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vid card advice for dual monitors

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 14, 2007 6:48:53 AM

I'm wanting to get set up with dual monitors. I don't do ANY gaming, and don't plan to. This is for work: programming, general office type stuff. RAM and screen real-estate intensive, but nothing graphics intensive.

Currently I have a single 19" (VGA) LCD and an ASUS k8s-mx mobo with onboard video (SiS760GX) that's been just fine for my needs so far, but doesn't have a second monitor output.

I'm probably going to get another similar LCD screen.

My priorities for the vid card are:
* reliability
* relatively low price
* quiet & low power consumption! (I've got a pretty quiet system, don't want anything with a noisy fan - prefer no fan - or that generates too much heat or draws too much power.)
* supports VGA (would prefer not to have to get an adapter for my existing monitor)

My questions are:
* can I get an AGP card and use it alongside my onboard video? Or does plugging an AGP card disable the onboard vid?
* If I have that option, should I do that, or get a dual head card?
* What particular cards do you recommend?

Thanks, everyone!
November 14, 2007 7:21:18 AM

If you get AGP card, I suggest you get the one with both DVI and VGA output, there's so much choice. If you happen to get 2nd monitor with VGA connector, you can always get DVI to VGA adapter
November 14, 2007 9:47:32 PM

I believe that using an AGP video card will disable the onboard video, but I am not certain. This concern is not really relevant, since some of the cheapest available AGP video cards have dual monitor out. At the very least, a dual head card will probably be easier to deal with. I've looked at newegg, and I'm a little disappointed in their offerings on the low end for AGP. Sadly, with AGP at the end of it's life, there isn't a glut of incredibly cheap budget cards driving down prices. I've used a Geforce 6200 in the past; it works great. There are a few variations on the 6200 series, just check that it is fanless and has DVI and VGA out. Also, I saw the 9250 for a few bucks less, and it is also passively cooled. I believe that it is an acceptable card, but I've never used it. There are a few older cards, such as the Geforce 5000 series, and the Radeon 7000, but I don't really see an advantage to going with such an old card to save very little money.

You might try looking at getting a used 6200 if you're really interested on saving money. I imagine that any of the Radeon cards in the numerical 9000-9250 range would also work for you, though I'm going to mention again that I don't have experience with that series of card personally. Nearly all of those cards have a DVI and a vga connector.
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