Please help me find a budget video card that will support a 3 monitor display
Need help adding a little life to system that's a little long in the tooth but running too well to toss.Hopefully someone in the know can give a few pointers as to how best to set up a triple monitor display.
I'm currently running an old Gateway FX6710-01 w an Intel Q9400 processor, USB 2.0 (not 3.0), Window 7 Pro (64bit), 8 gig of ram, w a new-ish Kingston SSD drive as my primary OS HD and the stock 1 TB drive repurposed as my storage drive. I use this computer primarily to surf the web, do basic office work (Excel/Powerpoint/Word), graphic design (photoshop and illustrator), compose music and trade stocks. The Radeon HD 4850 it came with gave up its ghost about two years ago, so I popped in an ATI Radeo HD 4500. I think this is a weak card, but it's better than the integrated video and has been running two monitors w the desktop extended into both via windows without issue for the past few years. The only games that I play are Chess and a very 16 bit looking version Axis & Allies, so I'm obviously NOT a gamer.
While I can plug in the third monitor via the remaining DVI port, the Radeon card can only power two of the monitors at any one time and disables whichever monitor is not the main display when I extend the display to the third monitor. I thought it might be possible to have the Integrated VIDEO drive the 3rd monitor and went into the BIOS and set the integrated VGA to static instead of dynamic at 256 MB, but that still doesn't seem to work while the video card is installed.
The monitors I'm using are 2 Dell U2412 and one U2413 w the resolution on all 3 set to 1920 x 1200. While I am clearly not a gamer, I want to make sure whatever card I get can still run 1080p HD video without crashing.
A little googling let me to something called Eyefinity vs Crossfire vs a usb solution , but lost me when people started talking about displayport vs mini display port w active adapter vs passive and the various card series. The info I found here elaborated on that a bit, but was over a year old (though I'm not the best at searching through forums and might have missed a more recent one.) Basically I'm not sure if I should just add a weak card to an open PCI slot (and what card should that be) or if I should grab a better card that has 3 out-puts or if there's something else. And what the best value card would be.
SD's tend to know their stuff, so please let me know what's recommended and what some of the least expensive options are since I don't want to drop much $$ into a system this old, but am not ready to upgrade yet. Thanks in advance for the help and happy holidays.