can I still use my 3rd monitor?

Dec 12, 2021
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I'm on a really tight budget so I'm working with some old hardware but don't need anything major with American Truck Simulator.
I have 3 identical 60Hz monitors using DisplayPort, an MSI Geforce GTX-960 2GB (3 DisplayPorts), using Nvidia Surround to merge 2 monitors but want to use the 3rd monitor as a utility/spare monitor since my old graphic card gets super slow framerates using 3 and the FOV is better with 2 (more vertical space).

Is it possible to use the 3rd monitor outside of the Surround settings:
1) if it is connected to the same video card and one of the DisplayPorts? ( currently not working but wonder if there's something I need to do differently)
2) if it is connected to the same video card but one of the other ports (DVI)?
3) using a different video card (built-in mobo card or another identical GTX 960 with SLI)?
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Can you please mention the make and model of the (triplet)monitor? You might want to understand that an aging component is more prone to dying when taxed further than it's supposed to. In this current world we're living in, I'd nurse it until you're able to amass the funds and when the skies are brighter for a GPU purchase to happen since the worst kind of situation you can be in right now are:
a| you have funds but you can't buy anything since there's no stock
b| you have a budget but nothing fits into your budget(meaning you come home empty)
c| there are things to buy but you don't have money to buy them and you just lost out on components.

Sorry for sounding this way but I've had nightmare's dealing with client's builds where they knowingly damaged their GPU's and parts with lackluster PSU's and also heat damage(overheating with lack of proper airflow) and I'm being made to run around the bush for RMA's.

Can you please state the specs to your current build like so:

If you have an iGPU on your processor(Intel only) yes you could work off the motherboard's display port.
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Dec 12, 2021
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

... Can you please state the specs to your current build like so: ...
Thanks for the welcome. I'm a newcomer to the forum but started gaming back in '94 when games were really in their infancy! I've just started back now that I'm practically retired and have more time and a little more spare money to have fun. I used to fly R/C planes but got tired of recovering from crashes.

Thanks so much. for the advice on aging equipment! That makes sense not to burn it out. I'm really embarrassed to list my equipment when I read what most people are running but here goes (please don't laugh!!):

CPU: i5-2400 @ 3.10GHz
Motherboard: ASUS B75-A
Ram: 16GB
SSD/HDD: Tech Magnet-480GB SSD (system) & WDC 250GB SSD (data)
GPU: MSI Nvidia Geforce GTX-960 2GB OC (not overclocked)
PSU: 400w ATX
Chassis: ULTRA Etorque Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case with 3 120mm fans (1 front, 1 top, 1 rear)
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64
Monitor: 3 Dell U2312HM (1920 x 1080 @ 60MHz)
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^ I had to build a near similar system for a friend with secondhand parts just to get him to keep a roof over his head and bring food onto the table(among other things) due to the way things went sideways for everyone while under the pandemic. As it stood, for him at least, we weren't finding parts from people who maintained their gear, meaning they had busted caps, horrible soldering jobs for repairs, half dead boards and worse, trying to keep abreast of Windows 10's requirements. That being said, due to the pandemic, you had people dust off system's stored away in the attic and tried reviving them so as to serve as a system to work from home(at the very least) or game off of or use as a (standalone)streaming machine or even a system to give to parents or siblings to do classes off of while sheltering at home.

Welcome + Welcome! It's a pleasure to have folks, like you, be among us and to add more to the community!

The weakest part and questionably the one thing that might need replacement in your system, asap, would be the PSU...though could you tell what the make and model of the unit is and it's age? The rest of your specs are plenty fine...I think. Make and model of the ram(kit) you're using? A link would suffice. The board will allow you to overclock the rams(provided the motherboard is maintained/serviced regularly with good airflow). BIOS version for said motherboard? Version for your OS(Right click Start>System>bottom of new window)?

What sort of games(titles) do you tax the system with?

As for your intention to use a third monitor, yes you can/should be able to tether your panel off either of the 3 display ports located on the motherboard's rear I/O. In fact you should be able to go dual display off the iGPU.

I still have a Dell U2319H...stellar panel for something that old.
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Dec 12, 2021
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I can think I can splurge for another PSU. Any recommendations based on my current setup? I inherited an old BOXX workstation (2009) with a Corsair HX1050 PSU. Being that old, it is probably not much better than the current unit that I think I bought in 2015? Plus the Corsair's CPU cable is 8-pin whereas my mobo is 4-pin. It has some modular 6/8-pin cables labeled PCI-E but I wasn't sure if that could be used in the CPU port on the motherboard.

PSU: make: Ultra; model: ULT-LS400; purchased 02/2015
RAM: Kingston KVR16N11K2/16
BIOS: AMI 0905, 3/18/2014
Win 10 OS version: 10.0.19042 Build 19042

Games: currently only playing American Truck Simulator
Current game stats from RivaTuner:
GPU temp (49c - 65c); usage (35% to 99%); MHz 1354;
Mem: 3505MHz; about 1900MB;
CPU: avg 51c; usage (35% to 51%); 3290MHz
RAM: usage: 6800MB
Framerates with 2 monitors: 15 - 30fps; (with 3 monitors 15 - 20fps, most other stats the same except GPU usage 90% to 99%; If I purchased another identical Graphics card and a mobo that can support two GPUs plus iGPU so that each GPU is only driving one monitor, would that reduce usage and potential wear thus increase the lifespan?

After going into the BIOS, I was able to see how to set up iGPU and now my 3rd monitor is working just as I wanted. Thanks a million!!! :cool:
Dec 12, 2021
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Actually, ATS is really designed for 1, 3, or 4 monitors. Using two monitors causes undesirable angles regardless of the adjustments made to the config file. So, I put the 3rd monitor back in the Surround settings then played with the game settings and I was able to reduce some of the detail and get GPU utilization down to a range of 70 to 85% as well as reduce other factors for the GPU, CPU, and RAM!
Welcome to the forum :)

embarrassed to list my equipment
I guess you haven't seen all the threads we get about upgrading old PCs, or what games can run on same. So many of us in the same boat these years, as @Lutfij alluded to.

currently only playing
Do you have any inkling for other games you might want in the next few years? Don't want to upgrade & then find hardware lacking next year.

a mobo that can support two GPUs
In the brief time I ran 3 monitors—over a decade ago—I bought a cheap $50 graphics card which fitted in one of the 'normal' PCI slots on my mobo. Did the job fine for a small monitor used only for simple stuff like email & chat app. So maybe no need to spend much to support "use the 3rd monitor as a utility/spare monitor".

Just a thought—@Lutfij & others are the experts here.


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