What hardware do I need to support dual monitors on my Dell Optiplex 3020 computer?

eemmpph
eemmpph used Ask the Experts™
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I have a Dell Optiplex 3020 (SFF) Small Form Factor running Windows 7 professional.

The back of the computer has a connection or a DP monitor and a connection for a VGA monitor.

The computer has Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600/ HD Graphics 4400/ HD Graphics

The CPU is Intel Pentium G3220 (Dual Core, 3MB Cache, 3.0 GHz, w/HD Graphics)

Serial - support Serial / PS/2 Add-in Bracket or Serial / Parallel Port PCIe Add-in Card
Parallel - Serial / Parallel Port PCIe Add-in Card


I currently have a monitor with a VGA connection to the computer.

I would like to replace the VGA monitor with two 24" monitors for a dual display (extended desktop).

Question:  Can I attach a device to the computer's Display Port, that will allow me to attach two DP monitors and extend the display?

or Purchase a graphics video card and insert it into one of the motherboard's slots below, that supports dual monitors?

Dell Optiplex 3020 motherboard slots
or if you have another suggestion, I am open to it.
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Ashvin AshokTeam Manager - IT

Commented:
There are DP to VGA converters available in the market and you can simply connect it to the DP port and attach the monitor to it by installing Basic Intel display drivers.

This should solve as I have exactly the same desktops and I do the same for dual displays.
Ashvin AshokTeam Manager - IT

Commented:
These converters should help you by preventing to open the cabinet of CPU's ( To prevent warranty void for few manufacturers )
Mike SchrockIT Operations Manager

Commented:
That card and computer should support duel out with Display Port and VGA (VGA might get a little tricky with the 24 inch monitor, if you want a high end 24 inch with fast Hz, this would not be the way to go.
To purchase the card, you may need to go through Dell due to the small form factor box, some are completely proprietary so standards don't apply.
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Author

Commented:
I was checking the Dell's manual and specs.  It seems only supports the DP port OR the VGA port, but not both at the same time.  The bios does not have a "multi-display" setting in the computer.  See manual below:

optiplex-3020-desktop_owners-manual2.pdf

Author

Commented:
The manual says it supports:  

Video Controller
Integrated: Intel HD Graphics 4600/ HD Graphics 4400/ HD Graphics
Discrete: AMD Radeon HD8570 or AMD Radeon HD8490

Author

Commented:
There is no card in the computer right now.  Both the DP and VGA are on the motherboard.
Team Manager - IT
Commented:
Yes you are right.. But one monitor connected directly to VGA port ( Will act as secondary ) and the monitor connected to DP to VGA will be as primary ( Post installing of drivers ).

Ps - I have implemented the above said set up in almost 150 desktops in my company and its running successfully ( Dell Optiplex 3020 - SFF )
Mike SchrockIT Operations Manager

Commented:
That is a shame with the on-board video controller.
Before purchasing the video card, what will the computer be used for? If we are talking high end gaming, the bigger faster card would be the way to go (also nvidia). If we are talking an office-work computer or social media then the lower end card will do nicely.

Author

Commented:
Thank you Ashvin.  With your experience, I will go with that solution.
Ashvin AshokTeam Manager - IT

Commented:
Here is the converter what I use...IMG_20190530_212959.jpg

Author

Commented:
The computer is used to view MS Outlook on one monitor, and edit MS Word documents on the other monitor.  No games or social media here.
Brian StarkDesktop Support

Commented:
Another option would be a USB to VGA, https://www.startech.com/uk/AV/display-and-video-adapters/USB-Video-Adapters/USB-to-VGA-Multi-Monitor-Adapter~USB2VGAE3
I've set these up for a couple of companies, they are BASIC graphics but they do work.

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