Triple Monitor Setup Questions....

xstatic

New member
I currently have 2 19" LCD's. I keep Cubase spread out between them. My two LCD's are running on an ATI PCI Xpress card. I really want to add a third monitor so I can keep the RME Totalyser on it (RTA, Phase meter, stereo graph, and both peak and RMS meters). I am guessing that I can just add a simple PCI graphics card to use for the third monitor? Originally I was thinking to get the same brand of card to keep the drivers all in the same family. Now I am thinking it might be better to get a completely different brand so that the drivers can actually be more seperate so one doesn't try and share with another somehow and create difficulties.

So my questions are....

1.) Can I add a PCI graphics card if I already have a PCI express card installed?
2.) If I can, are there any known conflict issues?
3.) Any thoughts as to whether or not I should get the same or a different brand based on my thoughts above?
 

noisedude

New member
As well as the advice you get here, you should definitely ask at Sound on Sound's PC forum, there are genuine experts there and bad advice is hard to find!

I'm also posting because I'm interested to see what the answers are. Sounds pretty cool :)
 

Mindcore

New member
I think this could be hit or miss.

I put two completely differant cards in my system for 2 monitors. It worked perfectly, for me, however with the quirks of your system it might not.

I imagine someone somewhere knows all the combinations.

If you have any other vid cards kicking around, throw one in and see what happens, it won't break it.
 

xstatic

New member
I don't have a PCI video card floating around, or I would have already tried that. I was hoping to arm myself with some information before I buy one.
 

karyoker

New member
Best combo is dual headed agp with a single pci or even another dual head pci.. You do want to keep your sound irq higher priority than the videos
 

xstatic

New member
With the exception of using two PCI cards, that would be the only option I can think of. Point number three in my question is really the most important thing I need answered.
 

Anthony

8-bit gen. (Volken)
xstatic said:
I currently have 2 19" LCD's. I keep Cubase spread out between them. My two LCD's are running on an ATI PCI Xpress card. I really want to add a third monitor so I can keep the RME Totalyser on it (RTA,


Card that should be in any seriously dedicated machine, is your ticket to solve your problems as well. Who else but Matrox.

Matrox Parhelia APVe (PCI Express) offers [TripleHead capability, needles to say with undisputed and unmatched 2D filter (picture quality) compared to anything else. >>>>>>>>


If only you would have AGP Mobo, you could get the same TripleHead (3 screens) for more reasonable price with P series. >>>>>>>>>>

But look at this as long term investment, because even the oldest Matrox cards are still used worldwide. This is much more fitting solution then two cards, because seamless integration of Matrox multi display is hard to compete. This is what they do best.
 

xstatic

New member
I agree on many points concerning getting a single triple head card. However, the last time I checked they were considerably more expensive than even two dual head cards. I am pretty sure that a single triple head card would also be much smoother. However, budget is an issue here. This is something I would like to do, but is certainly not a necessity. $300 could replace my snake to my drum room, or add two plugins to my UAD, or buy another kick mic etc... Not only that, but the third monitor really just needs to be my metering stuff (spectrum analyzer, stereo level meters, phase scope etc...). Also, Matrox is a well recognized and respected brand, but is also notorious for hogging resources and creating conflicts with all sorts of audio software. There is a big part of me that wants to find an old 8 or 16 meg video card under the assumption that low memory and performance would also mean a lower overhead since it won't even attempt high quality stuff. I personally replaced my old Matrox card and found the ATI stuff to take less cycles, and found it easier for me to do what I want. Other than those minor things though, I never had issues with my Matrox. Several software/hardware manufacturers though strongly reccomended against using Matrox cards due to known issues.

Changing my Motherboard is certainly not an option either. It is one of the few I have found that offers 6 SATA slots and the standard pair of IDE slots. It has also been pretty flawless for me.

I do appreciate the advice though.
 

Anthony

8-bit gen. (Volken)
xstatic said:
I agree on many points concerning getting a single triple head card. However, the last time I checked they were considerably more expensive than even two dual head cards. Also, Matrox is a well recognized and respected brand, but is also notorious for hogging resources and creating conflicts with all sorts of audio software.

To rationalize about the cost of Parhelia is something understandable, because it doesn't come cheap.
But considering how well it does its magic, for many people, it is a very good investment, that becomes a firm belief after several days working with Matrox.

This rumors and suggestions from those who claim that Matrox be reason for major conflicts is rather exaggerated , at least from my vista as long time Matrox user.

You say several hardware/manufactures, it would take several posts with names within industry that recommend Matrox as the first and the main choice. Not to mention, entire sectors within medical and military industry, that as you know, have very strict tolerance standards. For more then a decade the are served happily by Matrox. It has become very trendy for many recent DAW PC Company builders to highlight as sale option, High End gaming cards, yet those are the last to even consider in serious setup.

Those of consistent within this group, only builds their systems around Matrox.

Far from suggesting that ATI is not good candidate (depending on model), however, one glance only to capabilities of Matrox picture setup compared to ATI's own one (mostly 3D game oriented options) and every comparisons ends. It is not without reason that to get 2D precisely and refresh to ones exact liking, one has to use other utilities like Rage3D or Powerstrip. Matrox alone has more precise setup options then all of them combined ;)

Bear in mind also, something that money simply can't buy ... Matrox support.
Where in the world can you find these days that company would treat your problem with (for example) almost a decade old models (G) with same importance as with the latest models?

If you post your question on Matrox forum today, you can usually expect your answer/solution in few hours at the most, this is something that is almost unique in this corporate mentality.

Either you buy Parhelia, or you should rethink your approach to your designated goal, and that is
larger working screen area. Because, placing another card in my view, is > bad decision.

Have you also considered selling your present screens and look for some used Cinema (Apple) 20+ models, also there are plenty of other very reasonably priced models out there.. Then you could add another one and you could get desired space with just dual!

Idea of placing a raw PCI card with PCI-E strikes me as really obsolete in 2006.
 

xstatic

New member
While I appreciate your viewpoints on Matrox, my ATI has been working wonderfully for me. I think I am going to run down to my supplier's wharehouse and pick up a $5 PCI card out of their old used nasty PCI card bin. New screens won't help my situation at all in my specific case. I want my two screens in front of me, and I want my third screen off to my right. I have my own reasons for this which you may not understand, but it has been well thought out. Maybe if you saw my studio you would understand. If I go with larger screens I will not be able to fit my 2 Dynaudio BM15's, my 2 JBL 4311's, and my 2 screens on my console's speaker bridge without moving all of my stuff and changing the way the room sounds.

Also, what do you mean by your last statement concerning PCI express?
 

Anthony

8-bit gen. (Volken)
xstatic said:
While I appreciate your viewpoints on Matrox, my ATI has been working wonderfully for me.

Don't get me wrong, I have no dispute with ATI. In fact I have a few I keep because they have excellent 2D quality, especially 9700Pro. But I'm not fond with the way ATI provided control for fine tuning of refresh compared to matrox. Even old G Series had monitor panel that looks from the future if you compare the same even with the latest ATI models. This sort of inconsistency bothers me a bit. Machine where I form this letter actually has ATI AIW, my favorite thing from ATI :)


xstatic said:
I think I am going to run down to my supplier's wharehouse and pick up a $5 PCI card out of their old used nasty PCI card bin.


Let nothing be in your way to also consider Matrox. Old Mill. or G (PCI) cards have fantastic screen quality and very fast memory, I doubt it would cost you much more then suggested value. Old ATI are not bad also. Just stay with these two as choice.


xstatic said:
I have my own reasons for this which you may not understand, but it has been well thought out. Maybe if you saw my studio you would understand. If I go with larger screens I will not be able to fit my 2 Dynaudio BM15's, my 2 JBL 4311's, and my 2 screens on my console's speaker bridge without moving all of my stuff and changing the way the room sounds.

If I may suggested then something that I think isn't over the top after all, and you still get your third screen.

How about including some spare PC machine from your house/friend. You can then use FX Teleport with your main machine and have everything you wanted. This way you have all + more CPU power from this helping machine.

Just a thought

xstatic said:
Also, what do you mean by your last statement concerning PCI express?

Well, I'm not happy to see additional video card where I would like to see just one. Considering that even the best setup is still in mercy of partly sharing resources... I would like to complicate things on my behalf as little as possible ;)

~
 

xstatic

New member
I could add a second machine, but I don't want to add any more noise in my control room. My console power supplies and the power supply in my current tower is loud enough. I really want to just figure out if adding tthe same brand of card will complicate the way the drivers interact, or find out if a different brand would be better. As far as graphic quality, my current card is far beyond what I actually need it to do. The third monitor is just a Samsung CRT and it only needs to show some pretty green yellow and red meters. An old 4 meg PCI card would probably work just fine for that. My system has also been rock solid and has lots of horsepower for what I do. I don't ever tax my CPU until I hit about 32 tracks, 100 plugins, and several high quality convolution reverbs. As a result, I really don't need a second CPU. I already have way more gear in my Control Room then I have space for.
 

Anthony

8-bit gen. (Volken)
xstatic said:
I really want to just figure out if adding tthe same brand of card will complicate the way the drivers interact, or find out if a different brand would be better.

Simply said... no it wont complicate, if you make correct steps.

PCI model is actually different models as it is, and coming from the same house means not much for configuring this particular setup.

Go and try and lets see how will thing work for you.

Good luck and inform us at later date about your findings.
 
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