Dual Monitors

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by ChrisStuckey, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. ChrisStuckey

    ChrisStuckey Guest

    Hey what kind of video cards do you guys use for dual monitors? And can you use more than 1 card? :confused:
  2. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    Most pros will reccommend the matrox g550. I use a g450 in 98se no problems. If you can afford it the g550 is the way to go, though.
    There is a guy who says he is using the agp and pci version of the g450 without problems for a total of 4 monitors. A good rule of thumb, though, is to keep as many things off of the pci bus as possible...
    Opus will back me up on this one if he isn't too sore that I called him a SOB in the Nuendo forums!
    I'm a little jealous he is having dinner with Carlos Santana...
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, first of all let me straighten out that I am not having dinner with Carlos...I wish! lol
    Only building him a PC...in which will lead to many other PC's...basically guys I am in serious business mode on this thing! Wooohoo! But that's for another post for another time....
    As far as the dual monitors..yes, the Matrox G450 or the 550 will do just fine...I think that the 450 can not go into newer mainboards do to the split core voltage issue on some AGP cards. If it doesn't have the 1.5 split volt adjustment on it then forget about using it for a newer mainbaord...won't even boot up.
    Using an AGP and PCI card is not reccomended at all as Brock stated..the less you have on the PCI bus for bandwidth soak the better. Now, what Brock is talking about is a guy using a dual monitor AGP and a single PCI video card from the same manufacturer to get three outputs..not four.
    That is working fine since the two cards are primarily the same chipset and design and manufacturer...just one on AGP and one on PCI.
    So if you wanted to do a single monitor AGP and a single monitor PCi for dual monitor action just get the same manufactured card for both slots and it "should" work fine but again, is not reccomended.
  4. ChrisStuckey

    ChrisStuckey Guest

    I've got a 32mb geforce2 agp. If I were to put the same card in the pci slot, would I be able to split the desktop, or would it just have the same thing on both monitors. And how does the matrox stack up to the invidia as far as 2d 3d graphics and resolution?
  5. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    You would be able to split things up, and use an extended desktop, dragging windows where you want them on either display.

    However, for a DAW you should pay attention to the "Don't use the PCI bus for video" rule - Unless you're just using a 2-track editor, you'll need all the PCI bandwidth you can get just for Disk operations and Soundcard I/O.

    If you're not in a major hurry to do this, Matrox is in beta test on a 3-monitor AGP card as we speak. I just saw a mini-report in Maximum PC - It looks like that may be the new "Holy Grail" of DAW video cards, if they don't screw something else up. The card will do either two digital or 3 analog DB15's with a splitter cable. when using 3 monitors, all three must use the same resolution and refresh, so it wouldn't work as well with a couple of small and one large monitor - However, if you got the bucks, 3 of the newer Viewsonic 19" flat screens in analog mode would be sssuueeettt...

    Don't do anything you'll have to wipe up with a damp towel just yet, I haven't found out whether this will be functional for non-gamers or a real resource hog. The drivers that MaxPC was using let you disable AntiAliasing and stuff, so maybe you could "dumb it down" to minimise the CPU hit.

    Since I'm now shooting for late fall on my new DAW, you can believe I'm all over this one... Steve
  6. ChrisStuckey

    ChrisStuckey Guest

    OK, I'll just go for the agp card. Because my monitors are different, and it would be kinda hard to justify 3 flat panels :( , although that would be NICE!
    Maybe when I buy my next daw. I've probably got a year or so left on current hardware. Plus I have this nasty synth habit I'm tryin to kick... Those things ain't cheap!
    Thanks for the info all!
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Ummm...Steve....don't go that route....Nuendo buddy o mine tried it and it doesn't work as promised....
    check it out
    Parhelia Woes

  8. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Hey Op - Thanks for the headsup - I wouldn't have dove in without checking the water, but still appreciate you watching my back... Maybe by the late fall build, there will be better news - after all, 3 19" flat panels alone will cost about $2700, so it's not like I'm gonna jump immediately. Just found out that SEK'd is claiming that they will have drivers that let their TDIF card talk high sample rate with the DM-24, which will mean $469 for 8 channels of I/O (16 at normal rates) VS. $1800 for the RME 3-piece method with the same # of channels. Hell, the difference will buy 1-1/2 flat panels!! Plus, I still need a Nanosync, a new 8x8 MIDI patch bay, the 'puter stuff, etc, so guess I'll be doin' the overtime routine at work for some xtra bread for a while. Later bro, I'll keep an eye on that Nuendo link... Steve
  9. raize

    raize Guest

    interesting to note that nobody mentioned nvidia or ati in this thread.

    both of these companies offer flexibly priced cards that have dual monitor support (with ati's being driven by hydravision software.. a great tool). nvidia has offerings that allow for up to four monitors as well. although matrox used to be known for their "stunning 2d performance" that's not necessarily the case anymore, and you're prbably better off buying a card that's less expensive and much more versatile.

    i picked up an ATI radeon VE (radeon 7000) for 99 dollars canadian. dual monitors in windows xp, from a video card with great dvd playback, and the capability to play high end videogames as well.

    not that i play games on this rig, but it CAN do it, so i'm just trying to illustrate the versatility. matrox is.. fine.. but pointless. the only thing people might say they have over ATI is driver support, but that's changed already with ATI offering up its new catalyst drivers. unified drivers similar to nvidia, which again has better drivers than both matrox and ati, plus has dual monitor videocard offerings at reasonable prices.

    hope this broadens your horizons.

  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    The reason we choose Matrox over ATI or Nvidia is compatibility. Which I have explained in the AMD vs Intel thread.
    Sure, ATI and Nvidia make great cards but to be honest..these are audio based machines and graphics are a moot point. We're looking for cards that don't hog PCI bandwidth from the PCI bus..thus why we always put them into 16bit mode so that it doesn't use too much of it.
    32MB cards are the most that you would want to use for an audio based machine...again to reiterate the problem with some ATI and Nvidia cards...try using two RME cards with those and try running a session without a single crash...I've tech'd a few systems that had those cards and once we swapped it out for the Matrox all problems went away and performance was flawless...
    We've gone over that several times before and thus again why we choose Matrox...tried, true and tested!
  11. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    As my Dad says:
    "Don't fix what aint broke."
    This is an odd thread. Why is there even discussion about this??? Out of all of the various components in DAW puters, the Matrox G550 is a "given factor". It "plays nicely" with damn near everything and it's relatively cheap ... under $100.
    I notice that there's something that was not previously mentioned in this thread ... the dual monitor software. Neither ATI nor nVidia have the versatility and user-friendliness of Matrox's Dual Head software. If you do your homework on this, you'll see the difference.
    If you wanna play games, go with one of the "big two". If you wanna record music, go with the Matrox G550. Shell-out the measley $100 to avoid problems and gain the best control over your dual monitors.
  12. teddancin

    teddancin Member

    Yeah, but I think that it's just the big ONE now. ATI's drivers are just horrid, I mean just look at the 8500..... far superior to the geforce3 ti500 in terms of hardware, but because of the drivers, was never able to get good results in benchmarks and such.... plus I've noticed instability issues with ATI cards in general because of how poor their drivers are.
  13. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Yep, that's absolutely a fact, Ted. ATI keeps cranking-out "new and improved" hardware before they've even developed decent drivers for their "old" stuff.
    The high-end Gainward / nVidia cards are really sweet. They're generally a little more pricey than others, but well worth it. They overclock very well, and remain very stable if you do it right.
    I'll emphasize that I'm referring to a graphics card for gaming and general usage, not for a DAW machine. But if you're hell-bent on using a "gaming" card for audio, at least make sure that you get one with 32Mb RAM or less. These are increasingly hard to find, as most "decent "gaming cards now have a minimum of 64Mb RAM. To the best of my knowledge, your best bet is the Gainward GeForce2 MX400, 32Mb, DualHead & TV. I found it at PCparts (or was that PartsPC?) after about an hour of searching. I couldn't find anything more "advanced" with 32Mb and DualHead capability (no GF3 or GF4). If anyone knows of a better nVidia-based solution, please post it here for those who may be interested.
    Ya know, I'm really starting to hate this thread. If you wanna record music, get the damn Matrox card. If ya wanna play games, get a Gainward GeForce4 Ti4600 and stick it in a friggin gaming puter. If ya can't accept that, then do what ya wanna do and suffer the consequences. I'm outa here ... LOL

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