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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my HTPC setup to run on my SharpZ1000 (via DVI) using powerstrip (custom resolution)

I want to also connect a flat panel monitor to my Radeon 9800 for doing day-to-day computer stuff like email etc, without having to use my projector to do this (as much as I like the big screen, it's not practica during daylight hours as I can't control ambient light).

I know that I can't plug in both a RGB flat panel AND my projector (DVI) simultaneously, therefore I'm trying to figure a way of 'switching' between the projector running DVI and a flat panel running DVI or RGB connections.

It's a complete pain to have to physically swap the cables each time, so I was wondering if there were other options available?

I know tht ATI sell the FireGL card with Dual DVI, but the price tag is pretty scary, and I've just shelled out a bunde to build my HTPC.

Are there any switches available to do this, apart from asking the missus to get up and swap the cables? ;)


Thanks.
 

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You could:


1. buy a video card with dual DVI out, like the FireGL as you mentioned or the Martox Parhelia. (However, most people prefer ATI for displaying DVD.)


2. buy a DVI switch. This is still very pricey. If interested do a search for details.


3. buy a second video card with DVI for an open PCI slot.


BTW: I went with #3 (9700Pro for my PJ and a Matrox G450 for my LCD)

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Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

I didn't think t would be possible to have 2 graphics cards in the same computer?

How does Windoes XP know which one to use, or does it simply use both of them - i.e. matrox oututting to flat panel via DVI, and Radeon to Pj using DVI?

This can happen without conflict?
 

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I've got an nVidia card with dual DVI output. I forget which model it is, but mine is actually a rebranded Asus model. It works great for DVD and general office work. I like it better than my dual-head ATI Radeon 7200 which I have in my HTPC.


Jake
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Webwalker
Thanks for the reply.

I didn't think t would be possible to have 2 graphics cards in the same computer?

How does Windoes XP know which one to use, or does it simply use both of them - i.e. matrox oututting to flat panel via DVI, and Radeon to Pj using DVI?

This can happen without conflict?
My understanding is that XP simply sees them as 2 individual devices. It's like having 2 network cards or 2 sound cards in a system.


The only concern I would have is if you use cards which use the same drivers (e.g. ATI with CAT drivers for their 9x00 series ). I am not sure that something in your registry or some place else does not get messed up. That's the reason why I went with an ATI 9700Pro (AGP) and a Matrox G450 (PCI). I can run them both in parallel, individually, with different solutions, extended or unextended desktops, etc.


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Axel
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by janovetz
I've got an nVidia card with dual DVI output. I forget which model it is, but mine is actually a rebranded Asus model. It works great for DVD and general office work. I like it better than my dual-head ATI Radeon 7200 which I have in my HTPC.


Jake
You might be refering to this one ...
http://www.asus.com/products/vga/v9520vs/overview.htm


good thing its cheap too
 

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Good idea to avoid possible driver confusion by using different makes of cards.


At least with the Nvidia cards (I have 1 AGP GeForce FX5200 and 1 PCI GeForce FX5200, both 128 MB and both DVI/VGA - previously it was 1 AGP GeForce3 and 2 PCI GeForce2 MXs), it works.


But to run each monitor at separate resolutions (enable DualView), then things got confused until I hooked up a monitor to each output (4 monitors total, I usually run only 3) and set everything up there.


After disabling the 4th monitor and enabling the other three, I disconnected the unused display, rebooted, and everything was fine again.

Quote:
Originally posted by Axel

The only concern I would have is if you use cards which use the same drivers (e.g. ATI with CAT drivers for their 9x00 series ). I am not sure that something in your registry or some place else does not get messed up.
 

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Go with a single AGP card with dual DVI outputs.


While adding an additional PCI graphics card will work, PCI card performance is terrible. Operations such as scrolling text, and moving windows around the screen will be very sluggish in comparison to an AGP card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"Go with a single AGP card with dual DVI outputs.


While adding an additional PCI graphics card will work, PCI card performance is terrible. Operations such as scrolling text, and moving windows around the screen will be very sluggish in comparison to an AGP card."


Fair point, but I've just recently shelled out almost $1000 (AUD) for a new Radeon 9800 Pro. To throw this away and buy another new Dual DVI AGP card (ATI FireGL) seems like a short way of ridding myself og over $2000.00.

My computer is FAST, so maybe the performance will be a little less than the AGP card, but remember that I'm only gonna use the secondary card for watching DVD via my projector. I doubt that the performance of DVD playback will be an issue, otherwise NVidia might have problems selling this card?

For all other PC work, I'll use my 9800 Pro via my flat panel monitor.


Comments anyone?
 

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Quote:
While adding an additional PCI graphics card will work, PCI card performance is terrible. Operations such as scrolling text, and moving windows around the screen will be very sluggish in comparison to an AGP card.
That is not true at all. I have used a dual-head PCI nvidia geforce 2 MX card as the primary card in a system, and it was subjectively as fast as an AGP gf2mx card for everything from scrolling to windows operations to 3D games. The only time you will see issues is with applications that transfer gobs of data over the PCI bus, such as when using Dscaler (lots of data movement from the capture card, then even more data moved back to the video card).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jeffa5
Go with a single AGP card with dual DVI outputs.


While adding an additional PCI graphics card will work, PCI card performance is terrible. Operations such as scrolling text, and moving windows around the screen will be very sluggish in comparison to an AGP card.
It sounds to me that you have actual experience with this set-up. Would you mind sharing what kind of cards you were using and under what conditions?


I made a very different experience. I use my AGP card (9700Pro) to drive my PJ (S2) at 720p via DVI. I do this to get the best possible PQ for DVD, not for some addl. fps that I might get if I used it for gaming (I actually do not use it for gaming at all). The second card in my system is a Matrox G450 PCI. With this one I drive a Sony 16†at its native 1280x1024 via DVI. I use this monitor for simple desktop applications, like system maintenance and web access (no gaming here either, just me slowly typing my posts…). PQ and performance for those applications is excellent: razor sharp and not sluggish at all.


BTW: I tried the VGA of the ATI to drive the Sony. I only got a mushy picture. This thing needs DVI to shine. That’s the reason why I went with a second DVI video card in my system.


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Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Axel


Good point raised! I play so little games that I should just use the PCI card for my flat panel (via DVI) and keep the radeon for my PJ work.

I think I'm sold...... for $291 (AUD) the NVidia FX5200 with dual DVI is the way to go.
 

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If you want a really top-range card with dual-DVI ports, check the Matrox P650. Excellent graphics and color for 1280x1024 displays, and no fan. About $160US
 
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