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  1. #1

    Dual monitor, PCI vs dual card

    I have a TI4200 that supports dual monitors. I also have a 3D drawing app that supports dual monitors.

    My questions is, should I add a decent PCI video card for the second monitor or should I just plug into the existing card?

    At first thought I'd assume that the PCI card will offload all the work involved in the second monitor and thus be faster but 1) since the information in the scene will remain the same, perhaps it would be a waste of money/hardware, perhaps it would even be slower.

    And:
    2) Would my CPU have to send info to the two cards separately, slowing things down?
    3) Is "Dual RAMDAC" all I need/want/"the best"? (The TI has that)

  2. #2
    Member RadRacer's Avatar
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    Its really going to depend on how you want your dual monitors set up. I personally didnt want my start bar to extend across both screens, so I went with a GF4 and another PCI card. The nView setup will be more stable though. I'd think for your 3d app, you're going to need that stability, so go for using the Ti4200.
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  3. #3
    Member ninthebin's Avatar
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    well it has a dual 350MHz ramdac...so I cant see the load taking anymore strain than use two seperate ramdacs, plus if the ramdac on the pci card is old you maynot get the resolutions/refresh rates colour depths you desire, I used my Ti4200 for dual monitors for a few months a whle back (gave away my DVI-VGA converter so cant atm ) - no slowdown from it.

    also you mention of information in teh scene...the NV25 will be doing the processing here (as well as your cpu) - the second monitor from using dual ramdacs will not support hardware acceleration on the second monitor - whether this is a limit of that, as if you had a single ramdac with two outputs (so you could display one thing on two monitors) then I dont know whether that would then support hardware acceleration or using a second card altogether, but I doubt it as the second card will be used as a go between for your second monitor, it will not be rendering any scenes.

  4. #4
    Member JDXNC's Avatar
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    Either Way will be fine I think, I have a PCI S3 Virge 8MB for my second monitor, no good for gaming but I do all that on my GF2 GTS on my primary monitor, The S3 is more than enough for anything windows throws at it, resolution and refresh are both well good enough.

    So take you pick, but seeing as you already have a dual output card you might as well go with that.

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  5. #5
    Originally posted by ninthebin
    the second monitor from using dual ramdacs will not support hardware acceleration on the second monitor
    Sorry I'm a bit surprised. You're saying that the secondary monitor will have no hardware acceleration capability? That makes it useless to me.

    My application supports dual monitors in only one way, by allowing 3D viewer windows to be dragged outside the program window - and to another monitor. The whole purpose is to have an area that won't get cluttered with tools to show the scene in 3D, while the main view is a 3D workspace (as messy as most real-life workshops).

    This app (trueSpace) positions the tools directly in the workspace for quick accessibility but sometimes you like to be able to see what you're working on too...

  6. #6
    Member ninthebin's Avatar
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    i dunno about 3d programs...(should have tested a map editor) - but when I tried to play games it basically just kept the desktop on the second monitor, after a quick google I read that the second wont perform under D3D or OGL conditions, whether this is true and you cant use it for games, or the game itself needs to have support I dont know, I should have looked around more.

    I did have problems with DVD players not displaying the film if I tried to put that on the second monitor, again whether or not this was a limitation of the software or my hardware setup I dont know, I only used it for a few months and its gone now

  7. #7
    Member baqai's Avatar
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    i think you should stick with your ti4200 i don't like nview so i use this kick ass proggie "ultramon" i strongly suggest you download and check it out it gives you heaps of options for your dual monitor setup

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  8. #8
    Member illig's Avatar
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    hmm... windows only supports 3D acceleration on the primary card, so if you run a separate PCI card, your 3D app will definitely not be able to render on the 2nd screen...

    not sure about the acceleration on the 2nd ramdac of the primary card tho.. i guess try it?

  9. #9
    All that is Man! RangerJoe's Avatar
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    im running dual monitors right now, and its going fine with my ti4200 alone. i have my start bar on the left monitor, and the right monitor is just for other stuff
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  10. #10
    Member RadRacer's Avatar
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    Actually I stand corrected. I was at a friend's house today and apparently nView has been drastically improved since the last time I used it. The new drivers are a lot better than the old stuff.
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  11. #11
    Member ninthebin's Avatar
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    hmm... windows only supports 3D acceleration on the primary card, so if you run a separate PCI card, your 3D app will definitely not be able to render on the 2nd screen...
    not sure about the acceleration on the 2nd ramdac of the primary card tho.. i guess try it?
    well that clears that up, as I was wonder that but vice versa, as the 2nd ramdac doesnt support 3d acceleration...ah well

  12. #12
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    Okay, im running dual monitors at the moment from my GF4 Ti4600, I have had NO problems what so ever, setting up was easy, using them is easy...Its ace...The drivers are good, the extra nVidia titlebar tools are very handy (its got a maximise to monitor button the most useful of all of them, as the windows maximise, maximises to the whole 2 monitors)
    I also have the start bar going across both monitors, which is fine, just more room for windows down there, it takes a couple of hours to get used to properly though, I have hundreds of icons on my desktop now, and now, i can have two beautiful girls on two seperate monitors! ace! window managing is easy...

    I dont think there are any good PCI cards, full stop. Anyway, if you really must get one they are not only pricy but you will also want to get on of the same manufactoror, so if you have an nVidia card in the agp slot, then you will want a nVidia PCI card, then one set of drivers can control them both...which will mean that it will actually work.

    I dont really know what you are talking about when you say that the second monitor doesnt get 3d acceleration...My setup works fine, If i can run a game in full res then i will (2048x768) and it works a treat...

    Ugmore Baggage you have a Ti4200 I dont see why you would have any problems just putting a DVI>VGA adapter on your card and using that, it will be one hell of a lot better than any crap PCI cards you can get - and a lot cheaper too.

    just my two cents...

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