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Build Advice Dual 4k monitors...for work!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GeordieStew, 8 Jul 2018.

  1. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    Hi

    I'm looking to beef up a work PC for myself.

    Currently probably a rubbish mobo and low end i7 maybe. 16GB of DDR3.

    I'm a developer and would like more screen real estate. Aiming for 2 x 28" 4K monitors.

    What do I need hardware wise? Better mobo (to take better graphics card)? Which graphics card at a minimum? (no gaming, no videos, just work)

    Thanks
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    If you’re not gaming and not rendering you don’t need much. Your current GPU might even do it. Just check the specs to see how many panels of what resolution it’ll drive.

    More CPU and more RAM will allow your stuff to compile faster or allow some VMs for parallel testing. And more RAM is never a bad idea. Max it out if you can. But if you’ve already got an i7 of any generation you probably won’t gain much for this workload.
     
  3. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    I don't think existing gpu will handle it. And not sure mobo will take a modern gpu.
     
  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Why wouldn't your motherboard take a new gpu?

    Listing your current specs would confirm stuff. But yeah, you shouldn't need a particularly high end gpu just to run 2 screens.
     
  5. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    Two 4k screens though?

    Definitely not gaming on it. I'll take a look when I'm in the office tomorrow.
     
  6. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    As long as you have a PCI-E slot you can put pretty much any PCI-E graphics card in, so not sure why you're worried about that. They'll usually step down to PCI-E 2.0 which you probably have if you don't have 3.0.

    In terms of GPU, a GT 1030 will drive the resolution on multiple screens. It's only desktop pixels? It's not like it's an intensive workload.
     
  7. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    How do I know if it's a PCI-E motherboard? I have no idea.

    1030 is a lot cheaper than I was expecting. Good news! Thank you
     
  8. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    If the computer is anywhere inside 10 years old you almost certainly have PCI-E available.

    If you can download stuff, grab CPU-Z and post a screenshot of each tab and we will be able to advise more :)
     
  9. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    Considering it is an i7 based machine... you definitely do have PCI-E.
     
  10. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    For the 1030 iirc you need to make sure you get one with 1x DP and 1x HDMI... the models with DVI it's only single link [iirc] which won't do 4k.

    ...Also make sure its the gddr5 model, some cheaper offerings use DDR4 and they are terrible...

    Else you're looking at a 1050... or if it's just for work [and/or someone else is paying] - the Quadro P400 or the Radeon Pro WX 2100, both of those can do up to 3 4k screens without issue iirc.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2018
  11. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    P400 sounds good. Gives scope for additional 4k display.
     
  12. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    It's worth pointing out that a 9xx series Nvidia with the pre-requisite ports will also do the job.

    As will I think a 7xx series.

    You're not gaming, you just need hardware support for the resolution, and enough ports.
     
  13. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Indeed, 2nd hand is always an option... I was speaking purely in terms of buying new...
     
  14. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Sure. The bit we’re missing is current specs. He might already have something that’ll do the job is more the point I’m making.
     
  15. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    The costs we're talking about are fairly low (especially compared to 2 or 3 4k monitors).

    I do need to confirm current specs and I'll do that tomorrow. I suspect only two video outputs though!
     
  16. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    I have had 2 x 28" 4k screens at work, not 100% sure what is in my laptop gpu wise, I can check tomorrow, it is not a heavyweight so might be onboard Intel?

    4k on 28" for me at least it was too high for work with a PPI @ ~160, scaling on Unix is not amazing with the software I run so text is quite small, super crisp, but I need a touch bigger to be comfortable, reckon 2x32" 4k would be better if side by side width isn't too OTT but I have not tried it, personally I switched out for a 40" 4k just to have a big usable workspace which isn't as awesome as 2x28 but all day on that would lead to strain, I feel I could handle higher DPI screen smaller screens like 2 x 32" 4ks but I am not prepared to splash out and be a guinea pig.

    I'm not the only one in the office who find 28" 4k a spec mistake, many are running them at 1440p which look piss poor being non native, Windows users are running 25% scale which isn't that far off 1440p for usable screen real estate.
     
  17. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    Interesting sandys. Thrown a right spanner in the works.

    It'll definitely be a Windows environment. Currently at 150% (EDIT 175%) scaling on my Surface Book 2. Waiting for my Surface Dock to arrive to see what a 28" 4k looks like plugged in.

    Hmmm...now I'm unsure about what to do!
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2018
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I haven't jumped on the 4K bandwagon, but I've got a 1080p 13" laptop and that's small enough. If I'd opted for the "better" 4K panel, I'd probably need a jeweller's loupe to use the thing!
     
  19. true_gamer

    true_gamer Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would look at a 40" monitor as you will be able to run windows at 4k without having to use windows scaling. As you will hardly be able to read anything at the native res on smaller screens.
    Which asks the question, of which version of windows are you using?

    Just food for thought, from personal experience. ;)
     
  20. GeordieStew

    GeordieStew Member

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    Windows 10. I have a spare 28" 4k monitor in the office. I'll give that a go and see how I get on. Either way, it'll be a step up from 1080p, I'd imagine.

    Not sure about 40". Just too much desk space taken up, and I'd be alienating a lot of my staff! ;)
     

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