Connecting a second monitor

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.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks in advance if you can help.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about connecting monitor
  1. what connection ports does your second display support?
    i would suggest staying away from vga
    you can use a dvi to hdmi dongle or buy a hdmi to dvi cable and connect the second display
  2. 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:

    Though those were for VGA to HDMI and not DVI to HDMI. Would a DVI to HDMI cable work? Such as this:
  3. Since your second monitor has dvi just make it simple and use a hdmi to dvi adapter. Both of these connections are digital so there is no converting necessary.

    But to answer your other questions: 1) there are splitters that duplicate and others that mirror, you would need to check the product details. 2)hdmi to vga does need a converter.
  4. 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.
  5. Best answer
    Hdmi to dvi does work and needs no converter.
  6. Best answer selected by TeaScotty.
  7. Thanks everyone :) I've gone ahead and bought an HDMI to DVI cable and will try that out when it arrives. <3

    Edit: It worked :D
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