5th monitor -- best way to add

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milleron
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:57 pm

5th monitor -- best way to add

#1 Post by milleron »

I have searched the forum for advice on adding a 5th monitor, but I'm not finding the info I require.
I currently have 4 monitors, including two touchscreen monitors that I use for the PFD and MFD of G1000 NXi installations. The PC is purpose-built for MFS and its use is limited to MFS. The dual touchscreens work very well with one Knobster mounted between them. But I need to add a 5th monitor, and I'm hoping to get some advice on the best method.
I'd rather not use Spacedesk because I want to continue using the same two monitors I already have, and SpaceDesk would require adding another mini PC into the mix (a whole additional layer of complexity and expense, and if I did that, I'd just use Air Player rather than Spacedesk, anyway).
I'm not at all sure, but I think my options are limited to adding a second GPU (easily accomplished in my case with a PCIe riser cable and a vertical mount) and trying to connect one of the current monitors through the HDMI output of a USB3 C dock.
1 -- Would installing another GPU (in this case, an old, retired GTX 950 that uses the same Nvidia driver version as my current 3080 10GB) limit the features available to those of which the secondary GPU is capable — i.e., no DLSS or ray tracing now and no Frame Generation in the future?
2 -- What are other drawbacks to using a second GPU?
3 -- Where does the video signal come from for the HDMI output of a USB C dock? Is it dependent on having a CPU with integrated graphics? I don't have one, so if that's the case, this option is out
4 -- If connecting a touchscreen monitor via a USB C dock is possible, are there any downsides as long as that monitor is used exclusively for Air Manager instruments?
5 -- Are there any options I've overlooked?

Thanks

Ron
Ohio USA

erj145sim
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:03 pm

Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#2 Post by erj145sim »

Hi Ron,

Just perusing through the forum and saw your post from a while ago….not sure if you got your answers or not, but here’s what I have done in my setup:
- add a graphics card, which would add the ability to have more than one additional monitor (however many monitors the card supports, really.
- it shouldn’t limit more powerful/ up to date hardware as the hardware is capable of doing its thing as long as the driver is right.
- it all depends on what the rest of your setup is (processor, memory, etc) but air manager is pretty light, so shouldn’t impact too much. I’m running 8 screens off the one computer: CA PFD, CA MFD, EICAS, FO MFD, FO PFD, RMU1, RMU2, FMC. Processor is a Pentium G3258, dual core, from 2014. Runs great!

I have also used USB video adapters in the past - not great for very graphics intensive but could be a good alternative as well.

I hope this helps!

Marco

milleron
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#3 Post by milleron »

Thanks for the reply, Marco!!

I still haven't implemented a 5-monitor setup. However, I'm now ready for an 8-monitor cockpit, which, of course, will never come into existence but is a cool concept.

I have an RTX 3080, and it turns out that the single-slot Quadro cards, which get all their power from the PCI bus, use the same driver as the nvidia RTX cards. I found a P600 with 2GB of DDR5 VRAM and 4 miniDP outputs for $58. It will need 1 or 2 inexpensive miniDP-HDMI adapters, but it's then the perfect solution, just as you suggest.
(I'd previously bought a refurbished Pluggable USB dock but then discovered after it was delivered that it would require a DisplayLink driver. My intuition told me it might cause driver conflicts down the line, so I soured on that idea.)
I got the advice on the P600 from Crunchmeister, who leads the Simstrumentation team of developers of free 3rd-party AM instruments; it's what he uses.
I hope and expect that when I finally get my hands on an RTX 4090, so as to be able to utilize the 5th monitor for the first time, both cards will continue to run on the same nvidia driver. Using it only to display a G1000 screen and an AM Garmin bezel, the Quadro is actually even more than I need, but it's the best solution and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

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Crunchmeister
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#4 Post by Crunchmeister »

A USB-C to HDMI will work just fine. Just don't display the main sim window on it and you're fine with that. It's a cheap way to add extra video ports. Be it through a USB C dock or standalone sing / dual USB to HDMI.

If you need many more (as I did needing an extra 4 ports), I went with a cheap used Quadro P600 I got on ebay for like $60. No issues at all for me. It gives me the extra 4 DP ports I needed to hardwire all my AM screens to.
- Ryzen 5950x, 64GB 3600MHz RAM, RTX3070Ti

Simstrumentation Instrument dev
Free Air Manager instruments for MSFS available at http://www.simstrumentation.com

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Sling
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#5 Post by Sling »

I had an extra video card but when I upgraded my PC I couldn’t get a driver to operate both cards together. The thing to be aware of is the age of the second card. Nvidia like to remove support for the older cards as newer ones come out so that cheap second card will not stay working forever if it’s nvidia. I suppose you have the option to update it for something newer when the time comes and prices are lower for older cards. Because of this I went a different route this time which gets over this issue. 4 outputs on nvidia GPU, m/b has 2 outputs (1 DP, 1 HDMI) from AMD integrated graphics. This gives me 6 outputs. I’ve also just picked up a $17 AUD DP hub that turns a single DP output into 3. This gives me a total of 8 outputs is future proof and it cost next to nothing for the extra’s.
Last edited by Sling on Fri Jul 07, 2023 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Crunchmeister
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#6 Post by Crunchmeister »

Sling wrote: Thu Jul 06, 2023 2:41 am The thing to be aware of is the age of the second card. Nvidia like to remove support for the older cards as newer ones come out so that cheap second card will not stay working forever if it’s nvidia. I suppose you have the option to update it for something newer when the time comes and prices are lower for older cards.
If you get an old GeForce or any other consumer-grade / gaming GPU, that's correct. They eventually cut support for older generations in their drivers. Both nVidia and AMD do that.

That's not necessarily true of their professional cards though. They continue to support those well beyond what they support their gaming cards for. If you look at the current nVidia GeForce drivers, they only support as far back as the GeForce900 series (IIRC). If it's a Quadro though, they'll support as far back as the Quadro equivalent to the 600 series. Maybe even older.

In the case of the second GPU I use, the Quadro P600 is the "professional" equivalent to the GT1030. So that will likely be supported for at least the next decade, if not longer.
- Ryzen 5950x, 64GB 3600MHz RAM, RTX3070Ti

Simstrumentation Instrument dev
Free Air Manager instruments for MSFS available at http://www.simstrumentation.com

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Sling
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#7 Post by Sling »

I thought it was based more on chipset architecture. I lost my card when they dropped Kepler, It was launched in 2016. it’s Maxwell next then Pascal. The P600 is a Pascal chip so it will see out the Maxwell drop but then it will be let go on the cycle after that is my thinking. The P600 was launched 2017. It will be interesting to see how long you get out of it.

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jph
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#8 Post by jph »

You HAVE to consider the amount of PCIe lanes on the cpu itself.
I would never personally even consider adding a second GPU to a main sim system.
You are far far better buying a cheap ex corporate machine such as a Lenovo for 50 euros and adding a 50 euro PSU then you can add a quad output gpu card to that machine.
Don't forget, the PCIe lanes (depending on the board) are used in virtually every peripheral such as wifi / ethernet, HDD/SSD units, card readers, some mainboards also use pcie for usb expansion, then the gpu units etc.
a 12th gen processor, for example, may well only have 20 PCIe lanes TOTAL.
It is simply a very very poor practice and driver wise can be a total nightmare. Your machine performance will almost certainly suffer.
For me, a definite no no.
Joe
Joe. CISSP, MSc.

falcon50
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#9 Post by falcon50 »

Hi,
I do think that using two PCs will reduce the burden on the simulator.
However, in FS2020, I cannot pop out the G1000 screen to the second PC.
For those who want to use G1000, it is best to use two GPUs.
I'm using RTX4080 and GTX1050. (CPU is i12700k)

bob@bobleonard.com
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Re: 5th monitor -- best way to add

#10 Post by bob@bobleonard.com »

Three series of questions:

First, for falcon50: Do I understand correctly that you are running your two GPUs on one computer? If so, does that essentially give you a total of eight ports? Doesn't that kill your CPU efficiency?

Second: I have a 4080 to which I hook my monitors, but I also have a WIMAXIT that REQUIRES a USB-C 3.1 to be used as a touchscreen for AM. That works well for me, but I want to add a second touchscreen for AM. Since the first one uses the only USB-C 3.1 port on my computer, I need to know if I can just get a USB-C 3.1 hub to run my second touchscreen. Remember, a 3.0 USB-C will not work, and the HDMI port does not allow use as a touchscreen. If using such a hub will work, can anyone recommend one? When I try to find one, all that I can find are USB-C 3.0 units.

Third, I am using an iPad for additional instruments, but that doesn't work with my knobster so I can use it as a touchscreen, but not with the convenience or realism of a knob. I'm thinking of adding another AM iPad (a really old one) for instruments or controls that do not require me to turn any dials, such as flaps or gear, so as to free up space on my other screens. Does this seem feasible? Is there any limit to the number of AM instances that can run at one time? Finally, does anyone know of any touchscreen monitors that do not require USB-C 3.1?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bob
Last edited by bob@bobleonard.com on Thu Dec 07, 2023 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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