Dual VGA card

I\’m so far behind the technology curve it\’s embarassing. Last century, really.

I\’ve just decided that since I\’ve got two monitors, why not try having two monitors on one PC?

Woo, cutting edge, eh?

And so I go looking for a card that will let me do this. I obviously need to have a PCI 16 card with 2 VGA outlets. The Compaq I\’ve got (look, I know, but I manage to blow up a computer about once every 18 months. So whatever the supermarket has for €400 is what I have) uses a graphics chip set on hte motherboard, so adding another card with one VGA outlet won\’t help. Because the onboard graphics get cut off if there\’s a card in.

I don\’t need DVI or HEDACCDGAS whatever the new one is, because I\’m not running video or TV and have no intention of doing so. Also, the two monitors I have conveniently have VGA connectors.

So, a dual VGA card is pretty old technology. Certainly the shops here don\’t have them, Amazon and so on don\’t seem to. They\’re offering me £80 games graphics stuff which I just don\’t need. I was sorta hoping for something in the £5 range really……..

So, knowing that technical people are in fact pack rats, any of you readers out there got an old dual VGA PCI 16 card lying around?

Given that I seem to be so far behing the technological frontier that no one makes any more what is for me the next leap into the future?

12 thoughts on “Dual VGA card”

  1. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a dual VGA. It’s normally VGA and DVI or better yet DVI and HDMI. I’m sure they exist though. I just only started using dual monitor 5 years ago.

    Still, your plight isn’t quite as fossilised as all that. How many people dabbling with HTML are still using the 13 years deprecated font tag?

  2. I have been using two monitors for years, without any special effort. Most modern video cards (mine is circa 2008) have both a VGA and a DVI output. It is possible to use both at the same time. so you hook one monitor up to the VGA and one up to DVI. Then it’s just a question of configuring windows to see them as two separate desktops which is trivial. Only catch, if your monitors are older then check that at least one of them will accept DVI – but a new 19+” monitor these days is less that 200 quid. You may also need a new (DVI) cable if you dont have one already – make sure they give you one with the monitor if that’s the way you go. I dont think you’ll have much like finding a dual vga card. That was specialist kit in it’s day (so, rare) and is now seriously out of date.

  3. When I did this, about five years ago, you had to get the card with the DVI and the adaptor as Adam says. I think some came with the adaptor. It is about the best technology thing you can do – I’m astonished you write so much with so many links using just one monitor.

  4. Tim

    I am upgrading my computer next week to a machine with one of the latest graphics cards. Currently I use my dual monitor system with two VGA/DVI dongles – I plug my VGA leads into the dongle and the dongle into the DVI conection on the graphic card. As of next week the two dongles will become redundant as I am getting two DVI cables so if you want them just send me your postal address. I reckon that any graphic card you purchase that is less than 5 years old will have a DVI connector rather than VGA.

  5. They do exist; I picked one up for about £20 a good 8 years ago now. I may still have it somewhere, but I have no idea where.

  6. Oh my God, Tim, that’s really sad. I try not to be the resident Apple fanboi, but Macs have had multiple monitor support since about 1987 or so. Take my multi-screens away and I’f feel like I’d suffered a simultaneous amputation and bereavement.

  7. Basically, a DVI (or HDMI) supports both a digital (DVI-D) and an analogue connection through the same connector, either of which can be used. The analogue connection is electronically the same as the old VGA connection, just using a different plug. Modern graphics cards do support VGA – they just don’t support the old blue VGA connector.

    If you have a VGA monitor and a DVI output on the graphics card, then either get a cable with DVI on one end and VGA on the other, or get a DVI to VGA adaptor, and then use a VGA cable.

    Basically, you need one of these

    http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-DVI-Cable-Adapter-DVIVGAMF/dp/B000067SOH

    or one of these

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/1-8m-DVI-TO-VGA-CABLE/dp/B000K5O1M8

  8. I’d be surprised if an adapter didn’t come in the box. Get a DVI and VGA card, the cheapest you can find, and use an adapter in one socket.

    Incidentally, DVI is better for LCD screens – no sync issues, you don’t need to fiddle with the auto adjust button.

  9. I had a dual-VGA output card about three desktop PCs ago, but it’s sadly now either in a box in the Isle of Man or in a landfill somewhere. You might be able to find one on eBay. Otherwise, as Matthew says, just buy the cheapest graphics card there is and it’ll work.

    I try not to be the resident Apple fanboi, but Macs have had multiple monitor support since about 1987 or so.

    And PCs have had it since the early 1990s, unless you buy a PC that’s cheaper than Apple’s version of a telephone.

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