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dual set up: 1280x1024 and 1366x768 from one video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 8, 2006 2:02:41 AM

Here's the deal:

i'm building a machine that will be will have two functions 1) as a basic workstation for office apps and 2)to display mostly powerpoint presentations on an lcd tv in the lobby.

I plan on having a 19" 1280x1024 lcd monitor in my office and a large widescreen display in the lobby.

Currently I have a sapphire radeon 9600 with dvi, svideo, vga outs.
The card has a max resolution of 2048x1536.

I've been noticing that most widescreen lcd tvs have native resolutions of 1366x768.

question 1)
Will this card be able to handle both displays?
i understand that the total width of pixels that i require is greater than the supported resolution width of the card, but total pixel area is much less.

question 2)
should i look for an lcd tv with 1280x768?

question 3)
if i send a 1280x768 signal to a 1366x768 display... will it stretch and look blurry, or just have black bars.

i thank you for your help. if you need more info please let me know.

currently i have not decided on what large widescreen lcd i will be using.

More about : dual set 1280x1024 1366x768 video card

January 8, 2006 2:18:25 AM

The good news is that you can do what you want to do no problem, sorta. Because you are going to be running one wide screen and one full screen monitor you are just begging for compatibility issues. One screen will have black bars or the video will be squished or zoomed, depending on your card and monitor settings.

Do both dispays need to work at the same time? Will they be displaying the same thing?

I'm not at all sure what you are getting at with your question number 1.

Number 2 is up to you, why did you ask?

Question 3 depends on your settings.
January 8, 2006 2:25:41 AM

I run a TV and a LCD monitor at the same time off my ATI x800 AIW. If the card is set to the LCD's native resolution of 1280 / 1024 then the picture is actually bigger than the TV so you need to pan around on the TV to view the entire desktop. I've got the thing setup in "theater mode" so that when a video is played it show up full screen on the TV reguardless of how big the window is on the LCD.

Unfortunately I don't know spit about PowerPoint and God willing I never will.
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January 8, 2006 2:41:23 AM

thanks guys for the immediate response!

i intend to have both displays running at the same time and the content displayed on each will be unique:

normal lcd will be used for normal computer tasks: email, word, internet.
widescreen large lcd will be used primarily to be running a powerpoint presentation.

basically the idea is that i am going to be showing a ppt presentation with announcements / upcoming events for people to see in the lobby while i do my office tasks.

question #1 was in reference to my ignorance about max resolution supported by the card:

i thought i would have trouble as my card supports a max width of 2048 and my set up of
1280 monitor + 1366 widescreen = 2646 total width.

the total pixel area the card supports is 2048x1536=3,145,728 pixels which far exceeds the total pixel count of both monitors which i'm guessing is what really matters.
----

the most important thing i'm concerened with is being able to drive both these devices at their native resolution with a single card. I'm gathering form your responses that I can.

thanks again!
January 8, 2006 3:10:50 AM

The resolution question you asked doesn't refer to when you are driving 2 displays, the max rez you are asking about refers to max resolution per display. As for the other questions, try a program called "UltraMon." Works great for multiple displays and actually can manage up to 10 displays!
January 8, 2006 3:15:55 AM

The Max Res of your Video Card (2048x1536) is per display
not total

My Video Card has the same max Res, and i ran two monitors at 1280x1024
which is 2560 Pixels wide, far outside the Max Res and it was fine

It may take some setting up, but with the latest drivers you should be able to run 1280x1024 on your LCD Monitor and 1366x768 on your LCD TV

Good luck with setting it up :) 
and if Power point is giving u grief ask a friend who uses it alot.
January 8, 2006 3:26:04 AM

thank you so much for clarifying the max resolution. can't believe i didn't know that.

-truly grateful

ps: i've posted a follow up question in the general forum in regards to the type of cable i should run a sort of long distance (50 + feet)
cable type question
January 8, 2006 4:30:21 AM

Sorry to drop the ball, I had to come home and check a few things out. With the stock softare I can't get my x800 to do 2 seperate full screen apps, except for video in theater mode. Standard apps want to be either:

1) Coned on both monitors at the same time
2) Streched across both monitors as if they were side by side.
3) Opened on one monitor but then you can't open a seperate app on the other monitor.

It seems you will need something like UltraMon as Tatiania suggested (or just 2 seperate computers).
January 8, 2006 5:24:27 AM

Well just for grins I downloaded a free trial version of UltraMon and it works perfect with my x800, I assume it will work just as well with your 9600.

Nice call Tatiania!

Management might get a little tricky if you could not see both displays.

How did you intend to control the second display? Would it be within eyeshot?

Before you buy anything new I'd try out a dual monitor setup using UltraMon and your existing hardware to see if you can get it to work like you want.
January 8, 2006 6:17:16 AM

the issue might be different res's on the 2 monitors.

Why not 2 seperate PCs?

I mean leave your current alone in the office then build a very weak machine for the PPT system. Anything in the P3 500 or up class will work. A nice cool quiet celeron or sempron would be nice...

Term serve into it or KVM switch it...

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January 8, 2006 8:03:46 PM

thanks for the further research.
i imagine there will be some playing around.

powerpoint has something called presenter view which allows you to configure which monitor you want the presentation to run on. I'm thinking that if I can get it to find the large lcd things should be ok.

i've used a similar setup with a projector where the projector and monitor were different resolutions but haven't done anything with 16:9
January 8, 2006 10:50:41 PM

Let us know how it works out for you. I'm thinking of getting a 50 inch wide screen plasma to work with an existing 1280 by 1024 LCD.
January 9, 2006 12:02:04 AM

OK, here's the real dope:

It's an absolute cinch. Ultramon is NOT required, and the video chipset in your video card DOES NOT MATTER - provided you DO have dual monitor outputs.

(I use Ultramons on my ATI cards to span the Taskbar across both monitors, but nVidia supports that natively)

The app you require is "PowerStrip" from Entech in Taiwan. You will need to buy it - but it is worth around 10 times the price you will pay - believe me. There is a free version available - and it is FULL FEATURED, but it displays a message a boot up, which progressively gets longer and longer. After a few months you have to wait 20 seconds or more to close the window. If you can live with this, then the free one is your best option.

Powerstrip supports just about every graphics card ever made, and you can also adjust screen geometry, lock refresh rates, and overclock your card(s) with it too.

Powerstrip is EXTREMELY powerful - but the feature you require is the ability to create custom resolutions. i.e. those which are not natively supported by windows - such as the weird 1366 x ??? of your TV.

Simply create a custom resolution, and select it for that device. This then makes the entire TV viewable, without any distortion, or black bars.
January 9, 2006 1:02:49 AM

powerstrip seems like the rock jam.
THX!
January 9, 2006 2:09:27 AM

the radeon 9600 was only 60bucks... anyone suggest any video cards that will support 2 displays, one being 1366x768? i think i'm getting scared of the potential hassle here. would much rather start with friendly hardware than jump through hoops of tweaks.

it seems i can find a good deal of large widescreen lcds online that have 1280x720 as native which just seem to be be much friendlier numbers but all the models on the shelf at Best Buy (large retail store in the States) are 1366x768

thanks again for the tremendous help.
January 9, 2006 10:34:22 AM

My nVidia 7800 GT has a "custom" selection in the stock drivers that would let you type in any res you want, just like power strip does. One of the standard options on the x800 is hdtv at 1360 by 768 which should be close enough. Check your own settings for your 9600 and see what you find......Wait I have a 9600 myself in the laptop......checking......

BTW the black bars or streching I refered to earlier assumed you would be displaying the same thing on two different aspect monitors at the same time. With UltraMon you can be doing two completely seperate things at once so no black bars or streching. I've not checked into power strip yet but you can check them both out because they both have free trial versions....


Ok I'm not seeing either a custom or a hd widscreen option with the 9600 card. The 9600 might be fine with newer drivers or with powerstrip. Also some video options may be hidden because perhaps they can not be displayed on the laptop's monitor. Both my newer better (more expensive) cards have better options (surprize).

Sorry I can't be more help and say for sure. Good luck!
!