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Dual monitor: converting from single monitor - which video card?

 
 
Z Man
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      04-20-2006, 11:36 AM
I have three or four Dell systems I need to convert from single monitor to
dual monitors. These are standard businesses systems running Excel and Word
in an financial office environment, so we don't need a high performance
solution. All the systems currently are running 17" CRT monitors, and I plan
on purchasing 19" LCD monitors, which I can get in the mid-$200's.

Management is very sensitive to computer expenditures. What is my least
expense method of enabling dual LCD monitors? Should I replace the onboard
video with a video card that supports two monitors? Should I add a second
video card? Or, is there an adapter that will let me use two monitors with
my current video card? I expect to purchase LCD monitors should have both
analog and DVI inputs. Thanks for any advise or thoughts on this issue.


 
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Tom Scales
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      04-20-2006, 04:42 PM
Can't answer the question without knowing WHICH Dell computers. Depends on
what card slots they have. Let us know more. You cannot run two monitors
off a single port in the existing machines, but a cheap card will work.

Tom
"Z Man" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:rnK1g.454$kR4.194@trndny06...
>I have three or four Dell systems I need to convert from single monitor to
>dual monitors. These are standard businesses systems running Excel and Word
>in an financial office environment, so we don't need a high performance
>solution. All the systems currently are running 17" CRT monitors, and I
>plan on purchasing 19" LCD monitors, which I can get in the mid-$200's.
>
> Management is very sensitive to computer expenditures. What is my least
> expense method of enabling dual LCD monitors? Should I replace the onboard
> video with a video card that supports two monitors? Should I add a second
> video card? Or, is there an adapter that will let me use two monitors with
> my current video card? I expect to purchase LCD monitors should have both
> analog and DVI inputs. Thanks for any advise or thoughts on this issue.
>



 
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James
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      04-20-2006, 06:56 PM
You can get two cards or a single card designed to support two
monitors. I would strongly urge the later and here is why.


Most computers have a high speed slot for video - either AGP or PCI
express. They have one slot not two. You can get PCI video cards but
they are on a much slower bus and very slow. The AGP bus is either
2x/4x/8x faster and PCI Express is a 16X faster bus.

You also then have the challenge of two video drivers - in theory XP
should handle this ok, but in practise, I can't help but think it slows
things down.

If you are running Dells that do not have a dedicated video adapter
slot (AGP or PCI Express) then don't go there. There are dual monitor
PCI cards (rare to find these days) but it will just be too slow.


James

 
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Ian
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      04-20-2006, 08:33 PM
On Thu, 20 Apr 2006 19:56:17 +0100, James <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> You can get two cards or a single card designed to support two
> monitors. I would strongly urge the later and here is why.
>
>
> Most computers have a high speed slot for video - either AGP or PCI
> express. They have one slot not two. You can get PCI video cards but
> they are on a much slower bus and very slow. The AGP bus is either
> 2x/4x/8x faster and PCI Express is a 16X faster bus.
>
> You also then have the challenge of two video drivers - in theory XP
> should handle this ok, but in practise, I can't help but think it slows
> things down.
>
> If you are running Dells that do not have a dedicated video adapter
> slot (AGP or PCI Express) then don't go there. There are dual monitor
> PCI cards (rare to find these days) but it will just be too slow.
>
>
> James
>


Yes. Been ages since I had a single head card, by co-incidence. In fact,
since I left sluggish PCI cards with no directX support, I never have. I
never chose two heads on purpose, but it seems to be so very common. My
first AGP card was in 1999, a Matrox G-400 with two heads. My Ti4200 had
two DVI capable, and my current, albeit also ageing 9600 PRO also has two
DVI capable. I would have thought, and this seems to be what you are
saying, that the integration of two heads on one card brings the advantage
of controlling two desktops and/or and extended desktop with one driver,
and/or utility (Hydravsion, for example). And the full power of the AGP
slot. But I don't know if it stresses the card?? I sometimes feel my
Radeon gets too hot using the one output. I'm tempted soon to look at a
second, for fun, but don't know if it'll meltdown if I don't ramp up the
system cooling. I suppose if you game hard on one output you shut down
the secondary? Something like that. If AGP 8x has more bandwidth than the
card can use, does that compensate for carrying two streams from the
driver? The mind boggles.


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Benjamin Gawert
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      04-20-2006, 09:10 PM
James schrieb:

> If you are running Dells that do not have a dedicated video adapter
> slot (AGP or PCI Express) then don't go there. There are dual monitor
> PCI cards (rare to find these days) but it will just be too slow.


That's nonsense. PCI is still more than fast enough for everything 2D
and even moderate 3D work. Of course if gaming is a concern PCI is out
of the run but for "real" work PCI is still a valid option.

That's btw the reason why there still are professional PCI cards like
the new PNY Quadro NVS 280 PCI (which replaced the Quadro NVS 200 PCI):

<http://www.pny.com/products/quadro/nvs/280Nvspci.asp>

For everything 2D there is absolutely _no_ performance difference
between PCI and AGP.

Benjamin
 
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Mangyrat
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      04-20-2006, 10:45 PM
ok for what you want/need its easy to answer.

disable the built in videa card and go with pci or agp matrox card like the
G450 or any of the other matrox cards with 2 or 4 display suport.

you cant use the built in video and a agp card at same time so to make it
easy on your self and avoid problems just disable it.

like you said you dont need a high end card just something to use for office
app's so pick a card like a G450 with 32meg or more ram, they will have the
best looking 2d display.

"Z Man" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:rnK1g.454$kR4.194@trndny06...
>I have three or four Dell systems I need to convert from single monitor to
>dual monitors. These are standard businesses systems running Excel and Word
>in an financial office environment, so we don't need a high performance
>solution. All the systems currently are running 17" CRT monitors, and I
>plan on purchasing 19" LCD monitors, which I can get in the mid-$200's.
>
> Management is very sensitive to computer expenditures. What is my least
> expense method of enabling dual LCD monitors? Should I replace the onboard
> video with a video card that supports two monitors? Should I add a second
> video card? Or, is there an adapter that will let me use two monitors with
> my current video card? I expect to purchase LCD monitors should have both
> analog and DVI inputs. Thanks for any advise or thoughts on this issue.
>



 
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Mangyrat
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-20-2006, 10:53 PM
Z man you are going to get a lot of bull **** answer here so your best bet
is go to a forum that is dedicated to multimonitors
http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/

after you do some reading youl mostlikly end up getting a cheap pci matrox
card.

"Z Man" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:rnK1g.454$kR4.194@trndny06...
>I have three or four Dell systems I need to convert from single monitor to
>dual monitors. These are standard businesses systems running Excel and Word
>in an financial office environment, so we don't need a high performance
>solution. All the systems currently are running 17" CRT monitors, and I
>plan on purchasing 19" LCD monitors, which I can get in the mid-$200's.
>
> Management is very sensitive to computer expenditures. What is my least
> expense method of enabling dual LCD monitors? Should I replace the onboard
> video with a video card that supports two monitors? Should I add a second
> video card? Or, is there an adapter that will let me use two monitors with
> my current video card? I expect to purchase LCD monitors should have both
> analog and DVI inputs. Thanks for any advise or thoughts on this issue.
>



 
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Enos Nivek
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-20-2006, 10:56 PM
On Thu, 20 Apr 2006 23:10:17 +0200, Benjamin Gawert <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:


>That's nonsense. PCI is still more than fast enough for everything 2D
>and even moderate 3D work. Of course if gaming is a concern PCI is out
>of the run but for "real" work PCI is still a valid option.


Gaming is "real" work. It takes more brains to figure out how to beat
a strat game than how to use bold typeface in MS Office. ;-)
 
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Stephen Howard
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      04-21-2006, 08:51 AM
On Thu, 20 Apr 2006 18:45:38 -0400, "Mangyrat" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>ok for what you want/need its easy to answer.
>
>disable the built in videa card and go with pci or agp matrox card like the
>G450 or any of the other matrox cards with 2 or 4 display suport.
>
>you cant use the built in video and a agp card at same time so to make it
>easy on your self and avoid problems just disable it.
>
>like you said you dont need a high end card just something to use for office
>app's so pick a card like a G450 with 32meg or more ram, they will have the
>best looking 2d display.
>

I'll second that.
I use two systems with dual monitors, and I tried a number of dualhead
cards - but nothing beats the Matrox for simplicity and reliability in
the office.

I'd consider the 450 to be the bottom line - I've had problem with the
400 under XP.
It's also a passively cooled card, so there's no extra fan noise to
consider.

I doubt you'll need anything more for 2d work.

Regards,



--
Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
www.shwoodwind.co.uk
Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
 
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Z Man
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      04-21-2006, 12:21 PM

"Stephen Howard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 20 Apr 2006 18:45:38 -0400, "Mangyrat" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>>ok for what you want/need its easy to answer.
>>
>>disable the built in videa card and go with pci or agp matrox card like
>>the
>>G450 or any of the other matrox cards with 2 or 4 display suport.
>>
>>you cant use the built in video and a agp card at same time so to make it
>>easy on your self and avoid problems just disable it.
>>
>>like you said you dont need a high end card just something to use for
>>office
>>app's so pick a card like a G450 with 32meg or more ram, they will have
>>the
>>best looking 2d display.
>>

> I'll second that.
> I use two systems with dual monitors, and I tried a number of dualhead
> cards - but nothing beats the Matrox for simplicity and reliability in
> the office.
>
> I'd consider the 450 to be the bottom line - I've had problem with the
> 400 under XP.
> It's also a passively cooled card, so there's no extra fan noise to
> consider.
>
> I doubt you'll need anything more for 2d work.



I'm sure the G450 is suitable for my purposes, and I checked on Ebay and
found that it is inexpensive. It is also available in both PCI and AGP
versions. My Dell systems probably don't have AGP. However, the Matrox cards
seem to have just VGA, and not DVI. Would I be better of getting a card with
VGA and DVI, or perhaps dual DVI?


 
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