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Inspiron 530 with quad displays?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 19, 2010 5:32:14 PM

Hi All,
I have been having a miserable time trying to get my quad monitor setup to work. I have an Inspiron 530, and I am beginning to believe that my motherboard simply does not support two video cards at the same time.
Pentium 2 dual core
Upgraded Ram
Running on Vista (PC not for gamming)
I have 4 video cards at my disposal (all have 1DVI out and 1VGA out)
4 ASUS 20” widescreen monitors on stand (all have both DVI and VGA in)

Motherboard
1PCIe slot
1 mini PCI slot
2PCI slots


I have tried almost every single combination of video cards possible; PCIE and PCI, PCI and PCI, video card cards of diff manufacturers, Video cards of same manufacturers, I even bought an external; USB hub that created 3 DVI outs ($189), got it home and realized it requires a USB port and a “mini display port” (looks like mine USB) at the same time! My pc does not have a mini display port out.

I can only get two monitors to work at the same time (off the same card).

Has anyone ever had a quad monitor display setup with a dell Inspiron 530?? If so HOW!

Please help, I’ve got all these monitors setup, and they are going to waste
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 5:36:39 PM

You get an ATI Eyefinity 6 card

You have only one PCI-Express slot, which means you can only have 1 GPU driving your 4 displays. Currently, the only cards that can do that are eyefinity 6 cards, which cost a pretty penny:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Note that all of the outputs on an eyefinity 6 are Mini-Displayports. If your monitors do not have a displayport connection, you'll need to pick up 4 adapters to convert the signal, similar to how people use DVI-VGA adapters.
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October 19, 2010 5:43:44 PM

Wow thank you borisof007 for your quick reply. I was afraid of this.

is it possible that even with a video card like that, the mother board will still only support 2 monitors?

also its seem like for the price ($400) it might just be cheaper to get a new motherboard with 2 PCIE slots?
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 5:47:32 PM

Driving video display is up to the GPU, not the mobo really. If the video card can support it, and your GPU works with the mobo (on a simple level), then it'll work. Note that driving 4 displays might be quite a bit of stress on a CPU too.

But yes, you can get a cheap motherboard with two PCI-E slots and get two single slot cheap 5xxx cards as an alternative solution. The cost should be a lot less if you do.

Also keep in mind the power requirements of two video cards vs one.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 5:50:38 PM

Another thing, two cards might be better because you won't have to use any display port adapters either, which can save lots of money (depending on the kind you'd need if you did need them).

This of course assumes you're running two monitors per card.
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a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 5:52:20 PM

I believe Windows 7 is more flexible in this area. It allows cards of different manufacturers, where Vista did not.
Not guaranteeing it either, because m/b bios can limit expansion card function.
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October 19, 2010 6:10:55 PM

Looks like i am going to have to get a new motherboard, and then as Boris mentioned run two video cards with two monitors on each. but of course (because nothing is ever easy) i think I am going to have to get a new PC case; the case for the Inspiron 530 does not fit full size mother boards i believe.

Notty, I do eventually plan on switching to seven (now that i am having to get a new motherboard) I might as well get one that supports a 64 bit processor.
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October 19, 2010 6:35:11 PM

Does anyone know of a good online source where i can check out motherboards and see if they are compatible with my current processor?
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October 19, 2010 6:58:06 PM

So.. new mother board and new PSU and i should be good to go?

I think i can still do this cheaper than the $400 graphics card.

I believe my computer is not a mini tower, it looks full size but I've heard it wont fit a lot of full size ATX mother boards ( i guess it is a mid-size tower).
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October 19, 2010 7:14:04 PM

oh, You are saying the reason my attempts at running two video cards have failed is simply because the Power Supply is too small?
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October 19, 2010 7:35:32 PM


Chassis
300 Watt DC Power Supply

* Backup battery: 3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell

3.5" Bays: 3 bays (one external; two internal)
5.25" Bays: 2 bays

Dimensions
H: 14.2 inches (36.2 cm)
W: 6.7 inches (17.0 cm)
D: 17.1 inches (43.5 cm

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Could the 300 WATT PSU really be the problem?
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October 19, 2010 8:11:39 PM

Quote:
dude.
i know your system better than you do, no offense.
i'm a former dell tech, look at all my systems under 'member configuration'; 3 modified Dells, 4 Dells all total.
i think it's actually 305watts but on that, you might be right.



I am not questioning that you know more about my PC, I have never even built a PC before.

Could you perhaps recommend a new size PSU for my PC that will support running dual video cards?
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October 19, 2010 8:44:02 PM

Quote:
didn't take it that way, we're cool bro.
sure. brb with one or two ideas.
do you want a dell upgrade or aftermarket.?



I honestly do not care, whatever is cheaper I guess?

Thank You for your help! sorry for the tude
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October 20, 2010 3:24:01 PM

malmental,

Took my PC in to the shop yesterday and installed a 500 Watt PSU, and tried running the two video cards still nothing. Tech support guy tried disabling the on-board video card through the BIOS but apparently Dell's bios does not allow the user to do this.

Basically three guys at the Micro Center here confirmed that my mother board simply will not support running dual graphics cards.

I think i am going to get a new mother board- probably the ASUS P5N-D LGA775

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October 20, 2010 4:02:27 PM

man, I don't know, every time i go to that store someone tells me something different.

I got a new case, new 600 WATT power supply, and getting motherboard today.

I'm just going to reuse all other parts i.e. hard drive, DDR2 Ram, optical drive, and processor. Hopefully this will work! I've never built a PC before so hopefully ill get it right. From what I've read installing the processor and heat sink is really the trickiest part? Do you know of any good step by step guides? or perhaps a you tube video?

Also note something i learned yest. a few of the video cards i was experimenting with would not have worked anyway (regardless of mother board) because they were ATI cards? and my chip set is only compatible with nividia cards. who knew?

I cannot wait to get this set up!
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a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2010 5:00:03 PM

Your running into an issue becasue Vista does not support two different graphics cards like your trying to setup. You need to upgrade to windows 7 and your first setup should work fine.
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!