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Multiple 4k Monitors - Which Graphics Card?

Post Date: 2019-09-04

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bluedevil2k View Drop Down
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  Quote bluedevil2k Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Multiple 4k Monitors - Which Graphics Card?
    Posted: 04 Sep 2019 at 12:08pm
I'm putting together a build that I want to be a crazy good programmer's machine.  I rarely game, but I want the latest and greatest and I want the desktop to look cool. I run dozens of apps at the same time (DB's, servers, browsers, Photoshop, compilers), so speed and multi-tasking are the most important things I'm looking for. I'm looking at the Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core processor, M.2 SSD drives, 32 GB memory to accomplish this.

The big thing that I want though is to have 3 4k monitors on my desk - a 42" 4k in the middle (a Samsung TV) and a pair of 28" 4k monitors on each side (Samsung 4k computer monitor).  I don't know enough about graphics cards to know if this is possible (I assume it is), and which graphics card I would need in the machine to accomplish this.  I'm looking for a recommendation.  My total budget for the machine is around $2,200 on the desktop (no mouse, no keyboard, no speakers, no monitors).

Here's my config right now, comes in at $2,063 after the discount.  Config 2566955

System Configuration:Chassis Model: Digital Storm Lumos
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (12-Core) 4.6 GHz Turbo (BACKORDERED MID SEPTEMBER)
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME X570-P (AMD X570 Chipset) (Up to 2x PCI-E Devices)
System Memory: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Corsair Dominator Platinum DHX (Extreme-Performance)
Power Supply: 850W Digital Storm Performance Series (Fully Modular) (80 Plus Gold)
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Optical Drive: - No Thanks
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (500GB Digital Storm M.2 Performance Series)
Storage Set 2: 1x SSD (500GB Digital Storm Performance Series)
Storage Set 3: - No Thanks
RAID Config: - No Thanks
RAID Card: - No Thanks
Internet Access: Wireless PCI-E ASUS PCE-AC56 (Supports 802.11ac)
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce GTX 1660 6GB (VR Ready)
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
HPC Processor: - No Thanks
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 1: Digital Storm Vortex Liquid CPU Cooler (Single Fan) (Fully Sealed + No Maintenance)
HydroLux Tubing Style: - Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
HydroLux Fluid Color: - Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
Cable Management: Premium Cable Management (Strategically Routed & Organized for Airflow)
Chassis Fans: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: Remote Controlled Advanced LED Lighting System (Multiple RGB Color Modes)
Airflow Control: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: - No Thanks


Edited by bluedevil2k - 04 Sep 2019 at 6:32pm
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HockeyBuck View Drop Down
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Sep 2019 at 12:26am
Welcome to the forums bluedevil2k.    

To be perfectly honest, your expectations are way larger than your budget...lol.    We tell most folks who plan on driving just one 4K monitor they will need at least the RTX 2080 Super GPU to do that well.    If you really want 4k X3 display performance, that's even more stress on a GPU, in my opinion you will need the top consumer GPU on the market to do that job ...the RTX 2080 Ti with its 11 GB of VRAM on board.   

The RTX 2080 Super with 8 GB VRAM would do multi monitors (up to 4 displays) in 2K or 1080P resolution very well, and should do 4K on 1 big monitor OK...but I wouldn't expect 3 x 4K res panels to work very well.   

BTW...multi-monitor generally works best with all matching monitors of the same size and resolution...but it would work all right with 3 separate odd size monitors/TV.   Harder on the GPU scaling different sized max 4K res displays.

On another point, you have selected a standard 500 GB SATA III M.2 SSD Drive 1. I would suggest you replace that with a 500 GB Samsung M.2 NVME SSD.   M.2 NVME SSD are 5X faster than the SATA III variety, as it uses the way faster PCIE (video) bus on the motherboard.


Hope that info helps you to adjust the build...or tweak the budget.
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bluedevil2k View Drop Down
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  Quote bluedevil2k Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Sep 2019 at 5:44am
Thanks HockeyBuck.  Just to clarify, even if I never planned to game at all, and just was running browsers and text editors on the screen, I would need the RTX 2080 Super GPU to run a single 4k monitor?  Or were you referring to needing the 2080 to game on a 4k?

I'm running a 5k iMac from 2014, running Windows (didn't work as well as I hoped), and that has a Radeon R9 M295X 2 GB that drives the 5k display and could sometimes run an external 4k monitor as well.  I say sometimes, cause I think the poor cooling in the iMac hurt performance, and the machine would become slow to respond after a few hours.

And thank you for the comment on the SSD, I'll definitely adjust my config for the new drive.
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HockeyBuck View Drop Down
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Sep 2019 at 12:52pm

There’s running 4K, and running it properly with full resources and performance.     The RTX 2080 Ti with 11 GB VRAM is the best GPU you can get, and will still be pushed running 3 X 4K displays at top quality settings.     That’s a lot of pixels to push for any card.
It wouldn’t surprise me much if that difficult graphics task warranted a second RTX 2080 Ti running in SLI / NSync to do it the best.     Easily added later if you find the need after trying one card first. Has to be a matching GPU.

Wouldn’t expect an RTX 2080 Super to run one 4K monitor with ultra settings in all gaming, but the settings would still be high.    Multi monitor 4K would probably barely function, but likely with limitations and all quality settings dialed down.    Only has 8 GB VRAM.
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