I have a stock Dell XPS 8300, about a year old. The video card is a Radeon 6450. The OS is Windows 7.
I need a basic dual-monitor setup. I'm not a gamer - about the hardest thing GPU wise is stream TV episodes from Netflix. Mostly what I want to do is be able to dedicate one monitor to a programming IDE and have a second hold an IM client, a web browser tab or three, the Pandora player, and an email window. Basic stuff.
I've just spent 25 minutes in Fry's pawing through racks of cables and adapters, and I can't find anything that will give me the combination of ports from the video card to the monitor. (That may suggest that this isn't the way to do it.)
Anyway, I think it boils down to a couple of questions -
1) Is a Radeon 6450 able to drive two monitors at once, or do I need a different video card?
2) Are the outputs of the 6450 independent of each other? If I'm already using the VGA connector, can I just plug a second monitor into the HDMI port and have a second display? Or is it more complicated than that?
I did finally find an adapter on Amazon for $2.09 (!) that I think will work. I'll try that unless the good people of Toms' Hardware forums tell me otherwise ...