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So, it it possible? I don't want to buy another graphics card if possible, and my existing card only has two outputs. However, my motherboard is supposed to have integrated graphics, and I don't care about how terrible it is if I just want to drive my third monitor. Is a setup like this possible?

My OS is Vista Home Premium x32. My motherboard is an ECS Elitegroup GeForce6100SM-M.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

3 monitors using PCI + IG? No.

Yes, you can have 3 monitor setup, but not with the IG + video card. GeForce has a better Integrated Graphics (IG) solution than say.. Intel, and are comparable to ATI, but IG usually anticipate 1 maybe 2 monitors at the most and most importantly they're the one in control. Bear in mind that IG solutions (for consumers) are usually bundled in with chipsets that favor that IG maker. Trying to add an additional card with the IG 99.999% of the time will NOT work.

From my experience with IG systems throughout the years, it's better just to buy a card. I've used Matrox before and they specialize in multiple monitors (but not gaming systems) so that's one vendor I'd look at.

If your primary concern is budget oriented, there's not much you can do. But if you're just looking for something technically feasible, I highly doubt the nVidia GeForce 6100 IG is up to the task.

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Okay thanks, I should look into getting a budget graphics card then, just to drive my extra monitor. – MiffTheFox Aug 3 '09 at 18:57
Yeah, sorry. I ran a 3 CRT monitor setup way back in 2002. I had to go through the same pains of IG solutions and video cards. Sometimes, it's better to bite the proverbial bullet, spend a little cash and save yourself some headaches down the road. – osij2is Aug 3 '09 at 19:02

Check this article on multimonitor support in Windows Vista

You're using a Heterogeneous Multi-adapter:

The term "heterogeneous multi-adapter" is used to refer to multiple graphics adapters using multiple graphics drivers in a single PC. A common example is the use of graphics adapters from two different manufacturers, each of which requires a different graphics driver from the respective manufacturer.


However, the Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) brings fundamental changes to the management of multiple graphics adapters and external displays. This includes a new restriction, because WDDM drivers do not support "heterogeneous multi-adapter" multi-monitor implementations. Specifically:

  • All graphics adapters in a system must use the same display driver model. That is, all of them should either be running XPDM or WDDM. The driver models are mutually exclusive, and Windows Vista does not allow the simultaneous loading of both an XPDM driver and a WDDM driver.

If a system has one graphics adapter with a XPDM driver and another with a WDDM driver, then Windows Vista will choose the POST device, which is the one with VGA resources. This is commonly referred to as the "VGA adapter."

  • If multiple graphics adapters are present in a system, all of them must use the same WDDM driver. If there are two graphics adapters with WDDM drivers from two different manufacturers, then Windows will disable one of them. The VGA adapter will be enabled, and the second device will be disabled.

Conclusion: get the Matrox, since it fixes your problem

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So, does this mean you can, for example, buy two Nvidia gpu's and plug them into the same machine? Will this work? – bobobobo Aug 4 '09 at 15:46
I guess, yes. I'm thinking of grabbing the cheapest other nvidia card I can get from newegg – bobobobo Aug 4 '09 at 15:52
SINCE ( says "This is a WHQL-Certified driver for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200-series desktop GPUs and ION GPUs", same driver.. all good, I suppose – bobobobo Aug 4 '09 at 15:54
Yup that's another way of doing it – Ivo Flipse Aug 4 '09 at 16:39
+1 - super informative! – J. Polfer Aug 18 '09 at 13:53

Matrox triplehead2go

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This is not what I need. When gaming I will still use my largest and center monitor and leave the others unused. I am looking for three VIRTUAL screens so I can use UltraMon, and my third monitor will be at a lower resolution than the other two. – MiffTheFox Aug 3 '09 at 18:29
It is what you ask for, it's just not what you mean – Ivo Flipse Aug 3 '09 at 18:42
MiffTheFox: If you want to run virtual desktops, Microsoft already has a Power Toy for that, and its built in to MacOS and most *NIX window managers. If that's not what you want, please expand your question. – Andrew Scagnelli Aug 3 '09 at 18:50
Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Tom Wijsman Jul 13 '12 at 14:37

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