Multi monitor with PCI & AGP

Finlayson

Well-known member
410 10
Hi All

I have 2 monitors running on a Matrox G450 AGP multi card, but I need a 3rd monitor to Run of the same PC......I have another multi card but this is also AGP so I cannot install this as I have only one AGP slot(unless anyone can tell me different)

so I am wondering could I just purchase a cheap PCI card & have this running alongside the Matrox multi AGP card for the 3rd monitor???

Many Thanks in advance

Jason
 

TWI

Senior member
2,535 254
Can anybody suggest the best way to sling 4 monitors off one PC and be able to create one desktop. Is there a good card that will support 4 monitors or can you just install 2*dual screen cards?
Currently have NVIDIA GeForce dual card installed
 

ewilcox

Active member
134 2
You should be able to do 1 dual AGP card and then any number of PCI grahpics cards to get the required number of monitors. Assuming you are using Win2K or later the OS should handle this fine.
 

Finlayson

Well-known member
410 10
this is want I wanted to hear.......would it matter on the spec of the PCI card??.....it doesnt have to run owt fancy just a 5 min bar screen............as I am looking on ebay for an el-cheapo just to see how it runs.
 

ewilcox

Active member
134 2
Well technically no the spec doesn't particularly matter but make sure that it can drive the monitor to your desired resolution. I.e. make sure it has 16MB+ of RAM on board. Anything made from 2000 onwards should be fine.
 

wysinawyg

Active member
186 1
twalker said:
Can anybody suggest the best way to sling 4 monitors off one PC and be able to create one desktop. Is there a good card that will support 4 monitors or can you just install 2*dual screen cards?
Currently have NVIDIA GeForce dual card installed

Depends what you mean by best.

Probably the best quality wise (and ease of installation and compatability wise) is a four head card from Matrox (G200 or G450) as long as you're just looking to use it for 2D work (i.e. not games as well).

Cheapest route is probably a pair of PCI cards, although a PCI card with dual output probably ouldn't be much more and would be one less bay in use (although I haven't actually heard of anyone using a dual head PCI and a AGP card I assume it works). That'd also leave you with the 3D performance you currently have off the NVIDIA for if you were gaming rather than trading.

wysi
 

Thirteen

Active member
160 0
wots AGP mean?
 

jimvt

Active member
164 1
I'm running a dual head Matrox AGP card and a dual head Matrox PCI card with no problems at all.
Even if you only wanted to add one extra monitor it seems sensible to add a dual card to the PC slot anyway, just in case you need to add another monitor later.

There's lots of stuff on this at http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/ including a database of set ups that people have successfully used.

Jim
 

sandpiper

Well-known member
458 54
I have two dual head cards, a Matrox Millenium G450 AGP, and a Matrox G400 PCI (I run windows 2000 btw). Frankly they were pain in the **** to install (having to change the sequence of card recognition + many other issues) and they have been a pain in the *** since, with all sorts of driver/compatibility issues. The only reason I got them was 'cos the quad cards were ridiculously expensive at the time. With prices of the quad cards being what they are now, i.e. less than 400 notes, I may well change.

The other thing to consider is that with two dual cards the powerdesk features, i.e. swapping and rotating images around different screens, just don't work properly.

In summary, the two dual cards will definitely work but based on my experience I would suggest you shell out the 400 notes for a quad card. You don't strike me a being strapped for a few bob anyway ;).
 

awoodj

Active member
142 0
Why do you need all this stuff?

Currently i have a ATI 9600XT AGPx8 card, pretty good for games etc but it also has two connectors on the back as standard (so do most similar ATI cards) They come with a DVI and VGA output and a DVI to VGA convertor. You then connect up one to each monitor configure OS (has to be XP) to extend the desktop to the other monitor and hey presto a dual system. Works great and you get a nice fast 3d card along with it.

Also i you have one monitor that takes DVI and the other VGA no convertor is required.

PS I have never played with higher resolutions but 1280x1024 on both minitors is fine (although you can set both resolution and refresh rate independently if you want)
 

awoodj

Active member
142 0
Apologies

I should read properly before jumping in, if you want 4 monitors then you probably need to go down the dual card route. I was talking about a simple 2 monitor setup.
 

wysinawyg

Active member
186 1
Thirteen said:
wots AGP mean?

Advanced Graphics Port, or something like that. Basically there are three places for you to have graphics capability:

Motherboard - lots of motherboards ("mobos") have inbuilt graphics these days. Usually they'll only run one monitor though (for a sexy on mobo dual screen option look at the Shuttle SN45G2) and if you put in an AGP or PCI card it disables the mobo graphics.

PCI - the old fashioned way of adding extra cards to your PC. Pretty slow speed wise if you're looking at getting games on it but you can get single, dual and quad graphics cards that go in PCI slots for 2D stuff i.e. trading. All PCs (AFAIK) have at least one PCI slot but they often get used up with other things (cards for TVs, SoundBlaster, modems etc.).

AGP - somewhat newer (mid 90's?) graphics card only expansion slot. Much faster than PCI but the speed is really mainly for 3D graphics (i.e. games and CAD). Most PCs these days have an AGP slot and most graphics cards you get are for AGP slots. You only ever get 1 AGP slot though.

So if you want multi monitors the choice comes down to PCI or AGP or a combination of both. Quad cards are still a lot more than dual head cards (£350 ish minimum vs about £50 or less minimum) so a common choice if you want more than two screens is to use two or more cards (1 AGP and 1 or more PCI or just multiple PCI).

wysi
 
 
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