Triple Monitor Setup

By smsnead1
Nov 9, 2006
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  1. First, I want to thank those who responded to my previous questions about PCI video cards and dual monitors. Second, I've only had dual monitors for a little over a day now and I am ready for a third monitor already. How would that work though? Here is what I have...

    ATI Radeon 9250 PCI with 1 VGA and 1 DVI output. Currently I have one Dell 1704FPT hooked up to each connection and my display is spread across both monitors. One annoyance is that every centered window that pops up shows up half on each screen. I believe 3 monitors with a stretched display would eliminate that problem so I would like to add a 3rd Dell 1704FPT to my system. The centered windows would pop up on the middle monitor, correct? For that and other greedy reasons I think I want a 3rd now.

    How would I hook up the 3rd monitor though? I believe I had to turn off my internal AGP to get this PCI video card/dual monitor set up to work properly so I can't use that connection. Would you use something like a y-cable off of the DVI connection? So, you have a VGA running to monitor one and a DVI split to run to monitors #2 and #3? Would that still work with a stretched display?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,284   +262

    You wouldn't split the DVI signal (except with special cards I've only seen on IBM machines) to display on two monitors. Instead, and probably easiest, you would put another PCI card in your machine giving you support for 3 or 4 monitors if you please.
  3. smsnead1

    smsnead1 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks LNCPapa. I don't have any experience with running multiple video cards on one PC. Would the manufacturers software handle that? For example, right now it has display options for monitor #1 and monitor #2. Would it recognize that I had monitors #3 and possibly #4? Would I still be able to view one stretched desktop over 3 monitors? Thanks again.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    AFAIK you cannot have stretched output across multiple video cards. You'd need a quad-head vid card for that (Matrox).
  5. smsnead1

    smsnead1 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks Nodsu. Again, I've never run multiple video cards so I'm not sure what to expect or if this is even doable with my current configuration so bear with me. Assume I install a 2nd PCI video card and hook up one additional monitor to it (3 total w/2 off of 1st PCI). What kind of display would I have if it were NOT "stretched"? How would you get applications onto that 3rd monitor. Obviously with a "stretched" display you can just drag them into that monitor. I guess I'm a little confused by how that would work. Thanks again.
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    With your "stretched" layout you have the taskbar running across both monitors as if both of them were one big display, right?

    In a "non-stretched" setup you would have the taskbar only on one of the monitors. You can still drag windows to the other desktops no problem.

    You can get third-party software that gives you multiple taskbars and suchlike that makes multiple monitors a bit more convenient. Take a look at UltraMon for example.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,456   +288

    Its all in the driver display settings on how it handles 2 monitors. I noticed you complaining about the dialog boxes popping up split between 2 screens, you can change that, so it will popup centered on monitor 1.
  8. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,284   +262

    Sorry about that - I forgot that you said it was for gaming - and Nodsu was right on - you cannot stretch it across multiple monitors with multiple cards for this purpose except in special circumstance (some flight sims). Sorry for the misinformation.
  9. wobblecoast

    wobblecoast Newcomer, in training

    i'm having problems with hooking a third monitor up. I'm using a duel monitor card AGP card with a pci card made by the same company and are compatable. not for gaming for work.
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