Dual Monitor Setup

finr

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Jul 18, 2003
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Hi all...

Here's the deal: I'm looking for a new gfx card. What I want to be able to is connect two monitors (one LCD, one CRT, but both with conventional VGA connectors) and display different pictures, i.e. two different desktops when working. Also, the card should be powerful enough for recent games (and, hopefully, mose upcoming ones ). When gaming, output on one (the CRT would be the better choice I guess?) monitor is enough - I guess the second monitor would be turned off then?

Well, now I got a few questions as I'm quite a newbie to this whole gfx card thing:
1. What's the difference between VGA and DVI outputs?
2. Is every card with two video outputs (VGA+VGA or VGA+DVI) capable of habdling my two monitors (both with VGA connectors!) ??
3. I don't want to spend more than €150 - €200... Any suggestions which card would be a good choice? I'd preferrably take one with TV out...

Thank you for any answers...
finr
 
First what do you need two different desktops for? Extending one isn't enough? You can open 2 seperate windows across the same desktop in max on both monitors. Otherwise you are very limited. Matrox does that well. Nvidia and ATI have trouble with two different desktops, and usually 'extend' the desktop onto the other monitor. Problem, Matrox doesn't do games well.

Answers;
1. Digital connection, means the LCD picture isn't converted to analog and back. IT's digital all the way. Usually results in crisper/sharper colours/picture. Also they look different. :tongue: There is also 2 different kinds of DVI outputs DVI-D and DVI-I go for the DVI-I if you have the choice IMO. They look slightly different too +/|

2. YES however for VGA+DVI if you only have an analog connector (DB-15/VGA) then you will need and adapter/dongle (usually $5 or even included in many packages)

3. In order of my preference; ATI R9500Pro, FX5600Ultra Rev.2 (400/400[800]), R9600Pro, FX5600Ultra Rev.1 (350/350[700]). However I'm not sure exactly what the prices will be near you. I would Recommend above ALL of the above cards theATI R9700non-pro/pro however it will depend on the price you get. Straight dollar/€ conversion tells me you should be able to get it, but it depends, and it would likely be at the top end of your budget (~$200US online).

That's my opinins. But check around.


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Yes, and YES.

Just depends on what you're doing. Using LCDs (now or in the future) then it's the perfect choice. Gaming at LARGE resolution (above 1600x1200) then no, as DVI is often limited to 16x12.
Also they are not worth a premium if you have no need for them.

<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=359011#359011" target="_new">Here's a LINK</A> to a thread/link I posted a bit back about a dual DVI (optional) TYAN R9600P. It's a little underperfoming versus MOST R9600Ps but that's not because of the dual DVI, more because of the slower memory and strange HSF deisgn.
And there are MANY of them out there for most makers. ATI, Matrox, Nvidia. Just check (try Google).

Dual DVI is mainly just for LCDs, in whihc case they are the best choice IMO.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil:
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
The most notorious cards for not supporting DVI to VGA adapters are (most) Radeon 8500LE's.

Basically the DVI-I connector carries the extra pins needed for VGA output, most cards have it, a few don't. Those that don't, don't even have the second RAMDAC needed for analog output.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
 
Crash, isn't it the other way around. DVI-D is for Flat Panel only while DVI-I will allow Analog/CRT?

HERE's a link to a <A HREF="http://www.dell.com/us/en/arm/topics/vectors_2000-dvi.htm" target="_new">DELL (yeah I know) White Paper</A> on it. It supports all the other stuff I've read. Yeah it's from DELL but has pictures and a description of the issue in the DVI connectors section.

DVI-I is adaptable. DVI-D isn't. That's why I recommended the DVI-I above.

BTW the DVI-I has the extra pins Hence the [+] shape. And the the DVI-D is [-].

That would also suck if I'm wrong because it would mean I won't be able to dual my R9600P with the DVI-I (waiting for another monitor).

Anywhoo. Just FYI.

EDIT: No problemo Crash You STILL da' MAN! Well one of the small group of DA' MAN! (Da MEN?) around here. :wink:

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <A HREF="http://www.redgreen.com" target="_new"><font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red></A> GA to SK :evil: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 07/18/03 11:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
You're probably right, I do forget things once in a while, not afraid of correction, in fact I'm greatfull for you mentioning it and will be modifying that post immediately to avoid confusing others.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
 

finr

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Jul 18, 2003
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> First what do you need two different desktops for? Extending one isn't enough?

Well, that was what I meant.. Extending one desktop is just fine, I just wanted to make clear that I don't want both to show monitors the same picture.

Thanx for all yout input guys... I guess I'l lpick up a R9600Pro - I kinda prefer ATI over nVidia and the R9500Pro seems to be discontinued so I won't get it anymore :(
 

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