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removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

Triple monitor video card woes

I've gotten myself into a bit of a mess on a "new" refurbished Dell Optiplex 390 system I just bought for a customer. This system shipped with an ATI PCIe graphics card (2 DVI outputs) as well as the standard onboard VGA and HDMI combo. I assumed that, like with most systems I've dealt with over the years, the onboard and addon cards could be used simultaneously, but this is unfortunately not the case on this system as confirmed by Dell.

This user will connect two wall-mounted TVs (HDMI/DVI) and a standard LCD monitor on a desk, so I need support for three monitors. I've read up about AMD Eyefinity and have confirmed that this card - »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14102960 - supports 3 simultaneous outputs. This seems like a perfect fit but the manufacturer's site lists a 400W PSU requirement. This system has a 265W PSU.

I could replace the power supply with a beefier one, but I'd sure hate to replace a PSU in a brand new system. I've used USB video cards in the past but have not had much luck with them - they've all had a quirk or two that's turned into a deal breaker.

What do you guys think?
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Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:1

I had an inspiron 3000 come in last week with a similar setup. There was a setting in the bios to enable intel multi-monitor, which was disabled by default. Once I enabled it, the onboard worked for the third display.


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to removed

Well on at least newer dell systems I've seen I know that you can use both at the same time, I've set that up. You already checked the bios right? I've found Dell support doesn't know their ass from a whole in the ground, and tend to be useless script monkeys.

With the estimated power consumption of the 6450 being less than 30w maybe you'll be ok. So if this has that cheap pentium processor which only uses 55w, call the board 45w, and two drives at 10w each that leaves plenty for a 30w video card.
--
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Tirael
BOHICA
Premium
join:2009-03-18
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
reply to removed

Buy a 450W PSU and be done with it. I bought an Antec VP450 for $50. It works great and it has good reviews.
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“Reality doesn't bite, rather our perception of reality bites.” - Anthony J. D'Angelo



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to removed

First, the 400W requirement for a 6450 based card is pure and distilled BS.

I have this card in an Optiplex 755 SFF: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···14129271 (it is actually on the list of accessories recommended and sold by Dell for the 755, and Dell should have a similar list for the 390 as well)

The power supply in that 755 is rated 280W. At idle with the Win8 desktop, it draws only 61 (!!) Watt. During boot, the peak is 117W, as shown by a Kill-A-Watt.

It's not exactly a cheap card (I paid about $130) but it's the most powerful video card that can be used in the small form factor Optiplex 755.

I have a USB3 to VGA adapter at work -- and it works just fine for me. Probably wouldn't be good enough for gamers, but it should be good enough for office type of use. I'd definitely go for USB3 instead of USB2 for video.
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removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40
reply to BlitzenZeus

said by BlitzenZeus:

You already checked the bios right? I've found Dell support doesn't know their ass from a whole in the ground, and tend to be useless script monkeys.

Yup. Updated to the latest BIOS, too. There *is* a setting for the default video card when an addon card is in place. Setting it to Intel HD Graphics does nothing - there is absolutely no video output from the VGA or HDMI port - only from the addon card.

The techs for OptiPlex and other small business systems are much better than the consumer level guys. This technician was great to work with and knew his stuff much better than most. I believe, based on my own experimentation with the system, that he's right in saying that running onboard+addon simultaneously just doesn't work.

This system, by the way, is running an i5 CPU with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SATA HDD.

Who else agrees with aurgathor See Profile's assessment of the requirements shown on »www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio···=1&leg=0 ?

Any other recommendations for cards are appreciated. I'm looking for the most foolproof way to run 3 outputs on this machine - it will be going to an essential person in this office who doesn't have time to mess around with various quirks. Her current system runs multiple video cards and requires that the resolution be set and monitor settings dragged into place again after each reboot.
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asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to removed

Do you know the specific i5 cpu.

As blitzen said a 6450 shouldn't be drawing much beyond 30w worst case.
Depending upon the cpu you may be pushing it close. Can you see the label on the power supply? If so what is the 12v Amperage shown on the label?

As far as other cards most are not going to support 3 displays without displayport being one of them. The Flex sapphire cards are an exception to this rule.

If you can get the 12v number off the label and determine the specific cpu we could give a more accurate guess.



removed
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join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

CPU: Intel i5-2400

About the PSU, page 18 on »www.dell.com/downloads/global/pr···uide.pdf shows "12VA/17A; 12VB/9A" on the +12.0v output.
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BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3

Alright at 95w it's still not a big difference, it's under 80% of the psu at a estimate at max load, but Asdf does bring up a good point, these estimates based on wattage are too vague.


asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
reply to removed

95w cpu isn't great news but the power supply numbers look good. You have a max 20A 12v. If it wasn't a business oriented machine the numbers would probably be more pathetic.
I think you should be ok with a 30ish watt card with that supply.



Nick
Purveyor of common sense
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2000-10-29
Smithtown, NY
reply to removed

Is adding a second cheapie pcie card an option? Probably best to stick with ATI/AMD bit some cards drop down to 10$ which may be the cheapest option



removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

It's an option but the only other expansion ports on this motherboard are PCIe x1. I haven't found anything in the way of cheap cards for x1.
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BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to asdfdfdfdfdf

I wouldn't be surprised if the current card has a higher power requirement than the 6450, but that also brings another good question. Is the 6450 going to be enough? Onboard is beating it these days, and it has to handle three monitors.



removed
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Houston, TX
kudos:40

I went ahead and ordered the 6450 - we'll see how it performs for this user.
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Tirael
BOHICA
Premium
join:2009-03-18
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
reply to removed

This review has that same processor in a better system. Max power consumption of the entire system is 97.5W. My comment about getting a better power supply is for upgradability. That card draws all its power off the PCI-E lane. The TDP is 16W FTLOFSM.
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n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to removed

said by removed:

said by BlitzenZeus:

You already checked the bios right? I've found Dell support doesn't know their ass from a whole in the ground, and tend to be useless script monkeys.

Yup. Updated to the latest BIOS, too. There *is* a setting for the default video card when an addon card is in place. Setting it to Intel HD Graphics does nothing - there is absolutely no video output from the VGA or HDMI port - only from the addon card.

The techs for OptiPlex and other small business systems are much better than the consumer level guys. This technician was great to work with and knew his stuff much better than most. I believe, based on my own experimentation with the system, that he's right in saying that running onboard+addon simultaneously just doesn't work.

I deal with lots of 390s and 3010s at work and I can confirm this (the 390 config you posted is identical to ours, hehe). You have to go up to the 790 to be able to use both onboard and discrete graphics at the same time.

I use a 7010 at work with a Radeon HD 7470, which is basically a slightly faster 6450. It's running two monitors at 1680x1050, one rotated in portrait view. It runs great, even with a dozen windows open. There's a couple of people in the office that are using dual 1920x1200 monitors with a 7470 as well, no issues. No triple-monitor setups here though, although in theory they can handle up to 4 when using DisplayPort.

Normally using three TMDS-driven monitors (DVI or HDMI) on such a card would be an issue, as until recently they generally could only run two of them (not enough PLLs to go around, each TMDS connection requires a dedicated PLL). Considering the info on that particular card specifically mentions three DVI or HDMI monitors, you should be good to go.
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removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40
reply to removed

said by removed:

I went ahead and ordered the 6450 - we'll see how it performs for this user.

UPDATE:
This user has been using the 6450 for several weeks now. Everything is running smoothly - no power issues, overheating, or blown power supplies just yet. This card was a perfect fit for her triple monitor setup.
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ccallana
Huh?
Premium,VIP
join:2000-08-03
Folsom, CA
reply to removed

I'm a little late to the game - but depending on the usage model, there are several options for USB connection of displays.

I'm running a 4 display set up on my desk right now- 1 local to the Laptop, 1 DisplayPort, and then a USB3 connection to a box which is supporting 2 more DVI displays.

For standard desktop work it makes life much nicer I wouldn't play any 3D games over the USB, but for email, power point, spreadsheets, web, etc... works great.
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Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN

Like ccallana See Profile any time I've needed to add a third monitor for a user I went with a USB option. Since I've been in shops with a high laptop to desktop ration this was the best solution to implement.
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ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
reply to removed

I went quad video support (2 monitors, 2 TVs) in a similar configuration. I too couldn't figure it out even when I activated the Intel HD 4600 graphics. All indications showed that it was working other than it actually working.

I figured W*doze would find it and get it working automagically, or, just see it. Nope. I did get it working with something so simple I almost pee'd myself. Drivers.

Get the chipset, video, audio...etc. My guess, on that particular Dell, it has the H61 chipset and Intel HD 2000 graphics.

I felt pretty stupid after spending hours on trying to figure it out. I figured hell, 'doze with pick it up.
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