OK i very recently bought a new set up. i have a 24" monitor running through DVI to my radeon HD 7850 whilst i have a second old monitor that only has VGA. is it possible to run the second monitor through the motherboard? i have the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H
Nope, you have to run both of them off of your GPU. If you only have one DVI slot I think the cheapest way to do it would be to get a HDMI to DVI adapter or cable for you main monitor, and then a DVI to VGA adapter for the second smaller one.