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I want to set up dual monitors on my Win 10 machine.
I bought a video card with a single DVI-D connector. I believe the "-D" suffix means it has two DVI ports.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to connect the monitors (both DVI). I beleve I need some sort of splitter cable but I'm not sure exactly what I need. I've read on SO and elsewhere that some "splitters" simply send the same video to both monitors (not what I want) - I want to extend the display across both monitors (I do know how to do that software-wise)).

What kind of cable do I need?

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  • As my comment below: "single DVI-D connector" - this will drive one digital display. "I believe the "-D" suffix means it has two DVI ports" - incorrect, this simply means that it's a digital-only interface, possibly a Single-Link or Dual-Link variant of the DVI-D interface. – Attie Jun 4 '20 at 15:18
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Sorry, the "D" in "DVI-D" stands for "digital only", unlike "DVI-I" which stands for "digital and analog".

Read all about it in Wikipedia Digital Visual Interface.

For two monitors, you need a video card with two ports. Or a really wide monitor that can do the work of two. Or a DisplayPort that can do daisy-chaining.

You say that your card is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 710, that has 3 ports, so theoretically can serve 3 monitors. However, it is one monitor for each port, so one is to be connected by DVI and the other via the HDMI port (and cable) or even VGA. HDMI and DVI are very similar, so for a second DVI-only monitor you may use an HDMI/DVI adapter cable.

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  • I think the card (an NVIDIA 710 does have two display ports. The spec sheet says "Video Output Function: Dual-link DVI-D x 1 HDMI x 1 (Version 1.4a) D-Sub x 1" – John Wilson May 10 '20 at 18:49
  • I added this to the answer. – harrymc May 10 '20 at 19:08
  • If you have the physical card with you (vs it being in transit), just look at it. If you see two DVI ports, then you are good to go. – Allen J May 10 '20 at 19:29
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There is DVI-D (digital video interface - digital: dual link) port which your might be but this would still not be there to solve the problem you have. The solutions to your problem put out by the industry is 2 port graphics cards designed for dual displays. To provide some background to why your solution was not implemented involves following the electrons. As it does with a number of the other questions on this forum that you have posted. A "graphics processor" or GPU is the computer that combines the electrons required to "display" a picture of what the CPU (central computer) is doing. This GPU (whether located on the motherboard or on a separate card plugged into the motherboard) sends it display (the picture) electrons to a display through a gate (port) and a wire (cable). If 2 displays of what the CPU is doing is required then the GPU must be set up to do parallel but not the same calculations of the display data (2 different sets) AND these must be sent out of 2 different gates and 2 different wires. Could the 2 different gates be accommodated in one single port design (yes - by dedicating some pins in a port to one display and other pins to another display) and could the 2 different electron streams be accommodated by a single cable (yes - by using some of the wires in the cable for one stream and some for another). But what is the most economical way to do it. Given that the whole basis of all PC's as single user task devices (play a game, design a house, do your taxes) all components are build this way (including the GPU, ports and cables). Dual display then comes down to just a different view of the same computed data done by the CPU. Its just cheaper to accommodate that with a different port and cable since it is used so infrequently. Remember with the advent of better software and larger VDU screens, "multi-window" is now the human interface of choice - not multi-display. Do you now see what Microsoft were thinking in 1983; in their development of the world wide use of the personal computer and its MMI (man-machine interface) in the PC world called a UI (user interface)? So would a multi-monitor single port make sense? No. Bigger and more windows of information goes back to the OS (built on machine code), and the programs that run on it, and then the GPU. These are the expensive parts of the electron flow - another port of so makes very little difference; unless you are physical space constrained.

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Your card doesn't support dual monitors. DVI-D Dual Link supports resolutions above 1920 x 1200 or "double" the speed of "single link". Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the number of monitors. You need a new card with the proper number of outputs. Dual DVI cards are plentiful and cheap on eBay.

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Well I found my answer. A DVI-D Dual-Link card does indeed accommodate dual monitors. They have two sets of pins - one for each monitor (see, e.g., https://components101.com/connectors/dvi-connector). So yes, I do need a splitter cable.

Below is an example of a DVI-D Dual Link Video Card with a splitter cable. The picture shows a VGA version but DVI version is offered too.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • NOTE: This card does not have a DVI connector, but a DMS-59 connector, which can facilitate two displays... DVI-D cannot support two displays, but rather is digital only, and a Dual-Link variant provides a second link for a higher bandwith connection (i.e: more pixels / higher refresh rate). Photos 1, 2, from here – Attie Jun 4 '20 at 15:06
  • Attie, with all due respect, I think you're wrong. I added a picture of the back of the HD3450 to my answer and that looks like a DVI connector NOT a DMS-59. In any case, DVI or DMS-59 the answer is yes, I need a splitter cable. The downvote was unwarranted. – John Wilson Jun 4 '20 at 16:46
  • Your photos show two different cards - I agree that the second is indeed a DVI connector. – Attie Jun 4 '20 at 17:48
  • With DVI you cannot easily drive two displays - you'd need to configure a custom resolution (if supported by drivers and card) and will require an active splitter (that literally cuts the image in half and retimes the signal before forwarding to each display). You'd need to find one (they're not common), and both displays would appear to the PC as a single display / active area. This cannot be achieved with a passive Y-cable. – Attie Jun 4 '20 at 17:49
  • Here is another view of the card pictured in your eBay screenshot. – Attie Jun 4 '20 at 17:53

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