homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Hardware and OS Related Technologies / Webmaster Hardware
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

Webmaster Hardware Forum

Dual monitors not enough
Tips for going to three?

 6:48 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am so happy with dual monitors that I now need (want) three. I've got 20" and 19" flat panels on the desk, running off of a 128MB Radeon X800 SE. I want to add a 19" CRT to one side - but am not really a hardware guy. Will it be as simple as plugging in another graphic card, and plugging the third monitor into that? Any inexpensive card recommendations? It need do no more than decently run the third monitor. Any considerations about this that should be thought of before finding trouble?



 7:29 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

It should be as simple as plugging in another graphics card. Most modern graphics cards can be used this way. (I used an ancient ELSA 8MB PCI card with an ATI Xpert 98 AGP.)

Some manufacturers sell three and four output graphics cards as well. (Matrox is probably the market leader here, their primary market seems to be medical and ATC displays.)

Have you considered getting widescreen flatpanels like Apple's 23" DVI display?

Lord Majestic

 7:32 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you really need to look at all 3 at the same time? If not, then you might consider getting one of those cheap switch boxes which allows to connect 2-4 PCs into one monitor, keyboard and mouse - you just click switch and it turns on monitor from other PC.


 7:54 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

The Cinerama uses either a Matrox Parphelia or Millenium P750 card.



 8:19 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you really need to look at all 3 at the same time?

It took me about 5 minutes to be totally hooked on dual monitors. I expect the same in going to three.

Right now I use #1 (1600x1200) for coding, with Photoshop in background. #2 (1280x1024) for browser displays, with Photoshop toolbars and Outlook in background. I have a couple clients that do a lot of updating/additions, so WS FTP Pro is open all day long, + Word, etc. How did I ever do anything with one 15" monitor at 800x600?

I want the third screen on the side for stuff that I want open, but don't rate a place on #1 or #2. I manage my tabs and taskbar pretty well - but I'm sold on screen power.

Those triple widescreens set my mouth to watering, but they will likely have to wait a pretty good while.


 8:45 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)



They have a good database from real-world users that gives you info about what cards work with other cards, etc..


 11:59 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

As I use a laptop (now) in a docking station, I am pretty well stuck to a single monitor.

However, what I do now is run a Windows XP machine (in another part of my office) and use Remote Desktop Connection to access this PC. It is on this PC that I have my various traffic reporting "stuff". It is like having two monitors with a simple ALT TAB between them.


 2:14 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

No doubt Warren,

Multiple 'Remote Desktop Connections' on 3 monitors is even better. :)


 3:34 am on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


Now that is just being greedy and brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.



 2:31 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same boat as you Warren. Love the laptop for portability but would really like to be able to go to dual big monitors. But hey, can't get too greedy now can I :) I really am quite satisfied with my setup as the portability has meant much more to me than anything else.


 3:06 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

<lust>Portability.</lust>Still too much bang for the buck on the desktop for my work. Everytime I start thinking portable I have to decide where else that money should go. More than once I've told myself that that's the next thing to do, but my office is like the war room. (Guess I don't get out enough.:


 3:16 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


My laptop at work is a Dell Latitude D600 and supports driving a second monitor through the video connector on the back of the laptop.


 3:17 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I recall correctly, Windows XP will support 3 separate video cards. I have two in my system now and have thought about going to 3, but refrained because that would make me way too much of a geek.



 3:19 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

My HP/Compaq laptop will do the same.

Unfortunately, that's it's upper limit - no possibility of three monitors, which would really make my life a lot easier...



 3:33 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wehn I went dual, eons ago, I got a Matrox millennium G400 dual head... then I found out I could leave me old PCIU card in without problems and was in 3 monitor heaven. The third one was on top of the other two, and mostly used to display progress indicators and status displays, so wasn't really an active work surface. It was hard to go back to jsut two at times, but the productivity difference between 2 and 3 monitors isn't NEARLY as much as between 1 and two... In fact the computer was gettign to slow for my work style, so now I have two computers, both dual headed, cross connected with two KVM switches to two monitors. One keyboard but two mice.. so I can show views of both computers side by side, or switch both monitors to one computer...Now I can keep working when the comps are busy ;)

My recommendation: before you go triple-view, go two-by-two.



 3:39 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are several nVidia Quadro cards that come with 4 x DVI (and DVI to SVGA adaptors). Why go three when four is poss?


 3:44 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Why go three when four is poss?

Desk real estate.

In reality, three would suit me perfectly given the applications that I use regularly.



 3:05 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)


Unfortunately I have a lite weight laptop (only 1.2 kilos) that is great for the amount of travel I do.

Unfortunatley the drivers don't support dual monitor with different images. I tried that as soon as I got XP installed on it. Haven't looked for a while for a new set of drivers - might have to go do that now!




 8:30 pm on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I recall correctly, Windows XP will support 3 separate video cards.

I was just looking into this through the xp help files. It makes no mention of having cards that specifically support multi monitors. Is this not the case? Can I simply plug in any old pci graphic card and expect it to work with my agp in xp?


 9:14 pm on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

With drivers installed, XP 'should' identify the card and the monitor automatically. You can make display adjustments from Start> Control Panel> Display> Settings. It all went far too well for me - which makes me highly suspicious:)


 11:57 pm on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run three monitors.. 2x17"(1280x1024) TFT's DVI and a 21" beast CRT(1600*1200). Can't go back to fewer displays.

A general rule when using more than one graphics card is to use the same manfacturer for each card to help avoid incompatibility problems. I run two dual head Radeon cards, one pci and one agp. A modern board and bios should allow you to select the agp card as your primary card so you play games, watch movies etc on the faster card...Pre XP days I think your pci card became the default graphic card :(

Ultramon is a monitor admin tool worth looking at when you have got your hardware together.


 1:41 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

All I can say is WOW. I never thought having duals would be this amazing. I'm running an Nvidia on my main (agp) and an ATI on my other. 5 minutes after getting this setup....I'm not even looking back. Thanks for all the info people.

Happy Camper ---------> :)


 12:20 pm on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Dual Monitors - 'I'm not even looking back.'

Noisehag, you're right. The biggest problem you'll have next, is finding room on your desk so you can add the third monitor. ;)

The ability to copy content from the source monitor, slide it over and paste to your editing monitor, and simultaneously see the finished results on the working monitor - priceless.



 6:08 pm on Aug 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have dual 19" monitors now and had dual 17" for a year or two. I started using it for video editing but I have gotten absolutely hooked for the functionality.

Originally I had one screen that was darker than the other so I used it just for email. It was nice to have a dedicated email screen and not have to go searching on the taskbar. I kind of miss that. I have thought several times of going to three just to regain it. (and I'd love to have a 4-6 monitor rack set up. (lust)

But I've been thinking lately that what Killroy said about dual computers might be a better idea. If I end up with my computer churning on data I would like to be able to switch to another computer and not have the downtime. I may try to use an old box for a "browser" and email computer. Hmmmmm.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Hardware and OS Related Technologies / Webmaster Hardware
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved