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I recently purchased a Dell 260 MT with a Intel i5 2320, 8GB ram, and 1TB hard drive. I currently have 2 monitors hooked up to the on-board video card; 1 via HDMI and 1 via VGA. I would like to add a 3rd monitor, but was not sure what possibilities I have to do this.

I was thinking I could purchase another video card, but was not sure if you can use both a dedicated video card and the 2320's on-board video card simultaneously? Or do I need to buy a new video card that can output to 3 monitors.

I'm just looking for screen-space, I do not need performance. Sorry if a similar question has been posted somewhere, I spent a while looking around and could not find anything. I appreciate any help.

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Does your computer have room inside for a PCI card? – Simon Sheehan Feb 20 '12 at 1:47
Yes it does. If I add a dedicated video card via PCI, can I use a cheaper video card in combination with the on-board video card to output to 3 monitors total? – TimS Feb 20 '12 at 1:48
I'm not entirely sure - Its hard to upgrade these mini machines like that, I question it. – Simon Sheehan Feb 20 '12 at 1:49
Alright, thanks. I'll see if anyone else has any ideas. – TimS Feb 20 '12 at 1:50
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It would depend on the chipset - some chipsets apparently disable the onboard video card if a PCI-E video card is installed since they share the same PCI-E lanes. This apparently has a H61 chipset, and that might get disabled when a discrete card is installed

You could presumably get a video card that supports 3 monitors on its own in that case. If its the same as the vostro varient its a mini atx board and should have space for a regular graphics card.

If screen space is the only factor, you might be able to get away with a usb video card - matrox makes double and triple header ones, and there's various displaylink based adaptors. They obviously are unsuitable for 3d accelerated graphics, but should work alright if performance isn't a huge factor.

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Yes, it is the same as the vostro you linked to. I apologize, in a comment above I said there was an available PCI slot, but it appears that it's actually a PCI-E x 16 (I'm not familiar with it). Thanks for the usb video card suggestion, that looks like it would work just fine. I'll keep looking to see if this chipset disables the onboard video card, as it would probably be cheaper to get a regular video card. – TimS Feb 20 '12 at 2:12
No worries - i'd actually looked it up to check the chipset it uses, for the first part of the answer, and if it was actually a SFF box - that isn't, in fact, its a very similar layout to dell's other mini tower boxen, and will quite comfortably swallow up even double slot cards – Journeyman Geek Feb 20 '12 at 2:40
Updated the answer - though the source isn't definitive, its onboard video OR PCI-E, but not both – Journeyman Geek Feb 20 '12 at 2:54
Thanks a lot for your time, very helpful. – TimS Feb 20 '12 at 3:33
For those wondering, I did use a usb video card which was around $40 on Amazon and has been working GREAT! – TimS Jan 15 '15 at 22:47

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