PC Hardware forum


3 Monitors. Will this work Not sure if this is possible?

by ac1818 / February 19, 2013 12:41 PM PST


I am looking to have a three monitor setup for my desktop computer
I am currently using two 19 inch monitors (DVI & VGA), and I plan on adding a spare 21inch monitor (DVI).

The two monitors are currently connected to my Nvidia 9500GT (Single graphics card with a VGA, DVI & HDMI) and my motherboard does not have onboard graphics.

Is there anyway I can get three monitors working, without upgrading my graphics card or adding another one?

Perhaps an adapter, or splitter? I do not mind if I can get two duplicated monitors and 1 extended desktop

Thanks so much in advance
Hope I provided enough information

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All Answers

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Since the card might do 2 displays.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 19, 2013 10:55 PM PST

How would it drive 3? There are VGA SPLITTERS but for the money, why not a SEWELL USB VIDEO CARD?

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I was thinking an adapter of some sort or splitter
by ac1818 / February 20, 2013 6:56 AM PST

Thanks for your response Bob. I will think about the SEWELL USB VIDEO CARD.
But would both options allow this to be achieved effectively?

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What is effectively?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 20, 2013 7:01 AM PST

We know the card might do 2 displays. Some 9500 models were single display only. Drove the owners mad as a few models did that.

Those USB video cards can cost as much as the splitter so I'd call those effective.

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Sorry. Let me explain
by ac1818 / February 20, 2013 4:10 PM PST
In reply to: What is effectively?

I know the card does 2 displays, since I currently have two setup.
I am currently hoping to add a third display

Based on your response, it looks like both the splitter and the USB video cards will allow me to do this.

Can you please tell me what type of splitter I would be looking at specifically?

I don't know a lot about splitters, so maybe a link would be helpful


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Link to splitter.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2013 12:49 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry. Let me explain

Remember this only duplicates a display. It will NEVER give you a third display capable of it's own content.

-> http://sewelldirect.com/VGA-Splitter-450-MHz-2-port.asp

But since the USB video card runs about as much and gives you a real third display, I wonder why I would not do that.

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I see.
by ac1818 / February 21, 2013 6:48 PM PST
In reply to: Link to splitter.

Thanks for the link and your response once again
I was thinking the splitter would be a simple y-shaped cable, that converts one input into two.

I will follow your advice, and have a look at a USB video card, since it is the same price range as the splitter.
May I ask whether I will have any problems with quality, in comparision with a monitor connected to a graphics card?
I plan to use this third monitor for watching videos and displaying photos.

Lastly, I thought of adding another graphics card, however since I only have one PCI express slot, I cannot do this. I have spare PCI slots Are there any other options?

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You can get those cables on Ebay
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2013 12:07 AM PST
In reply to: I see.

Usually they don't work. In fact I've never seen such work. Besides you never told if a duplicate display is acceptable. It seems odd to want the same thing on one screen to be on another. Most folk want email on one and something else on another.

As to slots, video cards are available for all those slots. Are telling me that in your area no one has such. Very strange.

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EXAMPLE PCI video card.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2013 2:59 AM PST

I think there are 40 models there. But if I wanted to add such I'd look for the usual 5450 such as follows.

You wrote you have PCI Express but all these posts and didn't reveal the make/model PC.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102882 is cheaper and works in most units without upgrading the power supply. (this will drive 2 displays.)
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I see
by ac1818 / February 22, 2013 6:31 PM PST

A duplicate display is acceptable, however on second thoughts I would much prefer and extended desktop.
So now I have a number of choices. Thankyou Bob for your help so far. You have been very helpful

Sorry for not including make/model pc. This is a custom built pc with a Gigabyte GA 965P-S3 motherboard with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor, 4GB RAM and an Nvidia 9500GT

So as mentioned the PCI Express Slot is used with the Nvidia card I mentioned in my original post, which is driving my two monitors.

Give my motherboard model, are you saying that I could add a standard PCI graphics card to power up a third monitor? Please clarify that.? Is that a good option.....

If so I might go for this instead of a USB video card.

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Not only will I say it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2013 2:20 AM PST
In reply to: I see

But I've used PCI video cards in the past to get another 1 or 2 displays.

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Nice. Thanks
by ac1818 / February 23, 2013 7:16 AM PST

I will consider your advice.

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Have tried a PCI Card. Any advice please?
by ac1818 / February 28, 2013 6:50 PM PST
In reply to: Nice. Thanks

Thanks Bob for your help so far.
I found an Nvidia FX5200 128mb PCI Card. I was wondering if I could use that to power my third monitor.

If so I am not sure how to configure both graphics cards to work together. I know I can choose my primary graphics card in the BIOS.

If not what type of PCI card will work

Please assist

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Should work
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2013 11:46 PM PST

If the old card is good. It's pretty old now so let's hope you don't lose time over a bum card.

I can't assist you further as I'm not there to plug in the card and try it. I could be wrong about this but it seems you think there is more to this.

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No, its just that in past it has not worked with pci cards
by ac1818 / March 1, 2013 6:38 AM PST
In reply to: Should work

Thanks for your response.
Anyway, I will try another PCI card if you suggest that it does not work due to the card being too old.
I don't mind wasting time. I just want to have a good outcome at the end. The Nvidia FX5200 works by itself but I cannot get them to function together. Any ideas?

I will try another newer card if I can get one and let you know.

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Sadly I'm going to write don't do it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2013 7:17 AM PST

While I've never seen it fail here, I'm sure that there are motherboards that this does not work on or the owner is not installing drivers or adept at Windows and multiple display setups.

I can't see why it didn't work given the clues and there is no tutorial that I can share that isn't on the web so this makes me think there is something odd about this PC or the Windows installed on it.

For example, I did find one PC that refused to go multi-monitor and finally we found it. The owner had used a registry and other cleaners which damaged the OS. We slipped in a blank HDD, installed Windows and it worked. They wanted it to work in the damaged OS and we could not help them.

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I see
by ac1818 / March 1, 2013 4:03 PM PST

Thanks Bob again for your help. Is there anything I might be missing? The don't think I have any software issues on my PC since I have tried to use this PCI card in addition to a PCI-e on another machine, with no success. As I said in the past I have never heard of having two cards with two different interfaces work simultaneously.
Maybe a conflict between the two Nvidia drivers?

THe problem is that when I install the driver for the PCI card (Nvidia FX5200) I get a yellow symbol next to the Nvidia 9500GT saying "Windows ha stopped this device because it has reported problems". Do you think it may be a motherboard limitation?

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I wish that happened to me.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2013 3:19 AM PST
In reply to: I see

Sorry but I've used a multitude of cards to get 4 or more displays up over the years. We used such for trade shows. I can't guess why your PC didn't just work.

The 5200 however is over a decade old and since it didn't work on other machines I'm left to guess it's just an old dead card.

As to drivers. Without installing any drivers we could go multi monitor. Just could not use the higher resolutions.

As it stands, I can't really tell what's amiss but a 5200 is so old it is not a choice I would make.

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Oh, I see.
by ac1818 / March 2, 2013 7:49 AM PST

The 5200 works by itself if it is chosen as the primary card, and it has been taken out of a working machine so there are not problems with it. I highly doubt it is a dead card,

When I install the 5200 drivers, then the 9500GT gets a yellow caution symbol in device manager. Likewise the same the other way around. I will keep trying just in case

Not sure if I am missing something?
Anyway I actually have another Nvidia 9500GT lying around, but due to the lack of another pci-e slot, I cannot add that, unless I upgrade my motherboard.

I am guessing to setup the multiple monitors from the 2 cards, I would have to be able to see both in the Display category of Control Panel right, which is not happening?

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Are you doing anything odd?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2013 9:20 AM PST
In reply to: Oh, I see.

Such as removing drivers? I usually just install one, then the next and it works.

However the age of the 5200 is not a good thing. The drivers may not be up to mixing video cards. It's a shame that's all you have to work with.

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Docking station with monitor port
by noakes1 / March 1, 2013 8:54 AM PST
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Need BIV and extra card
by lokerd / March 2, 2013 9:58 AM PST

I have three monitors on a really low end system. Ironically, even though the base computer is pretty bottom of the line, it does allow for the video on the motherboard to be enabled even when video card with two ports was installed and enabled. So, I have three monitors as one large extended desktop and it is very convenient. The best part is that I use a monitoring system in my lab and it allows me to broadcast my far right screen to the student's screen, project my middle screen to a screen, and still keep my far left screen that is neither broadcast nor displayed. Not sure what you need to do exactly, but thought I would let you know it is possible and worth the effort to get it set up. This is the second computer to be able to configure with the three monitors, and secrete has been 1) a motherboard with built in video and 2) a dual display card that allows the BIV to still work. Good luck!

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Continue Here
by ac1818 / March 2, 2013 10:20 AM PST

No, nothing odd.
I have the 9500GT driver already installed, so I just install the next one.

Maybe the age of the card. I will try again, just in case.

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