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If i plug a second hdmi cable into my onboard video output (my dedicated add-in only has one hdmi port) will it use my video card or the onboard for that display?

Also, what is the difference in quality between HDMI and DVI? I do have a DVI to HDMI adapter and cable that I could use alternatively if the above is not in my best interest.

This is a gaming related question as I will be gaming off the two displays, hopefully in the highest of quality.

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Also, what is the difference in quality between HDMI and DVI? Almost none. Basically HDMI is DVI + Audio + optional encryption. –  Hennes Oct 6 '12 at 1:34
    
So would it be better for me to plug one device with the dvi and the other the hdmi (both on my video card) –  jmalais Oct 6 '12 at 1:46
    
YUNless HDMI is enforced: no. Basically I try to avoid HDMI for potential problems. (Even though I do not have perfect confidence in Apple introduced display Port) –  Hennes Oct 6 '12 at 1:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You could always plug them in and find out. However I believe it will work like any other dual monitor setup. You tell the operating system which one controls what. I am going to assume that you are not using the HDMI for audio, just a guess, but most game pc's are not using the HDMI for this.

Things to consider:

  1. Is the on board video card game worthy. The quality is only going to be as epic as the video card.
  2. Most audio settings for the operating system (like windows), and for some applications, allow you to set which audio device to send the output to. So you could tell the pc to send all your sound to a monitor, sound card, or other audio output available to the pc.
  3. Here is some good info on HDMI, it is better in a lot of ways to DVI.
  4. Dual monitor setup: Two monitors are better than one, How To Set Up Dual Monitors - A Tutorial For Newbies - Easy As 1-2-3

I can't comment yet or I would ask what you operating system is, and what your on board video card is. I am going to assume windows, possibly vista or win7. Personally I found I enjoy being able to look stuff up on one screen and play on the other. If that is what you are doing, cool, just use the higher quality GPU for the game and the lower end on board for looking stuff up.

Either way, you won't regret having the second monitor once you get it up and going.

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HDMI is essentially DVI + Audio, however for gaming you don't want to split between the onboard and the dedicated, for a few reasons. The onboard will be less powerful than a dedicated as far as gaming goes and, ( I assume when you say you're gaming off the two displays, that you're going to use them simultaneously ) you can't truly Sli/Crossfire bridge the onboard and the dedicated, meaning you can't use two at the same time for most games.

However, majority of video cards now days have DVI ports as well as an HDMI/Display Port, so the best option for you would be to use 1 DVI cable, and 1 HDMI cable to power both displays off your dedicated.

Source: Myself, I have had multiple display configurations with mixtures of multiple monitors and connections over the years.

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