Triple Monitor solution help

Good Afternoon Experts,

I'm hoping to get a solution where I can run three monitors off my current workstation which isn't for gaming etc, just simple office use such as word documents, emails, spreadsheets etc.

My current setup is as follows:

Dell Optiplex 990 PC (DT) not SFF MT etc

512MB AMD Radeon HD 6350 graphics card (with splitter to hook up to 2 VGA Monitors -

A Dell E170S 17" monitor & (main display)
A Dell P2012H (Analog) 20" Monitor (extended display)

What I have done is bought another splitter but this one is a VGA to Dual VGA splitter thinking I can split the signal from the first splitter to have 3 monitors.

However what I get is what I have now but the third monitor is displaying exactly the same as the monitor it is physically split with. :( - (I also can't appear to change this in the Catylst Control Centre software either).

Hardware isn't my strong point but i'm sure as you experts have done in the past, will come up with an answer.

Many thanks in advance.

Steve
steve_yorkAsked:
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☠ MASQ ☠Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You could also do this simply by adding another low profile  HD 6350 to the second PCI-E slot on the DT systemboard.  Bear in mind that the two PCI-E slots are wired differently, the black one your card is currently in is x16 but the blue empty slot (that the new card is going in) is only x4.  The important thing is you get the card with the same external connection that you have now (the DMS-59 port).  You could then use the same splitter arrangement you currently have for dual monitors and get 4 screens working!  If you do this with only three screens then the best configuration would be to just have the single digital output from the first card (black slot) and use your current splitter on the new card in the blue slot.

You won't need Eyefinity but you may find that the Catalyst Control Center thinks you are trying to run both cards in the Crossfire gaming configuration and 'helpfully' pre-configure that when it first detects both cards in place.  If so manually untick Crossfire and then both cards will act independently.
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MikeIT ManagerCommented:
You need a video card that has AMD's eyefinity technology.  This will allow native support of greater than 2 displays.
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
That's a shame.

Any thoughts on what graphics cards would fit and be compatible?

Only reason I ask is that in the past I've bought cards that haven't fit as they are too big :(

Thanks,
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athomsfereCommented:
Looks like this one would work perfectly.

Supports Eyefinity and is also a low profile card (For smaller cases).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161398
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
Will that definately work? only reason I question this is because of the size required for 3 ports when the current 1 port takes up as much space as it does, (see attachment).

Steve
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athomsfereCommented:
I don't see an attachment, but...

PCI blanks / wholes for the rear of the case are universal. Where the card is usually too "big" is if it is too tall from PCI express connection to the top of the PCB, or if the PCB is too long, from the blank punchout too the front of the case.
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
Apologies, please find attached image now.
IMAG0115.jpg
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athomsfereCommented:
Hmmm...

So yes that card will fit, but you have to remove the third port to do it and use the low profile bracket...

You might be able to use something like this and move the third connection to an empty slot / blank below
http://www.xpcgear.com/lprobracketvga.html

Or, just buy something like a Matrox Dual head to go to split one of the existing outs (VGA or DVI to a dual monitor on that (Giving you 2 + 1).
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
Hi Masqueraid,

Just to confirm then, I need an exact carbon copy of the card I currently have and that should fit in the empty blue slot, then so long as it has that DMS-59 port on the back both cards will have the splitter thing coming out but only the second card in the blue slot will have 2 monitors attached to the splitter with the other primary card having one?

Is that right? (sorry I really should be more clued up on this but have put off learning this for too long :s )

Many Thanks,
Steve
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Yep, that's about it :)
athomsfere's suggestion should work as well & the only extra bit there would be mounting the half-height card's second display output in place of your third expansion port's blanking plate.   You just disconnect the full length bracket and use two haslf-sized brackets instead.

Oh, and if your splitter currently goes straight to 2 x VGA without any other adapter in line try to get a splitter that has one DVI and one VGA out so you can connect your primary monitor to the DVI (digital) output.
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burrcmCommented:
You appear to have an onboard video card already. You should be able to use that for a third monitor if your existing card will run two. Generally the bios will disable it when it detects an external card, but you should be able to enable it manually.

Chris B
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys your help is very much appreciated.

I've decided to get another 6350 just in case I decide that 4 screens would be better than 3 (I know what I'm like!)

Thanks for the option Chris B but as I say i'm thinking upgrade now for futureproofing reasons.

Card should be delivered tomorrow / monday so will post some feedback then.

Thanks again experts.

Steve
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steve_yorkAuthor Commented:
Card arrived today, installed and 3rd monitor worked straight away without fuss.

Thanks for everyones help on this.

Best wishes

Steve
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