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Need recommendation for video card

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  • Need recommendation for video card

    I have been using Photoshop CS for about 4 years. My interest is to continue using it as a hobby. I find it relaxing and interesting but I have no desire to go beyond being a hobbiest. I own a Dell 4400 with 384 SDRAM, a 40 G HD and 1.7 MHz. The computer is 5 years old and because of my advanced age (77) may well outlast me. I do plan, however, to upgrade when I feel that it is necessary. So far it has adequate speed etc. to do all the things I want to do.

    I would like to use 2 CRT monitors. My main reason is to shift all tools etc to one monitor and use my main monitor for editing etc. I have an AGP video card which I would like to replace with one that will function with 2 monitors. I have searched this and other forums but I would apprciate some input form people on RetouchPro. I would like an inexpensive card since I would hate to buy an expensive one and find that my computer no longer meets my need. I would appreciate specific recommendations so that I might be able to search the Internet for the best possible price.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Need recommendation for video card

    I have a couple of Dell4400s at home...good, reliable machines too. I did have one of them set up as dual display for a time also. The motherboard in the 4400 (well in my 2 at least) can only support up to 4x AGP bus, most current AGP graphics cards are at least 8x (basically, data throughput is faster) but they should still be okay to run in your Dell, just not to the agp card's full potential.
    Any entry level agp with two inputs for monitors- typically 1xVGA + 1xDVI (see my attachments) will support dual displays, you may also need a VGA/DVI adapter if both the monitors you want to use are VGA. FYI-The graphics card I was using in my Dell was an old ATI Radeon 9600XT with 256MB DDR(video memory on card). It ran two monitors without problems. You could pick up a new graphics card for $50.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Need recommendation for video card

      You could take a look at Nvidia 128MB FX5200 AGP as well, wouldn't need an upgrade on your power supply, and has a passive heatsink (no fans, so it's quiet) and it will run 2 displays. All for about 30 UK pounds.


      • #4
        Re: Need recommendation for video card

        I am running dual monitors, and have for several years now. Yes, the previous post is correct, a number of the AGP GeForce cards have dual VGA/DVI monitor connections - which would require a APG upgrade costing about $99-$129 retail. I have had some problems with the dual heads running on a system the age you described.

        A near quarantee is to simply purchase a PCI VGA card, and leave the existing AGP alone. Since your purpose is to run dual monitors, and not massive intensense game graphics - it should work just fine. I'd try a local Staples(R), CompUSA(R), BestBuy(R) ... these places will take back the card within a fews weeks if it doesn't work. Check out the papers - they go on sale all the time. In your situation, and needs, this should be a good fit.


        • #5
          Re: Need recommendation for video card

          Littlecoo, Britsdad and cjrock,

          Many thanks for your input. Most helpful.


          If I read your post correctly you are saying to leave the AGP card, that I now have, alone and add a PCI card. I should not remove the AGP card. This would not cause a problem???



          • #6
            Re: Need recommendation for video card

            Running a AGP in the dedicated slot, and a PCI card works. The AGP card almost always disables any on-board video card, allowing the PCI card to work as the second video card. In Windows XP, install the new PCI card, and in the Control Panel/Display, activate the Extended Monitor option; and set the resolution. Presto - two monitors, with the cursor moving freely accross both.



            • #7
              Re: Need recommendation for video card


              Went to Display and tried the various Tabs. Could not find Extended Monitor Option. Will that appear only after the PCI card is installed or am I missing something?



              • #8
                Re: Need recommendation for video card

                Note: Install both video cards, and their drivers before continuing. Follow the manufacture details.

                1) Launch the control Panel
                2) Launch the Display icon
                3) The tabls are as follows: Themes, Desktop, Screen Savers, Appearance, Settings

                4) Click "Settings"
                5) In the middle of the dialog box screen you will see "Display:"
                6) Select from the drop down menu the monitor you want to configure or change the resolution
                7) [x] Extend my Windows desktop into this monitor.

                Note: Both monitors should appear in the above windows (i.e. Drag the monitors icons to match the physical arrangement of your monitors") How you move the monitors, and which monitor you use as the primary monitor will affect how the cursor moves between them.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  Re: Need recommendation for video card


                  Once again thanks for the timely response. Will save your instructions. Now will decide what card to buy.

                  Thanks again. Really appreciate your time and effort.


                  • #10
                    Re: Need recommendation for video card

                    Albatross, don't know what it is like where you are, but here half decent pci video cards are like trying to get a hen's tooth. Personally I prefer the Nvidia cards and most of them support dual monitor. I'd personally go with one of the lower end AGP Nvidia cards that supports dual monitor, much easier. Unless of course you already have a spare PCI card handy, else the nvidia software makes dual monitor so easy to configure and not all cards will stress your power supply, even the 6000's would not stress your power supply of 5+ years. One of my suppliers still has 6200's which would fit your criteria and is sub $100 in AUD so should be much cheaper in US$
                    Last edited by Cassidy; 03-11-2007, 10:06 AM.


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