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Windows 7: Trying to get three monitors working


23 Oct 2009   #1

 
 
Trying to get three monitors working

I accidentally posted this in the customization forum by mistake. I meant to post it here. Sorry! This is what I said...

"Hello all, I am a new Windows 7 user and so far I really like it. I had XP before and I recently bought a new computer. I am trying to set up triple monitors like I had before. The three monitors are as follows:

1) Acer 19" widescreen #1
2) Acer 19" widescreen #2
3) 40" Sony Bravia LCD TV

I had this working fine on my old computer. I had the two monitors plugged into an added video card, and then the TV plugged into the motherboard. On this new computer, I have one graphics card with all three monitors being plugged into it (one through VGA, one through DVI, and one through S-Video.) I get the two main monitors to work properly, but I can't get windows to extend the Desktop to my third monitor (My TV), like I had before. When I go to the screen resolution option, it recognizes all of the monitors, only it will only let me select two to actively use. I would even be satisfied if I could get the second AND third monitor to show the same thing. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do? Sorry, I am not very good at this so please bare with me! "


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
I have one graphics card with all three monitors being plugged into it (one through VGA, one through DVI, and one through S-Video.) I get the two main monitors to work properly, but I can't get windows to extend the Desktop to my third monitor (My TV),
And you never will. The video card may have three outputs, but it only has two RAMDAC's, so only two displays can be active at one time (not including the new ATI HD5xxx series of cards that support ATI Eyefinity Technology ).

Unless you have one of those cards, if you want to use three displays you're going to need,

1. A motherboard with onboard video, that also allows the use of the onboard as well as a video card (like your old computer).

2. A second video card for the third monitor.

3. Some thing like the Matrox Graphics - Products - Graphics eXpansion Module - TripleHead2Go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #3

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Your graphics card can only display 2 at the same time. The S-Video output shares its resources with the vga.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2009   #4

 
 

Thanks guys! Would it be possible to connect my TV as a third monitor through the HDMI port in the back which is part of the motherboard? If not, is it not even possible to get whatever shows on the second screen to show on the third screen as well (so basically have the primary one, and then two duals showing the same thing)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It is more than possible, in fact I do just that. I have a HD4830 as well as the HD3200 onboard, and I have a 22' and a 19' LCD monitor connected to the HD4830, and I connect my 32" LCD TV to the HDMI port on the HD3200 onboard video. Works great and the kids can watch DVD's/etc, and I can still work on my computer.

The trick to having it work is as I said whether the bios will allow it, which most don't and will disable the onboard video if a dedicated video card is detected. In my case there is an option called "SurroundView" which will only work with an ATI card in addition to the onboard (at least according to the manual).

If your motherboard/bios supports something like this then you shouldn't have any problems; helps a great deal to alleviate any problems if the video card is of the same generation as the onboard and uses the same driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #6

 
 

How do I know if my motherboard can support this? And what should I do if it doesn't?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Check the documentation that came with your motherboard, have a look in the bios, or failing that this,



would help, and we can look it up as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #8

 
 

Just updated with my system info. Thanks for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for that.

I get the feeling that model is just a little too new, as the info from Gateway isn't all there (specific hardware, etc; be nice to know exactly which motherboard is in it, they usually list that sort of thing). They do list the full specs for it though,

Gateway Support - Specifications

So going by what chipset is on it (Intel G43 Express) I looked up a couple of motherboards that use the same one, and from I can see none of them will support using a video card with the onboard at the same time. If fact I checked the manuals for a few and none of them had the options anywhere in the bios, and you'll find that the bios just auto-disables the onboard when a video card is detected.

At the moment the only way I can see doing what you want with three monitors is to grab a cheap Windows 7 compatible PCI video card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 build 7600
 
 
New Here

Ok I have the same issue as stated in the first post. However I have an HD3870X2 witch is two Cores on one board with internal crossfire.

Should I be having the problem as well?

Can anything be done to fix it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Trying to get three monitors working




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