I have a new Windows 7 (64) PC which has built-in graphics on its (MSI H61M-P31/W8 (MS-7788)) motherboard. I have also added an NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT graphics card, which is working fine, driving two monitors.

Now I wish to have a third monitor attached to the motherboard graphics, but it appears that my system doesn't know of the existence of the motherboard graphics. If I look at "Display Adapters" in Device Manager, I only see the NVIDIA card. What have I done wrong?

EDIT: There was a similar question on SU here, but the accepted answer did not indicate exactly what to do to make it work, i.e., no mention of BIOS settings.

  • Had you been using the on-board graphics adapter before adding the NVIDIA card?
    – PFitz
    May 7 '14 at 12:50
  • 4
    Some motherboards can only use either the on-board video or the expansion slot, but not both at the same time. You will need to look up the specifications for that board.
    – CharlieRB
    May 7 '14 at 12:50
  • I suspect this is a dupe of my question here. I'm not exactly sure if its called the same thing on a MSI motherboard though
    – Journeyman Geek
    May 7 '14 at 13:34

Most motherboards do not allow you to use both the on-board graphics chip and an installed card. It's usually one or the other, with very few exceptions that I've found. In order to add additional monitors, you'll have to add another graphics card.

Your motherboard's manual doesn't state specifically one way or the other, but you can try an experiment. Go into your BIOS settings and look for graphics settings. In the settings, make sure the on-board graphics are enabled, then save your settings and reboot. Make sure you have a monitor attached to the onboard output. In all likelihood, only the on board graphics will now work and nothing will show on the monitors attached to your NVIDIA card. If all three screens show up, then congrats it worked! Otherwise, go back and disable the on-board graphics. You'll have to wait until you can add a second graphics card.

  • 4
    There was indeed a BIOS option - so I did get three monitors working - thanks.
    – Mick
    May 7 '14 at 17:56

First make sure you actually HAVE on-board graphics.
Even though the connector is on the motherboard the actual IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) is build inside the processor. You will need to check if your CPU actually has one. Not all Intel CPU's do. It depends on the model-number of the CPU. You can use a utility like CPU-Z to check what exact variant of CPU you have.

Second the motherboard must support using the IGP and the GeForce in parallel. If it doesn't you are out of luck.
If it does, you will most likely have to enable that feature in the Bios first.
If is usually set to "Use PCIe, fall back to IGP". This needs to be changed to "Use IGP + PCIe".
(That's most likely not the exact text. How the setting is called in your Bios I don't know.)


The manual for your motherboard (MS-7788) says that the graphics ports only work with an Integrated Graphics Processor - i.e. on your CPU.

So, check what CPU you've got and see if it has Integrated Graphics.

  • I'm fairly new to Super User. Can anyone tell me why this was voted down ? I accept the fact that tweaking the BIOS actually fixed the problem for the OP, but at the time of this answer (hover over the "answered" text to see the exact time) there was no other mention of the CPU type being a factor and this could easily have gone the other way; with the wrong type of CPU, no amount of BIOS tweaking would have fixed this. I thought the CPU type seemed like a reasonable place to start.
    – Lqueryvg
    May 9 '14 at 16:03

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