Suppose someone has a desire for a lot of monitors. Like, A LOT of monitors – day traders, multiple VR headset owners, game devs with 15 different working windows flying around, etc. – someone for whom the 2-4 additional integrated video ports on a motherboard start becoming a selling point. In an era of $1600+ 3.5-slot monstrosities, “just buy a second GPU, bro” is perhaps not the scintillating wisdom it once was. :rolleyes:
Enter ASUS’ 4090 cards. Each – from the lowly non-OC TUF to the high-end Strix – all feature five video ports (3 DP, 2 HDMI), despite Ada’s spec hard-limiting the number of addressable outputs to four. This is ostensibly to save the user with several HDMI-only monitors the expense of seeking out active adapters, but is it possible to put the extra video slot to further use?
Whatever the use case, assume someone has five monitors, only four of which need to be active at any given time. Is it possible to plug all five devices into, say, a 4090 TUF, then disable one device in software (i.e., Windows “Display Settings”/Nvidia’s “Control Panel” or even a third-party app, if necessary), and continue with the remaining four devices active? Would such a process require a reboot, or is Windows/Nvidia’s software robust enough to juggle the transition gracefully?
Can any fresh new 4090 owner please test this and report back?
That is an interesting question. I have a TUF 3080 OC (10GB) which has 3 x DP and 2 x HDMI. I have never tried connecting 5 displays at once so I don't know if the GPU will do it. I use a lot of displays in my work. Rather than add a 2nd GPU, I just use USB video adapters like this these (see links). They are fairly inexpensive and an easy way to add more displays. They probably have some latency so I would not recommend them for competitive gaming, but if you just need to get a picture on the screen, they work fine. If you have USB-C ports, Startech has cables that are USB-C on one end and DisplayPort on the other end.
I have 2 stats displays inside my case. One is 1024x600 and one is 1920x480. Rather than run video cables from inside my case to outside, and use up 2 GPU outputs, I just installed 2 Pluggable UGA-165 USB2.0 to DVI adapters in the back of my case. Their USB plugs into an internal USB hub. HDMI cables from the internal displays plug into passive HDMI-DVI adapters that plug into the Pluggable video adapters. Works great to drive these little displays at their native resolution, all wiring is inside the case, and it doesn't use up any of my GPU outputs.