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In video card specs on Nvidia or AMD’s web sites they often list maximum display resolution.

If a card has two DVI ports or two DisplayPorts, and has a maximum resolution of 2560×1600, does that mean I can hook up two monitors, each up to 2560×1600? Or does it mean that the combined resolution of both monitors together cannot exceed 2560×1600?

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Typically, this means that both monitors can support that resolution. This is not always the case, but generally anything otherwise will be specified. (It's pretty unusual these days to find a two-port card with digital outputs that doesn't support two 2560x1600 monitors.)

EDIT: I should point out that the other answers are correct in that this may only guarantee the highest resolution output, but it's very unusual nowadays for a card to have outputs of differing resolution (again, assuming they're all digital) and normally it's specified if that's the case.

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  • Perfect. As someone who doesn’t buy video cards very often that is good to know. – Nate Nov 21 '11 at 21:05
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It means that at least one display can have that maximum resolution. Other displays may have a lower resolution due to memory or driver constraints though, so check before you buy.

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It typically means it is the highest resolution for at least one of the ports. It really depends on the card. For instance, most with dual output will list for each port if they are different. For the GeForce GTX 590 (which has a DVI and VGA port) the DVI port has a max of 2560x1600 while the VGA has a max of 2048x1536. So if you want both monitors to use the same resolution, you will be limited to the capability of the VGA port.

Don't forget to make sure your monitors can handle the resolution as well.

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