AGP/PCI: 3 Monitors

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by waggie945, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. Is the key to running a "third" monitor off a PCI slot video card center around using the same chipset ( in this case NVidia ) as the one being used in your AGP video card, so as to avoid "conflicts"?

    I'm running Windows XP-Pro and have 2 VGA monitors running off the MX440 NVidia 64mb AGP card, and would like to add a third monitor, via a BFG MX440 NVidia 64 mb PCI card.

    Will this work?
    And if so, will Windows XP-Pro simply "recognize" it as New Hardware?


  2. okwon


    I have 3 vid cards all the same chipset and XP just automatically recognized them. Nothing to configure or software to install. I think you can probably use different chipsets, but I wanted to be safe since I had to buy three new ones anyways.
  3. THE key is compatibility... both cards and drivers. Check with NVidia and find out if your addition will work. If not, ask them what will work and get that.

    If XP Pro does not recognize your new card, just install the driver that comes with it.
  4. They don't have to be the same chipset but they do have to be xp compatible. Most card vendors provide a list of compatible o/s's on their sites.
  5. I spoke to a BFG tech and he indicated that if my AGP card was a MX-440 NVidia, then I should probably go with a MX-420 for my PCI.

    He said that going with a MX-440 for my PCI as well, would most likely create "competition" ( and thus conflicts ) with the MX-440 AGP card.

    He also said that the AGP card is most likely set to IRQ #11, and that I should probably go into the BIOS and set the PCI cards IRQ to whatever was open, ie.) 3,5 or 9.

    Anyone ever hear of this?
  6. I'm no expert, but it sounds like you're making this way harder than it is. Just get some used pci cards for $5 and slap them in and see if they work. You certainly don't have to get into changing your machine's setup. XP handles everything.
  7. Funny how another BFG Tech that I spoke to had not heard of any "issues" between the MX-440 and MX-420.

    I'll try and keep it simple.
    Again, thanks for the advice!
  8. Just a final note, I found out that one of the great things about Windows XP is that it finds an open IRQ by itself; thus, there is no real need having to find it yourself via the system set-up, etc.

    Also, it appears that if there is one particular issue with extra video cards in the PCI slot, its POWER CONSUMPTION.

    Most Dell and Gateway computers come with 250watt power supplies. Yet, a P4 at 3.0 Mghrz draws 80 watts, and a 64mb graphics card with say an NVidia MX-440 chipset can draw another 45 watts. Some of the "gaming" AGP cards like ATI's Radeon Pro 9800 with 256mb can draw 70 watts when its really cranking during intense gaming. With a CD-ROM, DVD, an extra drive, and other assorted peripherals 250 watts could be gobbled up quite quickly.

    Of course, our 2-dimensional needs are not that big of a deal.
    Still, it would appear that 250 watts is rather small potatoes in this day and age . . .
  9. Or you could just buy one of the new triple head cards from Matrox. The P750 is around $235 from Matrox - might be able to find it for less from an internet reseller.

    Here's the description:

    Graphics with Accelerator 256-bit GPU with 128-bit DDR memory bus, 64MB DDR memory, High-quality DVD playback AGP 8X, 400 Mhz 10-bit RAMDACs, Advanced multi-display: Triple RGB, Dual-DVI, Dual-display plus TV output
  10. Here's a neat little schematic from Antec regarding how much power your system needs:

    How Much Power Do You Need?

    Line(s) Used

    AGP Video Card
    30 – 50W

    Average PCI Card
    5 – 10W

    10/100 NIC

    SCSI Controller PCI Card
    +3.3V and +5V

    Floppy Drive

    10 – 25W
    +5V and +12V

    10 – 25W
    +5V and +12V

    10 – 25W
    +5V and +12V

    7200rpm IDE Hard Drive
    5 – 20W
    +5V and +12V

    10,000rpm SCSI Drive
    10 – 40W
    +5V and +12V

    Case/CPU Fans
    3W (ea.)

    Motherboard (w/o CPU or RAM)
    25 – 40W
    +3.3V and +5V

    8W per 128MB

    Pentium III Processor

    Pentium 4 Processor

    AMD Athlon Processor

    For overall power supply wattage, add the requirement for each device in your system, then multiply by 1.8. (The multiplier takes into account that today’s systems draw disproportional on the +12V output. Furthermore, power supplies are more efficient and reliable when loaded to 30% - 70% of maximum capacity.)

    - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    By the way, for any of you Serial ATA Hard Drive fans, the WD "Raptor" Serial ATA Drive that runs at 10,000 rpm only draws a little shy of 10 watts!
    #10     Jul 29, 2003