Video card: "Dual screen with onboard VGA"?

Hi Experts,

This advertisement:
    www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=651226896
says
   "*dual-screen with onboard VGA"

I was under the impression that when you install a video card, any onboard graphics gets disabled?
Q1.  Is this incorrect, or only with some cards?
Q2.  Does this card look appropriate for doing data projection via an HP DC7700 Small Form Factor PC (currently running WinXP, but may run Win7 someday)?  Specs

I see the seller has tried to answer this question, but I'd appreciate your comments.

Q3.  Can you tell what kind of interface this card has (e.g. PCI, PCI-Express x8, x16, or what?)  Seller hasn't yet answered this question.

Thanks.
Tel2
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tel2Asked:
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ambri5hCommented:
By default any card installed overrides the on-board card.

You can still have 2 screens but you'd need a splitter of some kind from the graphics card in order for the screens to work.

As for Windows 7 working with it, yes it would do as it would automatically detect the card and apply drivers that it feels is suitable.

The card is PCi Express.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Just to go in reverse order:

3) The card goes into a  PCI Express  slot on the PC

It is not a stand alone graphics card - it works in conjunction with an Intel chipset motherboard and processor - you will need one of the following chipsets as a prerequisite - G41, G43, G45, Q43, Q45, G35, G33, G31, Q33, Q35, G965, Q965, Q963, 946GZ, 915G or 945G Express.  When the card is detected it uses Serial Digital Video Out (SDVO) signals to create a DVI output.  It won't independently process graphics in the way conventional graphics cards work.

2) The DC7700 has a 82Q965 Graphics and Memory Controller chipset - so yes (see above)

1) Generally that is correct - there are a few boards where you can add conventional graphics cards and still use the onboard chipset but these are uncommon.  However the ADD2 card is an exception SDVO processing prevents the onboard VGA port being active but you can have both VGA output  and DVI from the ADD2 card as it has DVI-I output which can be split into separate digital and analog outputs
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bigeven2002Commented:
Hello,

This type of DVI card is an add-on card (hence the model of DVI-ADD2) so it is meant to work along with onboard adapters.  Dell did this with some of their OptiPlex models.  Yes this does apply to only specific cards and this should be one of them.

Since this is an add-on card, it should be using the same driver as your VGA so it's performance will depend on the display driver.  Typically with onboard VGA it uses system memory to drive the displays so it will consume a bit more memory for dual display.

This card looks to be a PCI-Express x16, but only using x4 or x8 lanes based on the angle as shown by the gold connectors.  Tough to tell if if it is x4 or x8 due to angle of photo.
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tel2Author Commented:
Thanks for your comments, guys.

Q4.  Masqueraid, where did you find out about those compatible chipsets?  URL pls?  I see in the specs I've provided state "Q963 Express" as the chipset, but not just "Q963".  Is this difference a problem?

Q5.  Should this ADD2 card be able to run Windows extended desktop mode for projection (as opposed to mirror mode)?

Q6.  Would this be a better option for my PC specs/needs, to spread the load:
    www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=388012

Thanks.
tel2
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bigeven2002Commented:
I will leave Q4 for Masqueraid.

For 5, yes it will run extended desktop.  This link shows the XP method to turn on extended desktop:
http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Extended-Desktop-View-in-Windows-XP

For 6, yes this would be a better solution as it is a dedicated graphics card with it's own driver and video memory.  However, this card depends on a full height slot being available in the computer to have both VGA and DVI available, and you said your computer was small form factor so you might verify this card will fit.  This card will replace the onboard VGA so if there is no jumper on the motherboard to disable the onboard VGA, then disable it in the Device Manager.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Q4) Intel's page on ADD2
http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intel915g/sb/CS-013296.htm

Just had a look at the specs for the ADD2 you've linked to and that supports DVI-D only so you cannot get a VGA output from that card only a single DVI output. A splitter won't work.

It's likely the SFF DC7700 will not allow the onboard VGA to run at the same time the ADD2 is detected.  HP aren't explicit about this and say the BIOS can be configured to determine which is the primary if more than one graphics card is detected  (see here) but it doesn't sound promising.  if it were possible the manufacturer would normally shout about it.

Q5) If you can only get a single DVI output this question is now moot.

Q6) Yes but you'll need it in a low profile (half-height card) option as the SFF case format won't allow a full size card.  You'll also be limited by the maximum power consumption from the PCI socket - probably around 30W max.
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bigeven2002Commented:
Also for 6, something like this may be a better fit as it is listed as a supported accessory for this HP model:

https://h10057.www1.hp.com/ecomcat/hpcatalog/specs/provisioner/99/AH050AA.htm

Here is a purchase link:
http://www.sears.com/hp-256mb-hp-ati-radeon-x1300pro-dms-59-tv/p-SPM7836967411?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

(might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere but be sure it comes with the small form factor bracket and the dual DVI cable)
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The ADD card will work fine with your graphics adapter, and will provide the extended desktop mode you're looking for.    It simply adds a 2nd display capability to the built in Intel graphics.

Would the add-in HD5450 be better?    It won't provide any specific difference in capabilities, but it will provide FAR better performance with anything that requires 3D acceleration.   The HD5450 has about 35 times the 3D performance of the integrated Intel chip :-)

HOWEVER ... the HD5450 you linked to won't fit in your case.   You need a low-profile card (unless you have the optional riser installed, which is unlikely).
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Note also that your system only has a 240w power supply, so you have to be careful that you don't buy a video card that requires a larger unit.   [unless you also want  to buy a new power supply :-)  ]

If you don't have any performance issues with your current graphics, the ADD card is the simplest and least-expensive way to add a 2nd display.    No change to your video drivers; no potential power issue; and it will support the external display you need.

If you want a bit more graphics "horsepower", here's an HD5450 with low profile brackets.   Note this does not require a larger power supply:   http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127557
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Note:   Just looked at the HD5450 you originally linked to ==> it does indeed come with the low profile brackets.    The picture showed it; but it was listed as "optional" in the specs.   But reading a bit further down it clearly says "Includes Low Profile Bracket."
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tel2Author Commented:
Thanks again guys.

Re the HD5450...

Q7. If I used the (supplied) low profile bracket, could I put the VGA connector at the end of the cable out the case through the hole (what's the proper term?) after I remove the blank (?) of an unused slot?

Q8. How can I tell whether the HD5850 will work with WinXP?  I see it says this on the page:
   "Also, you can get an amazing entertainment experience with DirectX 11 and Windows® 7 via HD5450."
but that doesn't sound like a very definitive list of compatible OS's to me.

Q9. Good point about the 240w limit, Gary, but are you sure that:
    "Power consumption: 240 watts maximum"
means that 240w is the max output of the power supply, or is that just the maximum the basic config will draw?  (Excuse my ignorance.)

Thanks.
Tel2
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... but are you sure that:     "Power consumption: 240 watts maximum"  means that 240w is the max output of the power supply ...?"

==>  I wondered the same thing; but I don't post without confirming what I'm saying.   I looked at the HP specifications for your system, which clearly note that the LFF version has a 240w power supply [the Ultra-slim Desktop has a 200w supply; and the Convertible Minitower has a 365w supply].

r.e. the brackets:   the card comes with two low-profile brackets.   You mount these in 2 slots, so between them all of the video ports are "brought out" to the back of the system.    [Assuming that the 2nd slot isn't in use for some other card -- if that happens to be the case, you'll have to do something like you suggested]

You can download the drivers for XP at the AMD site:  XP Drivers for HD5450
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tel2Author Commented:
Good answer, Gary.

What URL did you see the words:
    "the Ultra-slim Desktop has a 200w supply; and the Convertible Minitower has a 365w supply"?
Google's not giving me any exact hits on that text.

How can I be sure the Sapphire HD5450 can handle dual screen (extended desktop) mode?  I see it has 3 outputs, does that mean it can handle tripple screen (if there is such a thing)?

Also, where can I find the power requirements for it?  Can't see it on that Ascent retailer link I gave (though that site does mention power requirements for many cards), nor on this manufacturer site:
    www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/product_index.aspx?pid=316&lid=1

Thanks.
Tel2
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I wrote that sentence, based on a chart in the HP specifications -- which is available in a PDF on their web site (see the link YOU posted in your question).

The HD5450 does not support "Eyefinity" ... so, like all other non-Eyefinity ATI cards, it can support 2 simultaneous outputs (any 2 of the 3 available outputs).    Eyefinity cards can support all 3.

The power requirements is in the detailed specifications for the cards.
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tel2Author Commented:
Thanks Gary.  Good info, again.

Do you know where I can get the detailed specifications of the cards, as I can't find them.  I've Googled and found conflicting info about the HD5450 power usage, and I'm not even sure if it's the same for the Sapphire brand.  Can't even find it on Sapphire's site, yet.

Thanks.
Tel2
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
<Sigh>   I've already told you it's fine.    The HD5450 has a typical power draw of 19.1 watts.
There's NO problem using it in your system.
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tel2Author Commented:
If that's the case, Gary (excuse my dyslexia with your name), then any ideas why:
1. This site shows 201w (idle) to 232w (load) in the bar graph.
2. This site says 300w minimum.
3. The bigger 2048MB card (with fan instead of heat sink) has a comment by a retailer that "400 Watt Power Supply is required".  I know that's bigger card, but it's a huge jump from 19.1w to 400w.

Where are you getting your info from, Gary?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As I noted earlier, it's from the specs on ATI's site for a 5450.

The 2nd link you provided notes the same thing:   "...  according to ATI the 5450 has a TDP of 19 Watts."     And their power consumptions test show a maximum SYSTEM power draw with the GPU in "FULL Stress" of 177 watts ... well below your 240 watt PSU.

Yes, some manufacturer's show a "300 watt minimum" power supply requirement => that's a conservative number written by some marketing guy who is not particularly tech savvy.    The card will work just fine in your system.    If you have doubts, just buy the ADD2 card.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If you want a true graphics card and you're concerned that we may have got this wrong you also could look at the expansion options HP suggest themselves for the DC7700 SFF (from the link you posted on Specs). They list an X1300, an X1300 Pro (which has a higher power requirement than the HD5450) and a Quadro NVS 285 all of which are available in low profile options for the SFF case.
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bigeven2002Commented:
I did cite the x1300 earlier and provided links as I also found it on hp's website, but it got buried by later comments.
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tel2Author Commented:
Thanks to all of you for your help (and allowing me to push your patience to TDP levels).  I learnt a lot.  Hard to split the points fairly, as you deserve more.

Good to have you all on EE!

Tel2
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