Dual Monitors with ATI 8500, etc.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DisciplinedHedg, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Apologies first. I'm pretty experienced with putting together PC systems, but I've never done a dual monitor before.

    I have a few questions...

    Using 2 crt Viewsonic Monitors, I'm interested in using the ATI 8500 for dual monitors. Do I need one or two video cards?

    I'm assuming its one, please correct me if I'm wrong. And with one, how exactly to you attach the 2 monitor cables because the video cards seem to have only 1 outlet?

    Also, I've heard it mentioned that if you don't want to be restricted to "dual monitor" capable video cards, that you could just use any good video card and just use the multiple monitor setting in Windows XP. Does anyone have experience with this?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. echo


    My ATI 8500 has two video ports on the back. They both work fine for me (running two LCD monitors).
  3. How do you connect two regular CRT monitors with the ATI Radeon 8500?

    As I understand it, there is only one 15-pin VGA connector on the video card.
  4. echo


    I don't know if OEM versions are different, but my 8500 has one regular VGA connector and one DVI connector. The card comes with a DVI-to-VGA adapter so that you can attach a regular analog monitor to the DVI port.
  5. nitro


    If it is a standard VGA connector on the back, the card supports only one monitor.

    On the Matrox cards, there is only one connector on the back, but it is a proprietary connector, that, with their cable, can connect to two monitors.

    IMHO, getting multiple cards (that each support only one monitor) to do Multi-Monitor setups is a bad idea for three reasons:

    1) unless you get a server style machine, the number of PCI slots are limited.

    2) The IRQ's are taken up by something else. Today, two cards can share an IRQ, but I have seen problems with this where you have to figure out just which two are happy together.

    3) It is really hard to expand beyond two monitors (because of 1 and 2) above.

    The Matrox G550 dual DVI is about $150 street. What is wrong with getting one of those?

  6. kowboy



    You only need one ATI 8500 dual video card to run two monitors. It would be an AGP card and will run two monitors. It will have two external connectors on it. One will be a VGA which will run a CRT monitor directly. The other will be a DVII connector. There is an adapter supplied which goes from dvii to AVG for the second CRT monitor.

    There was a previous lengthy thread about video cards, etc, that was quite informative and worth reading if you can find it.

    A word of caution if you want to run more than two monitors later on. ATI sent me an email saying they do not support my configuration. So the four monitors I'm running, two off the AGP 8500, and the other two off ATI 7200, PCI cards, is not supported by them.

    Also, worth consideration is responsiveness and thoroughness, or lack thereof, of tech support.

    My choice today would lean towards a Matrox card because they support four monitors with their quad card.

    It appears that others are happy with Matrox, as Nitro suggests.

    Did you already purchase the Viewsonic monitors?
  7. pellaz


    I too am setting up my first multi-monitor PC system.

    I have ordered a Matrox G200MMS Quad, and have been setting up the physical positions of two CRT's (one 20inch and one 17inch), and two Eizo L365's.

    Question: How long can monitor cables be without signal quality problems? The 17inch has the monitor cable permanently attached, and it's the one I want to hang on the wall above the desk...furthest from the computer.

    Are extentions ok to use?

  8. echo


    As long as you use a high quality shielded cable, you can run pretty long lengths without ghosting problems. Here is one site for such cables:

  9. Koyboy,

    Yes I've already purchased my 2nd Viewsonic monitor.

    I bought another CRT simply because I wanted the identical monitor as my 1st so my eyes dont have to adjust to different monitors. Would have liked to get LCDS but the technology seems to be advancing fast, cost decelerating fast, and while they are chique I don't absolutely need the most chique or spacesaving monitors. At 19' theres a huge price difference btwn comparable quality LCDS and CRTS.

    Call me a penny pincher.

    Incidently, dell is having a huge promotion right now on peripherals. No shipping over $100. No tax in most places. 2 stackable coupons - one for 10% off, another for $25 off. The savings is huge when using this altogether. I bet they're trying to pump their numbers at quarter end, as the monitor I have is not in stock but on their website says in stock (to get people to place the order?). But CRT LCD whatever you want. Go to dealsaver.com for the coupon codes under dell.
    #10     Mar 30, 2002