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Adding a PCI Express card for tv screen

Posted on 2012-04-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi,

We have a PC running XPP SP3 with a Gigabyte GA-G31M motherboard. This has onboard graphics and we want to add a PCI Express graphics card so we can view what's on the local screen on a 42" TV at the same time.

We have been able to do this using the external connection on a laptop, but I'm worried the PCI-E card will knock out the signal to the onboard card or if their is an override in CMOS to adjust this.

Anyone know? For a TV how much improvement does a higher quality card give? I'd say the TV is 720p rather than 1080p.
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Question by:mikeabc27
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37841600
If you add a PCI-E card the it will disable the on board VGA and when you set it up you can select it to clone your desktop and it will display what is in front of you on the TV with most new PCI-E cards they come out with mini HDMI which will automatically  set the resolution for you. Nvidia has a nice wizzard that will help you set it up.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37841702
Thanks Kyle, if the PCI-E will disable the onboard VGA and we already have a standard 15 pin VGA cables in place would a dual head card like a Matrox be a better compromise to have both screens working with the same info simultaneously?
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37841719
I have never tried using a Matrox card to setup multiple displays but you should be able to do it and it will work perfectly through VGA, you might run into a problem with the resolution  and the TV unless you use a widescreen LCD with the PC.
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37841733
What Matrox card do you have MOdel no:
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37841799
Yes the monitor is 22" widescreen.

Matrox Millenium thank it was G500?
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37841849
It should work cant see why it will not work, But depending what you want to view on the TV will depend on what card you will need to use.

What program are you going to be running ?

I would recommend using a "Gaming graphics card" as they work better through a setup that you want but once again it will depend on what program is going to be used.
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by:Callandor
ID: 37842224
Almost any video card manufacturer will have dual port video cards, so disabling the onboard video should not be a problem.  Discrete cards do not give higher quality than onboard video, though they tend to be better for 3D gaming.  I do not recommend Matrox if that's all you want to do, since Radeons and Geforce cards are more readily available and you can probably get them at lower prices.  The Millenium G550 is what is available at $144 (http://www.amazon.com/Matrox-Millennium-G550-Graphics-Card/dp/B000GAAUKO), but it is a fairly old card and you can do much better with a little over $120, such as an EAH6770 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121474 or a Geforce GTX 550 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125410.
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by:mikeabc27
ID: 37842529
No gaming, just business apps. Powerpoint presentations is about as graphics as it goes.

Used Milleniums in the past for low end CAD apps (AuroCAD 2D).
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37842554
If you are going to use CAD i would rather recommend a nVidia Quadro card, but for presentations and normal office applications you could use a normal graphics card as recommended you do not need a high end gaming graphics card a entry level card will work.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37842576
Sorry guys, just so  I'm clear - do ALL PCI-E cards kill the onboard vga?

JUst looking for the cheapest route to 2 screens showing the same thing, and I shouldn't have mentioned the Matrox as it would definately be overkill here - just used it as an example.
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37842601
Yes it will disable the onboard as it picks up the add on VGA card.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37842618
I use nVidia Quadro cards for bigger systems running very graphics intensive 3D CAD. This is just for use with a few apps from Office 2010 no CAD.
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by:Kyle_Davies
ID: 37842639
Then you can use any entry level VGA card that supports dual monitors preferably a 512mb.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37842662
Thanks Kyle you did say it would disable it before, just reading Callendor's opening sentence I thought there may be a setting in CMOS to allow both, although I can only remember older systems offered a choice of AGP/onboard or PCI.

Bearing in mind the mundane stuff on the screen what would be a good dual head card - with 15-pin adaptors if it has DVI connectors?
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Kyle_Davies earned 500 total points
ID: 37842702
There is a setting in the bios for it but as soon as you put the card in it automatically rules out the on board making it un-usable

Most of the new VGA cards come out with 2x DVI connections which can be converted to VGA with a DVI to VGA converter, the nVidia GT430 will do the job and it is much cheaper then the one Callendor suggested this card has 1x VGA 1x DVI and 1x HDMI and its specs are also enough to run the apps you want to use.
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by:Callandor
ID: 37842808
Almost all PCI-e cards disable the onboard video, since they use the same resources.  I only suggested the cards I listed because they were in the same ballpark cost as the Matrox.  If you're just running office apps, a $50 card will work as well as any.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 37842868
Thanks that looks like it fits.

That looks like a standard size HDMI socket as well!
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