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Old 01-24-10, 02:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Default 6 Monitor recomendations

I am looking to purchase a new workstation for the office. If this post belongs in the hardware thread please accept my apologies. I tried this question in the workstation forum and received only one unhelpful response.

One of the key requirements of this workstation is support for at least 6 monitors and a good deal of processing power. It's primary use is to run two or more VM's in VMware workstation that I use to monitor and operate our various data centers. Lots of web, email, browser based apps, office apps and remote desktop; but no heavy things like CAD for example.

My current setup (above) is 6 17" screens powered by a Q6600 with 3 8400GS/G98/512M boards (one pcie and two pci). The base OS is Ubuntu 9.10 and the VM's are a variety of versions of Windows including Win7.

This year is my turn for an upgraded machine, and I am thinking of a Dell T3500n system with a wx3580 processor and a pair of Quadro NVS 420's (fits budget). Of interest, the T3500 has two 16x PCIe slots and a half length 8x slot.

My largest complaint with my current setup has been the responsiveness of the system with regards to graphics. Especially playing video inside a VM.

This post lists all of the problems I experience due to my use of Xinerama across the 6 monitors.

What I guess I need to know is what experiences people have had with the NVS 420 card under Linux. Does having fewer cards and more displays/card decrease the re-draw effects I live with now? Will I be happy with my NVS 420's performance in comparison to what I have now? I think the 420 is still a G98 right?

This isn't a gaming machine, but Win7 even in a VM can be a bit intensive graphically. The T3500 comes with a 500W PS, but a pair of GTX 260 isn't going to happen.

Another option I have been considering is the T7500 system with a single W5590 processor. The T7500 is quite a bit more expensive, but has a third full length PCIe slot, that is wired as an 8X slot. Further more, there is space enough between each x16 slot for a dual-slot card. To boot, it has a 1100W PS. It is unclear to me if I could get three cheap GTX-260's in there however. I think each x16 slot supports 200w of power though.

What other options do I have for 6 monitors?

Thanks in advance.
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