DVI-I Dual Link and Multi Displays

I bought a shiny new video card for a Dell Gx280 I picked up for nix. I needed Dual Display, PCI-E and wanted a decent gaming card. Oh, and it had to be low profile...

I came up with:

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=NX7600GS-MTD256E&class=vga

Now the reason I thought it was dual display is because of this "Dual Link" thing. I thought it meant running 2 monitors off of a splitter. I'm not sure I'm wrong as yet, but I can't find a splitter that promises anything other than cloning the display, so I don't want to order a cable that is useless.

The card properties definately have 2 displays available, the DVD-I port is one, and the other is either the HDMI port, or my mythical "split" display.

Does anyone know if I can do what I want, is there a cable available that has the smarts to do dual display, or is the "Dual-Link" solely to drive one MONSTER display very well?

If I can't do what I want, will a HDMI-DVI-D cable work in reverse? Plug the HDMI end into my Graphics card and drive the display on the DVI-D port? It seems to me that HDMI -DVI cables are for taking a DVI graphics port and plugging it in to a HDMI device.


harley...



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harleyjdAsked:
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HudelfCommented:
Ok I'm kind of running off memory here so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Dual Link simply means that the information sent through the cable is doubled as opposed to a single link cable. By itself this just allows better quality at higher resolutions, and not multiple displays.

In order to be able to run dual monitors, you will simply need either two video cards, or two connectors on the same video card, which the 7600GS has.

The 7600GS card has two DVI ports on it, allowing two monitors innately, as well as having a third HDTV video out port. Remember, however, that if your monitors are not DVI capable (meaning they are VGA) you will need to get your hands on a few VGA to DVI converters. They are easy to use and cheap, so that's not too much of a problem. There will be a slight loss of quality, however. It's up to you whether this would warrant buying a new monitor because of this.
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harleyjdAuthor Commented:
That card - the NX7600GS-MTD256E - has one DVI connector, a TV-Out and the HDMI. Both of my TFT panels support DVI, so that's OK, where I'm in trouble is with the "dual link" thing, as I've misinterpereted it to mean "Dual Monitor" which is one hell of a dissapointment after all the looking I did.

So, the remaining question is does anyone know if the HDMI port can be turned into a DVI port?
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HudelfCommented:
"So, the remaining question is does anyone know if the HDMI port can be turned into a DVI port?"

Yes. If you want to go the online route, you can get such converters from Newegg.com

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=hdmi+to+dvi&x=0&y=0
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HudelfCommented:
Sorry, one more comment. I'm sure you probably already know this, but just make sure when getting the connectors that it is the correct kind. As you can see in the above link, there are Male - Male, Male - Female, etc.

You don't want to go out and get the wrong kind and not find out until it doesn't fit correctly. =)

Also, I just provided the link above to show they exist. For a small accessory like those, I would greatly recommend a local retailer to an online shop.
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pkutterCommented:
Yes HDMI is similar to DVI. I currently have my TV's HDMI connected to my PC DVI port with a cable like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812189057
I am pretty sure you could use the same cable and it would work just fine.
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pkutterCommented:
I guess Hudelf was a little quicker than I was. Sorry about that.
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harleyjdAuthor Commented:
Hmm... Sometimes I'm not sure what they are saying, but I think it's OK - one mentions a HDMI COMPONENT to a DVI Display - exactly what I need.

Now I just need to find an Aussie distributor.

Thanks Hudelf. I won't close the Q just yet, just in case anyone else has something to add.



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harleyjdAuthor Commented:
pkutter - you're going the opposite what to what I need - HDMI Output to DVI Input, though reading the manufacturers webpage, it doesn't mention being one-way directional...



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harleyjdAuthor Commented:
ahhhh. It gets easier when you know what to look for HDMI and DVI are bi! they go both ways. Ok, points for everybody! Yay...

http://www.cnet.com.au/tvs/accessories/0,239035326,240004563,00.htm

4. How does DVI fit into the equation? Is it better than HDMI?
You may have heard of digital video interface (DVI), which is another all-digital connector for video. DVI has been around for longer, and can be found in many more televisions and other devices than HDMI. DVI was initially developed as a connector between PCs and monitors, but eventually found its way into the home entertainment world.
      

HDMI connectors (right) are smaller than DVI plugs

The HDMI standard is actually based on DVI, so picture quality on both should be similar. Where HDMI has it over DVI is its audio capabilities - DVI can only carry video signals. HDMI cables can also be made longer than DVI - HDMI can go up to 15m in length. And from an aesthetic viewpoint, HDMI connectors are less bulky than DVI ones. HDMI connects like a USB device for PCs, while DVI still has screw pins on its connector.

5. I've got some gear with DVI connectors. Will they work with HDMI?
Never fear - HDMI is fully backwards compatible with DVI, so you won't be making your DVI products obsolete if you buy something with an HDMI connector. For example, HDMI televisions will display video received from existing DVI-equipped products, while a HDMI DVD player will play on a DVI-equipped television. All you'll need is a HDMI/DVI adaptor. Just be aware that doing this will lose you the added functionality of HDMI, such as automatic screen format conversion and universal remote control.
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pkutterCommented:
Hi harleyjd, Yes I realize that, however I am fairly certain the cable will still work. It's just like taking DVI to DVI monitor cable and flipping the ends around. It works either way you plug it in.

Good Luck
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pkutterCommented:
I guess I'm just being slow tonight. Anyway, glad to hear you've got it figured out. Thanks.
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harleyjdAuthor Commented:
Just confirming - the standard HDMI to DVI cable worked a treat!

Now all I have to do is transfer all my stuff, then I can play properly!

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HudelfCommented:
Good to hear that everything worked out fine. =)

And thank you for the points, by the way.
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