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PCI + onboard video = 3 monitors?


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#1
Adam Montana

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Anyone know this?

I have an Acer Aspire AM1640-U1401A, using an NVIDEA GeForce 7600 GS to run dual monitors.

I took it apart to add another video card to run 4 monitors, but there is no more video card slots! So... I still want at least one more monitor, is it possible to use my PCI card and my onboard video to make my third monitor work?
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#2
phillipcorcoran

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Fitting a removable video card either disables the on-board video controller automatically, or requires you to disable it manually in the bios settings to avoid driver conflicts.
If you were to enable the on-board video while a removable video card is installed you'll get a device-driver conflict causing all manner of instability issues.

Edit: just been looking at specs for that card. It's got 3 ports (VGA, DVI, & S-Video round-pin).
You can connect a third monitor with an S-Video cable can't you (provided the monitor has an S-video input)?

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 29 December 2009 - 04:47 PM.

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#3
Neil Jones

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Ultimate question first: Why do you need three monitors in the first place?
There may be an option in the BIOS to enable the onboard graphics AND the separate graphics card, though branded machines like these tend to remove these options from the BIOS to cut down on support calls.

You may be able to add a PCI video card. However considering they don't make them any longer, it's kind of hard to go down that route. You may need to consider replacing the board inside the machine.
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#4
Troy

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Easy: http://www.matrox.co...ucts/gxm/th2go/
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#5
Adam Montana

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Edit: just been looking at specs for that card. It's got 3 ports (VGA, DVI, & S-Video round-pin).
You can connect a third monitor with an S-Video cable can't you (provided the monitor has an S-video input)?


I don't have an s-video input, only the regular one.

Ultimate question first: Why do you need three monitors in the first place?
There may be an option in the BIOS to enable the onboard graphics AND the separate graphics card, though branded machines like these tend to remove these options from the BIOS to cut down on support calls.

You may be able to add a PCI video card. However considering they don't make them any longer, it's kind of hard to go down that route. You may need to consider replacing the board inside the machine.


I realize now I should have stated my purpose - I'm not a gamer, just looking for more desktop real estate. I poked around in the BIOS and didn't see the option right away, is there a way to add it?

Easy: http://www.matrox.co...ucts/gxm/th2go/


Gonna have to pass on that one, for that kind of money I'll look into upgrading my computer!
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#6
Troy

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If there is no option to enable the onboard video as well as the separate card, then Acer have disabled that option and unfortunately you are going nowhere fast.
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#7
Adam Montana

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If there is no option to enable the onboard video as well as the separate card, then Acer have disabled that option and unfortunately you are going nowhere fast.


I just hate to be told what to do, you know? The rebel in me can never rest until this machine is working the way I feel it should, not the way Acer makes me do it. Grrrrrrr....
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#8
Neil Jones

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If there is no option to enable the onboard video as well as the separate card, then Acer have disabled that option and unfortunately you are going nowhere fast.


I just hate to be told what to do, you know? The rebel in me can never rest until this machine is working the way I feel it should, not the way Acer makes me do it. Grrrrrrr....


With all due respect, if you wanted to run three monitors ever since you bought the machine you wouldn't have bought an Acer (or any other major brand for that matter) machine in the first place.

Branded machines are aimed at people who just want to buy something that works. Those people have no interest in hooking thousands of monitors up to it and the machines are sold as simple machines that work and that's all those people want for it to do.

It may be something to think about in the future for when you replace the computer though, the ability to run three monitors as it would probably be no more expensive than a branded machine in the first place to build your own.
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#9
Adam Montana

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With all due respect, if you wanted to run three monitors ever since you bought the machine you wouldn't have bought an Acer (or any other major brand for that matter) machine in the first place.


So you're either telling me you don't know how to do it, or you don't know how to do it.

Thanks, but you really didn't help.

To set you straight - I only intended to run two monitors when I bought the machine. It wasn't sold as a machine that can run two monitors - but I'm still using dual monitors.

NOW I would like to make it use three monitors, and that's why I'm here. Because regardless of what the manufacturer tries to limit people to, resourceful and creative people can always find a way to make things work. I'm not here to listen to some know-it-all tell me what I should or shouldn't have bought in the first place, and then offer zero creative input.

Thank you to everyone who has offered constructive feedback and attempted to help me solve the problem. I'm still working on this, and I give my word that when I figure it out, I WILL do future readers and researchers the favor of posting the solution everywhere people attempted to help, like this board.
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#10
Adam Montana

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I know I modified the BIOS some way or another on another machine to make it read a hdd it wasn't intended to or something like that, and I'm sure there's a way to do that here too.
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#11
Troy

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http://techgage.com/...etups_with_usb/

Would a USB monitor suit your needs?
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#12
Adam Montana

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http://techgage.com/...etups_with_usb/

Would a USB monitor suit your needs?


Hey, good call! I just found this: http://www.mcmelectr...CFZZ75QoddRVlMw

I wonder if it will work with ultramon? Or how do I use it... either way, this is a great start!
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#13
Troy

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I'm not sure about Ultramon as the USB bus is much slower, however for a basic text monitor (such as web browsing, Outlook, IM) it works great (from the reviews I've read).
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#14
Adam Montana

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I'm not sure about Ultramon as the USB bus is much slower, however for a basic text monitor (such as web browsing, Outlook, IM) it works great (from the reviews I've read).


That's fine, one monitor is usually just for display anyhow - leaving up pages for reference etc.
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#15
Adam Montana

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ok, I'm giving this one a shot: http://www.amazon.co...i...ER&v=glance

Wish me luck, I'll report back with results :)
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