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Multiple Monitors - What exactly will I need??

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I have two monitors. I need to hook up the second one. However, either all guides are pointing me in different directions, or the nouns they use happen to be synonyms. Question: Video card = Graphics card = Video adapter = Display adapter? I wouldn't think all these words are the same thing, are they? Exactly which one of these will I need for my second monitor?

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if you have a video card with two SVGA outputs then hook the second one up there. If one is DVI then you can get an adapter for that (unless u need the DVIs).

I have never tried but know people that have two video cards, one for either monitor. One is sitting in the AGP slot and the other (an old one, Voodoo2 i think) in a PCI slot.


What video card do u have, and what monitors? Maybe u can just hook it up to the same card (mine are hooked to one card with one DVI adabter, Radeon 9600XT).

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I have an Intel 82845G Graphics Controller video card. I searched "multiple monitors 82845G" on the intel website, but it turned up nothing, so I assumed there was no multiple monitor support.

At the store today, I saw video cards for $70, which... well, I was hoping for cheaper ;)

The dude at the store told me I need a video adapter, while the dude at hp instant support told me I need a video card. Other guides obviously have authors with short term memory loss, because they use the two interchangebly (or they're the same thing..?)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
[QUOTE]I wouldn't think all these words are the same thing, are they?[/QUOTE]
Ahhh, but they are.

One thing to keep in mind when using two video cards is that you should setup your most powerful video card as the main one (usually the AGP slot I think). Because the second video card doesn't do very much. At least I think I read that somewhere...

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Quote:
Original post by v0dKA
I have an Intel 82845G Graphics Controller video card. I searched "multiple monitors 82845G" on the intel website, but it turned up nothing, so I assumed there was no multiple monitor support.

At the store today, I saw video cards for $70, which... well, I was hoping for cheaper ;)

The dude at the store told me I need a video adapter, while the dude at hp instant support told me I need a video card. Other guides obviously have authors with short term memory loss, because they use the two interchangebly (or they're the same thing..?)


If its integrated yeah it has one output only so no multiple monitors through that. You will need a second video card but if you put a card in the AGP on the integrated board then either the integrated or AGP card will function, not both at the same time. I dont know if this is the same with PCI + Integrated but in the worst case you will need 2 video cards (AGP + PCI).

If you can spare the money then I suggest just getting one card with 2 outputs, something low range in the $100 segment maybe.

*** EDIT: for the one video card solution take a look at the ATi Radeon 9600SE it is the lowest one with 2 monitors support I think (also has a tv-out). Price is around US $100.

*** EDIT2: also take a look at the NVIDIA FX 5200 series (2 outputs) for less than $100 dollars. Its performance however is very low, probably faster then the integrated but still very, very slow.

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Yeah, all these terms basically mean the same thing although you'll usually see them used in slightly different contexts, like so:

Video/graphics card = The card itself.

The pluggable protrusion on your video card where your monitor's cable goes = display/video adapter (in general).

It isn't uncommon for video cards these days to come with two display adapters built in (especially with Radeons because of ATI's excellent Hydravision software).

Matrox is also known for their excellent multi-display solutions - they're used a lot in the business world.

Note that many of the multiple-montitor cards come with one analog and one digital adapter - you might have to buy a conversion dongle if that's the case.

If your current card doesn't have two adapters built in already, pick up the cheapest PCI card you can find and plug the second monitor into that. I know you can do this (although I haven't done it myself). I'm not sure exactly what you would need to do in terms of software to configure this setup though.

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Well, I'm looking for the cheapest option, so is the PCI card the way to go in my situation?

And, since I'm not planning to do anything graphics-intensive on my second monitor, how cheap of a video card can I buy?

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Quote:
Original post by v0dKA
Well, I'm looking for the cheapest option, so is the PCI card the way to go in my situation?

And, since I'm not planning to do anything graphics-intensive on my second monitor, how cheap of a video card can I buy?


Check that you can have a video card in the PCI slot with integrated video working as well. I dont think you can do this with AGP + Integrated, its one or the other.

I know someone who was running a Voodoo2 / 3 maybe 4 in PCI for the second monitor. Any low range card will do fine, check resolution support though.

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Quote:
Original post by nts
...Check that you can have a video card in the PCI slot with integrated video working as well...


How exactly can I check that?

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I don't know anything about integrated video/PCI compatibility. If it's true, you might be out of luck until you get an AGP card (in which case you can buy a dual-display card).

But as for the PCI card, just get the cheapest one you can buy, it doesn't really matter because you'll have your main video card doing all the work. The PCI card will just be for outputting the results.

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And just as a final make-sure, the "PCI card" you guys are referring to is just a PCI video card, correct? Or are we already talking about a whole different technology I am unaware of?

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