P4 and dual monitors

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by stokhack, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. stokhack


    Looking to purchase new dell P4 or Xeon system configured for two or more monitors. Presently running Windows 98 SE with two monitors, no problems but after reading these threads obviously it could be better.
    Also remember seeing somewhere here that some P4 motherboards are difficult to get multimonitors to work. Anyway if any techs know what would be the best specs would be appreciated.
    Dell does not offer the Matrox450 only the ATI Radeon VE at a reasonable cost(NvidiaQuadro $500 xtra, not).
    Also 512MB ram or 1GB, machine will only be used for trading but will expand to four monitors.
    Thanks to all.
  2. I wanted to be sure of what OS you WILL be running. You say that you are presently running 98SE. It can be next to impossible to install more than two monitors on that particular operating system. Unless you are a tech guru, that is a different story. XP is a piece of cake and a heck of allot quicker.

    A P4 motherboard indeed can be difficult to supprt > 2 monitors, unless your running XP.

    I would also like to know what additional cards you have preinstalled or will be installing. Sometimes, with 98SE, even with a ton of RAM, if you have an ethernet card, audio card, etc. along with a big phat multi-monitor card, and a PS2 type mouse, etc. you will readily and easily run out of available IRQs. This will literally prevent your system from booting up.

    If this Dell is NEW, I am assuming you will be running XP. In that case, be sure to match all of your video cards, especially the one that comes factory installed from Dell. Do not get a GeForce 440 or something from NVDA and than try a Matrox or ATI. When you mix these different vendors, there is codec in the software of the drivers that simply will not let it work. Or the scenario happens, you get the newest card installed and it takes over your system board.

    Since Dell does offer the ATI double monitor card, see if they cant put 2 in. THey are a great price from Dell, and at least you will have the machine coming to you 100% ready to go.
  3. check out ebay and ubid. they are closing out year end dump of ibm mpro workstations. they are dual xeon processor capable and have high-end graphics cards in them. read the fine print as warranties go from 30 days to three years. you can get a great machine for between $900.00 and $1300.00.
  4. gnome


    Have read on ET about those having trouble with multiple monitors on P4. Must be a MB/chipset specific issue, as I have P4, 4 single cards (one's also a tuner)... all works fine on Win2K.

    I've been told by ATI tech that ATI's drivers do not support other cards along with the dualhead VE. I've heard someone else say he's running VE + others with a "universal" driver that is not ATI supported. (NOT 2 ATI VEs, however)

    Look into it thoroughly before you buy cards. If I were you and didn't already have a plan, I'd either go with 4, compatible, single ATI cards (because we know that works) or some Matrox or nVidia pairs/quad that others say they are using. No benefit to reinventing the wheel here. Getting incompatible video drivers onto your HD can create one Hell of a mess! :cool:
  5. Ken_DTU


    gnome, interesting - hey what m/b and vid cards are you using? curious.. I want to get a p4 m/b running w/4+ cards would be great.. it's the intel 850e chipset on some p4 boards that apparently has a hard time w/multiple agp + pci cards..

    the matrox parhelia works fine on my intel p/4 m/b for 3 monitors.. fwiw..


  6. gnome


    I don't know what MB, can't find identifier... bought from Dell. It has an 845 chipset, though... had to reinstall it once.
    ATI cards all run on the Rage Pro engine... one generation back, but still work great... most important, I think, is that they all run from the same ATI universal driver. No fans, less heat.

    All in Wonder 128 PCI
    Xpert2000 Pro AGP
    Xpert 128 PCI (2)

    Now that you brought it up, I think I'll email Dell tech and ask them about the MB model. Ping me back if you want to know... probably won't have an answer for 24-48 hrs.

  7. I am running an ATI Radeon VE from Dell on a newer Dell P4 machine with dual 19" monitors, W2K and no problems (with the video anyway). 2560x1280 true color.

    In answer to your other question: if you can afford it, go with the 1GB of RAM even if you have to drop down a few MHZ on the processor. More RAM is always better than a minimally faster processor.
  8. gnome


    Maybe yes, maybe no. I'd suggest getting one stick of 256 or 512. Then, after you've set your page file and loaded your full tading package, check Task Manager and see how much memory you're using. If you max out at say 400mb, and you've got 512 (or even 256 + 512 page file = 768), then adding more Ram is probably a waste.

    Just check before you load up on the ram is all I'm suggesting. (I run about a dozen apps + 4 monitors and a video tuner... max memory usage I've ever seen on this system is 470mb) :D
  9. It may seem like a waste today, but wait until the next version of Office, or Windows, or whatever comes out. Then the memory may be fully utilized. There's nothing worse than slow performance due to excessive paging to the hard drive. Think about when machines had 4MB of ram and 16MB seemed like a waste.
    #10     Jan 27, 2003