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I am looking to put together a new desktop computer. For the last couple of years I have been using a DELL laptop plus an external screen using Twin View and this has worked nicely.

Now I would like to move to a desktop with a 3 screen setup using 1 video card. Is this possible, if so what would be the best hardware (video card) to use?

If its not possible I can stick with a dual screen setup, but again my questions holds, what video cards would be recommended?

One caveat. I am a hardcore addict with compiz fusion. I can't live without out it So the setup has to work with compiz fusion.

Any input is greatly appreciated!

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2 Answers 2

For a new desktop computer you would want an Eyefinity enabled video card.

I personally use an XFX HD 5870.

Most, if not all, video cards that support three monitors will require either one monitor to have a Display Port (read: Very expensive monitor) or you to buy an active display port adapter. Those run around $90. Passive ones will not work.

So yeah. What you're looking for is an Eyefinity enabled ATI video card. Even the ones with two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort will require one of your monitors to be hooked up to the display port because it can't pull power from the 3 others at the same time.

EDIT: Also, any of these cards should be beyond powerful enough to support Compiz.

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Thanks, now I just have to see if its possible to find such a card here. What would you recommend as a good video card for a dual screen setup + compiz? –  Ash G Oct 22 '10 at 3:32
    
+1 for Eyefinity. –  Nathan Osman Oct 22 '10 at 4:02
    
What is your price range you are looking at for a card? Also, do you plan on doing much gaming, or is Compiz the most graphic thing of your worries? –  ThePhysician Oct 22 '10 at 14:46
    
Not to concerned with price range. I don't have an unlimited budget but I don't want to buy something only to have it perform poorly or break in 6 months time. For gaming I'll generally use a windows box so no, this one won't be used for gaming, strictly for work and using compiz –  Ash G Oct 23 '10 at 22:25
    
There's this: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150505 Which is wonderful and about the best deal if you're still looking to supports 3 monitors (one with DisplayPort still though). For two monitors only I'd recommend: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150436 It has a double lifetime warranty, meaning when you upgrade and sell the card, the person you sell it to gets a lifetime warranty as well. Look to XFX for great warranties, great products, and excellent Linux compatibility. All my boxes use their cards. None have died. –  ThePhysician Oct 24 '10 at 0:44

Unfortunately, there are no triple-head video cards for notebooks that I know of. What you could do is purchase a DisplayLink based monitor for the third screen as they have a built-in video card. Compiz would not work on that display, but you could probably keep it on the other two.

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I dont need it for the notebook. I am moving away from the notebook to a desktop. –  Ash G Oct 22 '10 at 3:31
    
@Ash: Oooooh. Then I think you need to add that to your question. –  Nathan Osman Oct 22 '10 at 4:01
    
Hi George, it is in the question. 1st paragraph details that I am currently using a laptop. Second paragraph says "Now I would like to move to a desktop with a 3 screen setup using 1 video card" –  Ash G Oct 22 '10 at 8:26
    
@Ash: My bad :) –  Nathan Osman Oct 22 '10 at 18:59
    
No Worries, it happens ;) –  Ash G Oct 23 '10 at 0:42

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