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Dual Display Adapter advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 22, 2011 4:07:55 PM

I need to spec some business workstations for normal (low end) office use with dual monitors. Years ago people started doing dual displays and there were but a few adapters with proper dual digital ports. I think I once bought some Matrox G550 or something like that. It's been a while since I spec'd hardware so I was expecting to come back and find all kinds of options for multiple displays and possibly even dual outputs for onboard graphics but I’m finding it hard to find any adapters that don’t seem like a kludge. Most systems I see at HP or Dell tout dual monitor capable but by using one VGA and one DVI but I want an all digital solution. I have found some add-in cards but they’re high powered gaming cards for $300 and I’m thinking a simple dual DVI business class card should be $50-100. Now I do see many add-in cards that are VGA, DVI, and HDMI/DisplayPort so the DVI and HDMI or Display Port could suffice but it just seems inelegant to run a different cable to each monitor or but a HDMI to DVI converter.

So my question is how are people properly doing dual digital outputs and is there any hope to do it with a ultra-small-form-factor system with onboard? IE if one wants dual DVI does one have to forego sensible dual displays?
a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 5:04:37 PM

Many PCs now have onboard dual outputs. Although most are VGA + DVI or DP.
If you want dual digital outs (which does not matter that much unless you are running at over 1280x1024 resolutions for clarity), here is a listing of cards around $30 with HDMI and DVI, and also VGA to boot on many of them http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...

You'll probably need to buy a HDMI to DVI adapter but those are a few bucks online. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_10?url=search-... Just go to do an office store to buy them or you'll pay 2-3-4 times more for the part.
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a c 540 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 5:28:05 PM

You don't see low profile graphics cards with two DVI ports because the mounting bracket does not have enough room on it to support it.

You don't mention what ultra-small-form-factor system you have or whether it supports full height or or only low profile graphics cards.
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December 22, 2011 8:56:43 PM

I don't have one selected yet. It was hypothetical since I am in the process. And besides this is just a general question. Is it simply the case that most non-gamer dual monitor setups are what I would consider a kludge?

BTW I’m thinking my board will be an Intel DQ67EP. It has on board DVI-D and DVI-D as well as a DisplayPort. It’s a nice inexpensive board but it’s incredible to me when I go to Dell or HP that they don’t build systems with something like this. I would think that given the popularity of dual displays most would be this way at this point. And that’s my question… What am I missing here? Is there some other gee-wiz way I’ve not head about?
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 9:00:16 PM

cory_jackson said:
I don't have one selected yet. It was hypothetical since I am in the process. And besides this is just a general question. Is it simply the case that most non-gamer dual monitor setups are what I would consider a kludge?

BTW I’m thinking my board will be an Intel DQ67EP. It has on board DVI-D and DVI-D as well as a DisplayPort. It’s a nice inexpensive board but it’s incredible to me when I go to Dell or HP that they don’t build systems with something like this. I would think that given the popularity of dual displays most would be this way at this point. And that’s my question… What am I missing here? Is there some other gee-wiz way I’ve not head about?


Did you read my post? There are dozens of non-gaming dual display video cards. And there are business PCs that have both VGA and DP ports, some with VGA and DVI.
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December 22, 2011 9:10:14 PM

Yes I did, thanks. As I stated I am not looking for a dual solution where the one is analog and the other is digital. I'm also resistant to any solution that requires mixed digital standards or requires chinsy adapters. I had already shopped at NewEgg but after several pages of the $50-100 range I couldn't find any with dual DVI. Could you help me find one?

BTW there were half height dual DVI. The had a special connector and a short break-out cable. Matrox G550 LP I think. But that’s old tech by now.

Also I thought DisplayPort was supposed to be ruling the PC monitor world by now. Or is that akin to the flying cars promise?
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 9:21:06 PM

cory_jackson said:
Yes I did, thanks. As I stated I am not looking for a dual solution where the one is analog and the other is digital. I'm also resistant to any solution that requires mixed digital standards or requires chinsy adapters. I had already shopped at NewEgg but after several pages of the $50-100 range I couldn't find any with dual DVI. Could you help me find one?

BTW there were half height dual DVI. The had a special connector and a short break-out cable. Matrox G550 LP I think. But that’s old tech by now.

Also I thought DisplayPort was supposed to be ruling the PC monitor world by now. Or is that akin to the flying cars promise?


I don't know of any dual-dvi cards that are cheaper, or are not full size. DP is a bit too new to be wide-spread.

Nothing wrong with using adapters, we have about 30 $12,000 computer and monitor setups that are using DP to DVI adapters on many of them.

Try something like this http://www.amazon.com/Dell-102A6290300-Radeon-DMS-59-Y-...

It uses a DMS-59 cable to split into two DVI connections. This setup is on our other sets of 12,000 computers, and we use them inside operating rooms. Good enough for there, good enough for someone typing out a spreadsheet.
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December 22, 2011 10:08:42 PM

Cool, that answers my question and there’s nothing new that I’m missing. Just been slow to happen in a proper way.

BTW I personally don’t consider dual displays a new thing. I’ve had multiples for at least 10 years and seem to remember seeing quite a few starting to show up 5 or more years ago.

That card you show looks about like the Matrox I cited. Except it’s PCI which really is a decade out of tech.

Thanks for all your input.
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December 22, 2011 10:46:10 PM

Oh wait, that other one was PCI-E too. But this one was much more like what I was expectiong. Thanks.
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December 23, 2011 2:11:41 AM

I've been searching for a card to run a similar setup and most of the Nvidia cards have dual (and 2-dual channel - not one dual and one single channel) DVI outs. I only looked in the $100-$200 range so you'll have to check the lower end cards. Hope this helps.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 23, 2011 12:46:28 PM

cory_jackson said:
Cool, that answers my question and there’s nothing new that I’m missing. Just been slow to happen in a proper way.

BTW I personally don’t consider dual displays a new thing. I’ve had multiples for at least 10 years and seem to remember seeing quite a few starting to show up 5 or more years ago.

That card you show looks about like the Matrox I cited. Except it’s PCI which really is a decade out of tech.

Thanks for all your input.


I don't mean dual displays are new, DP is Display Port.

That card is PCI-e not PCI, so will go in a new PC.
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December 23, 2011 7:39:24 PM

Roger that. Thanks.
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January 2, 2012 4:39:39 PM

Best answer selected by cory_jackson.
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