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I want to set my computer up to use three monitors. Currently I have two monitors working fine. I'm using an ASRock K10N78 AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 ATX AMD Motherboard and an XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card.

I am using both the outputs from my video card for the current two monitors. How can I get a third monitor added to my setup? Can I use the onboard graphics output somehow?

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Simplest would be to buy a new graphics card with triple outputs on it. I have a feeling you're going to need a new one anyway. –  Matthew Scharley Mar 22 '11 at 1:35
    
lol, i said cheapest... =( –  prolink007 Mar 22 '11 at 1:38
    
sadly, a good plan, but 3 monitors is rarely a cheap proposition. The screens themselves likely cost ~AUD$1000, spending another $150-200 on a new card instead of $50-100 on a cheaper new second card probably isn't much of a difference. I'm not 100%, but I'm pretty sure you can't use the onboard for this unfortunately. You need SLI or the ATI version. –  Matthew Scharley Mar 22 '11 at 1:42
    
Thanks everyone. However, this is a bummer. Oh well, guess i am stuck with 2 monitors until i upgrade my motherboard and graphics card. Hope this post helps someone else. –  prolink007 Mar 22 '11 at 14:24
    
You need to know if your onboard video is connected to the chipset using PCIe lanes, or using something else. If it is something else, then it should be possible. –  Milind R Jan 2 at 13:27
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Windows 7 does not allow use of onboard graphics at the same time as a video card without Hydra (which you motherboard does not support).

I asked a similar question: Is it better to add a second video card in Crossfire or replace an aging video card?.

It looks like your motherboard does not support SLI/Crossfire. You're stuck having to buy a new graphics card. Sorry.

UPDATE

You will need to buy a graphics card that has three outputs which are generally a dual PCI slot cards. Unless you get a card that has displayPort in it.

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I guess you didn't visit the links the OP provided. His mobo only accepts one GPU. SLI/Crossfire does not have anything to do with driving three monitors, in fact if you had three monitors connected to two cards running in SLI only two of your monitors would work. –  ubiquibacon Mar 22 '11 at 6:33
    
@typoknig: I have reservations about that. I have a SLI machine and have two monitors plugged into one port on each card. What is the limitation here? –  Matthew Scharley Mar 22 '11 at 12:40
    
@typoknig Since his mobo accepts only one GPU that means he cannot just add a new video card with a single output because SLI/Crossfire doesn't work on him computer. The OP would either have to buy a new fairly expensive triple output video card or use the USB-DVI converter @edusysadmin recommended. I guess you didn't read my answer fully. :-) –  Patrick Mar 22 '11 at 12:41
    
@Matthew Scharley I also have an SLI capable machine running three monitors total, but if SLI is actually enabled only two monitors will work. Just having two cards with a ribbon connecting them isn't SLI, SLI focuses processing power to one monitor. @Patrick, I could not infer from your answer that you were suggesting a GPU with more than 2 outputs... maybe add that in there somewhere as that is a viable option. –  ubiquibacon Mar 22 '11 at 17:13
    
Why do you say so? LucidLogix Virtu allows the use of both in Z7x/8x based systems, on Windows 7. –  Milind R Jan 2 at 13:28
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I just started to use a eVGA UV Plus USB to DVI adapter at work which is driving a Dell 19" standard monitor, this is in addition to dual Dell 22" wide screens. We'd purchased them for dual setups on some older Dell USFF machines which lack any expansion.

Win 7 x64 found and installed the driver when I plugged in the unit, and it provides surprisingly good output.

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These interfaces have a rather limited resolution limit on them I believe, but if you're not planning to be gaming on it, it should be fine. –  Matthew Scharley Mar 22 '11 at 4:31
    
True, though currently I've maxed out the resolution of the monitor I'm using (1280x1024). And being a work computer displaying Outlook, a RDC session etc is not too intensive. Though this unit does fit the bill, its only ~$60 which is cheaper than a upgraded graphics card typically. –  edusysadmin Mar 22 '11 at 12:29
    
Yea, like I said, unless you're playing games on it then it's likely not an issue (and you can always put the smallest screen on it if they are different sizes), but it's still something you need to be aware of when making choices :) –  Matthew Scharley Mar 22 '11 at 12:39
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I would suggest what edusysadmin recommended. EVGA makes a high quality USB to DVI converter. If you do not care so much about quality you could actually get three displays out of your current setup using the "TV Out" port (S-Video) of your graphics card. The resolution would max out at 480i, but it would give you another display.

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It may be possible to use the onboard card, but it depends on the card/BIOS. I have a Dell OptiPlex 320 with 3 monitors using an 2-head card and the onboard video. BUT... on a NEWER OptiPlex 330, the onboard card cannot be used with an add-on card.

If you cannot get the onboard card working, then you could get a PCI Card... or even a USB adapter... but keep in mind, using PCI and especially USB will have poor performance for anything graphics intensive.

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