I have an ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard with ATI Radeon HD 4250 on board graphics. I'm currently running a 2 monitor setup using the VGA and DVI connections on the motherboard.

I want to add a 3rd monitor as cheaply as possible, so I'm hoping to buy a cheap (£20-30) graphics card, whack that in and plug in the 3rd monitor, but I'm guessing it's not going to be that easy.

Can I run onboard graphics and a discrete card at the same time? Would it have to be a specific graphics card?

Is there another way I can achieve this?

Thanks, Anthony

  • It will depend on the motherboard. Some disable the onboard graphics when you plug in a dedicated card, some don't. Check your motherboard manual/web site. – ChrisF Nov 9 '11 at 11:13

Unfortunately the answer to this is "it depends". Many motherboards completely disable the on-board graphics if a discrete card is detected. Some do not, though it is not always documented in an easy-to-find place so the only sure ways to know are: 1. check the documentation for the board and see if it states definitively one way or the other, 2. find someone who has tried this on the same board, 3. just try it and see.

There are a number of cards on the market at the top-end of your price range that state they support three monitors out-of-the-box (via 1x DVI + 1x VGA + 1x HDMI, generally based on the ATI 64xx chipsets) so if the screen you want to add supports HDMI input or you pay a couple of extra quid for a HDMI-to-DVI adaptor, getting one of those may be the way to go as it doesn't rely on the unknown property (whether your on-board graphics will co-exist with any card) and side-steps the compatibility issue (i.e. if you need a card from a specific range to make them cooperate).

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