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Can I run dual monitors on my computer?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 21, 2013 11:17:36 PM

Hello Awesome People,
I was wondering if i could run dual monitors on my rig

My Budget Gaming Rig:
MB: ASRock FM2A55M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR
HDD: Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive -Bare Drive
Case: GAMMA Classic Series ATX Mid Tower Interior Steel Chassis (Black)
PSU: CoolMax 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
CPU/GPU:AMD A10 5800K
If I can do it list any cables or components that I might need
My HDTV (1080p) was a VGA port and my other monitor (Sony 15 inch 1024x768) has a VGA port as well. I would like to run both at native resolution if possible.

Thank you for your help

Please ask if you need anything other information :D 
February 21, 2013 11:32:23 PM

Erm... graphics card / cpu would be helpful. :p 

But yes, you should be fine.
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February 21, 2013 11:32:57 PM

Yes.

You can attach one monitor to the included vga port on the motherboard, and the other to the dvi port using a vga to dvi adapter like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you need more graphics power for games, you can always buy a discrete graphics card and do the same thing.
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February 22, 2013 12:37:03 AM

POINTS:

1) The newer GTX600 series (not sure about HD7000) support HDMI input for HDTV's with full audio now. I see you have no HDMI output so obviously audio is a separate wire from the motherboard. However, HDMI via an addon card may be possible to connect to your HDTV instead of using what appears to be the PC-input of VGA + 3.5mm audio.

2) I assume you will game on one screen at a time and the second is used for basic tasks like the Internet etc?

3) I'm guessing you have no addon graphics card and just use the APU on the motherboard?

4) Your motherboard may have come with a VGA adapter for the DVI output. The VGA output must connect to a VGA cable. There is no adapter for that.
(FYI, a VGA adapter connects ONLY to a DVI-I, not a DVI-D output. DVI-I have output pins for BOTH the VGA and DVI cables and the adapter simply connects to the VGA pins. DVI-D outputs have no VGA pins.)

5) READ YOUR MOTHERBOARD MANUAL. It should explain your connection options.

6) You may wish to consider an addon graphics card. Even a $30 HD6450 for the second monitor may help take the load off the APU's GPU if you wish to have it running a non-gaming application while also gaming.

7) Optionally, even an HD7770 for $100 MAY give better performance (not sure of your APU's GPU performance) than your onboard GPU so you could possibly connect the HD7770 to your gaming screen and the onboard APU's GPU to the other screen. It shouldn't require a better PSU either.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=72479&vpn=R7770-PMD1GD...

8) CROSSFIRE is not recommended.
It works by using a comparable graphics card to the GPU your APU contains so it's a 2xCrossfire solution. Micro-stutter would likely be pretty severe at times on low-end 2xCrossfire. I'm also uncertain of how that would affect connectivity. I thought it should be mentioned. (If you decide you want a little better graphics power the addon card is the best choice.)

*I haven't used APU's much but I think my information is correct.

Cheers.
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February 22, 2013 1:39:29 AM

Update:
*I found the manual:
ftp://174.142.97.10/manual/FM2A55M-DGS.pdf

Points:
1. The DVI output is actually DVI-D, not DVI-I. This means a VGA adapter won't work. Your motherboard video then supports connections to:
a) VGA, and
b) DVI (or HDMI via an adapter or DVI->HDMI cable however there would be no audio. However, since VGA on your HDTV appears to work perhaps continue using that and DVI for the monitor).

VIDEO GPU:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/processors/a-ser...
*It is a 7660D.

I was curious so I did some reading and here's what I discovered:
- to get Crossfire use a 6670 (but microstutter can be problematic)
- the FM2 socket has no better APU that I could find (and apparently no CPU's)
- the HD7770 is a significant upgrade to the graphics though I couldn't find actual benchmarks.
- it appears the onboard graphics can be turned off.
- it appears as if you can use an addon card for games and the onboard graphics for a second monitor at the same time.

Other
GAMES:
As you likely know there are quite a few games that are older (some new) that are fun and run well on low-end machines. Torchlight should run fine, even Bioshock might run well when tweaked. Half-Life plus the Black Mesa mod.

RadeonPro:
This has three main features:
1) Force Anti-Aliasing when unsupported (i.e. Mass Effect #1)
2) Force VSYNC when unsupported (i.e. Witcher #1)
3) Force "HALF VSYNC" so you can avoid screen tearing while synching to 30FPS (for 60Hz monitors). It's my understanding that enabling VSYNC on a 60Hz monitor should automatically synch to 30FPS anyway if 60FPS can't be achieved. I suppose you could try BOTH and see if there's any difference. The way to tweak for many is the same as at 60FPS, run the game with VSYNC disabled and FRAPS running then tweak the quality settings to stay above 30FPS as much as possible.
*Some of these features may work now in the Catalyst Control Panel. I no longer have an AMD card so I have no idea. RadeonPro was really great for me though.

Summary:
- no ADAPTER for DVI to VGA (DVI-D output, not DVI-I)
- video options are:
a) as is (VGA + DVI)
b) add a $30 HD6450 (for second screen)
c) add an HD7770 for better performance in gaming? (and connect motherboard to second screen).
- picking games
- RadeonPro

*Very curious about what you do as my experience with APU's is quite limited, and I've babbled enough...
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February 22, 2013 2:40:24 AM

Don't make things more complicated than they need be. DVI is a subset of dvi-d.
If I am not mistaken, the adapter I linked to will fit in the dvi-d motherboard port and should work.
At $5 or so, it is not a big deal if it does 'nt.
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February 25, 2013 9:21:19 PM

geofelt said:
Don't make things more complicated than they need be. DVI is a subset of dvi-d.
If I am not mistaken, the adapter I linked to will fit in the dvi-d motherboard port and should work.
At $5 or so, it is not a big deal if it does 'nt.


You are WRONG.

DVI-D means that ONLY he digital pins are available. So ONLY a DVI cable can be attached.

DVI-I means that BOTH the analog and digital pins are available so that an ANALOG ADAPTER can connect to the analog pins.

If in doubt, use Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvi#Cable_length
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February 25, 2013 10:04:17 PM

photonboy said:
You are WRONG.

DVI-D means that ONLY he digital pins are available. So ONLY a DVI cable can be attached.

DVI-I means that BOTH the analog and digital pins are available so that an ANALOG ADAPTER can connect to the analog pins.

If in doubt, use Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvi#Cable_length


I stand corrected.
Thw wickipedia link makes things most clear.
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