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connecting dual monitors to computer


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#1
capescafe

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Hi all,
I need help. I just got a new computer, a Dell Inspiron 530s with a 19" widescreen LCD display. I have another 19" flat panel LCD monitor that I'd like to connect to my computer to have a monitor #1 and #2. I did this before with my laptop and it was nice to have all that room to work.

My Dell monitor that came with my new computer is connected via a DVI adapter with the blue VGA cable from the monitor plugged into that. I tried connecting the 2nd monitor to the blue VGA port but it said something about my computer having an added video card and that I would need an adapter. So I'm assuming I can't use the VGA port at all. Do I just need to get a dual cable to connect both monitors?

Here's my specs:

Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO
OS: Windows XP Professional
Monitors: (1) Dell 19" Widescreen flat panel LCD display
(2) Samsung SyncMaster 191T 19" Flat panel LCD display

Don't know if you need to know anything else to help answer my question, if so just ask me.

Thanks for any help,
Carolyn
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#2
hfcg

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Hello, and welcome to Geeks To Go.
If you get an adapter to plug two monitors into one port you are going to have the same display on both monitors.
If you want to split the display between two screens you will need a video card with two ports. (read the information for the video card)
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#3
capescafe

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Ok is there any certain video card you could recommend?? I'm pretty clueless when it comes to video cards. I found all of this info on my current video card:
http://ati.amd.com/p...0pro/specs.html

Also, does this mean if I buy another video card that I can connect my other monitor via the blue VGA port? Or would I need an adapter cable or some other cable?
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#4
hfcg

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You will most likely need an adapter cable.
I do not know very much about high end video cards so I realy can not recommend any specific one.
I will ask some one does know to reply to you.
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#5
capescafe

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Thanks, that would help a lot.

Also, just to note my case for the Dell Inspiron 530s is the narrow case, so I'm not sure which video cards will fit in my case. It's not a standard width casing.

So any advice on compatible video cards would be much help...thanks.
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#6
james_8970

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The HD2400pro can power two monitors, so there isn't a hardware limitation.
The card I'm current looking at has one VGA port and a DVI port and I'm assuming your card has the same. Can you confirm this?

Your question is a little unclear to me. Are you trying to connect the two monitors to the single DVI port or to the single VGA port? If you don't have one monitor that supports VGA and one that supports DVI the only way to get a dual setup to work would be to buy a DVI to VGA adapter. If one of your monitors support S-video, you could also buy a S-Video cable to accomplish this.
DVI to VGA adapter
James
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#7
capescafe

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My card only has one DVI port. So I just chatted with Dell Tech support and they said I would need to buy a video card with 2 ports. I thought she said I would need a video card with 2 DVI ports but then the one she recommended seems to have one DVI and one VGA port. So I'm a little confused.

The one she recommended is one that Dell sells of course, but I'd like to compare other brands and prices elsewhere. Here's the one she recommended:
ASUS Geforce 8300 PCI Ex 16, 128, DVI/VGA, Low Profile, MRMGA11B

The card I get needs to be Low Profile I think because of the small narrow size of my tower. It's the Dell Inspiron 530s the narrow case.

I'll try to clarify what I'm trying to do. My computer as it is now only has one DVI port with my ATI Radeon HD 2400 video card. It also has a VGA port but that port was capped and it doesn't work with my current system set up. So in order to have 2 monitors hooked up to my system to have half of my screen on one monitor and half on the other, I'd have to get a new video card with 2 ports. So now the question is, what cards will work? I think the tough part is the size of my computer.

I hope this is helping to clarify. So if anyone has any recommendations for video cards that will work with my system and what I'm trying to do, that would be awesome!

Attached is a pic of what my tower looks like.
inspiron_530s.jpg

And this is what it looks like in comparison with a regular sized tower.
inspiron_compare.jpg
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#8
james_8970

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Can I have a little more information about the monitors. Do they both use DVI? Does one use VGA and the other DVI? Do they both use VGA?
Unless you're gaming, just about any card will work fine.
James
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#9
capescafe

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I'm not a gamer but I do a lot of graphic design and web design. So I used Photoshop a lot.

Both monitors have both DVI and VGA cables. They both support both.

I have a Dell 19" Widescreen Flat panel display
and a Samsung SyncMaster 191T 19" Flat panel display
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#10
james_8970

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Can you measure the length of the video card's back brace? It's the metal part at the back of the video card where you connect your monitor.
James

Edited by james_8970, 06 February 2008 - 11:05 PM.

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#11
capescafe

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Ok it's about 2 1/2" give or take a little. It's hard to tell exactly without pulling it out. But from metal end to metal end it's just slightly over 2 1/2". The width of the whole hard drive case is: 3 1/2".
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#12
james_8970

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I personally recommend you go and buy a video card from dell (I cannot believe I just said that). I'm searching newegg high and low and cannot find anything that will really work in your case, you can tell everything is to large. This is a none standard case and you are more or less forced to buy from Dell unless you want to start modifying video cards (which I don't recommend).
If you do buy from Dell, make sure you make it very clear to them that you need to have two separate connectors.
James
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#13
capescafe

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Ok. I was afraid it would come to that. I searched Newegg and Tiger Direct too and I'm just not sure how to tell if the card would fit or not. I guess Dell knew that for anything to fit in this new sleek narrow case, that people would HAVE to buy parts from Dell. Well thanks for all your help!
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#14
capescafe

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Well just wanted to let you know an update on this video card. The only video card so far that I've found is only available from Dell. I called the Sales Dept. today and they didn't really tell me exactly what kind it was accept that it's a Radeon one. But the price is $119.99. So I said no thanks.

Do you think if I wait long enough other people will start selling video cards to fit into the smaller tower that Dell makes?
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#15
james_8970

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To be honest, no I do not. :)
The market isn't large enough for it to be profitable.
James
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