Video cards: running digital & analog monitors together

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by learninglisted, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. I currently have a CRT and an LCD. I've decided to take the plunge and upgrade by saying bye-bye to the CRT and getting two more LCDS.

    So I'll have 3 LCDs.

    The problem is that 2 of the LCDs are digital and one analog.

    What cards that don't cost 50 shares of MSFT are out there that can run both digitally and analog at the same time?

    I checked w/Matrox: Both their Millenium P750 and Parhellia cards can run three LCDs, BUT only in analog mode (they can run two digital ones together).

    Their solution is their very expensive new G450 Quad cards that runs several hundred dollars.

    The 2 new LCDs I'm getting are each capable of running digital or analog, so I could go with the cheaper cards.

    Sometimes I see used G200 MMS Quad cards on Ebay and they usually go for about 150 bucks. Anyone using those? Is 32 MB between 3 or 4 monitors enough for trading purposes? The Parhellia goes for $399 and the P750 for $235.

    And of course, the endless debate topic: Is there a big difference between digital and analog quality? FWIW, my current LCD, a Samsung, is analog and looks terrific. I don't know if that's because Samsung is just an excellent brand, but if my two new Dells look as good I'll be very happy.

    If analog is suitable I'm leaning toward the P750 as I'm willing to pay a little more for a new item from the manufacturer than a cheaper used card from Ebay and someone I don't know.

    Also, for those suggesting two video cards at the same time, I'd rather go with just one for simplicity's sake and to avoid installation and compatibility hassles. Besides, two decent cards will almost run me as much as a single P750...
  2. As has been noted a few times in this Forum, as well as in reviews at and there really isn't a visual difference in the displays of an analog or digital input signal.

    Besides, the cable that is required for DVI costs an additional $50.00 per monitor, and most LCD manufacturers "rarely" include anything more than a VGA cable.

    Something to think about.
  3. The Radeon7000/ATI supports both VGA & DVI(dual monitor). I've bought them for $32.00 from
  4. I have a basic 64mb Nvdia MX-440 type grahics card in my AGP slot that came with my Dell 8300 computer. It contains inputs for both VGA and DVI as most AGP slot cards do. I also have a 64mb Nvdia MX-440 "Mad Dog" graphics card in my PCI slot that powers a third monitor.

    True, finding a decent PCI slot graphics card is getting more and more difficult these days. The PCI cards are going the way of the dinosaur. Yet, with a $30.00 rebate, the "Mad-Dog" card cost me $59.95 at my local Office Max, and even comes with a fan that is mounted on the chipset of the card.

    There were no compatibility or set-up issues at all on my Windows XP. By the way, I'm running 2 CRTS and 1 LCD.

    I believe that the Matrox P-750 card that has 64mb of RAM runs $229.28 at

    If you are interested in the Matrox card, make sure that you go to the Matrox website and check the Troubleshooting Forum. From reading many of the questions in the Forum, it appears that there are definitely some "compatibility" issues with that card.
  5. keeda


    My first suggestion would be to get 2 dual monitor cards (1 analog 1 digital port) by the same manufacturer. This cuts down on compatibility issues. To enhance this suggestion, buy off Ebay but not the lastest and greatest. Get the previous version of the manufacturer. This will cut your costs.

    My second suggestion would be to get a Quad card that is all DVI. This way, all you would have to do is obtain a DVI to VGA converter. Again, buy off Ebay, unless you want the lastest and greatest. You will have less worry about the future as well since monitors are moving to the DVI standard.

    You can run four monitors off of 32mb video RAM. I have for the last two years. (just upgraded to a 64mb quad card from Appain). Most Quad cards today either have 64 or 128(?). If you use thousands of colors with 1280x1024 rez, 32megs will be enough for trading but that is the minimum I would recommend. I only use Appain cards in my machines so I cannot comment of other brands.
  6. Waggie, you saved me a bunch of money and time with this suggestion! Turns out the Matrox P750 and Parhelia can only run multiple monitors in STRETCHED mode, not independently.


  7. No problem my friend.

    I think that the Software and Hardware Forums are the BEST part about ET. I have learned an awful lot from other members here as well.

    One thing to note:

    While a previous poster stated that most LCD manufacturers are moving to DVI, I would remind him as well as others that the displays are virtually IDENTICAL in quality whether you use DVI or VGA inputs. Furthermore, most manufacturers DO NOT include DVI monitor cables and you have to go out and purchase them at $55.00 a pop!

    The only LCD manufacturer that I have noticed that also includes DVI cables with your monitor purchase is PLANAR.
  8. for $25 plus shipping. It's an AGP card, and has one digital and one analog output. PM me if interested. I've just been too lazy to put it on Ebay.

    BTW, I bought the Samsung 191T's and they came with both analog and DVI cables included.

    And yes, I could tell the difference when I upgraded to a dual DVI card, though it wasn't a big difference. I went almost a year with analog and digital side by side.

  9. I'm curious due to an earlier post by JoeTrader who said that you needed a "Y-Splitter" to go plug into the DVI output of the AGP card, along with the DVI Cable . . .

    Did you have to use a "Y-Splitter" or did you just simply plug the DVI cable from the Samsung 191T into your DVI port of the AGP card?
  10. There are several versions of the G550. Originally, I bought the one that has a separate DVI and analog outputs. I had 1 monitor connected to the analog output and one to the DVI output. BTW, you can also run 2 analogs from this card - they include an adaptor for the DVI output to make it analog.

    Eventually, I bought Matrox's splitter cable only to discover that it doesn't plug into a plain DVI output. It only connects to a special "dual DVI" output that comes on a different version of the card.

    So I had this expensive cable laying around and eventually bought a true dual DVI card that the cable works with once the budget allowed.

    There is a noticeable difference between analog and digital outputs on side by side monitors. But it's not bad, I went almost a year with it. If it had been bad I would have upgraded much sooner.

    #10     Sep 1, 2003