I'd like to use the native 1920x1200 laptop monitor that comes with the Alienware m17x along with 2 additional external monitors, one through the displayport and another through the hdmi port. Is there any way to do this? And if so how?

I've tried to update the nvidia drivers, I've installed ultramon, etc., but I can't seem to make it happen. I've seen posts that suggest it's possible, but I can't seem to figure out how.

11 Answers 11


I don't think you can power the HDMI and the DVI separately.

You might want to try the Matrox DualHead2Go. They also do a TripleHead2Go as well


You can only connect 1 external monitor. This is because the card can only use 2 outputs at a time, and to my knowledge, there is no way to disable the laptop's screen.

You can do something like play games on the notebook screen and do other things on the other screen but you will have to ALT + TAB out of your game, or hit WIN or something since the mouse can only work on 1 monitor at a time. If you move the mouse to the external monitor with a full screen window open on the laptop such as a game or movie, and click something on the external monitor it will minimize whatever you have open on the laptop monitor. Kinda sucks but that is the way it is.

I am currently using the laptop's monitor and have my external monitor connected to my desktop. There is a way to connect my laptop the the external monitor as well but I don't see the point since my mouse and keyboard is connected to my desktop. At school I will be using my external monitor on the laptop though since I'm keeping my desktop at home.


Sounds like it would depend on the configuration - whether it sports multiple GPUs or not - the 260M + 9400M or 2x260M/2x280M combos might be able to do that, depending on how their outputs are routed. The main reason for multiple GPUs in that thing would be for SLI rather than more monitors. Decked with a single GTX 260M I'd doubt it'd be possible as I've yet to see a single nvidia gpu do more than two (different) outputs.

  • I have two 260's. – Steph Sep 28 '09 at 13:28

You need to have three graphic cards in M17X (one build in on mainboard and two external cards). I have 2X GTX 280M and discrete 'little' nvidia.

You can enable two screens by disabling SLI. Then each card can handle one screen separately. When you do it in display properties enable secondary screen. To switch between laptop's screen and external ones use FN+F6.

If you have only one graphic card I think this is impossible. My desired setup would be to have three screens working at the same time: laptop +2x external. This unfortunately looks impossible even thou there are three graphic cards. The problem is that drivers are using 2xExternal ards or 1xbuildin so in the best case you can have to screens.

good luck.


I use a targus docking station. Then you can use 2 monitors plus the laptop screen.

The refresh is a bit slowish on the dock station but unless your gaming I haven't seen any issue with that monitor.


ZoneOS Zonescreen or MaxiVista allows you to "extend" your screen by using a secondary networked PC.


It appears that it's not possible to connect 2 external monitors along with the laptop monitor with two nvdia cards (260/280). Hopefully they will improve the drivers, but as of right now it's currently not possible.

An alternative is to use a USB-to-DVI cable. In essence this is an external video card connected by USB to an external monitor.


You cant do this... However you can use Dual Externals using either the display port/ HDMI with the VGA.. you cannot go digital and digital. only one digital and one VGA. And when you do this Your LAPTOP monitor is disabled right away. Just go to your video options and configure extend.

Hope this info helps others who are wondering if you can dual monitors as external. Dual is max! you cannot use three outputs..



Unfortunately it's not possible to directly connect more than 2 monitors to the m17x. That being said there are alternative USB->HDMI solutions such as those from Display Link at full 1080p resolutions (just don't expect to watch movies). As well the more horsepower your box has the better it works.


I connected three external monitors to my M17x using the DVI on the back and two iogear USB to DVI devices. Worked fairly well but would occasionally lock-up


I used a mini displayport(Works with macs also) and then the other screen on the vga port. The Mini displayport uses the cpu to create the screen so therefor having a 3 monitor display as extended. This method was the cheapest I've found since you can buy these for 7$ on ebay, and they can be used with Vga, Dvi or hdmi. Here is the link to the Mini display port to dvi, but you can get them in other sorts as I mentioned.


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