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CooperJMatVT
1 Copper

Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Hi,

I just purchased a new vosotro 420 tower and was wondering how I would go about running 3 monitors from it (The 19" dell widescreen that is included and two gateway 22" widescreens that I already own. -- The gateways accept all three video connections.)

Specs:

-- Vostro 420 Tower
-- Processor --
-- Intel® Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz, 4M, L2Cache, 1333FSB)
-- Memory --
-- 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 2DIMMs
-- Monitors --
-- Dell 19 inch Widescreen S1909WXF Flat Panel Monitor
-- Video Card --
-- 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 -supports DVI,HDMI,VGA Connections
-- Primary Hard Drive --
-- 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache

Thank you for your help.

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10 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

CooperJMatVT,

You can only run two monitors off of the 3450. You will need to add either a PCI or PCIe x1 video card to drive the 3rd monitor.

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neandrews
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Dell Vostro 420

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 (2.66GHz, 1333Mhz, 6MB)

Memory 4096MB DDR2 Dual Channel Memory

256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 Graphics Card (PCIe)

 

I am trying to set up my system to run 3 monitors

1.       The on board video is capped off – can I run the onboard with the ATI card if so how?

2.       Can I put in an additional PCI based card PNY GeForce 8400 GS 512MB DDR2 (my motherboard only has one PCIe connector), and run both the cards – if so how do I set it up?

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gups
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Came across this thread. I too am interested in setting up 3 or 4 discreet monitors with the Vostro 420. Currently, the Vostro 420 Tower ships with the following Video Card:

ATI HD 4350

I understand that this is installed on the PCIe x16 slot. Which leaves two PCIe x1 slots free. Can I add another video card to one of the free PCIe x1 slots to connect 3 or 4 monitors?Does it have to be the same ATI HD 4350 chipset for the drivers to work properly? I know that there is a low-profile HD 4350 PCIe x1 slot on the market which only consumes about 20 or so watts.

If I go ahead and proceed with the above set up, should I foresee any problems? Is the 350W power supply enough to handle dual video cards? I am not a gamer and don't need Crossfire or SLI setups..

Thanks!

 

 

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neandrews
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

:emotion-2:Gups

I have tried a number of things:

I installed a Matrox DualHead to go - this worked but was troublesome as it did not always boot up and cut out at times probably due to the fact it is trying to 'fool' windows.  This was very unreliable.

I tried to install a PCI video card alongside the installed ATI HD 4350 card in the PCI Express slot - this did not work - could not activate both cards (just like trying to activate the onboard motherboard with the ATI HD 4350) the system does not seem to allow this?

I finally removed the ATI HD 4350 and replaced it with two nvidia GeForce 8400 GS PCI cards, hooked up four monitors and away it went.  Have been using it now for about two months with no problems.

Hope this helps

Good luck.

 

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gups
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Hi Neandrews,

Thank you  for your update!!

I wonder if the reason you were unable to use the nVidia card with the ATI HD 4350 card was due to driver compatibility? I understand that for the two cards to work in tandem, they have to be able to use the same set of drivers, which means that they would have to have the same or very similar chipset. In the absence of this, the computer would only recognize the primary GPU, i.e., the HD 4350.

This would also explain why the two GeForce 8400 cards work just fine.

I hope that I will be able to add the low-profile HD 4350 to the PCIe x1 slot and that things will go smoothly. I will keep you posted once I order the second video card!

If anyone else out there has successfully added a second video card on the PCIe x1 slot, your input would be much appreciated!

 

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hander1
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

I so wish people would post updates on their threads ...

 

Trying to do exactly the same on a Vostro 430. Appreciate any success stories!

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gups
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Hi there. Apologies for not posting an update! Here it is. YES, I was able to add a 512MB ATI 4350 PCIe x1 card to my Vostro 420 and run 3 discreet monitors. A couple of points:

 

1. The second card was very close to the one already installed on the PCIe x16 lane. However, since both the cards have fans, I am assuming the coling is sufficient. There really was no way to get round this.

2. I downloaded the latest version of the Catalyst software before adding the second card in. It recognized both the cards right away (my second card is also an ATI 4350 PCIe x16). It helps to have the same chipset to avoid driver conflicts.

3. Before adding the second card, my system RAM was 3GB (I have 32-bit Win XP Pro. Total installed RAM is 3GB on my machine). I understand that on board VRAM takes up address space. It was my assumption that adding the second card might reduce the available RAM to 2.5GB (3GB - 512MB). However, my machine currently only shows 2GB of available RAM. I have not been able to figure this out. If any one else can shed light on this, that would be great!

 

I hope this helps you out!

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hander1
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Hurrah! Thanks for coming back.

 

1 Yes, my x1 would be very close too. Did you consider getting a normal 4350 PCI card? 

2 Thanks.

3 Hm... something to watch for here. I'm on Win 7, 64 so may be different. But can't help you, I'm afraid.


Thanks again. Yes, this is helpful!

 

Ps if you're in the UK, where did you get the x1 card?

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gups
1 Copper

Re: Running 3 monitors on new Vosotro 420 Tower?

Sure thing.

 

I never did consider getting a PCI slot card, as I had a PCIe x1 lane open. I think the PCIe x1 platform is better, and I saw no need to go to a legacy platform.

If you are on a 64-bit system, you should hopefully be fine

I am not in the UK. I got mine on newegg. This is the one I got:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161280

 

 

 

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