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Dual Monitors - Configuration Possibilities

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 24, 2006 4:56:57 PM

I want to utilize two (2) Sceptre 20.1" WD monitors (1680 x 1050) in a dual configuration. Their primary role will be office productivity, secondary role video editing and desktop publishing, and thirdly, gaming. I don’t need a blinding frame rate.

Ideally, I would like to avail myself of the full resolution capability and provide myself a 3360 x 1050 working screen but I'm not sure I can get there.

I am running a 2.1GHz AMD CPU, have an 8X AGP slot, and Win XP Pro. I don't anticipate O/S upgrading for at least a year - Vista or Linux then.

I do anticipate requiring a new graphics card (now an ATI Radeon 9600/128 Mb) to support the resolution, but what are the options?

• - Do I need a Dual output DVI card?
• - Or will a 1/2 & 1/2 (DVI & VGA) dual output work OK? Are there dual output cards (non-workstation price level) that can support this resolution (1680 x 1050)?
• - Or will a single card work with the Matrox Dual Head2Go box? If so, pro's and con's of such a solution? Can the Dual Head2Go get me to 3360 x 1050 or am I limited to 2560 x 1024? (Reviewing the info on the Matrox web site, it would appear 2560 x 1024 is as good as one gets at this point).

Seeking expertise & advice. TIA.

Rip
December 24, 2006 5:44:04 PM

Quote:
As long as the card has dual output. Be it 2 DVI, 2 VGA or 1DVI and 1 VGA. Just hook the monitors up and tell ther driver to run them as seprate monitors not cloned. I was doing it for years on my old FX 5200.If you need 2 DVI there are VGA to DVI adabters.


You mean DVI to VGA adapters right?
December 24, 2006 5:46:51 PM

Personally I would purchase a new card. Get one that is dual DVI. I find on my system that the DVI gives you better clarity, and you don't have to deal with auto adjust or any noise since it is a perfect signal.

Like the other person said you can just set it up with extended desktop, it is a built in feature of Windows. That way the two monitors are NOT identical, and you can drag items between them.

If you want to get fancy some Nvidia cards will allow you to set the two monitors as one big monitor so the start menu goes right across.

Hope that helps.
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December 24, 2006 5:53:12 PM

Quote:
Personally I would purchase a new card. Get one that is dual DVI. I find on my system that the DVI gives you better clarity, and you don't have to deal with auto adjust or any noise since it is a perfect signal.

Like the other person said you can just set it up with extended desktop, it is a built in feature of Windows. That way the two monitors are NOT identical, and you can drag items between them.

If you want to get fancy some Nvidia cards will allow you to set the two monitors as one big monitor so the start menu goes right across.

Hope that helps.


which Nvidia cards will alow you to set the two monitors as one big monitor?
December 24, 2006 6:08:08 PM

I don't know the exact ones. The one I used was a BFG 6600GT. It was an AGP 8X card with Dual DVI.

I would imagine this is just a feature in the driver and I see no reason why a BFG 7 or 8 series card would not support it.
December 24, 2006 6:50:44 PM

Quote:
Any video card with dual outputs be it VGA or DVI will allow you to set the 2 monitors up as one big one.


will you be able to play games using both monitors? I had a 9600 before my new comp and i ran dual monitors and it only displayed the game on the main screen. Will my new x1900xt be able to make two diff monitors one and allow me to play using both screens? i know it would be horrifying when it comes to the stretching, but I wanna try it non the less. btw i am only using one monitor now, so i cant find the awnsers my self.
December 24, 2006 8:34:04 PM

Good point about the center of view. Unless you had a seamless configuration or could ignore the bezels (likely highly annoying), it would not be ideal.

Guess Triple Head2Go would be required. Anybody offer experience with either of these Matrox boxes? Would the cost of either box plus the cost of a single output card be cheaper than a dual output video card?

What about the max resolution capability of the monitor? Will most higher-end graphic cards support this resolution? Or are the choices necked down?

Rip
December 25, 2006 1:55:09 AM

Quote:
I use 2 video card. You can get a good PCI card to run the 3rd monitor. As for me my motherboard supports SLI so i have a 7300GT and a 7900GS. But i only use 2 monitors. I have run three though. I only want one per card. If i run 2 on the 7900GS i don't get full performance in my games. I don't span my games across mulltiple monitors.


so to make gaming acceptable I would need 3 monitors? how would that work? wouldnt stretching be really hardcore?
December 25, 2006 2:11:42 AM

well I have a x1900xt... that should be sufficent.
December 25, 2006 2:18:19 AM

i have a 9600 in my other comp. could i use that as the other card? not sure if my mobo has an agp slot or w.e. its a p5b deluxe wifi
December 25, 2006 2:46:57 AM

Quote:
Any video card with dual outputs be it VGA or DVI will allow you to set the 2 monitors up as one big one.


What I was getting at is more so driver support. I don't think it's possible to do the "one big monitor" with an Intel card, or some older Radeon 7000ish cards.
December 25, 2006 2:49:05 AM

Quote:
That board has PCI-e and PCI. There is no AGP. The board has 2 PCI-e 16X slots so you can get 2 PCI-e video cards of the same make. Or what ever other video card you want to get.


Agreed.
December 26, 2006 2:14:09 AM

alright. well actually im not even gonna try two monitors. i got a 22 inch widescreen for christmas, and it is big enough. thanks anyways.
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