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My workstation

My current workstation:

Alienware Aurora ALX: Liquid cooled – i7 920 Processor, 6 GB RAM, 160GB Intel Solid State Drive, 2 X 500 GB HDD,  Dual Graphics Card (2X 1GB ATI Radeon 5890) driving the four primary 22 inch displays.

Backup computer: Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz, 4 GB Ram.

Macbook and Ipad!

  1. david
    September 15, 2010 at 3:35 am

    hey dave, im also thinking about getting an alienware system so i can setup a multimonitor display, if you any of the “dual” 5xx0 series (5770, 5870, 5970), do you know how many monitors max it can support? (from what ive found its 3 each, where you can do 1 display port + 2 dvi). but the problem is if you go with a weird setup you cant run eyefinity. please let me know that way i dont drop 4k for nothing to try to setup my day trading platform thanks.

    • September 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Ok first up. I have dual 5870 cards. That means I can power up to 6 monitors (if I wanted). But I am only using 4 monitors. As all my monitors are using DVIs.

      Ok, If you have one card. You can power 3 monitors in eyefinity mode if and ONLY if at least one of your monitors have display port. If all your monitors are DVI/VGA only like mine and do NOT have a display port. For your 3rd monitor, you MUST get the active displayport to DVI which is more expensive than a regular displayport to DVI. (trust me I made that mistake and ended up paying for both)


      If you are using it for trading platform. You wouldn’t want to enable eyefinity. Eyefinity mode would stretch one whole display across all your sceens it is only good for gaming. I have my eyefinity mode disabled as I don’t game.

      Tell me what you are trying to do.. maybe I can explain it better. What is your setup? how many cards? and how many monitors?

  2. david
    October 3, 2010 at 1:34 am

    hi dave, thanks so much for your response, my setup is i want to do at least 4, and since im not using a mount im gonna just lay them on my desk, and im getting dell ultrasharps so that they can pivot (rotate 90) and i can have them all in portrait, however if you are saying that i can ACTUALLY have up to 6 monitors, then what i was hoping do to is maybe have 4×1 and place the 5th on the shelf of my hutch on top of my desk, or even 6, and have a 3×3 setup where i could at least have the option to run eyefinity with 6 (but not important).

    and the system is gonna be primarily used for day trading, NOT gaming, which is why I was hoping if thAT just the dual 5770 would work instead of the dual 5870. that way i wont need to spend an extra $350. or since all this is prebuilt from dell, i was wondering if you think i should get any of the nvidia GTX 460, 480, but the bottom line is which of the ones offered from dell (i.e. buying prebuilt w/o going and purchasing one myself and installing) will be able to handle 4-6 or max 6 monitor displays.

    also i heard that it might also be required to get a power supply thats beyond what is included, idk if these dell employees know what they are talking about though, since the were wrong on the maximum monitor support when i had previously called saying that dual video cards can only handle a max of 4.

    if you think its easier to talk through email feel free to email me, because i didnt even know you replied until i checked back on your blog

  3. October 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

    If you want at least 4, dual 5770 would suffice.

    A dual 5770 or dual 5870 will power up to 6 monitors. Like I said each card will give you 2 DVI outputs = 4. The remaining two MUST be displayports. I don’t know if your monitors all accept displayports if they all do, then it won’t be a problem.

    If you are using for trading 5770 would suffice. Although your PC itself should be fast enough ideally i5/i7 with plenty of RAM.

    I don’t think prebuilt or purchasing it yousrself makes that much of a difference. I got mine prebuilt but it was only with 1 5870 card. I manage to find another DELL 5870 card on Ebay. (they do use their own OEM). It shouldn’t be a problem if you use different OEM cards of the same model, but to be on the safe side make sure they are the same. Dell’s graphics OEM card are slightly different so it might be worthwhile getting it from them. Furthermore you get support. Their support’s gotten better – only downside is that you have to get routed to India.

    What size are your monitors? 4 laid side by side is gonna be tough, unless they are all 16 inch monitors as your eyes will be like following a tennis match. I have 3 22 inches (widescreen) I find that I only use two – as the field of vision is too wide.

    I have 3 screens at work they are 20 inch NON widescreen – and that is just about right.. not too wide. I think that is (3 X 2o inch) the max if you want to have 3 in a row. Any wider will cause you to turn your head all the time and defeats the purpose. Stack em up if you have 4 monitors that are wider than 20 inch each – 2X2

  4. October 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

    There is a 5970 that powers up to 6 in one single card. So if your Alienware is rigged to be upgradable.. you may in the future throw another one in to drive 12 monitors.

    The only downside for that 5970 is that it is expensive.. and all outputs are display port. Worth considering.

  5. david
    October 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    hey dave, thanks for your reply,

    i just placed my order, i kind of splurged a bit, ended up going with the 5870s

    thankfully i wont need to shell out another $100+ for the active adapter http://www.amazon.com/Accell-UltraAV-B087B-002B-DisplayPort-Dual-Link/dp/B002ISVI3U/ref=sr_1_9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1286130168&sr=1-9

    instead i got 4 u2311h dell ultrasharp monitors (again rotating them 90s in portrait so laying them all on one level NOT stacked shouldnt be an issue) and bought a dp-dp cable from new egg. i also got the alienware optxaw2210 (5th monitor) cause i got a good deal since im taking advantage of the double epp discount

    should be shipped in about a week, let me know if you want to talk trading, btw if you are in the uk, are you trading in the us market or do you mainly just play forex

  6. October 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Nice, you won’t regret it.

    If you rotate all portrait it makes sense actually I might actually do that to mine. Coz I only got Acer monitors to save some cash. Anyway, I work at a prop house trading European Fixed income futures. So my Alienware rig is barely used since I work 12 hours a day.

    I don’t trade forex – I leave that to the pros or those with deep pockets. what do you do?

    I would have sold you my active adapter since I am not using it.

    This is my mount, but you won’t be needing it. I got it for 80-100 GBP at ebay?

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