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I am running Windows 7 (64-bit edition) and have a 30" Dell 3007WFP monitor which runs at a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600. This works perfectly until I try to connect a second monitor, and then the screen resolution on the main monitor immediately drops to 1280x800 and I can't change it back up to the correct resolution until I disconnect the second monitor.

The graphics card is a Nvidia Quadro FX 370. This has a dual link DVI connector (to which the 30" is connected) and a single link DVI connector.

The second monitor can run at 1920x1080 and is connected using a VGA to DVI connector. Note, it does not seem to matter whether the second monitor is running at 1920x1080 or even at 800x600.

Windows reports

Total Available Graphics Memory: 3839MB
Dedicated Video Memory:           256MB
System Video Memory:                0MB
Shared System Memory:            3583MB

Does anyone know if this a limitation with the video card, memory, drivers, connectors or something else?

If this is a limitation with the video card, can anyone recommend a PCI Express 16 card that would support at least this setup, but preferably support two 30" monitors both running 2560 x 1600. (I'm not into gaming etc, so it doesn't need to be very powerful)

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Who actually manufactured your Quadro card? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 25 '11 at 14:08
GPU-Z reports the subvendor to be NVidia (10DE). Does that mean they manufactured it themselves? – sgmoore Jun 25 '11 at 14:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have the ATI FirePro 2260, which has 256 MB of Video RAM. The specs state that it supports two displays connected via DisplayPort at 2560 x 1600 each. Unfortunately, I can't test as I don't own a high-res display like that. But don't rule out your graphics card simply because it has 256 MB of RAM.

The problem is more likely that the Dual-link DVI can drive 2560 x 1600 to a display, but the Single-link DVI can only drive 1920 x 1200. So I suspect (with nothing to back this up) that your card puts all its resources towards the dual-link connection when one monitor is plugged in. When you use the second connector also, the card's performance suffers significantly and it can't drive the higher resolution.

Tom's Hardware had an interesting blurb about this card:

The Quadro FX 370 is difficult to categorize. At $150 it is remarkably inexpensive for a professional board, but the performance is poor as you's [sic] likely expect. For simple computing tasks without great requirements it can be used, but you should consider whether you are saving money in the wrong area.

Looks like running two displays at decent resolutions is not considered a "simple computing task".

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Interesting, I did not know about "displayport". Your works due to the displayport technology, but his card does not have those ports. I would call the manufacturer and get clarification on their specs, because they were a bit ambiguous. They all say max resolution, but nothing about per monitor. Nevertheless, I still virtually certain that it is simply due to a lack of memory in this case. – KCotreau Jun 25 '11 at 14:06
your link is all about video. i don't think it can be used as a blanket statement for resolution. My card's specs state "Two DisplayPort outputs for driving multiple ultra high resolution widescreen monitors". I'm confident I can run two 30" displays simultaneously at 2560 x 1600. Give me 2 grand and I'll test it for you. ;-) – Nathan DeWitt Jun 25 '11 at 14:12
"Max DisplayPort resolution 2560 x 1600 per display" – Nathan DeWitt Jun 25 '11 at 14:26
On the basis that my card wasn't up to it, I decided to get a second video card. Didn't want to spend too much money so I went for a ASUS card based on AMD Radeon HD 6850. I wasn't too sure if this card would support my setup on its own but I knew that I would be able to use both cards in the machine at the same time which is what I ended up doing. So I have my two monitors finally working. (And my Windows Experience Index has also improved quite a bit as well). Thanks – sgmoore Aug 6 '11 at 11:06
you're welcome! i'm glad I could help. – Nathan DeWitt Aug 11 '11 at 18:54

As I read the specs on that card, it comes with 256MB of RAM. It is not clear, but I do think you have enough video memory to support both running at the highest resolution.

You can easily test by lowering the colors down to 256 colors, and if you can increase your resolution, you have a definite answer.

share|improve this answer
Tried using 256 colours, but it didn't help. – sgmoore Jun 25 '11 at 15:43
@sgmoore Then it is probably as Nathan said, one can handle a certain resolution, and the second less. I actually answered a question after this one, and that card was exactly like that. – KCotreau Jun 25 '11 at 17:44

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