Shortly, I'll be getting a 720p Sony Bravia TV and in January, I'll be receiving a lower end monitor (probably 1280x1024 or 1024x768, connectors unknown at this point).
So that will be an Asus 24" 1920x1080 monitor, HDMI/DVI/VGA
720P Sony Bravia 32", at least an HDMI I believe
Random montor, at least a VGA, possibly a DVI
Right now I have an Asus 9800GT Ultimate (Basically an 8800GTS) running on an Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 Motherboard with a 550 Watt Asus PSU. An awesome graphics card!
My question is, how could I go about setting up all these monitors and what graphics card should I be considering? What is the state of fglrx, catalyst, radeon, etc? AMD/ATI graphics drivers are a big question mark for me.
Or am I better off getting a slightly chunkier PSU, and just running 2 independent Nvidia cards? Would this support 3D on at least one monitor? My motherboard is Crossfire. The 9800GT UL is a bit of a power hog but it's an awesome stable card. And the drivers support it well.
Typical usage patterns in Linux: Lots of GIS work with SAGA GIS/Grass/QGIS/Google Earth. Some gaming with Nexuiz, ETQW, would like good performance with Ungine for upcoming games. This computer will likely also be driving MythFrontend on the Bravia
Windows: Some light gaming, mostly lower settings, ArcGIS, MW2, Hopefully some Battlefield coming up.
Sorry for the long winded message, I think my ideal card could at least handle ETQW at full settings, be reasonably quiet, could drag between all monitors, and if I want to really game, be good under Windows. Budget <$200. Anyone with experience with the AMD/Nvidia 3-monitor (different resolution) setups and can speak for their stability and performance would be greatly appreciated!
PS, I also realize I'll need an active DP adapter.
My question is, how could I go about setting up all these monitors and what graphics card should I be considering?
If you wish to attach three monitors, and none of these has a DisplayPort connector, you should consider the "Sapphire FleX" series. It has the DP->DVI adapter onboard and supports 3x DVI/HDMI at the same time. It's a bit more expensive than comparable cards, but cheaper than paying 50 bucks for a separate active adapter.
Originally Posted by sombertattoo
What is the state of fglrx, catalyst, radeon, etc? AMD/ATI graphics drivers are a big question mark for me.
Depends. My workspace and light 3D apps work fine with radeon here, so does marble. Haven't tried google earth or the GIS systems you mention.
Unigine likely won't run at reasonable speeds on radeon. Not sure about fglrx, haven't used it in quite a while.
Originally Posted by sombertattoo
Or am I better off getting a slightly chunkier PSU, and just running 2 independent Nvidia cards?
doubtful. Multi-GPU-rendering on linux is a mess. You can either:
* have 3d-acceleration on all monitors, the ability to drag windows across monitors, but suffer from performance problems and bugs with compositing. (Xinerama mode)
* have 3d-acceleration on all monitors and few issues with anything, but forfeit the ability to drag windows between monitors belonging to different cards. (Xaphod mode)
There's also work being done to allow rendering on one GPU and forwarding the framebuffer to a cheap secondary card for displaying, but that's very unlikely to hit major distros by january. It's also unlikely to work with nvidia's proprietary drivers.
I'm not sure about the windows side for gaming. IIRC eyefinity-spans across monitors with different resolutions aren't possible, but regular multi-monitor mode is (i.e. it works exactly like on nvidia, just without the additional eyefinity-features).
If you want to play BF3 at 1080p high/ultra, then you need at least a Radeon 6870. For example the Sapphire 6870 Flex: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16814102924 ($199.99 before $20 mail-in rebate)
As rohcQaH mentioned, a special feature of the Flex cards is that you can connect 3 DVI/HDMI monitors without the need for an active adapter.