[SOLVED] Driving dual monitors with CPU integrated graphics


Sep 5, 2008
I am choosing components for a business, non-gaming desktop PC, with dual, identical NEC monitors (extended display, not cloned). The native OS will be the current version of openSuSE Linux with a virtual machine (VirtualBox) for Windows. Typical applications would be word processing, pdf generation, Internet browsing, and image rendering (Photoshop, GIMP); no video rendering.

Until now, I have used discrete nVidia-based graphics cards with dual DVI-I outputs, each monitor set to a resolution of 1920 x 1200. These cards have worked well with openSuSE, requiring very little in the way of configuration, especially in recent years.

Nevertheless, given the performance advances in CPUs, I am exploring CPU integrated graphics offered in AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i3 and i5 series microprocessors as an alternative to a discrete card. In addition to DVI-I inputs, the monitors have one HDMI input and one DisplayPort input (daisy chaining is not an option), and the motherboards I am considering have HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, apparently a fairly standard configuration.

One concern I have is whether running one monitor from an HDMI output and the other from a DisplayPort will afford the same uniform video signals to the two monitors (see, e.g., https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/531742-KDE-and-two-displays-with-diff-resolutions). Some claim that a port splitter may be employed, but others run into performance or configuration difficulties with such devices.

Since I have very little experience with integrated graphics, HDMI, and DisplayPort, the effectiveness of these options appears uncertain. Although a discrete card adds expense, increases power consumption, and generates additional heat, it works and works well. Perhaps that's a more sensible way to proceed.

I am interested in your experience with integrated graphics and dual monitors, and welcome your comments and suggestions.