Okay, I am an average IT user, know just enough to troubleshoot, but not enough that as lingo gets complex my mind doesn't spin. Here is what I know.
I just got a new computer - Dell Optiplex 790. It is supposed to have a 415MB AMD radeon HD 6350 (2 VGA) video card.
I also just got two new monitors (ViewSonic VA2248m-LED) because I have always done my work in a dual monitor environment. They are connected in back at one port with some type of splitting device for what I believe is VGA (not DVI), just like my past monitors have been.
I thought I could plug them both in and off I would go (since I have never had issues using dual monitors on the computer before), but I was wrong. The primary monitor says ideal resolution is 1920x1080, so that is what I set it at (using 60 Hertz) --- this display is perfect. The 2nd (extended monitor) wouldn't set to that originally, eventually my IT specialist did get it so it could set it to the recommended 1920x1080 also, but it is not sharp at all and looks like it is jumpy. In addition the second monitor only has options for 25, 29, or 30 hertz, interlaced. Also note I interchanged the cords to eliminate the possibility the 2nd monitor was flawed in the hardware.
No one, not ViewSonic, not my IT specialist, and not Dell can tell me why my second monitor is not working right and why it can't be set to 1920x1080 at 60 hertz. No one seems to know if it is the specs of the AMD radeon 6350 video card creating an unknown limitation on having both monitors at 1920x1080 at 60 Hertz. I have tried to find answers all over the web because I don't want to waste money replacing a video card on a brand new machine if that is not the issue and it is a driver or Windows 7 type issue that needs to be resolved. No one also seems to be able to just tell me what specs I should have in a video card to ensure it can properly my two new ViewSonic VA2248m-LED monitors in a dual monitor environment.
If anyone here has any insight and can put it into downgraded geek language for the only somewhat savy user, I would really appreciate it!
the short response is shoot your it guy and dell. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=QK638AT-DT
the card like this that they used is using a non standard video output connector. the card should have had outputs like this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
most newer cards will have a vga and a hdmi. or two hdmi that you would use an hdmi to vga adaptore.
the other port that still on the system and should be usable is the intel 3000 ipgpu chipset. dell or your it guy should have gone into the bios and done this. (video boot device order. gpu..ipgpu..). then gone under few line more if the dell bios has it.
turn on ipgpu for muilt monitor support. most bios default that setting to off. you would then have your main monitor on the amd video card and one monitor on the intel ipgpu. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this is the video card i would put in just the model up from the one dell sells up has the right ports. it 15.00 after rebate. also order a mini hdmi to dvi cable. if you want to run two monitors off digital inputs.on this video card.
I like the short response, simple and easy to understand and in my thoughts already. I am gathering though that the current video card is the limiting factor to maximizing the new ViewSonic monitors. Right now I have found if I set both at 1600x1200 they both have a 60 hertz refresh rate and are okay (just okay, not as great as I would like). I gather I really have to upgrade the video card and connections to really maximize the crispness and resolution. Thanks for your input.