LE, 6800 GT, 6200 TurboCache, 6600 VE, 6800 XE, 6800 XT, 6200 A-LE, 6600 GT

ION series:

Does this mean all of these use the same Windows Driver Model since my 9800GT works? If not, how the heck do I figure out which ones can use the WDDM 1.1 model? By their DirectX support?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

Does this mean all of these use the same Windows Driver Model since my 9800GT works?
Only cards from the 8xxx series and up support WDDM 1.1, anything below that (7xxx series and down) will all have the WDDM 1.0 driver installed.

Windows Display Driver Model - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the limitations of WDDM driver model version 1.0 is that it does not support multiple drivers in a multi-adapter, multi-monitor setup. If a multi-monitor system has more than one graphics adapter powering the monitors, both the adaptors must use the same WDDM driver. If more than one driver is used, Windows will disable one of them.[7]. WDDM 1.1 does not have this limitation.[8]
Which is why you run into problems when trying to use a Nvidia 1.0 card with a 1.1 card.

how the heck do I figure out which ones can use the WDDM 1.1 model? By their DirectX support?
Pretty much. As long as you stay with any card that supports DirectX 10 and up you won't have a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #10
Keir Azuma

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Excellent, thank you Stormy and everyone else for your assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Triple Monitors - Win7

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