2 monitors on 1 pc

  square eyes 22:34 27 Jan 2010


I have done some searching but end up playing the game of: "who is right?" So im here.

I have a radeon 9600 graphics card that has one vga port for my monitor. I have recently bought a full HD LCD TV and inevitably i had to connect it to my pc (which is next to it).

I still need to be sat at my desk facing towards the pc monitor for typing emails or intensive surfing but presently would have to keep switching the vga cable over.

Whats the way to go with this? If i use a non-powered splitter, then will i lose picture quality? Will that only be the case if i have both screens on at the same time?

If its manualy operated by a switch, then the signal is not being divided, just transfered?

As you can see, im confused about this.
I am looking for a cheap way of having the use of my pc monitor without the need to switch sockets.

I dont mind some loss of quality if i have both screens on, but do want maximum quality if i use one at a time.

Thanks and sorry for the long-winded question

  DieSse 22:46 27 Jan 2010

click here

Or get a new graphics card with two outputs - or just a second graphics card. Then you can have duplicated displays or an extended desktop, even different resolutions on each monitor.

  GaT7 22:59 27 Jan 2010

I would go with DieSse's second choice of a new graphics card with two outputs.

Is that 9600 graphics card you have an AGP or PCI one? G

  square eyes 23:31 27 Jan 2010

Interesting....now you're talking. I will be using different resolutions. 1024/768 for monitor and Tv as 1920/1080 so i think a second card could work here and you think i can easily swtich the displays resolution without going into settings? Or....... are you saying i can have two monnitors simultaneously showing differing resolutions? That would be cool and perfect.

Im pretty sure my card is pci, but i could be wrong as i cant fully remember. Would it be ok to buy a cheap and old card and would they not conflict with eachother?

DieSse, its good to see you still here :)

  GaT7 16:02 28 Jan 2010

Please be aware that a cheap & old card may not support a 1920x1080 resolution.

One of these will be suitable:

Zotac Geforce 6200 click here / £36 @ Play click here

PowerColor HD4350 click here / £40 delivered @ eBuyer (with cheapest del) click here

PNY Geforce 8400GS click here / £43 @ Play click here

I would go for the PowerColor card if it will fit in your case - the large heatsink will most likely take up an adjacent expansion slot. G

  DieSse 19:32 28 Jan 2010

Sorry I couldn't respond sooner.

I suspect you probably have an AGP slot if you're currently using a 9600 card. Can you confirm that please. Don't misundertand the PCI references - PCIe (e=express) cards are the most common theses days - PCI are rarer than hens teeth.

There are AGP GeF6200s around (I have one that I bought recently for my own system. Here's a similar one click here They also do a 512Mb version.

The nvidia software allows you to run two monitors, at different specs - I've actually used mine to run a standard monitor and a projector simultaneously.

The outputs are a VGA and a DVI - you may need an adapter as well if your monitor does not have a DVI input.

  GaT7 19:42 28 Jan 2010

If you're not sure whether it's PCI/AGP, get a PCI one (see my previous post with links) as all PCs have at least 1 PCI slot - just check that you have at least one PCI slot free. G

  square eyes 21:20 28 Jan 2010

Thanks guys for staying with me on this, will get all the info on my card slots in the next few hours. Regarding the pci "express", yeah, i learnt that today in a pc shop, Anyway, will open up my system and see whats what.

  square eyes 23:10 28 Jan 2010

OK, done my homework and in the process, discovered 2 extra usb ports after 7 years!

Now i know why the guy in the shop told me to throw my pc away when i told him i had a pci grahpics card. Its AGP (or atleast it says "agp-pro" just above the slot (A7v333 mobo))

I removed an unused port on the back (yellow) that was taking up a slot, it was plugged into my creative soundblaster. I also removed my 56k modem and did a little shuffle. I've now got plenty of room for a graphics card with a large heat-sink. BUT, the card slots other than the graphics are different. The connection line is split into two, about 75/25 i would say. Are these still AGP?

If the new graphics card has the same connection as my radeon 9600, then i cant fit it. Ive always used radeon cards, so would i still use the radeon and also an invidia card(for the software) or can i use another radeon? Would this system include using the "extended windows desktop" in display settings? (XP btw)

I think ive given enough info for you to draw a conclusion. The pc is old i know, but it still works. Will update in a year (may well have to)

Cheers guys!!

  GaT7 23:42 28 Jan 2010

If you look at a pic of the board click here, the 5 white slots on the right are all PCI.

The best thing to do is get one of the suggested cards above (all have 2 ports for dual monitors), & don't use your old card at all.

All standard AGP cards with a registration tab will fit in a AGP Pro slot, so you're OK on that front (more info at click here to confirm). Any of the PCI cards I suggested will also be fine. G

  GaT7 00:02 29 Jan 2010

I notice Play are doing a 512Mb 6200 AGP card for £33 click here (double the RAM for ~£4 less delivered). G

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