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I need help with dual monitors

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by KevR, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. KevR

    KevR

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    I have a Dell PC with a motherboard that has a single VGA port. I would like to run dual monitors as cheaply as possible. Can I install a video card with a single VGA port in one of the empty slots and run a monitor off of each? Or do I need to install a new video card with dual VGA ports?
     
  2. Ragnar

    Ragnar

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    Depends on how new your computer is and which operating system you use.

    I use Vista and run an Nvidia card with two video ports for my twin monitors.

    I would suggest getting a new twin-port video card rather than another single card.
     

  3. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    It depends on the chipset for the mother board. Sometimes when you use onboard and a discrete video card it can cause a little "lag" moving back and forth. Sometimes the mother board won't support both running at once. Sometimes the drivers get all hinky (that's a technical term). Most times it works just great!

    I would, honestly, suggest installing a separate video card.

    This one is PCI Express and is 25 dollars, shipped to your house: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131119

    Unless you need PCI, in which case this one is 40 dollarsz shipped: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161011

    Either will most likely suit your needs if you aren't gaming.

    EWTA: you may need one of these 9 dollar doo-hickies (another very technical term) if you don't have a DVI port and cable on one monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ..._re=dvi_to_vga_adapter-_-12-119-041-_-Product
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  4. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    I ran a Pentium 4 with two video cards (one in the AGP slot and one in a spare PCI slot) for 4 years and it worked fine. I wish I still had it, I tossed it to upgrade the box but I should have saved the money it was working fine.
     
  5. KevR

    KevR

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    I've got a Dell Optiplex 360 with Pentium dual-core CPU @ 2.6 GHz and 2GB RAM. Do you think it could support 2 cards? It says my display chipset is Intel G33/31.
     
  6. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    Yes. I assume you don't have the itty-bitty machine, as those use low profile cards.

    I have ...maybe 45-50 of those out in the wild (the smaller desktops) including a couple with a dual video card.

    'Drew
     
  7. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    I guess my point was that it's probably going to cost as much, if not more, to get a single head video card to stick in there and run tandem with the onboard. For 25-40 bucks just get the dual head and then you won't have to fret about any of the stuff I mentioned.

    I just looked at the Dell 360, you'll be just fine with the 25 dollar card if you have the mini tower, if you have the the low profile desktop you need a "half height" card like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134083 for about 40 bucks shipped, as well.

    ETA: you're looking for PCI-Express X16 if you decide to find one on your own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  8. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Ah yes, good point.

    In our lab we have a crate (literally, a milk crate full) of old video cards and stuff pulled from old machines, so I didn't have to buy the PCI video card. Made it a lot more cost-effective :)
     
  9. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    Sadly I just donated all of my excess hardware to local org that builds PCs for kids who don't have the means to buy one. (AND they insytall LINUX!!!!! GASP!!!!) Otherwise I would have just shipped the OP a card.
     
  10. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    I wish we'd do something like that. All of the equipment is university owned, and they don't care what you do with it as long as you give it back when you're done (otherwise I also would have offered to send a vid card). It just collects dust in closets once it gets old enough, but the bulk of the stuff works just fine.
     
  11. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    I dealt with this at my last company. Go talk to to human resources and find out who is in charge of "community relations" at the Univ. That person should be able to tell you what the criteria for donations are. I was able to get about 3 rooms full of obsolete, yet functional, hardware out of way at my last job by putting things together and finding community "recievers" for the equipment. Also, since it was private company we were able to claim an insignificant tax credit for it. Mostly we did it as a "good will generator" with the local community (and a spring cleaning project). :)

    Just something to think about if you care enough to pursue it. I like to do stuff like that just to expose kids to Linux, cause I'm anti-establishment rarrrr!
     
  12. loki993

    loki993

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    I didn't think it was possible to run on board video and a standalone video card, but its also something Ive never even thought to try. Anyway if your not doing anything seriously taxing, like gaming, you should be find with a cheap card with dual monitor support. I have an old 6600gt in my system that supports duals, dual DVI even, I cant imagine one of those being very expensive anymore.
     
  13. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    In many cases this will work without a hitch, for future reference.
     
  14. KevR

    KevR

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  15. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    I would caution you that that card is PCI, more expensive than PCI-E which your machine supports and is a better option in the long run.

    You're welcome to do as you please and that card will work but, it's more than twice the price of the first one I linked to (the 25 dollar shipped, also with a 10 dollar rebate making it 15 dollars) and is technically inferior.

    In my professional opinion you've chosen a sub-optimal solution.
     
  16. KevR

    KevR

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    The problem is that I have to have dual VGA since neither of the monitors supprt DVI. Thanks for pointing out the PCI issue, I'll find a PCI express card.
     
  17. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    I also linked a 9 dollar (shipped) converter, you'd still be at laess than 25 bucks, shipped after the rebate AND the ATI chipset won't be dog.

    But, I'll leave you alone now. I don't want to seem too pushy.
     
  18. KevR

    KevR

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    No, thanks man. I didn't notice the converter which would work perfectly...and it's cheap!! I appreciate your help.
     
  19. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

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    My pleasure.