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Running dual monitors

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  #1  
Old 07-21-2008, 02:06 PM
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albatrosss albatrosss is offline
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Running dual monitors

I recently bought a computer with a 128MB ATI Radeon Graphics card. I was told that it would run 2 monitors. Today I went to buy a dual monitor Y adapter cable and I was told that I would get the same image on both monitors. My intent was to have the tools etc on one monitor and the image on the other. Why anyone would want to run two monitors with the same image is beyond me. Was the information that the monitors would both have the same image correct?

I have a Dell 530, Intel Core2 Duo processor E4600 with 2GB DDR2 SDRAM running Vista.

Thanks.

Thanks
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:28 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Running dual monitors

It sounds more like there is some confusion, not a problem.

Although Dell does not currently offer the 128MB ATI card for the E4600, it will work and should support dual monitors. This is assuming that the card you have is the ATI RadeonTM HD 2400 Pro 128MB.

You do not need a Y-adapter, as the card has two video outputs. (See attached image of adapter - and let me know if it does not look like this.)

The unfortunate part, is that the two ports are not the same. One is SVGA and one is DVI. So, you can use two VGA monitors, or one of each, but not two DVI-only monitors. Many (most) flat panels today have both type ports built in; but, some do not.

You don't have to settle for the same image on both. When I used to use two monitors, I set it up to emulate one large monitor. Most cards have settings to "remember" which program you want to show up on which side. Photoshop worked better using the whole space, and I just moved my tools to one side and the work area to the other. Photoshop remembers where you put the tool bars, plus you can save your workspace if you wish.

When using both as one large monitor, you don't have to do anything in the card setup other than tell it your monitor is now twice as wide, i.e. instead of 1024x768, it is now 2048x768 or whatever resolution you like. You just cannot go too large, as the 128MB of RAM just won't support it.

When using each as a truly separate monitor, you have to go into the card's setup utility. Be sure you download the latest version. It will guide you through the process. However, in Photoshop CS2 you will not be able to put tools on one and the workspace on the other. This changed for CS3.

Last edited by TommyO; 07-25-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:18 AM
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willdoak willdoak is offline
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Question Re: Running dual monitors

I saw a comment online (regarding a monitor calibration system) that dual monitors can't be calibrated. Is that true?

It would be sufficient if I could calibrate either one, since - like you - I put my palettes on one and the image on the other.

I have two Dell monitors running on a VisionTek Radeon 9550 128MB R dual-monitor card (can't use DVI outs for some reason, but VGA works).

Cheers,

Will
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:52 PM
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Re: Running dual monitors

Tommy,

According to the set up instructions I was told to connect the monitor using a dual monitor Y adapter cable. The card that Dell installed is a 128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO. (whatever that is). I assume that when I connect the two monitors, using this recommended cable, I will be able to run both monitors. I also assume that since I will have two active monitors that I will be able to drag the tools section of Photoshop to the extra monitor. I was told,by a person at Staples, that if I use this set up I would have the same image on both monitors which would not serve any purpose at all.

This card, does not have 2 VGA video slots.

Can I assume that the guy didn't know what he was talking about or is that true?

Thanks

Last edited by albatrosss; 07-22-2008 at 12:55 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:27 PM
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Re: Running dual monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by albatrosss View Post
Tommy,

According to the set up instructions I was told to connect the monitor using a dual monitor Y adapter cable. The card that Dell installed is a 128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO. (whatever that is). I assume that when I connect the two monitors, using this recommended cable, I will be able to run both monitors. I also assume that since I will have two active monitors that I will be able to drag the tools section of Photoshop to the extra monitor. I was told,by a person at Staples, that if I use this set up I would have the same image on both monitors which would not serve any purpose at all.

This card, does not have 2 VGA video slots.

Can I assume that the guy didn't know what he was talking about or is that true?

Thanks
The Radeon HD 2400 PRO card you have features a DMS-59 connector which allows 2 monitors to be supported via a Y cable.

To get your desktop to use the 2nd monitor on a PC running Windows (XP/Vista) you would got to the display properties and the Settings tab and select the "Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor".

Without checking that options both monitors will display the same image.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:28 PM
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Re: Running dual monitors

Tommy,

I decided to call Dell and see if I could get an answer to my question. Yes some people use two monitors with the same image and the card that they included was the card that would not allow an extended desktop. So it looks like I will continue to Photoshop using one monitor. I could buy a new graphics card but right now it doesn't make any sense for me to do so.

I thank you for your time and effort. Possibly this will help someone else, upon ordering a new computer, to ask not only if the card will support two monitors but rather if the card would support two monitors, with each one having a different image.

We live and learn (the hard way)

Thanks again.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:47 PM
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albatrosss albatrosss is offline
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Re: Running dual monitors

I know that I am beating this into the ground but I'm including an image of the video card except that on my card 1 is between 2 and 3.

The more I research the more confused I get. So one final time, "Do you think that this card can run different images on two monitors?" If so what should I buy to make the connection?

Thanks again and again.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:42 PM
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pixeltek pixeltek is offline
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Re: Running dual monitors

hey albatrosss,

i don't see why you can't run two monitors.

just out of curiosity i tried hooking up my dell latitude d600 laptop (don't laugh) with a second monitor and was able to do it without purchasing anything! i was shocked and it's working perfectly.

my laptop has the three-row plug (plug 2 in your pic above) in the rear which i plugged my old, antedated 17" monitor into and voila, with a few setting changes on my laptop, i'm good to go -- both monitors working -- enabling me to drag/drop things to the secondary monitor.

my laptop has a built-in "mobility radeon 9000" (video card, i guess).

i don't know if this helps, but i don't see why you can't do it if i was able to.

good luck!!
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:13 AM
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albatrosss albatrosss is offline
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Re: Running dual monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrAlexajlex View Post
The Radeon HD 2400 PRO card you have features a DMS-59 connector which allows 2 monitors to be supported via a Y cable.

To get your desktop to use the 2nd monitor on a PC running Windows (XP/Vista) you would got to the display properties and the Settings tab and select the "Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor".

Without checking that options both monitors will display the same image.
What kind of connector(s) will I need?
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:18 PM
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Re: Running dual monitors

Albatrosss,
Sorry to answer so late.
Your card (as pictured) has one SVGA output (blue) & one DVI output (white). (This is how it should be with the 128MB card)

This (coupled with the cards driver) means you can run two monitors, either both showing the same image, as one larger display, or as two independent displays. Ditch the Y-adapter... you don't need it. If both your displays are SVGA (15 pin), then all you need is a DVI-to-SVGA adapter (it's a very short connector). Unfortunately, they sell for about $15, but are available at most stores that sell computer stuff. It simply redirects some of the pins. There are no chips in it or anything like that. You only need one, as it goes on the DVI (white) connector of your card.

If you choose to run as one extended (wider) display, you set it up through Display Properties in Control Panel.... again, simply defining it as twice as wide as normal, i.e. instead of 1024 pixels wide it will be 2048. Most applications remember the last size they were sized to. So, as you open your applications, resize them to one display, then close them. The next time you open them, they'll remember which display and what size they should be. You can always maximize them if and when you need to see more of the app (on two displays).

Regarding Pixeltek's surprise with the laptop, this is true of all laptops (99% anyway). They have two video chipsets... one for the built-in display and one for the SVGA output. They too can be set to display the same, double width or separately. Sweet for those with only a laptop.
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