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2 Monitor PC Setup - How is it best done nowadays?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema, Hi-Fi and Gadgets' started by IanL-S3, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. IanL-S3
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    IanL-S3 Member

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    [Jul 4, 2006]
    One of the IT techies

    I've been out the IT game for 5 years but we used to just put another video card in and pair them and plug the two monitors in - one on each card and all worked nicely.

    Had to be same video card as far as i remember. It was all corporate Compaq stuff so was likely to be same vid card anyway.

    But for home set up two monitors i was wondering

    a) if my graphics card is on the montherboards what are the options (work pc i could switch out with home)

    b) do i have to use the same second graphics card that is in my pc if there is already one there to get a two monitor set up

    c) is there are graphics card (cheap) with two vga outs. This will be for using Sonar (music writing software)

    d) Are there an monitors which do the spanning when linked?

    Or is there an solution i haven't thought of that you would recommend?

    All help suggestions welcomed

    Thanks in advance

    Ian
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  3. Olly_K
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    Olly_K Administrator

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    [Jul 4, 2006]
    I use dual screen at work, it really helps me get stuff done.
    To answer some of your questions, if your gfx card is on your mobo, its unlikey it will support dual screen.

    Also, what interface are you using ?
    Does your mobo support agp, pci, pci-e ?
    if its agp or pci-e, you can get cards like these:
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/7600_Series.html
    Which offer 2 outputs (ok, they are DVI, but you can get DVI-VGA adaptors.

    Or, if you dont want to spend that sort of money, a secondary gfx card in your machine with the onboard gfx should do the trick.

    Spanning is not down to the monitor, but how it is controlled in the OS display settings.

    Your best bet it to:
    buy one of the cards listed above, buy to monitors, job done.

    I run this setup at work on 2 19" TFT's, and my desktop area is 2560x1024.
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  4. IanL-S3
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    IanL-S3 Member

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    [Jul 4, 2006]
    Olly your works setup is the exact set up i'm after. :)

    I'm gonna get the ebuyer 19inch TFT's

    stupidly i can't remember what gfx card i have at home! I should have posted this when i got home.

    But i'm pretty sure i have an AGP - the pcs only a few years old.

    But what about something like this
    http://www.misco.co.uk/productinfor...50 DUAL HEAD GRAPHICS CARD (RETAIL BOXED).htm

    Reason why i looked at that one is that when i worked in London for an Investment Bank we had Matrox Millenium Quads merged to run 8 flat panels. Now that was a sweet set up :)

    I don't know if i have PCI-E
    Considering i'd not heard of it, i'll say i don't. Computer is approximately 3 years old if that indicated anything. It was built by Redjag who no longer exist so i'll to power it on and see.

    What a rubbish post from me!! I should get all the facts first :)
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  5. Olly_K
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    Olly_K Administrator

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    [Jul 4, 2006]
    lol, im pretty sure you have AGP too, that card you linked to is very very old. It only has 32meg of DDR1 ram on board !
    when you consider you'll be running 2560x1024, im not sure you'll be able to get a decent refresh/colour depth.
    Have a look at these AGP cards :
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Nvidia_AGP_Graphics_Cards.html

    I know these seem a lot more expensive (stay away from the bottom models on that page, they pinch system ram for themselves), and they are mainly gaming cards, but 256meg of ddr2 ram is going to be much faster than the matrox offering
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