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Tips on Split across multiple monitors setup

Posted on 2004-04-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi Experts!
I want to switch my current video card with some dual head display card. Excentially, in the end i would like to use two monitors so i can split my screen between them and have some programs visible on one monitor while others on the other monitor. Can someone tell me of a nice and not too expensive dual head video card? I am looking at Matrox Millenium G450 right now. It's from $30... i am looking for some cards within $50 range, give or take. All i want to use this grafic card is regular office day to day application viewing. I do not game so i do not need anything fancy. Something that would come standard on a PC. Can someone tell me if Matrox Millenium G450 a good video card? Again, i just need this card to do simple viewing, excel, internet explorer etc...
Thanks a lot guys!
Gvigorus
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Question by:Gvigorus
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by:Gvigorus
ID: 10931458
Also, do you guys think i can use my single monitor video card (stock) and install some other single card and use them both in split screen fashion? I do not think this would work, but i am not sure!!! Thanx
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10931614
The Matrox G450 is a very nice choice, especially for that amount of money.  It produces very sharp images and if you don't need 3D, it will work well.  You can use two single output cards in a dual display fashion, if at least one of them is PCI (as opposed to AGP).
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by:Gvigorus
ID: 10931914
Thanks Callandor! How can i fine out wheather my stock card is PCI? Somewhere in Device Menager? What does this PCI and AGP mean?
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by:Gvigorus
ID: 10932335
Hey, i think i got it. One of my single PCI cards is:

32 MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra Bus Type AGP 1x, 2x, 4x Location PCI bus 1
and
Intel 82845 G/GL/GE/PE/GV Grafic Controller
Location PCI bus 0

So, the first card can not be used to split screen onto two monitors because it's AGP. Right? I do not know how to find out wheather the second single monitor card is PCI or AGP. It does not say. Only says location PCI bus 0. But potentially if this card was PCI then i could use this card and the ATI one together to split the screen, right? Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10932376
I just found out that this INTEL is integrated intel 3D AGP Graphics cards. So, there is no way to use this card with my other one to split the screen because both of them are AGP?! Sucks...
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Accepted Solution

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caffeineshark earned 100 total points
ID: 10932634
Looks like you have integrated graphics plus a PCI card.  

If you do have the ATI Rage in a PCI slot, the integrated graphics are probably already turned off.  If not, you'll have to disable the integrated graphics before installing the new card.

The dual capabilities of the Matrox card will do fine by itself.  Take out the PCI graphics card and install the AGP card.  Make sure you have an AGP slot on the motherboard first. (It's the brown slot, usually above the white PCI slots).  Where the monitor plugs into now.  

Once you have the card installed and the software, you can go to your display properties and set it for 2 monitors instead of just 1.  It will span the desktop across the 2 monitors.  
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10933125
In other words, i can use my ATI Rage and this Intel82845 cards together to split the screen across two monitors? See, i have two PCs, one has ATI Rage, the other has this INTEL 82845. I wanted to purchase Matrox G450 for one PC so i can use dual monitors with it. While, i wanted to take that no longer needed INTEL 82845 Card and install it on another PC that has ATI Rage on it. Thus hoping to get two monitors yet on the second PC as well. So, i can buy say to Matrox G450 and replace old single cards with these new double head cards, or i can buy one Matrox, and put two single head cards into the same PC to acheave the split screen functionality. So, now it's a matter of finding out weather i can use two single head cards to get split screen. Because if not, i will have to buy two Matrox G450 so both PC have split screens. The old single head cards will have to be done away with in this case... So, do you think there is a way i can get those two single head cards to split the screen? :) Thanks for all of your comments guys!!!!!!!!!
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Expert Comment

by:caffeineshark
ID: 10933490
Sorry, didn't know you had 2 PCs to dual-enable.

For one system, you'll need the Matrox card.

For the other, you have one card, the ATI, you'll need another card to enable dual display, or another Matrox card to replace the ATI.  
The integrated graphics (Intel 82845) is on the motherboard, not a separate card.  You can tell this by looking at the back of the machine, if there is a VGA port (monitor port) next to the serial/parallel ports.  A lot of micro-ATX systems (small form factor) use integrated.  
Some integrated motherboards don't have AGP slots, so make sure.  Most of the 845 chipset motherboards do have AGP.

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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10943669
I think i see what you are saying. The PC with Intel 82845 has a VGA port next to the serial/parallel port, therefore it can not be removed, but i may be able to add my other single head card (ATI Rage). Then i could get Matrox for the PC that used to have ATi card. What does PCI and AGP mean anyway? I mean, what's the difference? PCI is Personla Computer Internals - means that a piece of hardware is stand alone and can be taken out of the slot. AGP is Accelerated Graphics Port - means it's integrated into the mother board and can not be removed. Is this correct at all? Thanks a bunch guys...
Gvigorus
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 10944554
PCI is Peripheral Component Interconnect (http://www.definethat.com/define/?id=61), and AGP is Accelerated Graphics Port (http://www.definethat.com/define/?id=161), as you said.  The main difference is that PCI is used for network, sound, video capture, and a whole host of other cards, while AGP is strictly for video.  The AGP bus runs at 66MHz and is not just for integrated video, but for some of the fastest (and most expensive) video cards available, like the Radeon 9800XT and nVidia FX5950.  The PCI bus runs at 33MHz, though PCI-X is available, which runs from 66 to 133MHz.
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10952554
Thanks Callandor! Will let you guys know where i go with this...
Thanks again!
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10998406
Hi guys! It's been a while :) So, i got HP Matrox G450. I just glanced in the installation manual and it says there that this card only supports platforms such as: Win95, Win98, Win2K and Win NT 4.0. Well, the PC i intended to use this card on runs WIN XP. Do you guys think i can go ahead and use this card on XP machine anyway or is this going to be an issue? Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 10999168
Ha, sucks... looks like the XP machine does not have the right slot to fit this Matrox Card. Well, i will check the PC that runs Win2000 and if worse comes to worse insall this card on the Win 2K machine... thanks guys for all the help... i am adding points...
-=Gvigorus=-
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11001389
The card is supported by WinXP: http://www.matrox.com/mga/support/drivers/files/w2k_572.cfm

The machine doesn't have an AGP slot?
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11002132
Hey Callandor! Well, honestly, i do not really know what the AGP slot looks like, but i suspect that it's the one with sort of three little sections to fit three little flat panels of the Matrox card. I mean, non of the other slots on this machine fits the Matrox card, so i made my conclusions... I opened the case up and i noticed that the only slot that's far enough to fit the matrox card is non present, there is definitely space for it and little holes for it in the MoBo, but the plastic slot is not there (cheap bastards, those Dell guys :) But i have AGP slot on the other machine that will use this Matrox card, so that's no problem. I am glad you told me that this card works with XP. Thanks Callandor! I will install this card on the other PC after which i will let you guys know how it goes. Sorry, this question is not really a queation, per say. It's more of a "process" question. I will add as many points as it takes though. I would hate to open up a bunch of questions that, escentially, boil down to the same thing, i.e getting the video card to work. Thanks once again for all of your great comments! Really appreciate you guys on here...
-=Gvigorus=-
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11002183
Your manual was probably written before WinXP came out, which would explain it being missing from the list.  It does sound like there is no AGP slot.
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11002222
Man, Callandor... Do you ever sleep:)? I mean, it's like 23:00 in Arkansas (where i am at)... you still reply and so quickly! Thanks a lot Callandor!!! ;)
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11060988
Well, i got the Matrox video card to work. Thank you guys for the inpute. However, i have one more little thing i need to know about splitting desktop between two monitors. AGP slot (as i understand it) is usually sort of brown and it has three little subslots that take in the AGP graphis card's pins. Then, PCI slot is escentially the same for FAx Modems, LAN cards (slots are longer, usually white and set closer to the opening in the tower case in the back for the inputs). My Win XP PC has a built in video card on the mother board. But i have some unused PCI slots (next to my Network card and modem card). So, potentially i should be able to purchase a PCI slot Video card (single head) and configure my PC to use the two cards to split desktop between two monitors?! Thanks
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11061127
I think i just found one part of my question on this site: http://www.mikhailtech.com/articles/motherboards/epox8k3a/page3.shtml
The remaining thing to learn now is weather i can use built into the MoBo graphic card and a PCI slot video card to spit desktop between two monitors...
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11065096
Some people have been able to do this; however, you may have to worry about problems caused by two different video drivers which may not want to work together.
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11102470
Do you think i can just disable my built in video card and purchase dual PCI video card to use with two monitors. That way i will only use one driver for the dual PCI video card. I think Matrox manufactures dual PCI slot cards... Thanks
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11102609
Like, for instance, i found this card over here: http://www.bizrate.com/marketplace/product_info/overview/index__cat_id--405,keyword--Jaton%20Pci,prod_id--7787276.html
it's a Jaton GeForce4 MX440 sits on PCI and has dual monitor heads. I would only use it for word processing so i do not care if it's slow or any of that stuff. Would this be something to look into in my case, you think?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11113156
Disabling onboard and getting a dual-head is a good idea.  Are you able to disable the onboard video?  Not all motherboards allow that, so check if it's possible (usually in the BIOS).
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11118557
As far as disabling my current onboard video card, i fugure i can disable it, because when i go into Computer Management -> Device Manager -> Display Adapters -> Intell (R) Graphic controller and right click on it, there is an option to Disable it. So, essentially, i can click "disable" and the graphic controlled should no longer work, until i enable it... i have not tried it yet, this is just a hypothesis... So, once i get a CPI dual head card and plug it in, i should see two graphic controller cards in the Device Manager. I would disable the onboard card and enable the CPI dual head card. Sound like this will work, what do you think? Thanks enormously!!!
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11118602
Caffeineshark, sorry, i did not thank you for your great input. I was just looking through the inputs and you have been a great help Caffeineshark. Thanks to you too, will split points once this is over...
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11118687
Hey, i have also found this card on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3762&item=4132276526&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW#ebayphotohosting
i do not really know which one is better or what specifically to look for when buying a video card... what do you think of this one?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11123304
Sounds like you will be able to achieve dual display.

A company I worked for used those Appian Graphics cards.  They're ok, but don't expect to play games on them and get good performance.  Note the small amount on onboard memory.
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11128229
See, i need this video card only for word processing and just in general image viewing (imaged-in docs, nothing fancy), no games or any fancy graphical stuff. Do you think this card would be good for what i want to use it for?
-=Gvigorus=-
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11131119
Good enough.  And if you can get it cheap, even better.
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11163360
Okay, this is what i ended up doing. I purchased an Appian Jeronimo Pro that sits on PCI slot. Need to order some cables to it though. I will mount that card into the PC and disable the onboard video card. Jeronimo Pro has quad monitor capabilities, so that should be really awesome. Will let you know how everything goes...
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11542341
Okay Folks! Got everything to work quite sometime ago. Sorry, i am just now closing this question. Anyways, i got some 4 way cables from Appian Graphics. Card works beautifully. All i had to do is set integrated periferal video card to AUTO in BIOS and now i have 5 monitors running on this cheap Dell. Pretty sweet. So, you guys made it all possible for me! Thank you guys so and so much!!!!
-=Gvigorus=-
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Author Comment

by:Gvigorus
ID: 11542406
Guys, i was just looking through the inputs and i can not judge who was more helpful. Both of you guys rocked, so each gets 100. Hope this is fare! Thanks again!
-=G=-
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11544410
Glad to help!
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