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Windows 7: Extending Desktop to Three Monitors

15 May 2016   #1
MiMadreMia87

Windows 7 - 64bit
 
 
Extending Desktop to Three Monitors

I have a PCIe video card that can accommodate two monitors, the idea is to extend the Desktop to three monitors.. Can this be simple done by adding a new video card that accommodate one monitor? or should the three monitors be connected to one video card that has three outputs?

Built in graphics is disabled..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 May 2016   #2
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

It could be done either way. I have always thought you are better off with 1 card though. But, like I said, it can be done either way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #3
MiMadreMia87

Windows 7 - 64bit
 
 

even if the graphics cards are lower end?
video requirement are minimal.. so am good to go with any lower end PCIe card that can run one monitor?

The currently used PCIe is x16, and available slots are only for PCIe x1, this should cause no problems. correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 May 2016   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MiMadreMia87 View Post
even if the graphics cards are lower end?
video requirement are minimal.. so am good to go with any lower end PCIe card that can run one monitor?

The currently used PCIe is x16, and available slots are only for PCIe x1, this should cause no problems. correct?
Actually, that will cause problems, as in the second card probably won't work on PCI-e x1, assuming it would even fit (which is highly unlikely). You would be much better off replacing your existing card with one that can handle three monitors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #5
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MiMadreMia87 View Post
even if the graphics cards are lower end?
video requirement are minimal.. so am good to go with any lower end PCIe card that can run one monitor?

The currently used PCIe is x16, and available slots are only for PCIe x1, this should cause no problems. correct?
I don't think there is an X1 graphics card, or I have never seen one. Even if there is one, I don't recommend trying it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2016   #6
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

PCIe x1 video cards exist. Legacy PCI video cards are still produced too.

There's a youtube video where someone used a rotary tool to cut the connector of a PCIe x16 video card so it would fit in a PCIe x1 slot. It worked. This isn't particularly outlandish because the lanes are just bandwidth.

On a less ridiculous note, some PCIe slots are "open" on one end to accommodate larger cards:


And of course you have slots that are "physically" x4 but "electrically" x1 and such.

Unless your primary card is high-end, I'd buy a replacement with 3 outputs rather than an extra. Otherwise, if your x1 slot can accommodate an x16 there's no harm giving it a try. If not, legacy PCI video cards seem to have a bigger market than PCIe x1 video cards, so you might be better off with the former.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2016   #7
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

The problem goes deeper than a second card just physically fitting. If the OP's board has only one X1 slot left, the chances are pretty good he has run out of PCI-e lanes. We could tell more if the OP would give us a complete description of his system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2016   #8
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Good point, I didn't think about that. But I'd say the chances are 50/50, based on whether the remaining slot is CPU or PCH.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Extending Desktop to Three Monitors




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