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Running 3 monitors off of one PC


stanward
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It is easy to run dual-head (2 monitors) off of one PC. But I want to know more if I can run 3 monitors?

I read both on the internet, that it can and cannot be done.

I was hoping to purchase a cheap PC (like a Dell or HP) that has an integrated video card. Then stick in a good video card (at least 1GB of video RAM) that can run dual-head into the PCI-E x16 slot.

Any comments? I don't feel like building my own PC (haven't done this since the late '90s). And a cheap PC can be purchased brand new from WalMart, etc. Video card can be purchased from Amazon.com.

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Hello and thanks for responding.

I am looking at an answer to my original question:

I want to purchase a new cheap computer (Dell or HP) that has an integrated video card and the motherboard has a PCI-E x16 slot in which I could stick in a dual-head 1GB video card.

Then I want to know if you can run 3 monitors off of that setup.

Thanks,

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You have been told the answer in many different forms, and that answer is YES. It can be done.

But maybe you're wanting a step by step in how this is done, I haven't used it in a long time, and not currently using multiple monitors on my current system, so I can't recall how I did it, but do know you have to right click on your desktop, then click properties, then click settings, if everything is as it should be and memory serves, you should now be able to select multiple monitors from this area. You will have to select each and tell Windows to EXTEND your desktop to each one for this to work.

That's the best I can tell you at the moment. Maybe someone else with a similar set up can guide you with an actual step by step process.

But the simple one word answer to your question is: "YES"

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Max-Paul wrote:

Oh Boy, where is the popcorn? I see that the board of education is about to be whipped out.

Better get a Biiiiiiiigggggg bucket, somehow I think this one may take a while.:)
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The odds of someone on this forum having, or having tried that exact combination of hardware is between slim, and none..

Have you found things on other forums where people are saying they have tried that exact combination and had issues? If so, what issues? How close was it to exactly what you want to do?

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I understand on how to extend my desktop via Orville's response above. But from what I read on other forums, the installation of a new video card in the PCI slot will disable the onboard video.

On another forum, a person stated that he re-enabled the onboard video through the BIOS in which he had both video cards (onboard and PCI) operating together.

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OnBoard Video SHOULD NOT be disabled when installing a new video card, mine wasn't. BUT, I do remember that I had to DISABLE the onboard video through the Device Manager, this was AFTER I installed the new drivers for the video card, placed monitor(s) on the new video card, then set them up. Once the added monitors were functioning correctly, then I went back and turned on the onboard video and hence ALL monitors were now accessible.

It is a bit of a tricky process, as well as a bit of a pain to do, but once you get it done and working, it's nice to have those extra monitors avaialble!

I never had to disable the onboard video in my BIOS, nor did the install of the new card change the BIOS status to disabled, nothing should ever change any BIOS settings with the exception of firmware updates/upgrades to the BIOS that you or a tech would do.

BTW: If it did disable the OnBoard Video, just turn it back on {Check the BIOS settings and the Device Manager and just re-enable and you should be good.}

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This response is exactly what I wanted to see.

Thank you very much!!!!

Stan

Orville wrote:

OnBoard Video SHOULD NOT be disabled when installing a new video card, mine wasn't.   BUT, I do remember that I had to DISABLE the onboard video through the Device Manager, this was AFTER I installed the new drivers for the video card, placed monitor(s) on the new video card, then set them up.  Once the added monitors were functioning correctly, then I went back and turned on the onboard video and hence ALL monitors were now accessible.

It is a bit of a tricky process, as well as a bit of a pain to do, but once you get it done and working, it's nice to have those extra monitors avaialble!

I never had to disable the onboard video in my BIOS, nor did the install of the new card change the BIOS status to disabled, nothing should ever change any BIOS settings with the exception of firmware updates/upgrades to the BIOS that you or a tech would do.

BTW: If it did disable the OnBoard Video, just turn it back on {Check the BIOS settings and the Device Manager and just re-enable and you should be good.}


 

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Thanks for the link John, but that is way over my budget. I was hoping to buy a new PC with a cheap 1GB video card.

I only need to run 3 monitors, preferably VGA and DVI connectivity for each.

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Here's my experience with using the onboard video graphics, it sucks the resources of your CPU and memory. This is especially true with older and cheap computers. I know it's tempting to use that video port, but I wouldn't and don't. If you still want to try this route, get an AMD based computer. The graphics engine is built into the CPU and be pretty efficient. Do some research on this, find out with chips are best at this and what price ranges they fall into. I don't know if this is for the cheap CPU's, all of them, or just the better CPU's.

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I know your trying to save money, but I think your going to need to find the right motherboard and video card combo to use the integrated and dedicated graphic chips.

I would recommend getting a PC with two video cards that can link together (Such as crossfire). Then you can get up to four full quality monitors and much better video performance.

Usually in technology you get what you pay for, and a little money upfront may save you headaches down the road.

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First question - what are you trying to do with the extra monitor? if it is just web / text then just get one of these http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-com-usb-vga-external-monitor-video-adapter-16mb-sdram-usb/211406695.html
I have one customer that has 3 of these hooked up, using 4 monitors and loves it. You would not be able to play call of duty, but, it will handle youtube.

First Statement :P - I am a Dell reseller. Dell's disable the onboard video as soon as the see a graphics card installed. I can't tell you about HP.

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Jim Saul wrote:

First question - what are you trying to do with the extra monitor? if it is just web / text then just get one of these http://www.buy.com/prod/startech-com-usb-vga-external-monitor-video-adapter-16mb-sdram-usb/211406695.html
I have one customer that has 3 of these hooked up, using 4 monitors and loves it. You would not be able to play call of duty, but, it will handle youtube.

First Statement :P - I am a Dell reseller. Dell's disable the onboard video as soon as the see a graphics card installed. I can't tell you about HP.

I have a similar device, and it does OK on the sequence editor, but it should not be used for the animation window, or visualizer, unless you like your timings off...
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