Okay so this question has been driving me insane and I can't seem to find a solution without problems.
I have an HP desktop PC with a Geforce 315 graphics card.
Important caveat before you look that card up - My card (I'm guessing because it's a slimline PC) seems somehow modified to have only two slots, not three - It has HDMI and DVI-I (dual link) slots. HP supplied me an DVI to VGA converter which I'm currently using with my 1 monitor.
So I want to hookup a second monitor for an extended desktop (not a mirrored display) and I want to know what my options are:
1. A DVI to VGA Splitter? I've read all over the place and most seem to say that a splitter will only mirror the displays. But that seems to be in response to graphics cards/integrated graphics that only has 1 graphics port. I've also seen a handful of people say that a splitter works for them. How does it work for them? Would my graphics card allow that to work given that it has the capability of outputting a second signal? (In answering this one, please know for sure what works, I've seen lots of people regurgitate that splitters don't work who don't know the circumstances where it does work)
2. An HDMI to VGA.... cable? converter? I've seen two products out there. One is the cheaper option which is a cable with an HDMI slot at one end and a VGA cable at the other. The second monitor I have (it was free) only has VGA or DVI input slots, no HDMI. Can I use:
a) The cable? All the negative Amazon reviews of this piece say that it doesn't work for them because one signal is digital and the other is not. Would my graphics card output a signal that allows the monitor to read it through this cable?
b) The converter? This is annoyingly more expensive at $40 + shipping but suggests the least amount of problems if the above ideas don't work.
The second monitor supports a VGA or DVI. The only query I had with cables that connect my graphics card's HDMI slot to either of those was whether they worked. For instance all of the reviews for this suggested it wouldn't work:
You can not connect the HDMI port of the video card to a vga port, or a DVI port on a monitor with out some form of powered converter. A simple adapter will not work. You will need one tv or monitor with VGA or DVI, and one with HDMI. Or 2 monitors or TVs with HDMI.
You can use an adapter to make the DVI on the card work with VGA, or with HDMI, on a monitor, you really cant adapt the HDMI out on the card to anything other than HDMI.