Problem 1: Who makes your FX 5500, like what manufacturer? Just because a card has two outs (VGA and DVI) doesn't mean it can always support dual monitors.
Problem 2: It's not really the amount of memory that a video card has that determines its potential. The FX5500 is pretty old now, what with nVidia on their 8000 series. Probably shoulda gone with something like a 6600. Also remember this, running two monitors at the same time will greatly reduce the performance.
I just bought an AGP card (GeForce FX 5500, 256mg) to put into my P4, 2.4mhz Dell Dimension 4550 with 756MB of RAM running XP SP2. The card has a VGA and DVI port, so I wanted to add a second monitor, using a DVI-VGA adapter for the second LCD. The documentation that came with the card is scant at best, so I'm hoping someone can provide some feedback.
Problem 1. No matter how I configure things in display settings and in the nvidia desktop software, I cannot get the vid card to treat the monitors as separate. In the nvidia software, it bundles both monitors together (Dell and Sony). That is, when I'm identifying the primary monitor, the drop down menu items lists BOTH monitors as one item (Dell and Sony). The SAME option is in the drop down for the seconday monitor. Further confirming this is that when I ask for the monitors to be "identified" in either display settings or nvidia desktop, both monitors are labelled the same way (e.g., both display as "1" or "Dell FP")
I found some documentation on the nvidia web site that seems to indicate that there is an issue in that the drivers will not recognize both ports as independent - and this issue will not be fixed. This sounds nuts to me, so I might not be interpreting it correctly.
Problem 2. For whatever reason, this 256mb card does not perform better than my old 64mb card: I drag a video window and it trails, stutters and "tears". Plus, my PC seems slightly slower with this card.
What gives, folks? Is it simply not possible to configure two separate monitors so my desktop spans both with this setup? And barring a second monitor, why is my performace actually worse?