View Full Version : third screen = second vidcard...
(had a hard time finding the 'new thread' button hehe)
So I want to hook up an extra monitor to my puter. So far I am running a GeForce 7600GT wich has 2 DVI outputs - now I am looking for a solution to add another one.
My understanding is that the OS (XP Home) would be just fine with an extra card as long as I don't want windows or apps to be stretched accross the 'original' screens and the 'extra' one. I am not quite sure how this goes in practice - I guess the windows just pop in place when being dragged over? I am running Ultramon anyway so that might make things easier.
Question is, what card to purchase? My PCIExpress slot is busy with my current card and my mobo is not of the hybrid AGP/PCIE type (does that even exsist?) so I guess I need to get a stoneage PCI vidcard. Would it be smart to get an Nvidia in order to avoid possible driver troubles? I don't know how far back the unified drivers stretch. Hopefully a PCI card does not need any install at all?
And obviously I don't plan to run much 3D on that extra screen. So I have my eyes on this :
but it seems quite expensive for what it is. Maybe because it will 'Super charge my gaming' haha!
Somehow I feel I would get better luck by just having a look at the 1$ trash bin at the local computer store!
Any help appreciated!
04-02-2008, 11:24 PM
The FX5200 was the card I had in my old rig (just bought a new PC recently with an 8800GT). I was able to run HL2 with low-mid settings (no fancy shaders). When viewing real-time stuff in 3ds max, the viewport would slow down, but not unworkable. I think this was due to my lack of RAM, but if I ran Pshop and Max with real-time materials, the material would eventually turn black and I'd have to close and reopen max. I don't think anything of what I just said helps.
Well if I get that 5200 thing and say my current card dies, at least I'll know what to expect :P
04-02-2008, 11:42 PM
I'd like to know how it works for you. I recently got a Cintiq 20WSX, and I don't want to lose one of my widescreens for it - I'm just to attached to dual 24 inchers.
I was hoping to grab a second crappy card to either drive the Cintiq or the second monitor.
Let me know how it goes!
04-03-2008, 05:40 AM
Pior, I've been looking at this topic myself.
It's possible to get a signal split device, so you can output 2 images on 3 or more monitors. This works fine as you probably don't need to view 3 different screens at the same time. However you're of course limited to the duplicate-image monitors having the same resolution, which can be a bitch.
I currently have a desktop lcd and a 40" lcd tv. I want to set up another desktop lcd and a cintiq.
lcd desktop A = 1680x1050
lcd tv = 1366 x 768
cintiq = 1600x1200
... non-matching resolutions :( Found any good sites for info on 2+ screen outputs? Know whether it will mess with performance?
EDIT: Ah, Whargoul, your cintiq is 1680x1050 . If one of your LCDs are too maybe you'll want to output 2 desktop images like you're doing now, but clone one of them onto the cintiq by splitting the signal off of the cable.
04-03-2008, 09:00 AM
Nope, both monitors are 1920 x 1200, and the Cintiq is 1680x1050 :(
But I did hear of a special box that can split a single video signal out to two monitors - with different images for each! You'd have a double wide image that gets split. So for example, the first output would be 3840 x 1200 and the splitter gives half to each widescreen LCD, then the second video out would be to the Cintiq in it's own rez. This was all word-of-mouth though.
Hehe as a matter of fact I *do* need 3 different images so a splitter wouldn't work for me (except the one WG mentions but it must be rare and pricey...).
My setup would be :
left : Cintiq12WX - 1280*800 (menus, brush tabs, occasional painting)
main : Cintiq21UX - 1600*1200 (work area)
right : Dell rotating display - 1600*1200 (reference images and browsing)
At the moment the Dell screen sits all blank and sad :P
04-03-2008, 10:59 AM
The highest geforce model I could find on newegg was a 6200. Found prices somewhere between $60-90. And I would recommend getting an nvidia for it as the dualview setup works properly(or only) with all cards being nvidia.
matrox has those dual & triple head2go boxes. They aren't video cards though, just splitters. So you might see slowdown with those.
04-03-2008, 11:12 AM
I used to run a dual monitor setup with an AGP nvidia 5 series and a pci Voodoo 3.
Window dragging works just fine between them, but obviously 3d performance isn't consistent between the two.
2d performance was just fine, even on the ancient Voodoo. Ran PS on that and 3d apps on the nvidia.
04-03-2008, 04:10 PM
Matrox TripleHead2Go might be worth a look. http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gxm/products/th2go/digital/home.php
Here's a review: http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews/TripleHeadReview/index.htm
Definitely looks like the simplest solution. 3D appears to work seamlessly across the monitors.
Hey Ryan that sounds interesting. If I understand correctly the computer sees this device as a single screen with a huge pixel width, and then the box simply splits the signal to the desired number of monitors?
I'm affraid this wouldn't work too well in my case since one of my screen has a different resolution. I guess I could plug the box to one DVI, and let the 12WX plugged on another one... But I think maximizing a program like Photoshop on a screen running on this thing expands the app's window to the other, brother screen aswell? Definitely something I want to avoid (on top of the weird tablet behavior I would get I'm sure...)
04-03-2008, 06:02 PM
has anyone had any experience with displaylink technology? haven't used it myself, just read a few tech-news stories about it. it allows you to connect a monitor via USB. i found this list of monitors/converters: http://www.displaylink.com/shop.html
this is probably more difficult/expensive than just getting another video card, but i thought i'd mention it...
Doesn't look too hot in my opinion ... especially in the demo with 3 screens hooked to the laptop you can clearly see the third one behaving strangely, and the operator quickly removing the window from it!
Plus I wouldn't really trust USB-through compression of a video signal when it comes to digital art. But it does look handy for presentations tho.
04-03-2008, 09:35 PM
Yea I've got a box that does the same thing as the one Ryan pointed out.
I've got a 12wx and two 17 inch screens. With the cintiq cloning one of the screens.
It would be ideal for me if the screens were all the same resolution, the cintiq only displays at its default resolution. So my second monitor is stretched, but I got the lil box thing for free so I don't mind. Its perfectly usable as it is, but not ideal.
Thats just my experience, I thought I should share. I'm happy enough with my setup that I'm not gonna bother getting another video card.
EDIT: Alright, I realize mine is not like what he pointed out now. It doesn't let me span 3 screens at all, its a one video feed in two video feeds out type deal. so I can clone one screen. so this post is probably no help at all. lol
Good luck with finding a solution anyway pior.
04-04-2008, 10:50 AM
Pior: your two main monitors share the same res, so you could use the spliter for both of these and then use the smaller cintiq on your 2nd output from video card. Or is that what you already said? Dunno lol o_O
04-04-2008, 02:19 PM
In that case, you could use the "DualHead2Go." It's cheaper than the triplehead.
Here's a review: http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=2621
04-06-2008, 12:18 PM
New Geforce card that supports 3 unique display. Bit more expensive than your 90$ 2nd video card though.
2 DVI + 1 HDMI.
Nvidia claims it doesnt work like that, but then the reviewer tries it and it works. I've linked the relevant page for 3 display support.
Solves your 3 display problem and gives you the fastest card money can buy, albeit...its a lot of money. I figure though, if you've invested in 2 Cintiq's, you're serious about your workstation hardware budget.
Woah it looks like a power brick! Crazy! I must admit I'm always a bit skeptic with cutting edge hardware like that - isn't this bound to have driver issues? Anyways thanks for the input guys, if you have any other tips or ideas please keep them coming.
As for the dual cintiq setup ... I got myself another one simply because the first one wasn't lving up to the expectations I had for it, sadly... still need to decide if I want to sell it or keep it :/ Plus my 21 one has a dead pixel that wacom wont fix nor exchange because it's 'within spec' (my ass) so it's all a mixed bag in the end really...
And regarding a split of a signal between a 1600*1200cintiq and a 1600*1200 screen, I kindof feel like it would confuse the wacom driver to no end? Then again, only way to know is to try...
04-07-2008, 03:25 PM
Apparently no more than any other SLI setup as that is exactly what this is. SLI on 1 card. The advantage to this vs. 2 cards is this one only uses 1 PCI-E slot.
oh when I mentioned splitting potentially confusing the tablet driver, I meant splitting one signal into two using some kind of divider box like posted earlier. That last card seems like a completely different deal obviously.
Crazy stuff! I thought 3 screens setups where more widespread than that really!
04-08-2008, 02:15 PM
The solution I hear most people using for this is the one you wrote in your original post: get a second vid card. I don't know much about mobo's but a few folks here at Mythic have 3 displays and get along fine. . . It seems like you need to get a new mobo and a second vid card.
04-08-2008, 03:55 PM
Pior: i dont know much about cintiq's but do they have any sort of mapping functionality, ala vanilla wacom drivers? if so you could probablly set it up to map to half hte screen, and that problem would work itself out.
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll make a final check with an IT guy at work next week, purchase one of these solutions and will let you know!
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