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Dell Vostro 460: 3rd monitor intermittent on on-board VGA

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July 26, 2011 5:37:57 PM

System: Prebuilt Dell Vostro 460
MoBo: Dell Inc. 0Y2MRG A00
CPU: 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i7-2600
RAM: 8GB
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6450 (1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x VGA)
OnBoard MoBo Video: 1x VGA, 1x HDMI
OS: Windows 7 Professional


Hi everyone,

Here's my situation at work: I have a new Dell PC for one of our users that likes to run triple monitors. I know the GPU should only support 2 monitors at a time, regardless of having 3x ports (DVI, HDMI, VGA). I've enabled the onboard video through the bios. The strange thing I am encountering is if I have the 3rd monitor plugged into the VGA-out on the MoBo upon booting the PC, it will not detect and activate the 3rd monitor. It can't be seen through the display settings or CCC. The two running off the GPU work great. Now for the head-scratcher: If I hook a monitor into the MoBo HDMI port, all 3 monitors work (connection to monitor is via HDMI->DVI adapter). Furthermore, once the PC boots with a monitor connected to the MoBo HDMI, the MoBo VGA will magically start to work, at least until the next time the PC reboots without a monitor plugged into the MoBo HDMI. Once the PC reboots, the VGA connection is lost and can only be restored by rebooting with something in the MoBo HDMI port O_O

So, I know my easy answer for triple monitors on this setup is to simply ignore the MoBo VGA and use the MoBo HDMI coupled with 2 ports on the GPU. Me being me, I'm not happy until I understand WHY the MoBo VGA only gets recognized if something is first plugged into the MoBo HDMI upon starting the computer.

Any input is greatly appreciated!

Colin
September 10, 2011 2:23:19 AM

Hi Colin,

Wow, I know this isn't a response to your questions, but I'm hoping you can answer one of mine. Are you using the Intel HD Graphics for your two monitors or are you using something else? If you're using the HD Graphics, HOW did you enable the onboard video through the bios?? We purchased two Vostro 460s in July with the Intel HD Graphics 2000 and have yet to get the dual monitors working. I keep reading about enabling the onboard video through bios, but loading defaults hasn't worked. I've tried it twice.

I know my adapters and everything work b/c I tried them on two laptops, so all I can figure is that it's disabled. I'm about ready to give up and just install a dual video card on each computer. I have a PowerEdge server as well and accomplished three monitors (four just wouldn't fit in the wall space I had) using two dual Matrox graphics cards, but I'd prefer not to spend more money when this is supposed to support dual monitors.

Thanks for any help you give me. Sorry I can't give you any insight on your question!

Diana
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September 12, 2011 3:55:37 PM

Hi Diana,

I have two Vostro 460's in the office, however I opted for the "AMD Radeon™ HD 6450 1GB DDR3 (DVI, VGA, HDMI)" video cards in the two I ordered. On one of the 460's, I'm actually running triple-monitors by using 2 ports on the AMD Radeon GPU, plus the built-in video on the motherboard. This was a trick to get all 3 running consistently.

I won't be able to get onto that computer to verify how I configured it until Wednesday this week. If I get busy and forget to check, you can post a reminder here. I get email notification to any replies on this thread.

Colin
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September 12, 2011 4:21:05 PM

I appreciate it, thanks so much Colin!
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September 28, 2011 12:13:44 AM

colin_bc said:
Hi Diana,

I have two Vostro 460's in the office, however I opted for the "AMD Radeon™ HD 6450 1GB DDR3 (DVI, VGA, HDMI)" video cards in the two I ordered. On one of the 460's, I'm actually running triple-monitors by using 2 ports on the AMD Radeon GPU, plus the built-in video on the motherboard. This was a trick to get all 3 running consistently.

I won't be able to get onto that computer to verify how I configured it until Wednesday this week. If I get busy and forget to check, you can post a reminder here. I get email notification to any replies on this thread.

Colin


Hi Colin,

I've been putting this off and forgot to post a reminder. If you get a chance and could let me know how you enabled the onboard video, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks so much!

Diana
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October 11, 2011 5:00:23 AM

Diana,

To enable both the onboard Intel HD 2000 Graphics adapter and the onboard graphics for your Vostro 460, press F2 just after pressing the power button (when you see the Dell Logo). You should see an option called "Graphics Options" - Select the "Intel Multiple Monitor" option and set it to enabled.

The computer's boot screens will appear on the screen connected to the internal VGA Adapter, and if the graphics driver isn't installed, windows will only appear on this monitor initially. Install the Intel HD GMA Graphics adapter for your version of windows (32 or 64 bit, this can be obtained from the Intel website) and reboot your computer. All screens connected to the computer should be visible.

If not, right click on your desktop, select Screen Resolution and make sure all monitors are enabled (select disabled monitors, and check the "Extend windows to this monitor" option, then click apply)

I hope this helps!

Cheers,

Mark.
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October 12, 2011 5:30:58 PM

Hi Mark,

What Bios version do you have? I have a V460 with the A03 bios (most current from dell support). It does not have an option called "Graphics Options".

Thanks,

Bob

MarkWalters said:
Diana,

To enable both the onboard Intel HD 2000 Graphics adapter and the onboard graphics for your Vostro 460, press F2 just after pressing the power button (when you see the Dell Logo). You should see an option called "Graphics Options" - Select the "Intel Multiple Monitor" option and set it to enabled.

The computer's boot screens will appear on the screen connected to the internal VGA Adapter, and if the graphics driver isn't installed, windows will only appear on this monitor initially. Install the Intel HD GMA Graphics adapter for your version of windows (32 or 64 bit, this can be obtained from the Intel website) and reboot your computer. All screens connected to the computer should be visible.

If not, right click on your desktop, select Screen Resolution and make sure all monitors are enabled (select disabled monitors, and check the "Extend windows to this monitor" option, then click apply)

I hope this helps!

Cheers,

Mark.

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November 24, 2011 8:31:57 AM

Thanks

I have just congif triple 3 monitor Susscess

However, what is Quad Monitor?
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December 7, 2011 9:17:38 PM

First of all, thanks for the replies, I'm glad someone out there got this working. ;)  Some follow-up:

Since Colin started the post with a question, I wonder if Mark or tamnhin can respond to him:
Quote:
...I'm not happy until I understand WHY the MoBo VGA only gets recognized if something is first plugged into the MoBo HDMI upon starting the computer.


tamnhin, in response to your question:
Quote:
what is Quad Monitor?
Quad = 4, so 4 monitors. Does that answer your question?

As for my issue, I've...given up. :heink:  I've spent hours and HOURS (and possibly DAYS) searching for a solution, with nothing [positive] to show for it. We originally chose these computers, the Dell Vostro 460 Mini Tower, because they had everything we [thought we] needed, for a great price. We didn't upgrade the graphics because the base price included the Intel HD Graphics 2000 which supports multiple monitors (according to Dell and the Intel forums). Sometime after my 9/28 post I did a chat...thing with Dell Support who told me the Intel HD Graphics 2000 DOES NOT SUPPORT MULTIPLE MONITORS and told me to buy a compatible graphics card. :fou:  We've concluded that since we didn't pay EXTRA for the current configuration, we'll just deal with it by either getting new monitors or new graphics cards.

Question/Option 1: If we buy new graphics cards, I'm running into the "recommended power supply" issue where the Vostro 460 has 350 W and graphics cards are wanting 400-450 W. I'm partial to the Matrox dual montor cards (I have a couple on a Dell PowerEdge server), but with Windows 7 requiring more memory than ever, we're talking $200-$300 per card (eek!), and then I'm not even sure if the power supply is sufficient. For those of you who have separate graphics cards, what cards are you using? Is the AMD Radeon HD 6450 that Dell sells a good card (it hasn't been rated yet)?

Question/Option 2: The other [much more expensive] option would be to supplement our old analog monitors with brand new digital monitors, assuming you CAN use the Intel HD Graphics 2000 VGA & HDMI ports at the same time to extend the display rather than just clone it, I'm a bit foggy on whether anyone's gotten that to work or not. This is a business, we don't need to see our desktop on giant flat-screen TVs, we just want a little more desktop-space. Most, if not all [reasonably priced] monitors are analog, they just don't speak digital, as much as I would like them to... ;) 

Question/Option 3: If the VGA & HDMI ports can be used at the same time to extend the desktop, what about these digital-to-analog converters that keep popping up in my searches? Are they reliable? Do they actually work? Would that allow me connect the analog monitor the the HDMI port?? That would be the more cost-effective option (if it actually works).

Thanks for any help and/or input you can provide!

Best,
Diana
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