What's best video card/low latency driver?

Hello all, hope the new year finds a bunch of tracks being recorded! I have a question. I recently bought a Dell Vostro 430 desktop computer. Intel i7 quad core, 2.8ghz. I installed 16 gb ram, two (2) 128gb SSD’s in a striped array for OS boot/Cubase, two (2) WD Velociraptor 600gb in a striped array for VST’s/Samples, and another WD 500gb for audio files. SIIG firewire running two (2) MR816’s
It worked pretty nice but I wanted to run 3 monitors and my AMD video card only handled 2 so I installed an Nvidia NVS 440 which can handle up to 4 monitors on a single card. I’ve installed all the latest drivers, updates, everything I can think of but apparently it’s a real bottleneck for the system. Latency Mon won’t even run a few seconds before saying the Nvidia driver is causing issues. Before I installed it I had almost no latency issues.

All that to ask this. Is there a good low latency video card out there that will run at least 3 monitors and not kill my computer’s ability to run Cubase effectively? I don’t intend to use the computer for anything except Cubase and Wavelab along with the associated VST’s. The Dell 430 only has three (3) PCI slots and two (2) PCIe slots, one being used for the video card and the other for a SATA Raid card running the two Velociraptors. Any help would be appreciated. Here’s to a grand 2014!

If you only have one PCIe slot available and you need to drive three monitors, you don’t have a lot of choice. You have to buy a beefy video card. To add insult to injury, the highest-specced GPU’s need dual slots, take up a lot of case space (they’re 10"+ long, which means you can forget installing them into small and mid towers) and need a serious PSU (750W+)

In other words, it’s a balancing act that’s easy to handle when you’re building a computer (first you select your components and then you buy the case and the mobo around them), but very hard to impossible when you can only work within the limitations of your current machine.

The other solution would be to use two video cards, but alas, you only have one PCIe slot available! If somehow you can get rid of the SATA raid (by mounting the drives internally, for example), then you can consider buying a pair of these puppies, which will only cost you around $220 and they are fanless:


If you are not doing fast graphics for other purposes, you can go for the ‘video wall’ type graphics cards that have quad or hex outputs.

I was using two ATI2460 quad miniDisplayPort fanless 15W single-width cards, but they together gave too many video driver fails, whereas, with one in each of two other computers they seem to be functioning fine.

I have gone back to three nVidia GeForce 9400 cards to handle my six displays.

My latencies with my RME Fireface 800 and 400 are record = 256 samples = 1.3ms at 192k, and twice that for playback. My DPC latencies are ~1ms, which is why I cannot use 192 sample buffers.

my AMD Radion HD7790 works perfectly with 3 monitors in a triangle formation , 2 at the bottom and one in the middle on top

I just read on the DPC Latency Checker website that the utility does not read accurately under Win 8.x because it has changed the way Windows handles DPC/ISR things. Under 8.1, the checker can just show a lot of 1ms peaks if even a moderate amount of activity is going on. The reality is that the peaks are not all 1ms. They say they are intending to update the utility for 8.x.

A method of really finding out what is going on with DPCs is outlined at http://www.sysnative.com/forums/windows-7-|-windows-vista-tutorials/5721-how-to-diagnose-and-fix-high-dpc-latency-issues-with-wpa-windows-windows-vista-7-8-a.html, where it also covers using the DPC Latency Checker, but also the Win 8.x options. The MS ADK provides a way of really drilling down to particular excessive DPC instances.