3 Display Setup

Need how to suggestions

Hey all…

I currently have an ATI Radeon 2400XT video card which is driving two VGA 17" monitors. I would like to add another monitor. Is there any way to do it without buying another card? Will the Radeon card’s available S-video output drive another VGA monitor? Or, can I make the onboard video (currently disabled by Vista Home Prem.) use the Radeon driver?

I am thinking I need another video card but I would like some concurring opinions before I buy. What do you think?


It “can” work, but it’s mostly up to the video drivers how well.

The onboard video will need to be enabled in the bios. This may or may not be possible. Some machines automatically disable onboard video when another video card is present. Unless there is a place in the bios to turn the video back on you might be up the creek…maybe.

I used three nVidia PCI video cards in one of my machines at work. It did well, for a while. I was using some early beta drivers from nVidia. Every few weeks there would be a hard hang requiring a full unplugging for 30 seconds to get going again. When nVidia updated the drivers to non-beta they had disabled being able to use more than two cards. Also, using the in-box windows drivers with this setup would cause a sure fire blue screen.

Sometimes it’s better to have three different video cards – different manufacturers.

Keep in mind that this can load down the PCI bus and degrade audio performance some. Doesn’t mean it won’t work. I know it can.

From what I’ve been able to find, Vista makes all video use the same driver or, at least the same type of driver… i.e. ATI driver vs. Nvidia driver won’t go… Thats why I was thinking if I could get the onboard video to use the Radeon’s ATI driver I might be in biness…

Also, do you know anything about that s-video output? I wonder what happens if that is connected to a VGA monitor?


Hi g8tor cliff:

That’s a fascinating idea you have going…

At some point I’d like to have a three monitor setup when I get into this new studio, that’s in the works…
At some point-in-the process I may only want one monitor working when say I don’t need the big screen real estate… or not editing and all…

Will that mean that I’ll have to manually rewire the graphics card, externally ???? to do that ???
OR… do I need a second Graphics card