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 Post subject: Interested in Dual Monitors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:29 am 
The Original Dark Knight™
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Location: New York
I was interested in upgrading my desktop to a two monitor set up, but I'm sort of at a loss where to start. I'm currently using a stock Dell XPS 8300, and a single Samsung monitor. What I'd like to know from those more technically inclined is how I can tell what card my motherboard can handle, and what sort of PSU I should invest in. I don't want an explosion on my hands. Haha.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Interested in Dual Monitors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:35 pm 
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PCI-express slots are pretty standard for most video cards. Some require two slots, and most definitely take up a bit of space. The size of your case will also be an issue. As for your PSU, I dunno. I've always just bought PSUs way bigger than I probably needed, simply to err on the side of caution. I believe corsair makes some pretty solid PSUs. When I was putting my computer together, I think that's what I got. It's terrible that I don't have it memorized, but I'm pretty sure that's what someone here suggested.

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 Post subject: Re: Interested in Dual Monitors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:40 pm 
Crumpet
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This is a computer that already plays games right now, yes?

Multi-monitor setups are incredibly easy on today's modern Windows 7/8 machines. Just plug monitors in.

All you need for a two monitor setup, assuming you intend to use the second monitor to keep web browser (etc.) open while a game is full-screen borderless on the other, is a graphics card with two output ports (of any kind) on it.

A Dell XPS 8300 already has such a graphics card, as far as I can tell. Apparently it comes with an HD 6450 stock. That has DVI, HDMI, and a VGA port on the back, so technically you can run three monitors if you want. Just get monitors with those connectors and plug 'em in. Usually the computer will detect them the same way a USB port does and it'll get automatically configured.

Just in case I'm wrong, just take a look on the back of the computer, you're looking for ports like these:



Left = VGA
Middle = HDMI
Right = DVI

Do yourself a favour and make sure you get two identical monitors if you can (either buy two at once, or buy an exact duplicate model of your old monitor) because even tiny differences in the picture colors and size of the screen can be very off-putting.

You don't need to worry about motherboards, PSUs, software, or anything else as long as you already have a graphics card with multiple ports on it. All you need are more monitors.

EDIT: This changes if you intend to actually run games on both monitors at the same time (same game both monitors, or one game stretched across both) because you may need a more powerful graphics card. However, you'd be pretty surprised what a single card can pull off. I can run a second game at 60 FPS on my other monitor while leaving FFXIV running full-screen on another monitor.


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 Post subject: Re: Interested in Dual Monitors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:41 pm 
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You can easily run dual monitors without upgrading your card.I run dual monitors on the shittiest computer in the world (at work). Just plug one into your DVI, and the other into your HDMI. It looks like you have a Radeon 6450 graphics card which will be able to support dual monitors with no problem. It won't add any extra load.

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 Post subject: Re: Interested in Dual Monitors
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:00 pm 
Meat Miq'abob
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I think I have an 8300... mine is a couple years old so it has an old ati card, fully capable of running two monitors one in hdmi the other in dvi.

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