Should I give up on three monitors?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by alanack, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. alanack


    I have a 1.6 GHz P4 with 896 ram, with XP home. When I added an agp Matrox G450 dual head and a second monitor I experienced 100% cpu usage, freezing up, etc. I reinstalled XP, updated bios, and other similar things, and everything works fine with two monitors. This week I added a pci Matrox G450 dual head card and a third monitor, and I was back experiencing the same problems mentioned above. One curious thing was I was only running three charts, plus MBTrading, and it worked fine when all the charts were on the two agp monitors. When I would move a chart to the third(pci) monitor, cpu usage would slowly but surely ramp up to 100% and stay pegged there(with attendant paralysis). In other words, no more was being asked of the computer, it was just going through the pci card. I've read on this site there are problems with multiple monitors with P4's with Intel 850e chipsets, and there are also problems with video card driver conflicts. Any ideas would be really appreciated.

  2. This isn't much of a suggestion, and I'm assuming you'll get something helpful from other ETers, but ..... If you can't get anything worked out and you still want to run 3+ monitors, (a) get a different computer with 845 chipset, and (b) run Win2000.

    If your system is hosing up your trading, might as well cut your losses. (F-Trader is running a big system with 6 monitors... he's got an 845 chipset board and Win2000. I run 4 monitors and a TV tuner on an 845 board)... no problems with the hardware. :D

    PS We've heard enough about problems with 850 chipset and multiple monitors... crappy way to find out, eh?
  3. did you try's forums or their tech sup yet??

    another thing that may help is ditching home edition and getting 2000 pro or XP pro - the pro version usually makes a huge difference...

    FWIW, i used to have 4 monitors, but about 6mos ago i went down to 2 - they're more than enough...
  4. You may simply be experiencing a conflicting sharing of resources due to the slot occupied by your PCI card. It's not unusual in a motherboard for one of the PCI slots to share resources with the AGP slot (in short, you can't have cards in both slots at the same time). Typically PCI slot 1 is "tied" to the AGP card. Plug something into that PCI slot and you're in trouble; although in that case the trouble is usually of the "won't boot to the OS" kind (your OS will freeze on loading).

    Remove all other PCI cards (net card, sound card) before experimenting with this. Also make sure that your BIOS is set to recognize the AGP card in priority.

    After making sure that you have the right drivers installed and removing all other PCI cards, try switching the PCI video card to another slot.

    For drivers, you can go to the microsoft update site and let it look at your system for an automated update.

  5. And check to be sure you have the latest Matrox driver - you'll have to go to the Matrox website, doubt it'll be part of Windows Update.
  6. It's pretty good at detecting and updating nVidia type drivers. Your mileage may vary :)
  7. Hang in there.
  8. As I was reading up on chipsets, one article referred to the 850 as "845's older brother". I presume that means the 850 came before the 845?... And, the 845 improved on the weakness of 850, especially in handling monitors > 2? ?? Just a thought. :D
  9. Drop by your local geek store (computer store) and let them iron out your problems.

    I used to spend hours/days on various assorted multiple monitor problems, etc. I finally realized my time was better spent trading!!

    Spend a few bucks and get the job done correctly and quickly.

    Don't let this happen to you!


  10. You make a very good point regarding the AGP slot on the Motherboard and the PCI slots.

    In an "old" Compaq that I had ( P2-300 ) I had to "disable" the AGP slot. Not sure if this is still true on the "newer" computers, but it certainly makes sense regarding "compatability" issues.

    Sometimes less, is more!
    #10     Jan 30, 2003