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Looking for AGP8X card that can support two dvi monitors

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August 15, 2006 7:58:02 AM

Does anybody know of a AGP 8x video card that has two DVI outputs and can run two different monitors (at different resolutions) at the same time?
I'll be running a Dell 24" 2407 & quite possibly a 37" or 42" Westinghouse LCD TV on the opposite side of the room. I need to find a card that's gonna let me run 1920x1080 on the Westy, and 1920x1200 on the Dell.

I had tried something like this before just as an experiment with my Radeon 9700 PRO, I had the Dell hooked up from DVI & my current Viewsonic 32" LCD TV hooked up to the VGA, trouble was I could only get my card to run the same resolution on both monitors, and I couldn't configure them seperately (even tried downloading hydra vision and messing around with that, with no positive results).
August 15, 2006 8:35:56 AM

I run a 6800GT AGP. It has two DVI outs. I also run LCD monitor and TV at the same time on occasions. It all works fine, any rez combo.
However on my LCD TV using DVI, the pic looks SH!T for text and stuff. DVD/Video is fine, but everything else sucked. Tried using DSUB on TV, bingo, looks brilliant, go figure.
August 15, 2006 9:08:14 AM

DSUB? I've heard or seen that somewhere, dunno what it is though.

I've actually been through quite a few LCD TV's trying them for computer monitors, and all of them except Acer's 37" looked horrid through the VGA or HDMI (with DVI -> HDMI).

I hear these new Westy's fully support 1080p and with a good DVI input (I've seen pics of the 32's & 37's as computer monitors and they look just like the acer does, very good).

If you know of another way of getting a good picture onto a TV I'd love to hear it, if you've got a solution I'll forget the Westy and buy a huge DLP instead.

Please elaborate :lol: 

[edit] just thought of this, DSUB is VGA (15-pin) isn't it? If so, I tried using this with my current viewsonic 32" and it looked really bad, text was barely readable unless you strained your eyes and squinted. If this is indeed what you are using, what's your display & resolution @?
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August 15, 2006 10:09:20 AM

If you still have the 9700 pro you should try the catalyst 6.2 and the catalyst control center. If it does'nt work then check this AGP Radeon X1600 Pro with that driver and controller.

I don’t own nVidia so I can’t recommend any, Since I don’t know much about them.

I thought native format of 24” monitor is at 1600x1200. So if you monitor is can play 1920x1200 without your text being distorted then you’re ok, other wise you have to change the resolution until the text format become clear.

Set your 42" TV to 1920x1080 @ 30Hz, Check High Definition TV support. This resolution is for viewing movie only and text format will not work correctly at this setting. I'm sure you know that already.
August 15, 2006 10:38:26 AM

I had a 37" before at 1920x1080 and could read text and everything on it just fine. I'm not sure about the @ 30hz part though, it might've been on a different setting there.

I did go to the ati website before and got the new catalyst drivers, as well the hydra ones (for multi-monitor setups) and tried configuring them, but it would only display one resolution on both monitors and not seperate ones.

As for the 24" LCD @ 1920x1200, that is what all 24"s use as far as I know.
August 15, 2006 3:52:48 PM

Sorry for late reply, Just got up the bed.

Then I would assume it's your video card that can not handle the higher resolution then, Or may the driver you use does not have the CCC "Catalyst Control Center" that time since you said about the hydra vision. I use Radeon 9250 on one of the installation I did last year and use Catalyst Package 5.8 with CCC or higher and I can change the settings independently on both display. I have AGP X800 GTO right now that I use on one of my computer and it's the same. But it's not dual DVI output,

I do however have same issue with my radeon 7500. Back when ATI don’t have the CCC package, but to be honest I never get both display at higher resolution like yours, DVI output to HDTV set at 1920x1080 @ 30 Hz for 1080i or 1080p.

Unfortunately I don’t have monitor that can display 1920x1200 so I can test it for you.
But I’m 85 percent sure that newer card will work to display dual DVI @ high res separately.

New Catalyst Control Center is good because it can detect DVI connection and adjust it self accordingly or you can force to display the setting you want.

I’m sure nVidia is the same.

Call ATIs or nVidias tech support if they can give you more information.
August 15, 2006 7:35:22 PM

I will do that, a good idea seeing as how 95% of the places that sell these things offer no return on them.

I believe you are right though, the new ones most definitely should be able to do that, and maybe with a little more dedication I could find a way to get my current card to do it :lol: 

Thanks for your replies guys
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 15, 2006 8:34:53 PM

Well you've got 2 little issues you need to consider when doing this.

First the current card is single Link DVI so your R9700P cannot run 19x12 with full 60hz through DVI, it needs need to use reduced blanking if your monitor supports a high enough interval to allow for a 60hz output, otherwise it will want 52hz for the refresh, and if it doesn't recognize the monitor's level of reduced blanking, it will default to plug and play limits which likely will not give it the potential of 60hz. The 1920x1080 will be within the 60hz range though. Just a quick blurb on what I'm talking about;

http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/11/29/the_tft_connecti...

You're just on the edge with that 24".

Now it is possible to set the resolutions independantly, but you have to ensure you're in the proper mode.

Second if you want to do more serious work and get additional features beyond ATi and nV then you need to get something like UltraMon to help.

If you are looking at getting another card, then get the X1600 series on AGP so that you can get at least 1 dual-link TMDS for larger digital panel support. For now I'd try and get it to work with the DELL24" running off of the VGA, but if you're noticing quality issues, then you might be best off moving to a newer card with proper dual-link support.
August 15, 2006 9:39:58 PM

Never thought of running the Dell from the VGA, I'm gonna try this out. Looks like your spot on about the limits of the R9700P though, even if I could get this setup to work it wouldn't really be using either screen to it's full potential.

That X1600 is cheap, and I think awhile back I came here looking for a quite card and this one was mentioned.

Now if I can get back on that and find a card with a heatsink instead of a fan and two DVI's that can do what I need, well...that'd be perfect 8)
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 15, 2006 10:31:11 PM

Quote:

That X1600 is cheap, and I think awhile back I came here looking for a quite card and this one was mentioned.


Yeah I just checked that was from the Apple 30" discussion.

The X1600 is a perfect little card for basic gaming and solid 2D, since our last discussion the GF7600GS has entered the ring, and would have 1 Dual-Link DVI as well, but it's a little bit more expensive and kinda harder to find in dual DVI. But at least you have 2 solid choices for what you're looking for.

Quote:
Now if I can get back on that and find a card with a heatsink instead of a fan and two DVI's that can do what I need, well...that'd be perfect 8)


Yeah you'd think it wouldn't be too much to ask for but it sure as heck seems like it based on the limited selection at places like NEWEGG.

Too bad you're not on PCIe because there's a bunch that are dual dvid (one of which is dual link), and passive heatsink. For AGP there isn't that option up front, but you could always put your own cooler on if you were adventurous.
August 15, 2006 11:24:46 PM

Heh, well I wouldn't mind to put my own cooler on but I hear it can be very touchy when you actually use the adhesive to place the heatsink on it, get it on the wrong places and your card is trashed.

I wouldn't really mind to just upgrade to a cheapy PCI-E mobo and not go all out system upgrade, trouble is that requires an OS reinstall, and an OS reinstall will require I decrypt all my hard drives. And decrypting my hard drives will require some massive time, something I don't even want to consider atm.

I'm gonna have a look around and see what I can find, AGP cards are getting kind of limited now but there is still quite a few on the market surprisingly. I'll check out the 7600GS to, I was looking for the 7600GT but stores around here are phasing those cards out already :?

Just to confirm, any Dual-link DVI card will do two seperate monitors at seperate resolutions? Dual-link isn't just for two identical monitors or a 30" DVI-D LCD like the Dell or Apple?
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 15, 2006 11:47:20 PM

Quote:
Heh, well I wouldn't mind to put my own cooler on but I hear it can be very touchy when you actually use the adhesive to place the heatsink on it, get it on the wrong places and your card is trashed.


Don't use adhesive (I think you're thinking of thermal Epoxy) that's only for RAMsinks, and yeah you don't want that stuff everywhere. For VPUs you use thermal grease, and the best option is a ceramique style like Arctic Ceramique which has no conductivity (Arctic Silver is very low conductivity but best to have none near those exposed bridges on the VPU package).

Quote:
I wouldn't really mind to just upgrade to a cheapy PCI-E mobo and not go all out system upgrade, trouble is that requires an OS reinstall, and an OS reinstall will require I decrypt all my hard drives. And decrypting my hard drives will require some massive time, something I don't even want to consider atm.


No problemo, understand. Kinda sucks though.

Quote:
I'm gonna have a look around and see what I can find, AGP cards are getting kind of limited now but there is still quite a few on the market surprisingly. I'll check out the 7600GS to, I was looking for the 7600GT but stores around here are phasing those cards out already :?


Actually there aren't any GF7600GT AGP in retail YET, but they should arrive by month's end, so keep looking around then, but they won't be cheap, but if that's what you're looking for, then that'd be good, but it likely wont' have a heatsink unless you get something like these;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Personally I prefer the Gigabyte's design.... and price. 8)

Quote:
Just to confirm, any Dual-link DVI card will do two seperate monitors at seperate resolutions? Dual-link isn't just for two identical monitors or a 30" DVI-D LCD like the Dell or Apple?


Actually dual link refers to the dingle DVI connector supporting twice the bandwidth (due to 2 TMDS) along the DVI connection, which allows you to push the higher resolutions like that on the 24" and 30". Just plain DUAL DVI means 2 seperate DVI connectors (in the case of the ones we're talking about like the GF7600 and X1600 one 1 dual-link one is single-link).

Now, not to confuse things, but some implementations of dual link can be split into 2 monitors, but those are very specific cards and have different connectors yet again, they are found on specialized multi-monitor cards, which are underpowered and overpriced for what you are looking to do.

Just focus on Dual link for the 1920x1200 or greater resolution, and the dual DVI to allow for 2 digital panel per single card. Now if you can run the large panel with 1 Dual-Link DVI and then run that TV with a DB-15/D-sub/VGA connector, then there are some more option available to you like the following;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Not sexy, and just a mediocre gamer (not good at fast paced First Person Shooters) but it'll do in a pinch depending on what you find available to yourself.

Personally I'd just look for a good quiet HSF rather than limit myself;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

The problem is all the AGP GF7600GS at NewEgg have the tiny whiney HSF;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

There are other options out there, however if you're not in too much of a rush wait and see what the next few weeks bring in the form of a GF7600GT in AGP.
August 16, 2006 1:43:36 AM

Quote:
Don't use adhesive (I think you're thinking of thermal Epoxy) that's only for RAMsinks, and yeah you don't want that stuff everywhere. For VPUs you use thermal grease, and the best option is a ceramique style like Arctic Ceramique which has no conductivity (Arctic Silver is very low conductivity but best to have none near those exposed bridges on the VPU package).

I was thinking of getting some Arctic Silver before, I can't remember why I didn't. I think someone told me that Arctic Silver alone wouldn't be suitable or wouldn't be enough to cool the R9700P fully, can't remember what the reason was exactly. I don't really want to run either monitor off of VGA so I would rather pick up a new card instead of trying this anyways. Would be interesting to see a tutorial or something online with pictures of the proper process of doing this, just in case I find a card that's perfect for what I need, but with a big noisy fan on it.

Quote:
Actually there aren't any GF7600GT AGP in retail YET, but they should arrive by month's end, so keep looking around then, but they won't be cheap, but if that's what you're looking for, then that'd be good, but it likely wont' have a heatsink unless you get something like these;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Personally I prefer the Gigabyte's design.... and price. 8)

The gigabyte one looks perfect, I could wait a bit to get this but am currently reconfiguring my whole entertainment area and sorta wanted to go pick up everything and set it up asap. It's not the biggest rush though I guess, seeing as how a 25ft length of DVI cable I'll have to order online, and it wouldn't be here until late next week at the latest (almost the end of the month by then anyhow). So if they're gonna do an AGP version of that Gigabyte then, then I may as well just wait and pick that up.

Quote:

Actually dual link refers to the dingle DVI connector supporting twice the bandwidth (due to 2 TMDS) along the DVI connection, which allows you to push the higher resolutions like that on the 24" and 30". Just plain DUAL DVI means 2 seperate DVI connectors (in the case of the ones we're talking about like the GF7600 and X1600 one 1 dual-link one is single-link).

Ahhh, thanks for clearing this up! I was under the impression dual-link was two dvi outputs and that it was like a cable that split into two at the end and then worked as one to power the monitor. It all makes sense now, thank you for this :) 

Ultimately I'd just like to get any old card for the time being that will do what I need, a heatsink would be a LARGE plus, but seeing as how recently my power supply has started to emit a strange pitched noise (getting on in the years apparently, even though it is just a year old sometime this month :? ) and that would most likely annoy the heck out of me if it were isolated. Anyways, thanks a lot for your all your advice, you've been very helpful and now I at least know what I am looking for. Your efforts are much appreciated GreatApe :p 
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 16, 2006 2:43:25 AM

Quote:
I was thinking of getting some Arctic Silver before, I can't remember why I didn't. I think someone told me that Arctic Silver alone wouldn't be suitable or wouldn't be enough to cool the R9700P fully, can't remember what the reason was exactly. I don't really want to run either monitor off of VGA so I would rather pick up a new card instead of trying this anyways. Would be interesting to see a tutorial or something online with pictures of the proper process of doing this, just in case I find a card that's perfect for what I need, but with a big noisy fan on it.


There are a few of them out there, heck the ones I remember most were of people putting huge chopped up AMD fans on R9700Ps, the process would be similar to yours, except no need to worry about surrpoting a huge hunk of metal.

Quote:
The gigabyte one looks perfect, I could wait a bit to get this but am currently reconfiguring my whole entertainment area and sorta wanted to go pick up everything and set it up asap. It's not the biggest rush though I guess, seeing as how a 25ft length of DVI cable I'll have to order online, and it wouldn't be here until late next week at the latest (almost the end of the month by then anyhow).


Watch out with that 25FT, DVI has difficulty with long length, even with dual DVI. And iwth that resolution you want, anything over 10ft is gonna be a prooblem with single link DVI, even that 1920x1080 would have trouble at over 15ft with single link, if both are 25 ft away, then you need SERIOUS quality shielded DVI cable at LEAST, if not a powered repeater. Anything over 15ft really SHOULD have a powered repeater, but you can sometimes get away with it with a quality signal and really high quality cable. Only Analgoue VGA does well at those lengths, gong to about 30ft max, and once again doing better with lower resolutions at longer lengths. Truely you need to look into your setup again, you're really going to be asking alot from the card to pump out that kind of signal that far.

Quote:
So if they're gonna do an AGP version of that Gigabyte then, then I may as well just wait and pick that up.


It's unknown if it WILL come for sure in those models. Sometimes they simply make one kind, remember AGP is the red-headed stepchild so don't count on it, but at this point it's worth waiting and seeing what develops.

Quote:

Ahhh, thanks for clearing this up! I was under the impression dual-link was two dvi outputs and that it was like a cable that split into two at the end and then worked as one to power the monitor. It all makes sense now, thank you for this :) 


And the thing is you'll need the dual-link and maybe DUAL DUAL-LINK (ie two DVI both eing DUAL-LINK, like on the GF7900 and X1800/1900 and some X1600s) if you want to push HD that far on both, and even then I think you're going to get some noise/crosstalk (usually shows up as sparkles in darker portions of an scene/image, sometime slight moemntary colour shifts in spots).

Quote:
Anyways, thanks a lot for your all your advice, you've been very helpful and now I at least know what I am looking for. Your efforts are much appreciated GreatApe :p 


No problem, just be sure to check into your need for such a long cable. Also check with your supplier and see what they think, usually they have a guy who can tell you if the cable you're buying will do well with your setup, also be sure you can return it if it doesn't work well.
August 16, 2006 4:40:33 AM

Dang, now that I didn't think of. I remember now reading something about DVI having trouble over long lengths. The DVI cable from NCIX is dirt cheap, most likely the lowest quality cable. I don't know anything about powered repeaters, I'll google that after this. If it has to be in the middle of the connection though I'll probably just rule out the whole thing altogether. I was looking to run the cables descretely in a guided track under the mouldings around the room, if I've got to break that track and have some big ugly block thing (presumably with a power cord hooked up to it to) and then run it back into the track it'll look silly. If it could be placed say at the start of the run or even after 15ft of cable I could work it.

If you could get higher resolutions with VGA I would use that, but if I remember correctly VGA caps @ 1340x768, which is a little killer to look at on that size of screen. I've read of people getting crystal clear pictures on their LCD TVs through VGA though, but when I tried it with my Viewsonic 32" it looked horrid and barely readable regardless of the resolution I set it to. Not sure if this is thanks to my card being older or just the TV itself.

I was planning to use the Westy pretty much just to watch videos from my computer. I was thinking of playing a FPS on it maybe since I got a really nice wireless mouse/keys combo packaged with the Dell 24". This definitely not a priority though seeing as how I haven't had time for PC games since last winter, and I don't see myself playing them anytime soon. I wanted to keep it an option but that being said it's certainly no requirement. I don't need the Westy to do all my computing, I would balance more specific tasks on the Dell and whatever else on the Westinghouse.

Do you think it would be ok to hook the Westy 37" (maybe 42", once I find out if the 42" is as solid as the 37" quality wise) through VGA at a distance like that if it were just for movies and possibly games maybe? (would like to prepare for that option). Come to think of it I'd definitely fire up DOOM 2 on that bad boy, don't think it'd have much of a problem there though :p 
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 16, 2006 8:36:48 AM

Quote:
The DVI cable from NCIX is dirt cheap, most likely the lowest quality cable.


Well if it's NCIX that you're buying from don't bother asking anything there, GREG doesn't know jack $H1T about hardware, well he knows more than the average guys at FutureShop/BestBuy, but that's not saying much now is it. :wink:

Quote:
I don't know anything about powered repeaters, I'll google that after this. If it has to be in the middle of the connection though I'll probably just rule out the whole thing altogether.


Just did a quick google to find a model for you to check, and here's a quick blurb, and really cool it has a demo of the sparkles I was talking about (I'm bookmarking it because it'll help in future explanations 8) );

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/gefen-hdtv-r...

Quote:
I was looking to run the cables descretely in a guided track under the mouldings around the room, if I've got to break that track and have some big ugly block thing (presumably with a power cord hooked up to it to) and then run it back into the track it'll look silly. If it could be placed say at the start of the run or even after 15ft of cable I could work it.


Yep you could do that because the repeater also works as an amplifier/extender, and thus gives you a little better distance than just the DVI output alone, probably be fine around the 25-30 ft range.

Quote:
If you could get higher resolutions with VGA I would use that, but if I remember correctly VGA caps @ 1340x768, which is a little killer to look at on that size of screen.


VGA/DB-15 connectors/cable have a much higher limit than DVI in fact they go to and beyond 2500x1600 (I run 1920x1440 at home [and run 19x14 at work via DVI-A to my P260]), but the longer the cable the more susceptable higher resolutions are to noise, and the more important quality shielded cables are to maintain singal integrity (DVI cable quality more about resistance and singal loss, VGA more about outside EMF noise etc). Probably the 13x7 resolution you're thinking of is the PC native resolution for 720P HD which is 1366x768, but it's not a function of the VGA/DB-15/Dsub output/cable.

Quote:
I've read of people getting crystal clear pictures on their LCD TVs through VGA though, but when I tried it with my Viewsonic 32" it looked horrid and barely readable regardless of the resolution I set it to. Not sure if this is thanks to my card being older or just the TV itself.


I have a feeling you're running the monitor outside of native resolution, but I could be wrong. I'm not sure which you have but the two from Viewsonic's site that I found are;

http://www.viewsonic.com/support/desktopdisplays/lcdtv/...
http://www.viewsonic.com/support/desktopdisplays/lcdtv/...

1366x768 like I mentioned earlier, and not the 1920x1080 of the Westinghouse you mention at the beginnig of the thread, so if the Viewsonic were set anywhere outside of the 1366x768 then it's be an issue.

Quote:
I was planning to use the Westy pretty much just to watch videos from my computer. I was thinking of playing a FPS on it maybe since I got a really nice wireless mouse/keys combo packaged with the Dell 24". This definitely not a priority though seeing as how I haven't had time for PC games since last winter, and I don't see myself playing them anytime soon. I wanted to keep it an option but that being said it's certainly no requirement. I don't need the Westy to do all my computing, I would balance more specific tasks on the Dell and whatever else on the Westinghouse.


Really, once setup you should be able to do whatever you want with them, you may experience a little ghosting due to the typically slower response time of larger panels, but at a distance it won't be as much of an issue at 1 ft away from a 19".

Quote:
Do you think it would be ok to hook the Westy 37" (maybe 42", once I find out if the 42" is as solid as the 37" quality wise) through VGA at a distance like that if it were just for movies and possibly games maybe? (would like to prepare for that option).


Like I said should be fine once you've got it setup correctly. The distance is a problem that can be fixed, but obviously at a price (either a repeater/extender or quality cable). IMO if you have the option go with the DVI, the only problem is if BOTH monitor are a long way away then you need two of these solutions, but if it one close to the PC and one far away then it's a little easier. ALSO IMO a DVI repeater is a more future lookng slution you'll likel get more mileage out of even after a future upgrade, whereas a better quality VGA cable doesn't have much future, or even resellability IMO.

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Come to think of it I'd definitely fire up DOOM 2 on that bad boy, don't think it'd have much of a problem there though :p 


I think Doom3 would be better, with the lights off and the surround sound cranked using the DolbyLive output. 8)
August 16, 2006 9:55:23 AM

Now that DVI/HDMI repeater looks NICE, well worth the price I'd say.

Altogether it's not gonna be cheap though since I'll still need a quality shielded DVI cable on top of that, which seem to run about $200 US, so like about $600 CAD or $700 CAD by the time I've got them both @ my door for this. Not exactly a favorable option to a $14 VGA cable :lol:  But I'll bet the performance would be WELL worth it, and possibly serve for future use as you said as well.

At that price though it's really worth another look at just setting everything up directly to the westy 37". With a new card I'd probably get a clear enough picture that I could read the text and whatnot from 6-8ft distance no problem.

Very interesting to know about the capabilities of VGA though, I honestly had no idea and figured DVI was the superior not only picture wise, but resolution wise as well. I figured this Viewsonic (the 3250 btw, not that beasty looking old one 8O ) had a max rex of 1360x768 just as all 32's did, but had a little hope that I could force a larger one on it, definitely not gonna happen.

And yeah, DOOM 3'd probably be nice... but honestly though, you just can't beat blasting one of those horsey ass looking motherf***ers (barons of hell?) with your double barrel and hearing that crazy "BRRRWOOOOAAA" noise blare out the speakers. Classic times and always will be :) 
!