Two Screens


Junior member
I'm no techei, so can anyone explain, in very basic language, how I can run two screens off one PC? What kit do I need, can a non-techei like me fit the kit or whatever else is required? Or do I need to let PC World get their hands on (heaven forbid!). I realy can't afford much down time, so any suggestions would be helpful.

Dual Monitor Graphics Card

Hi Zebra,

You will need something like a Matrox G450 dual monitor graphics card. Yes it can be installed yourself if you know what you are doing and if you dont get someone else to do it. There was another thread in addition to that posted by Skim which is here:

Also the best place I have found cost wise for a dual monitor graphics card is here:

Just type in G450 in the fast search box and away you go

This is the cheapest you will get it for but before you do read the other threads. Also what operating system are you using ?

Good Luck

Don't even bother going to the likes of PC World to get dual monitors installed - my understanding is that they are highly unlikely to know it is even possible, let alone how to do it.

Multiple monitors are primarily used by traders, so either ask any specific questions on these boards (many of us use multiple monitors - I have 3 running off 1 PC), or go along to your local friendly independent PC repair shop as they're likely to be able to help you if you get stuck.

It really is quite easy to do - you just need to make sure you get the right graphics card, so do your homework first.
Zebra - lots of good advice above. I bought a dual head Appian Geronimo video card on Ebay for £20 which has been highly satisfactory. It is a big card so probably requires a full size tower.

I also believe it is possible to run multiple monitors by installing multiple single head graphics cards, which are 2 a penny. But if, like me, you are not a techie, you may need to call on someone with expertise. This was the first time I found the real value of a teenage son! :D
You can get away with installing any common old garden graphics card in addition to your existing one in most cases. You will be very unlucky if you have a problem.

So get oot that old PCI card, it will be fine for Sierra...

Yep, just bung in any old PCI card. You'll only be unlucky if they are both NVIDIA Win XP). If win98 is your operating system, there are no problems at all as far as I know. Even a 2 meg card would do.... :)
Many thanks to everyone who responded to my request.

Now I do at least know what I need, even if I've only a sort of 'foggy' idea where this thing fits.

I'd agree with RogerM, It really is very irritating when your teenage son completes these techie tasks so easily, but then again, mine doesn't know how to trade, yet! Come to that, neither do I! Maybe another screen will help.

Time for an early Bells & dry I think.

Cheers :cool:

Bit late here prob,
but you ought to be okay on a modern PC with any old card in the AGP slot as the primary monitor, which will be the one that Windows info appears on as you fire up, and PCI slots with secondary cards in for the other monitors... as I understand it you're advised to start with the PCI slot next to the AGP slot and work away from it.
A 'simple' answer for two monitors is to use an AGP card that has DVI and analog VGA outputs (ie the 'normal' monitor connection ... DVI is a digital cable thingy that has appeared since posh LCD monitors became affordable). For example, I have a Radeon 8500 card fitted that has TV out, DVI, and bog standard VGA - I also have a nice Philips DVI socket fitted LCD screen, so I connect the DVI on the card to DVI on the monitor via a DVI to DVI cable (£16). I can also use the VGA socket to plug any old CRT or LCD screen in, as all LCD screens etc have VGA connections, and I could even stick a telly in as screen three.
PC World - you can get a Radeon 8500 there for £99, check the box before leaving - I had to go back when it turned out there was sod all in the box <g> Anyone with an ounce of brains would have bought a much cheaper version for half the price via mail order.... and MY PC World flogged me a 17" LCD monitor (kerching) an overpriced Radeon card (kerching) - and then admitted they didn't sell DVI cables. (I was suitably noisy, they took £500 off me and couldn't provide the cable to run it - the empty box was a bonus, so to speak...)

Have you tried the DVI and VGA through the same card route? Only I thought that generally you were supposed to just end up with a ghost of the image if you did this rather than a proper two screen set up (or maybe I am just confusing it with the plugging a monitor into a laptop thing where I thought that normally you just got the same thing on both screens with that as well).

Would be nice if I could confirm though as it would be a big incentive to get a DVI monitor if I ever do decide to have a serious go at day trading.


I'm using 2 monitors with my MSI GeForce4 card. One is plugged into the standard VGA output and the other plugged into the DVI port using a DVI-to-VGA adaptor (came with the card). The output is basically one huge desktop spread over 2 monitors with all my icons on one and an 'empty desktop' on the other where I can drag across icons and open them.

wysinawyg said:
Have you tried the DVI and VGA through the same card route? Only I thought that generally you were supposed to just end up with a ghost of the image if you did this rather than a proper two screen set up

I think this depends on the card. I have an ATI Radeon VE here running very well that way. However, it is specified as a dual head card. It just has one connection of each type for flexibility/cheapness. However, I suspect there are also cards out there that are single head, but with both types of connections to allow one monitor of either type to be used. You would need to check the specs.
Cheers guys, its a Ti4600 and GeForce's web site seems to suggest it should be able to do a dual screen without anything more. Just need to wait till I can justify that 17" DVI screen...

sorry for the delay - I just got back. I see DH managed it, others don't - I guess the usual PC answer of 'it depends' is in play here. I've got a 17" LCD DVI on the AGP running 1280x1024, and I have a 15" LCD on a grotty PCI card at 1024x768, (8Mb SiS chip based thing that even my local dealer only charged me £18 for... a sub £10 card any place you get competition). This makes a single desktop spread over both screens.
Some cards will do both, I think the main point here is that you don't have to stick to Matrox dual head cards, and the Parhelion, and some of those 4xS3 Savage at only £350 cards, are an expensive solution when you can run 2 or 3 monitors if you buy a few PCI cards for next to nothing.
If it is useful I found it by far easier to run this by setting the PCI card to be the 'boot' VGA card in the PC Bios, Win XP Pro seems much happier that way, with the AGP Radeon as screen 2, than vice versa.
Peter is right as well, single display from either socket is also common - rather than a weak copy my experience here is that both screens are identical, the only practical use that springs to mind is to have a large display screen facing one way towards students etc with a smaller screen facing the instructor, unless there's some use in the field of making cross eyed users even more confused.
Multiple Monitors Resource

Check out

Multi Mon

for advice and knowledge on the compatability of various multiple monitor set ups.

Use the database link on the left to search for your intended configuration.

In my experience (3 screens + 2 screens on 2 PC's) with conventional monitors you must set different Refresh rates for the graphics cards to avoid getting interferene lines

Monitor 1 runs at 100Hz., Monitor 2 at 85Hz. and Monitor 3 at 100Hz.

If adjacent monitors run at the same refresh rate they will cause very mild interference with each other (just like on TV! when you see a computer screen in the background - with a slowly moving black band)

This TIP does not apply to LCD's.
Two monitors on Windows XP

I currently run 15'' LCD (non DVI) off AGP Geforce 4 MX440 64mb (1024x768) non DVI card (1 port).

My intention is to have multi monitor capabilities by purchasing 17'' LCD (non DVI).

What would be the most practical and inexpensive solution to run this setup?

PS: I would prefer 2 desktops as opposed to one large screen on 2 monitors.
I run 2 - 17" LCD's from 1 pc ( see photo in Office gallery) but my techie PC guy seemed initially flumoxed by my demands. But got there ..
I run 4 monitors using a matrox G450 Dual Card and then 2 PCI cards. Easily done with a little guidance over the phone from a friend who knows. It was fairly cheap and has been totally reliable. You can buy a Matrox thing for 4 monitors, but its hugely expensive.