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  • Dual monitor setup questions...

    I have a 2nd monitor i would like to add to my computer, I currently have a single 32meg ATI Rage card. From what i understand, I have two options, purchase a 2nd video card for the 2nd monitor, or purchase a dualhead video card to run both monitors.

    Is there an advantage to one of the setups? I was looking to upgrade my current card anyway, i would like a 64meg card, for better game support. I also have seen the Radeon 7500 dualhead cards going on eBay for under $50, should i go that way?

    Also! When playing games, will I beable to go full screen on one monitor, and surf the internet on the other monitor?

    Anything else i need to now about a dual display setup?

    If it makes any difference, I'll be using two 19" (18"vis) monitors, running 1600x1200 @ 60hz.

    Help?
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  • #2
    well the dual head card will use the same drivers...
    with my S3 trio 64/32 ( yes it is 3 times older than my pc :P ( 3 yrs old )) when i try to use java sites it will moan about mis match of gfx drivers...
    same happens in games. i have to disable one monitor.
    yeh go for a dual head card but NOT a 7500 please... me and my friend had ahard time with it... why not a radeon 9000? i think they are dual head arent they?
    www.xixora.com
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Joe
      Is there an advantage to one of the setups? I was looking to upgrade my current card anyway, i would like a 64meg card, for better game support. I also have seen the Radeon 7500 dualhead cards going on eBay for under $50, should i go that way?
      From having both setups for many years only advantage to a dual-head card is that typically the manufacturer will have software with the video drivers to allow for neat things with the dual-monitor desktop. However I never really noticed a need for it if you have a piece of software like UltraMon.

      Also! When playing games, will I beable to go full screen on one monitor, and surf the internet on the other monitor?


      No. Also note that some games do not correctly capture the mouse (Age of Mythology, Tom Clancy games, GTA3 etc.) and in the course of the game you can scroll over to the other desktop. When you click the mouse, it dumps you out of the game. Quite an annoyance and a bug in the game.

      If it makes any difference, I'll be using two 19" (18"vis) monitors, running 1600x1200 @ 60hz.

      Help?
      60hz will prove to be quite a strain on your eyes. You should at least be at 70hz.
      Matt
      Sybase DBA / PHP fanatic
      Sybase v. MySQL v. Oracle | Why I don't like MySQL | Download Sybase TODAY! | Visit DBForums.com!

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      • #4
        Thanks guys, I have spent most the day reading reviews on different video card's, the radeon 9000 sounds like a great card. I may go for that. Is 128meg worth the extra $15 over 64meg?

        Matt, thanks for the indepth answers. I currently run a single 19" monitor, 1600x1200 @ 60hz. I more then likely will move to 1280 x 1024 @ 85hz when i have the dual monitor setup. 1280 x 1024 dosent give me enough screen realestate on single monitor, and i can only run 60hz at my current resolution.
        Last edited by Joe; Sun 29 Dec '02, 12:40pm.
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        • #5
          You'll probably wind up completely wrecking your eyes after a few years. Remembering the days of 52hz SVGA, it really was painful.

          Reasoning: human eye sees somewhere around 25-30fps (can't remember the exact number, I think it is 29), but the difference is, with monitors the image does not blur.

          For example:
          most movies are shot at 24-29fps (depending in action scenes/etc). If you ever try to pause a VHS tape, you'll notice that the picture is blurry. This is because the images are "blurred"... e.g. the motion of the tape brings them together, which is why the picture is not flashy or staggers like a computer game running on a slow computer. It's simply the fact that all the frames blend together to form a smooth picture.

          Other way around with computer monitors. The monitor must draw a new picture every few milliseconds, and since they do not blur, you simply wind up with a staggering image, like running GTA3 on a 500MHz processor with a bad video card. It stutters and runs jumpy. So, with a refresh rate like 60hz, it means the monitor refreshes itself 60 times per second (I think, might be a different unit of time). Although its difficult for the eye to keep up, its slow enough that the human eye refocuses itself on the picture thousands of times per minute, becuase it (subconsciously) sees a different picture at longer intervals. With a refresh rate of like 70hz or optimally 85hz (even 100), the eye does not refocus as much because it can't tell the difference.

          Kinda like AC power .... everything fluctuates. It's on a sine wave type of thing, a series of on/offs, which is why a light bulb is never ON, its always going on and off at a very fast rate, so fast that you can't see it.

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          • #6
            Chris, I have been using this current setup @60hz for ~6 months now, 5hrs a day, I have honestly never had any eye problems. I know others can see the flicker at this refresh rate, but it has never bugged me. And honestly, after using 1600 x 1200 for sooo long, anything bigger is HUGE!

            Like i mentioned earlyer, I'll give 1280 x 1024 @ 85hz a try once i get my 2nd monitor in place.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joe
              Chris, I have been using this current setup @60hz for ~6 months now, 5hrs a day, I have honestly never had any eye problems. I know others can see the flicker at this refresh rate, but it has never bugged me. And honestly, after using 1600 x 1200 for sooo long, anything bigger is HUGE!

              Like i mentioned earlyer, I'll give 1280 x 1024 @ 85hz a try once i get my 2nd monitor in place.
              I used to run my old Packard Bell (1st personal computer besides the family one) at 800x600 52Hz for well over a year. Not to say it'll kill your vision, but it will impair it, and its just a recommendation. Better to ask your eye doctor than me, though.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MattR
                [i]From having both setups for many years only advantage to a dual-head card is that typically the manufacturer will have software with the video drivers to allow for neat things with the dual-monitor desktop. However I never really noticed a need for it if you have a piece of software like UltraMon.



                No. Also note that some games do not correctly capture the mouse (Age of Mythology, Tom Clancy games, GTA3 etc.) and in the course of the game you can scroll over to the other desktop. When you click the mouse, it dumps you out of the game. Quite an annoyance and a bug in the game.



                60hz will prove to be quite a strain on your eyes. You should at least be at 70hz.
                Also, games like Medal of Honor: Spearhead totally break with two monitors enabled. You must temporarily disable the second in able to play.
                Matt
                Sybase DBA / PHP fanatic
                Sybase v. MySQL v. Oracle | Why I don't like MySQL | Download Sybase TODAY! | Visit DBForums.com!

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                • #9
                  Well, I changed my monitor to a lower resolution so i could run a higher refresh. Yesterday, I said 60hz didnt bug me, i must have just been used to the pain! At 85hz, my eyes are so much more relaxed. Thanks for the heads up on that.

                  I went ahead and purchased a Radon 9000 off ebay, my 2nd monitor should be in next week. I cant wait for a dual setup
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                  • #10
                    Yay! I am now up and running with a dual 19" (1280 x 1024 @ 85hz) setup with a single Radeon 9000 video card. This setup is AWESOME!

                    Total cost for the 2nd monitor and new video card was $246. I could have made the chage to dual monitor by using a 2nd cheap video card, and a 15" monitor that i havent used in a few yaers, but i wanted to go all the way. Well worth the investment, i just hope my desk dosent die!
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Joe
                      Yay! I am now up and running with a dual 19" (1280 x 1024 @ 85hz) setup with a single Radeon 9000 video card. This setup is AWESOME!

                      Total cost for the 2nd monitor and new video card was $246. I could have made the chage to dual monitor by using a 2nd cheap video card, and a 15" monitor that i havent used in a few yaers, but i wanted to go all the way. Well worth the investment, i just hope my desk dosent die!
                      Congrats :]
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Joe
                        I have a 2nd monitor i would like to add to my computer, I currently have a single 32meg ATI Rage card. From what i understand, I have two options, purchase a 2nd video card for the 2nd monitor, or purchase a dualhead video card to run both monitors.

                        Is there an advantage to one of the setups? I was looking to upgrade my current card anyway, i would like a 64meg card, for better game support. I also have seen the Radeon 7500 dualhead cards going on eBay for under $50, should i go that way?

                        Also! When playing games, will I beable to go full screen on one monitor, and surf the internet on the other monitor?

                        Anything else i need to now about a dual display setup?

                        If it makes any difference, I'll be using two 19" (18"vis) monitors, running 1600x1200 @ 60hz.

                        Help?
                        I must ask you as a visually disabled person,
                        a) how can you even see on a 1600x resolution on a 19" monitor!
                        b) how can you enjoy that type of screen at 60 hz? From 85/100hz it is enjoyable for the eye, 60 is horrid.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NetherChris
                          You'll probably wind up completely wrecking your eyes after a few years. Remembering the days of 52hz SVGA, it really was painful.

                          Reasoning: human eye sees somewhere around 25-30fps (can't remember the exact number, I think it is 29), but the difference is, with monitors the image does not blur.

                          For example:
                          most movies are shot at 24-29fps (depending in action scenes/etc). If you ever try to pause a VHS tape, you'll notice that the picture is blurry. This is because the images are "blurred"... e.g. the motion of the tape brings them together, which is why the picture is not flashy or staggers like a computer game running on a slow computer. It's simply the fact that all the frames blend together to form a smooth picture.

                          Other way around with computer monitors. The monitor must draw a new picture every few milliseconds, and since they do not blur, you simply wind up with a staggering image, like running GTA3 on a 500MHz processor with a bad video card. It stutters and runs jumpy. So, with a refresh rate like 60hz, it means the monitor refreshes itself 60 times per second (I think, might be a different unit of time). Although its difficult for the eye to keep up, its slow enough that the human eye refocuses itself on the picture thousands of times per minute, becuase it (subconsciously) sees a different picture at longer intervals. With a refresh rate of like 70hz or optimally 85hz (even 100), the eye does not refocus as much because it can't tell the difference.

                          Kinda like AC power .... everything fluctuates. It's on a sine wave type of thing, a series of on/offs, which is why a light bulb is never ON, its always going on and off at a very fast rate, so fast that you can't see it.

                          I wonder what Steve Machol would say about that?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xiphoid
                            I must ask you as a visually disabled person,
                            a) how can you even see on a 1600x resolution on a 19" monitor!
                            b) how can you enjoy that type of screen at 60 hz? From 85/100hz it is enjoyable for the eye, 60 is horrid.
                            I have no problem reading text at 1600 x 1200, it is small, but i have good vision... I even run 1600 x 1200 on a 17" monitor at work. I now run 1280 x 1024 on both of my monitors, to me, the text is huge, buy my eyes do feel more relaxed.

                            I ran 60hz for 6 months, i really didnt notice a difference until i went to 85hz. But then again, i had no problem sitting at the computer all day at 60hz *shrug*
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