View Full Version : Graphics card for dual set up.
February 17th, 2004, 06:59 PM
Today my boss gave me two 17" monitors that he didn't need anymore so I want to hook them up to my nle. Right now there is an Nvidia Geforce 4 with a single 17" monitor. What graphics cards do you guys recommend? I'm on a really strict budget as I'm trying to save up for school so $150 is the max right now and thats even pushing the limits a bit. I have spotted these two cards at bh but I don't understand the difference between the two. Here are the links...
I also noticed with these cards that the connections consist of one VGA (which is the normal monitor connection right?), one dvi (don't know what that is), and one S-video. So what type of adapter will I need to connect my second monitor? Thanks in advance.
February 17th, 2004, 07:00 PM
Or what about the PNY Geforce FX 5200?
February 17th, 2004, 07:06 PM
DVI is a digital interface that's generally used to connect to LCD monitors. It skips the Digital-> Analog and Analog-> Digital conversion that takes place for LCD monitors connected by VGA.
BTW, I am still stunned that electronics stores demonstrate 18+" LCD monitors that are connected to a VGA splitter. The echos are
atrocious and totally turn me off from buying the product.
February 17th, 2004, 07:10 PM
newegg.com is usually the best place for buying computer parts.
Info-Tek GECUBE ATI RADEON 7000 Video Card, 64MB DDR, 64-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 4X AGP, Model "GC-R7000-B3" -RETAIL
$37 Radeon 7000 that supports dual VGA.
The video card does not affect the rendering speed of anything as far as I know. With *certain* programs, your video card can give you more real-time. Until you use those programs, a $37 might be a good buy considering how quickly computer prices fall. If you want to play games or get better 3d performance, a Radeon 9100 would be a good buy. Check that it has the right outputs (DVI-VGA adapter indicates the DVI output can do a VGA signal).
A better card might give you better 2d quality because of better RAMDACs... I'm just speculating though. With a 17" monitor (not that big), the quality of the RAMDACs (the last part is digital to analog converter) shouldn't be a problem.
February 17th, 2004, 07:27 PM
If you're not playing games or doing fancy 3D work, just stick to basic graphics cards which can be had for about $50 (GeForce2 or Vanta family). If you buy nVidia cards, you can manage several displays with their nView software.
Since you already have the single AGP slot filled up with your nVidia GeForce4, look for a PCI card. If you're doing two monitors, this is cake. If you plan to go for three, you'll need a total of two cards or one card with dual VGA outputs.
Here's a PCI Dual head card:
Jaton - - Jaton GeForce4 MX440 64MB Dual Head PCI MFN VIDEO-158PCI-64TWIN
-Jaton GeForce4 MX440 64MB Dual Head PCI Video Card Retail
Price - $53
Shipping - $2.95 - 5.39 FedEx Ground
Score 114 / 149 Feedbacks
Also from :
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909-395-9046 La Puente , CA
408-934-2500 San Jose , CA
February 17th, 2004, 07:38 PM
The AGP and the PCI part confuses me? Can you break it down for me?
February 17th, 2004, 08:22 PM
AGP is a dedicated port for graphics cards. It's usually found above the PCI slots on your motherboard.
PCI slots are where your other cards, like LAN, sound, etc, plug in.
XP allows you to use both AGP and PCI cards together in the same system and specify with card will be your primary.
I've been using dual monitors for the last 4 years with a Matrox G400 and it's been a great card. Not the best for gaming/3D performance but for video work it's excellent.
I'd be going with an AGP dual head card as you'll have less hassles and PCI graphics cards can sometimes cause conflicts.
February 17th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Okay cool thanks. I think I have settled on the PNY Nvidia GeforceFX 5200. So when I install this thing, I should turn off my comp, pull out the old card, put in the new one, boot up and make sure the new card is loaded successfully, then delete the old one from the device manager. Is that the correct process of changing out the video card?
February 17th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Shut your computer down and change the cards. When you reboot you'll be in VGA 640x480 mode which is the WIndows default. From there uninstall your old driver then install the new one. It's all pretty straight forward and you shouldn't have any problems. Once the dual monitor driver is installed you should be able to config everything using the Display Properties dialog.
Any problems let us know.
February 17th, 2004, 10:15 PM
February 18th, 2004, 12:59 AM
Yeah, I also would recomend the nVidia FX5200 as a cheap solution.
Matrox are better but even 450 is nearly 100$ and if you want S-video out you have to buy adaptor cable (another 20-30$) and ocupy one of the VGA slots.
I just made my system and have Radeon 9200 but it's implementation of multy monitors is not so straightforward. It can not also span the view between two monitors.
There is very nice article on Toms hardware (although consirning gamers) but you can get the idea of using multy monitors very well. Examples of the managing software too - nView really looks very simple.
February 18th, 2004, 07:58 AM
Yea I should be able to get everything switched over with out any problems now. I just wanted to be sure on the process of doing so. That way I would'nt go try it and mess something up. I have a Geforce4 in it right now so I already know how to use the nview software and everything.
February 18th, 2004, 01:22 PM
The 5200 might be more video card than you need. Also, the link you gave is to a PCI version of the card. AGP gives you better performance, if you actually need it.
newegg.com should be cheaper than B&H. Free shipping, slightly lower prices at newegg. newegg's resellerratings.com rating is very good and lots of people have had good experiences with them.
Hmm if you want more video card then you need, then look at the
ASUS nVIDIA GeForce4 TI4200-8X Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, Dual DVI/VIVO, 8X AGP, Model "V9280/VS" -RETAIL $125
It has dual DVI + VGA if you eventually want to run 2 LCDs via DVI connection, AGP (better performance than PCI), and should be much faster than the FX5200. As far as 3d performance in games go, the FX5200 stacks up roughly as follows:
GF FX 5200 64-bit
Kyro II SE
GF FX 5200
Radeon AIW 7500
Radeon 9000 Pro
GF FX 5200 Ultra
GF FX 5600
(complete list at http://users.erols.com/chare/video.htm)
I don't think you want that much video card though, unless you play games.
Nvidia seems to be slightly better than ATI cards for dual monitor setups, according to Tech Report. http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2002q4/multimon/index.x?pg=1 The difference as far as I can tell is that ATI cards can't have 2 taskbars.
February 24th, 2004, 12:41 PM
If you have XP, it should remove the old video card from device manager and install the new one automatically. Just load the drivers CD that came with the card, don't worry about deleting old drivers or something like that.