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I have an old machine I'd like to get running with dual monitors. The pci vga only has only 1 output port. However, I have another output via the onboard video card. Can I leverage both video cards to go dual-monitor? How would I set this up?

EDIT: Appears that this is possible but, given the myriad possible combination of mobos and cards, I'll just need to try it.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is no one answer fits all. I have had motherboards with the same chipset and integrated graphics, but on one it allowed and the other it did not.

Without knowing your motherboard, it is not possible to know - however ask the manufacturer or just try it.

In any case, you will most likely need to set it in the BIOS, you may be able to go in there now and see if there is a "both" option under graphics. Again, there is no one answer fits all and it is different everywhere.

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Well its good to hear its possible. Looks like I'll just try it. – Dane O'Connor Sep 21 '09 at 21:57
Same here...I had one PC it worked perfectly on, another PC it seemed impossible to accomplish, no BIOS twiddling could get it to enable the onboard video if a PCI video card was inserted. – davr Sep 21 '09 at 22:33

My experience has been that not all machines allow two display adapters connected, but assuming the machine boots with both installed and Windows detects both, you're good to go.

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More info would help Motherboard, BIOS, OS, types of cards.

Depends on the motherboard and OS. We have one at work that will work just fine in Windows but once you try to boot up a some what older distribution of Linux it breaks one screen and shows a garbled screen.

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this depends entirely on your mainboard. one easy way to find out:

connect a 2nd monitor, enable the onboard VGA controller in the BIOS. if all goes according to plan, Windows should now detect new hardware (if it hasn't been installed previously) and when the driver is installed you should see 2 different VGA adapters in the device menagement. open your display properties and expand your desktop.

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It depends on the nature of your motherboard's embedded video card, the type of videocard you want to put in and the bios.

AGP bus were made to accommodate only a single device so if your onboard videocard is on the AGP bus you will not be able to plug in a second card in the AGP slot.

You mention PCI so you should not have problems. I have done this many times in all sorts of combinations onboard AGP + PCI card, AGP + PCI cards, PCI+PCI cards.. even triple monitors AGP + PCI + ISA cards !! ant it worked just great.

Biggest problems were the drivers more than the hardware limitations.

this being said... try it out.. best way to find out

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