1.    17 Mar 2017 #1
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro

    Building (or buying) a rig to push 4 monitors


    Hi all, I am somewhere between a noob and ...

    Ok, no. Let’s not start that way. I’ve been around computers for a very long time, but I like to keep things simple. I never need the latest gear, never need the shiniest, never need the best. All I need is good enough. So I’ve mostly bought laptops until now, and connected them to an external monitor.

    Now, I’ve finally got to the point where I want to buy/build a desktop because I need to run four monitors, and I can’t find a way to run one reliably from a laptop. Also, I occasionally run games, and I’m having trouble running things like Far Cry 4 and Assassins Creed on my current setup.

    Open to inputs and insight. Again, I never need the best stuff. I’m never going to see the difference between 1080p stuff and 4K, and even if I did, I wouldn’t care. I don't need to eke out max framerates when I play games.

    What I’m looking for is something that will serve me decently now, with potential for upgrade in a couple years. I run the various office suites, and occasionally some graphic and video rendering. You can see my current setup in the My System Specs to the left.

    I don’t want to spend more than $600, so I’m going used/refurbished. My plan is to buy a 4th or 5th generation i7 rig cheap off eBay, and upgrade to the Kaby Lake in a couple years.

    Please help me with insight as to logistics. Maybe I’m just going about this wrong and need to be educated?

    The only thing I absolutely need is that it power 4 monitors reliably. I am going to be taking it out of the country for at least 12 months. All I can do to identify locale is say it is tropical climate, and heat and dust are likely to be an issue. Not a huge issue, but at the out-of-country location, my current rig runs temps in high 40’s to low-50’s during normal operation: Office, and multiple browsers, multiple tabs.

    Under load: older games, games + VLC runs in the high-70’s I routinely do the compressed air blowout.

    I appreciate any advice no matter how small. I'd hate to buy something that won't run the four monitors. Thank you all.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    17 Mar 2017 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    This should probably have been started in the General Thread.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    17 Mar 2017 #3
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 42
    Windows 10

    Hi PlatypusKnight,

    Does your $600 dollar include the second-hand purchase plus the Kabylake upgrades?

    Most GPU's over £100 will be able to run 4 monitors at once.

    The issue with upgrading from a 4/5th Gen to 7th Gen is that the motherboard chipset and DDR change so you will need to completely replace the Motherboard, CPU and RAM. This upgrade will be around $600 if you want an i7.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    17 Mar 2017 #4
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Hi Declan,

    Thanks for your input.

    Does your $600 dollar include the second-hand purchase plus the Kabylake upgrades?
    No. Does not include this. The Kabylake upgrade I figure I'll do two years from now.

    $600 is for the rig plus two monitors.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    17 Mar 2017 #5
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    What I want to buy now is a Broadwell or Skylake i7 rig with 8-16GB RAM and enough graphical oomph (graphics card?) to run 4 monitors 24-27 inch.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    17 Mar 2017 #6
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by DeclanT View Post
    Hi PlatypusKnight,

    The issue with upgrading from a 4/5th Gen to 7th Gen is that the motherboard chipset and DDR change so you will need to completely replace the Motherboard, CPU and RAM. This upgrade will be around $600 if you want an i7.
    No issues with this whatsoever. That's fair.

    What I don't want to do is buy a rig that will need a new $400 graphics card next year, or something where I can't pull out the innards and replace the motherboard CPU and RAM when it's time to upgrade. (Like this laptop I'm using for instance).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    17 Mar 2017 #7
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 42
    Windows 10

    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusKnight View Post
    What I don't want to do is buy a rig that will need a new $400 graphics card next year, or something where I can't pull out the innards and replace the motherboard CPU and RAM when it's time to upgrade. (Like this laptop I'm using for instance).
    4 output GPUs are common these days so you shouldn't struggle to find a cheaper one that fits your budget. Would want a higher spec GPU to assist in video production? A second-hand GTX 970 should do the trick as it is capable of 4 simultaneous outputs and it has 4gb of VRAM.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    17 Mar 2017 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Anything specifically wrong with this purchase?

    Two GeForce GTX on Ebay
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    17 Mar 2017 #9
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 105
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusKnight View Post
    Anything specifically wrong with this purchase?

    Two GeForce GTX on Ebay
    Never mind. I realized that the seller is mistaken and it's not the GTX 970.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    17 Mar 2017 #10
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 42
    Windows 10

    For the price of them GPUs you could get a brand new GPU. It might not be as powerful, however, you will receive full manufacturer warranty. Depend on if you believe you will need the extra processing from a GPU
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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