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Build Advice Help me build without lagging. One computer. 6 monitors setup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mushi_999, 3 Dec 2008.

  1. mushi_999

    mushi_999 Member

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    Hi, i am currently shopping around for a new desktop. But i have a crazy setup. So i have no idea what to do.

    I had 6 monitors running off my desktop. But it was horribly lagging! It couldn't handle running 6 monitors so i had use 4 monitors instead, and its still somewhat slow.

    Why do i need 6 monitors?

    Well because i have aol messenger, yahoo messenger, 3 msn messengers running on monitor 1.

    As well as winamp and i download music videos not mp3's, playing the music videos on monitor 2.

    Also on monitor 3 i am running my tv tuner. And watching the music channel on mute. So i can record music videos.

    On monitor 4 is the screen i keep all the instant messenger conversations.

    On monitor 5 & 6 is where i surf the net and work on photoshop, dreamweaver, sonar and 3d max. I don't play games

    Plus extra things like google desktop, weather watch, ultramon, calender.


    So as you can see all this stuff was running on a:


    Acer Aspire - Pentium D 820 2.8 GHz
    windows xp media centre 2005
    2 x 500 Gig harddrives
    1 pci-e 8600 gts video card
    2 x pci 128mb video cards
    2 Gig Ram(can't fit anymore ram in it)
    6 x lcd monitors 15"-20"


    I have switched my setup around and am now using 2 computers, for 3 screens and other for 3 screens because im sick of the lagging when i open photoshop and other various programs.

    I would love to go back to using 1 computer.
    Is there a computer which will be able to handle all the multi-tasking that i do?

    Or should i stick to using 2 computers? or buy navida quadro's? im confused and stressed

    help! Advice from computer experts please :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2008
  2. ozstrike

    ozstrike yip yip yip yip

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    What's your budget?
    Tip: use something like Miranda IM, it'll save you having to use multiple IM programs.
     
  3. mushi_999

    mushi_999 Member

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    My budget is no more than 1,500$ as long as it can run without lagging :)


    Here's what i have:

    1 8600 gts video card (for 2 monitors)
    1 mouse/ keyboard
    6 monitors
    1 Vista Ultimate 32 bit i think
    1 speakers

    Here what i think i need (i might of missed a couple things)

    processor
    motherboard
    case
    ram 4 gig? or 8 would be nice
    hard drive around 500
    power supply
    cooling thing?
    cd/dvd burner
    2 more video cards? (don't forget i dont play games)


    did i miss anything?

    I just don't know the technicals and what to get
     
  4. Jasio

    Jasio Made in Canada

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    Rather than stocking up on video cards, why not just try one of these?:

    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29798&vpn=100-U2-UV16-A1&manufacture=eVGA

    At $80 each you can invest the difference you'd put into another video card -- into getting a faster CPU, and more RAM. Buy a USB 4 or 6 port hub... plug a few of these in and off you go. Or at least give 1 or 2 a try and see how it affects your systems performance. That way you can easily afford 8GB of DDR2-800 RAM and a Q6600 or similar processor.

    Those little EVGA doohickeys are also stackable with a little magnet to keep them together.
     
  5. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    The performance on ONE of those will be terrible, never mind four of them. USB simply doesn't have the bandwidth, especially with how the root hubs are generally distributed in terms of physical ports. One decent video card (for the 3d work) and two of the cheapest dual-DVI cards should be plenty.

    If you're getting video lag... hard to say. It's not something you really see in a 2d desktop, typically. If it's general performance lag, I'd blame the RAM - a motherboard that supports more and stuffing its sockets will probably help more than anything else (which means Vista 64-bit probably, as XP64 is worthless and you'll max out your available RAM at 4GB minus what your video card has in a 32-bit system). Possibly the TV tuner - if you're doing any live video compression, that will also suck down a LOT of performance. Some have hardware acceleration and some don't - the former will free up a lot of CPU time when recording video.
     
  6. DorkSterr

    DorkSterr Hakuna Matata

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    Get the new version of the 4870X2 and crossfire it, you'll have power to run all your monitors at any resolution you desire.
     
  7. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    You'll need some really serious RAM and CPU in that computer. :)

    However, maybe you should consider larger monitors, like 22" or 24". That way you could get away with less of them, like 3 or 4.

    OK I quickly put this together in Newegg, it doesn't include any monitors and you'll have to add a case of your linking:

    [​IMG]

    (Don't Crossfire the two graphics cards as I'm not sure if CF supports multimonitors.)
     
  8. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    why do you want to be on one computer? it seems that for a setup like yours, multiple PCs is an ideal solution. you are using synergy to control them all from one keyboard and mouse, right?
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2008
  9. Delphium

    Delphium Eyefinity enabled

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    I suspect the lag is caused by a combination of things, heavy multitasking with low ram and cpu, then the pci gfx cards, are the pci cards nvidia or not?

    I found that when running 4 screens with a pci-e 7series card and a pci 6 series i would get lag sometimes in games, videos, even moving the application from 1 screen to the next, however when running all cards in the same series(tried with all series 4, 6, 7 and 8) i got no lag what soever when gaming across all screens, or playing video across all etc, so possibly a driver issue when using different series cards.
    What motheboard do you use, have you spare pci-e slots?
     
  10. tank_rider

    tank_rider New Member

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    What are the sizes of the 6 monitors? If you're running mostly 15's then get yourself a couple of 22 widescreens to replace them. One 22 should be enough for IM use..

    However i think you're just suffering from the lack of RAM in your current system. If you don't want to spend lots now, you could just try going for a new mobo/cpu/ram/psu combo and see if your current cards work ok. As you're mostly doing 2D work, make sure the monitors with 2D stuff are driven off the pci cards, and the 3dSMax and photoshop etc are driven off the PCI-e card.

    The point about the tv card is also worth following up on, as simply switching that could gain you some power back. In addition, it's worth looking at the setup for the tv card, if you're using one HD for both streaming the tv through/recording onto, the os and to use for photoshop and 3dsmax, then you may well be hitting the HD too much and that be causing the bottleneck. This should be easy to check though, next time the system is getting laggy, check to see if the HD light is constantly on. Also see how much the hd gets hit during normal use. If you changed the scratch discs around that could help.
     
  11. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    Considering you dont game, i would invest in a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 440 as a single card can support 4 displays.

    [​IMG]

    They dont come cheap mind however ebay might be a good friend.

    I would grab a Intel P45 board that has dual PCI-E x16 lanes and install a NVS 440 and a Quadro FX 570 so if you use ebay well both these cards together would cost £300 in total, so like $160...

    Then considering the amount of app's you have open i would grab 8GB of DDR2-6400 its cheap as chips.

    Then its your choice on a Dual core or Quad core, the Q6600 is still a perfromance for cost winner still. cant go wrong.

    Mine shopping list for you..

    Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 or Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3 either really, solid performance.

    Intel Q6600

    Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 PC2-6400C5 (two kits, yes its C5 rated, but i doubt an overclock is needed for this system)

    Corsair VX 450W ATX PSU

    Quadro FX570

    Quadro NVS 440

    case is your choice

    pull the old DVD and HDD's from your current system and use them.

    All that i could get for £700 here in the UK, and i didn't even shop around too much to find the best prices.

    The Intel I7 is a power house of a monster, but nearly everone would strugle to get a Q6600 on its knees. I7 isn't worth the cost yet!
     
  12. dtham

    dtham New Member

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    Any more than 4GB of RAM will not be helpful in 32-bit Vista.

    Like tank_rider said, it could be your hard-drive speed. If you're low on RAM then the Hard Drive will be use a lot, perhaps a faster speed drive (or RAID 0) for programs or a separate drive for recording at the very least.

    From what I understand Crossfire works for multiple monitors, and in Vista you can SLI and use Multimonitors now with 180 forceware drivers. But considering you don't game, SLI will be unneccesary.
     
  13. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    unless the uk economy has plummeted in relation to the US lately, i think you got your conversion rates backwards. £300 is more like $500
     
  14. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    really it use to be $2 to the pound, i dont know what it is at right now tho.

    And who mentioned using vista 32-bit? its a waste of time buying it as a 32-bit OS i dont understand why microsoft even sell it!
     
  15. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    the OP was the one who mentioned 32 bit vista, it's what he's already got.
     
  16. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    $440 iirc.
     
  17. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Just obtain a 64-bit disc (lend from a friend) and install it using YOUR KEY. That way you'll have a fully legal 64-bit install.
     
  18. LordLuciendar

    LordLuciendar meh.

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    I have a fairly similar setup on my primary system (4 monitors) and I know more or less what sort of lag you are referring to. The biggest culprit is your RAM and CPU, you are doing WAY more multitasking than 2GB is adequate for, 4GB probably still isn't enough. Somewhere around here *rummages* ah... here... is an article on memory use and how much you need. My 4GB fills up rather often just running Firefox and iTunes with some Notepad and Outlook mixed in, don't even get me started on once I pop open Photoshop, AutoCAD or any of the other programs I use. This is why I have a new 8GB/Q9450 sitting behind me waiting to be put on my desk (as it has for three weeks while I wait to be less busy :( ) Your graphics bus is also limiting you significantly. There are two sorts of lag you may be experiencing, lag from your system doing too much, or lag from your graphics cards when you switch monitors or make window size changes. The second of which is almost exclusively related to the fact that when you move a window around on a single card, it's contents remain on your video cards RAM, when you move from one card to another it has to jump from one RAM bank to another, over SLOW PCI... during that time the OS manages the video cards RAM and the whole system just bogs down.

    Were I to suggest hardware, it would be a Q9000 series processor, a dual+ PCI-Ex16 motherboard with support for 8 or 16GB DDR2 and 8GB of RAM (4x4GB if you plan on expanding, and have the extra cash), a Quadro NVS 440 for your less intensive monitors and a Quadro FX card for your primary monitors (for your use, 1700 would be ideal, 570 would be a bit slow with the very low cache (128MB) and the 3700 would be out of your price range). x64 is obviously essential for the RAM sizes you require, not to mention nowadays with vista stability it's a smart move. Worse comes to worse if you're in the US I can always build one for you to spec, though it'll be cheaper to build yourself.
     
  19. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 New Member

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    Try a pair of matrox triple head to go's for the 6 screens and use something like miranda or pidgn (the linux version) as it one program to rule them all instead of several programs doing one thing each.
    pidgin for windows <<< Click to dowload legally free copy.
     
  20. tank_rider

    tank_rider New Member

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    That would get rid of the switching between video card ram, so long as you only move windows along horizontally. It would also mean that one beasty graphics card could support all your needs and would allow you to run your 3d apps on any monitor you wanted.
     

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