Need a board with 2 RAMDAC's. Which one?

jamesblond

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Sep 6, 2002
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Hello,

I'm looking to buy a new system. Probably an AthlonXP 3000+ with 1024MB of RAM. I need a new graphics card for that system, but it should have TWO ramdac's. I want to use my second CRT monitor wich is unemployed at the moment.
I was thinking about the Radeon 9600XT, but I'm not sure if that card has two RAMDAC's. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.
 

Vapor

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Jun 11, 2001
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Look for any card with dual monitor support. I prefer nVidia's nView over ATi's HydraVision, so you may want to look toward nVidia for dual monitor support. Both makers have good basic support, however. 9600Pro, 9600XT, 5700U, 5900XT/se, and 5900nu are probably your best bets in the price range you suggest.

If you don't game, look no further than a Matrox, best multi-monitor support by far. A G450 would be the way to go.

Damn Rambus.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
All the standard versions of ATI cards that have 2 monitor outputs have 2 RAMDAC's and a DVI to VGA adapter. Most cheaper OEM models don't. I suggest a 9600 Pro, but if you want to spend extra money on the XT, go right ahead.

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Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
If you look at some cheap OEM cards that don't include the DVI to VGA adapter, most don't have a second RAMDAC and therefore don't support the adapter.

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jamesblond

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At the moment I have a Radeon 8500 LE wich is said to support a second monitor. I have tried just about anything in my power to make the second (CRT) monitor work, but alas... It seems the card has no second RAMDAC, so I'll have to get a new board. If you have another suggestion, please tell me. I'm no real expert on such matters, you know.
 
Most R8500LEs had one connector but the R8500s had two, and thus no need for a second ramdac on the LEs. It's a money saving effort. Check the <A HREF="http://www.ati.com/support/manualpdf/rade7585.pdf" target="_new">User's Manual</A> it clearly states in the graphics (availible on Radeon 8500 only).

If all you're looking for is dual monitor and don't care about performance then you should try the R9000/9100/9200 serieseseseses. They will offer you good dual monitor support, but not great gaming prowess. Check the websites for each one you find to be sure that as Crash says that they aren't crippled by the OEM partner. My suggestion would be an R9600 series if you want a good balance of feature and performance.

Can I interest you in a Matrox card too? :evil: Some of them have triple RAMDACs. :cool: More is always better right? :wink:


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Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Yes, most LE's did NOT include a second RAMDAC. ALL standard 8500's did. I'm trying to preclude LE's, SE's and OEM non-pro's where such parts are at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Any card that includes the DVI to VGA connector supports a VGA output (second display) there. And the on-card VGA is the first display.

I actually went through the whole 8500LE discussion a LONG time ago in order to help you guys on this very issue, BEFORE you made your purchase.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
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Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Most 8500LE's had VGA+DVI+TV outputs, but didn't have a RAMDAC for the DVI output to use with a VGA adapter. What's worse, they still used the DVI-I connector needed for the adapter, which tricked people into thinking an adapter would work!

My friend just bought a 9600 OEM without a second RAMDAC. Idiot, the card cost $130 at Newegg. For $135 he could have gotten the full package including a card WITH the second RAMDAC and a DVI to VGA adapter. Hell, the adapter is worth that much!

Here's the kicker: That 9600 with no second RAMDAC came in a retail box! I do believe it was listed as an OEM product though!

Anyway, the best way to make sure the card has a second RAMDAC is to either buy the full version (8500 non-LE, 9600 Pro, etc) or buy one that includes the adapter (8500 non-LE retail box, 9600 Pro retail box, etc).

<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>
 

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