So I just got a Dell Inspiron 537 Slimline PC. I was hoping that the 4350 ATI Radeon graphics card that I selected would drive the two E176FP monitors that I already own (extended display, not clone of course) at 1280 x 1024 each.
But it doesnt look like I can get the setup to work without any additional hardware.
The monitors talk only VGA.
The card has an HDMI port & a DVI port.
The motherboard has a VGA port (but from what I've read in forums, once you plug in the video card you cant use the vga port on board. agrees with my experiments too).
Obviously I can get one of the monitors to work with the HDMI to VGA adapter, that came with the PC.
But the other one is a bit tricky since I cant use the VGA port on board - which leaves me with HDMI port (yes, I tried a VGA Y-splitter chained to the HDMI-VGA adapter but it simply clones)
I did my bit of googling, and it seems like
a. a direct HDMI to VGA adapter is a non-existent concept.
b. a HDMI-DVI + DVI-VGA combo doesnt look promising - for I'm not sure that it will work and even if it does it looks like the right combo will cost upwards of $100.
I also own a Tritton USB-to-VGA driver - but the lag in the display at 1280x1024 drives me nuts. So I want a solution that can use the rather pricey new graphics card that I bought (and now feel stupid about).
Well, I've been down this road before too. It sucks. The card you have has 1 analog and 1 digital port - you can only drive the 2nd monitor with analog, so you are screwed.
But in the end, you have these options:
Get a new card
Get a new monitor
And I say this because the alternatives (like i said, been down this road) are way more expensive. Digital to analog converter hardware is over $100 bucks - if you spent that you can just get a 4850 with two DVI ports that can power 2 analog ports. (DVI can be digital only or analog/digital, or digital only. When they are paired with a HDMI, they always support analog or analog and digital)