I love my Core i5 2300 CPU; it is an amazing piece of kit. Currently I use it to drive 2 displays. However, I have the need for 2 more displays, and need a graphics card that can handle open GL quite a bit faster. The cards I prefer have some optimizations for them where I can use some of their graphics power to aid in my modeling work, but they generally only support driving two displays off of them at a time. If my motherboard had a second PCI-E 16X slot I would simply purchase two cards, and be done with it. However, my motherboard only has one PCIE-16X slot, so that isn't an option.
What I want to do is this: Let the CPU's HD2000 run a pair of monitors for 2D use, and have the graphics card drive the other two where 3D is much more of a concern. Can I use both the on chip HD2000 graphics, and a discrete card at the same time or is this a case of one or the other?
Is it possible to setup a four monitor rig in this way? Knowing this will affect my purchasing decisions.
You should be able to. On the Intel motherboards, you have to enable it in the BIOS and declare which will be the primary for boot. Setup after that is the same as Extended Desktop. Some software (like MS Power Point) allows you select which display to use for output while the "program" stays on the primary display. Can't help you with the 3D but if nothing else, just click on the title bar and drag the program to your desired display.