Running Three 20" on a new Dual Core

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by morrisond, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm new to the Mac World. What Video Cards do I need to (if it is possible) to run three 20" Monitors? Will the virtual desktop spread across all three?

    If I get an 2.3 or Quad Core 2.5 with the 6660 Card which supports two(128 Meg Ram each) do I just have to get a 6600 to run the other one? Can you order this from Apple?

    I don't like the thought of having a horizontal line right in front of my face by only having 2 montiors, and the three 20's give me 5,040 pixels across instead of 2,560(30" Monitor) for the same price(I know they are not as many pixels high). I prefer Horizontal width to Vertical height and this setup gives me 5,292,000 of Pixels versus 4,090,000.

    Any thoughts.

    Thank you.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    Yes, the G5 is designed to do this. But as crazyeddie notes, you need to use a PCIe graphics card.
     
  3. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #3
    What kind of work are you going to be using it for?
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #4
    I'll be mainly using it for Photoshop(digital Photography). I also ususally have some Nikon Software(Probably will get Aperture as well it looks great) and a Browser or two as well.

    I hate having to click between apps, I would love just to be able to see them all.

    I'm also about to get a HDV Camcorder as well so I will be getting into editing that as well (two kids)
     
  5. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    Oop, look out morrisond, here comes the man with the best set up on the forum (bar my polystyrene one of course).

    All he has to do is show you what the 30" looks like in a working environment and you'll so cave...

    Dammit, I want one and I've only got an iBook.

    Ah well, I'm $150 in the "saving for cool stuff account". Only what? $13,035.50 to go for my dream set up (I don't need the Quad for what I plan on doing, web surfing, email, word processing, encoding DVD's to the iPod, oh, and all on dial-up because of Telstra being cheap.
     

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  6. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #6
    You watched those Aperture features with the 3 photographers and their dual 30" ACDs, and you didn't think that was good enough? :eek:

    Anyway, why don't you get two/three 24" LCDs from Dell? They're just as good or better than what Apple offers (and word on the streezeets is that the 20" isn't as good as the 24" in terms of quality.....although I'm just a poor student, so I have no idea), and they're cheaper as well. Three of the Dell 24" would give you 5760 horizontal pixels. Good price, too.

    But I'm guessing you don't care about price. ;)

    Or why not get three 30" ACDs? :D
     
  7. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #7
    Thanks Abstract - now I have to sell some organs. Stop putting ideas in my head.

    And to the OP, the Dell monitor option is a good one, the 24" screens are superb and much cheaper than the Apple displays. Three of them would be pretty cool. And yes, you just need to add another Mac-compatible PCI-e graphics card to run extra monitors. Can you imagine running 2x30" and 6x23" monitors? All you'd need is a big swivel chair and you've got the "Ultimate Evil Genius" set-up.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #8
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but the new PowerMacs (with 4 PCI-e slots), can easily run 8 23'' monitors or 4 30'' monitors (Even says so on Apple's site).
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #9
    Yes, because the quadro takes the space of 2 slots.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #10
    Just to note, the G5 with PCIe cannot use PCI cards like the 9200 or AGP cards (probably pretty obvious).
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    Actually, it can run 4 30" AND 4 23" at the same time.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    chaos86

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #12
    i would say put your primary monitor on the best video card, then the other two on other card(s). That way, when gaming, photoshopping, or video editing, so long as the document or game is on the main screen, and palettes and reference files on the others, you wont see a difference but you'll save a bit (though $2400 worth of screens doesnt make it sound like $ is an issue).
     
  13. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    #13
    Sorry about that -- I'll edit my original post to reflect that.
     
  14. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #14
    Three 20's are a poor choice, IMHO for photography. You can look at anything beyond about 33% (considering a 12MP sensor).

    I had two twenties and HATED it for post processing work.

    The 30 is a dream.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #15
    What about 2 23's? I want to stick with the Apple displays as I like the USB connections on the Monitors, and besides the finish on the Displays match up nicely with my Samsung 50 DLP which will sit right beside it.

    I measured the three 20's and there just not going to fit. I went to the Apple store today and played with a 23" Connected up to a 12" Powerbook in a virtual desktop, very nice.

    I liked being able to have a seperate program up on a second screen.

    How good will the 6600 be at running the 23's?
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #16
    I've only got a D70 (although the D2X or D100 replacement would be a nice upgrade) which is about 3,000 x 2,000.

    Good point about the 30.

    Decisions, Decisions...
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Epicurus

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #17
    Not personally owning any Apple displays, my opinions might not carry as much weight as a person who actually put up their own money for a 30" display (bravo, by the way). But i do serve on a committee that purchases computer hardware for the public labs at my University. For one graphics/design lab we bought a number of G5 workstations with dual 23" monitors for each. Getting a 30" works out to be about as expensive as two 23" displays, so why go for two rather than one? Space is important, but having a good, wide area to work with is also nice. Now my only experience with a 30" is in an Apple store, but a dual 23" setup is pretty sweet! I voted for the dual option and have heard no complaints (other than they want more than 2GB of RAM)...
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #18
    I vote for the 30 as well. The 1600 pixel height makes all the difference in the world.

    This site might help you with decisions: http://slacker.com/cinema.php Lets you compare display resolutions with the 30" display.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #19
    I'd add a bit more to that number. You surely want more than 1GB of RAM. :)


    To the display question. This is all new now with PCIe, but I thought most video cards needed a 8x link minimum. The new Power Macs have 2 4x, 1 8x and 1 16x, so that would give you two video cards and easily support your proposed displays. I just mention this since it seems like you're looking at 4 displays maximum, rather than 8.

    One last note, setting up the 3 displays is very simple in the Displays preference pane.
     
  20. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #20
    I would recommend going for the largest possible display so you can see more of your photos on it at 100%. One possibility would be to get a 30" for the main display and then either a 20" or 23" as the secondary display.

    Or if money is tight, start with a 30" and add a second display later.
     
  21. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #21
    I realize by now that you're already set on getting an Apple display, but the 24" Dells are better quality monitors than the 23" ACDs, and they have more connection ports than the ACDs. They also cost less. The only difference is the appearance/frame of the monitor itself.

    Anyway, you can't lose whether you get a 23" ACD or 24" Dell. I can't even afford an external display of any sort, being a student right now. Gonna try and get me a Canon 350D Digital Rebel XT, Nikon D70s, or Nikon D50 digital SLR though. :) The D50 might actually be BETTER than the D70s overall, including image quality, although I do lose a few features, most of which won't matter (too much).

    I hate when I get side-tracked. :(
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #22
    Given how much $ I'll be putting into this thing I see you get another 6600 card for $239. If I get one and put one in the 8X slot and run one 23" off each will I get double the frame rates? IS the 8X slot a limiting factor for the 6600 and will it run slower than the 6600 in the 16X slot?

    Thanks
     
  23. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #23
    Actually I think the 6600 will run at full speed in the 4x slot. It will definitely run fine in the 8x slot.

    Double the frame rate for what? After a certain number of frames per second, you just can't see the difference. Also, the optimal number of frames per second is the refresh rate of the screen - that is one frame per refresh.

    One possibility is to buy it with one card and then if you have issues, get another card. Possibly the 7800 if it is ever released.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #24
    Double the frame rate for what? After a certain number of frames per second, you just can't see the difference. Also, the optimal number of frames per second is the refresh rate of the screen - that is one frame per refresh.

    One possibility is to buy it with one card and then if you have issues, get another card. Possibly the 7800 if it is ever released.[/QUOTE]


    Double the frame rate for X-Plane! Which I will play from time to time. I'm leasing the computer(I can get a full write off in Canada against my income if I lease it nothing if I buy it - Crazy Canadian rules) so I would prefer to get everything I need up front.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #25
    OK, this is slightly off topic, but if you have multiple displays, does the Dock show up on all of them? I know on a Windoze machine, the taskbar doesn't.
     

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