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I have a Dell D830 laptop and am trying to add a second graphics card (to the laptop dock) to drive more monitors. It needs to be PCI (not PCI-e), and would ideally itself have dual DVI outputs (although I'll settle for DVI + VGA or even just DVI at this stage...) Needs to have real Windows 7 drivers, not just Vista drivers.

Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

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I think you might struggle to find a PCI (not express) card with one DVI output let alone two, especially for something as specialised as a laptop docking station.

AGP had pretty much superseded PCI by the time DVI outputs were introduced. DVI outputs were first seen in 1999 - Wikipedia and AGP was introduced in 1997 - Wikipedia, so there was a two year gap between the start of PCI being phased out and DVI being introduced.

There were dual output PCI cards but they were twin VGA outputs.

I used to work in 3D graphics during the late 1990s and early 2000s & I was familiar with nearly all the cards that were current at that time.

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True. I probably need a new laptop but it's a work one & won't be due for replacement for at least another year. Thanks. –  dbruning Mar 11 '10 at 22:05
    
Final nail in the coffin of this idea - I just found out that the power supply to the whole docking station is only 130W, so by the time that feeds the laptop there's not much left over for the PCI card slot. The Jaton cards mentioned in other replies look like they would work aside from this power issue. Thanks all. –  dbruning Mar 12 '10 at 0:42

Can you elaborate on what you mean by 'real' windows 7 drivers?

Anyway, I have used one of these under windows 7.

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And just to clarify, this card has a 59-pin DVI output, which means it can drive two monitors using a special connector (which is presumably included). –  sblair Mar 11 '10 at 21:53
    
By "real" windows 7 drivers, I mean not Vista drivers. Some people report success running older hardware with Vista drivers (WDDM or something?) but that seems to require the same chipset if running multiple display adaptors. –  dbruning Mar 11 '10 at 22:00

This is the only PCI card I could find with more than 1 DVI. There are several with 1 DVI 1 VGA. I have a PCI 8400 GS at work driving my 3rd monitor and it works great under Windows 7 with the latest drivers from nvidia.

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Thanks - the dual-dvi card has terrible reviews. Will look at the PCI 8400 GS –  dbruning Mar 11 '10 at 22:05

How about an external solution?

Matrox DualHead2Go Windows 7 drivers available on Matrox's website.

There are many other USB video adapters out there, you might have more luck looking into that.

Edit: Hmmm, that might not be quite right - there is also a TripleHead2go that might suffice. The stuff about a USB adapter still holds true though.

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Yep I've tried a Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital - it does work (drives 3 monitors) but only when connected to the laptop dock via VGA, which makes the output quality very low. I can't get it to work via the DVI output, even though the DVI output is meant to be dual-link (confirmed by Dell). Hence the need for a PCI card. Just some background info - perhaps I'll post the Matrox problem as a separate question. –  dbruning Mar 11 '10 at 21:59

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