Dual Monitors

Dell / DIMENSION 2400
February 27, 2009 at 11:11:00
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 2.657 GHz / 766 MB
Hello, I want to hook up two monitors, is it possible to do this by just placing another video card in the open slot, and does it have to be the same as the one that is in the computer now. which is an Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics. Thanks for any help

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February 27, 2009 at 11:47:17
Yes you can as long as you have an expansion slot available to house the card.


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February 27, 2009 at 12:04:41
It has to be the same card that is in now correct?

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February 27, 2009 at 13:11:09
What do you want to be able to do?

If both monitors having an identical display of what is on the screen in all circumstances is fine, you don't necessarily need a video card.

If you want the two monitors to be able to have different displays, that may cost you more than you thought it might, if you choose a video card with a more recent chipset.

I've looked up your model before.

Dell™ Dimension™ 2400 Series

Technical specs

It's a minitower and has onboard AGP graphics - you have only 3 PCI slots, available, max, and no AGP slot.

If you get a video card, it will disable the onboard graphics when it is installed.
If you want to be able to connect two monitors to the video card, it must have two monitor ports that can be connected to your monitors, either directly or by means of a DVI to VGA adapter at the port (you can't adapt VGA ports to DVI use). Some cards come with no DVI to VGA adapter, some come with one, some come with two.

Your power supply has either a 200 watt or 250 watt capacity - typically minimally sized, as is the case with most brand name systems.
I looked it up - it is not proprietary - it's a standard (PS/2) sized ATX power supply, with standard ATX wiring.

If you buy a cheap PCI video card with an older video chipset you MIGHT be able to get away with not having to up the capacity of the power supply, but if you use a better PCI card with a more recent chipset you WILL have to get a power supply with more capacity, a minumum of 300 watts, or more.

If you use a cheap PCI video card with an older chipset, your ram will perform better, your video will perform a little better, but otherwise the video may be no better or a little worse than what you already have, since the onboard video is AGP.

Any better PCI video card that requires an extra power connection from the power supply will probably require you get a power supply with more capacity, and preferably, one that has the extra wiring and connector that can plug into the card, though sometimes the card comeswith an appropriate wiring adapter.

If you use a better PCI video card with a more recent chipset, your ram will perform better, and your video will perform a lot better.

In any case, you should look on the card manufacturer's web site at the specs for the model and find the minimum system power supply capacity need for a system, and often the minimum current the PS must supply at a voltage, with that card installed on it. That's often listed under system requirements. If you see that, the PS you buy, or the used one you use, must have at least those ratings.

If you DO go for a video card with a more recent chipset and replacing the power supply...
- any standard (PS/2) sized ATX power supply will fit in your case and work with your mboard, but if the video card requires an extra power connector be plugged into it, it's preferable the replacement PS has that.
- most new (and more recent used) PSs come with a main connector that can be used on either a 20 or 24 "pin" socket on the mboard, so you don't necessarily need to find one with only a 20 "pin" main connector.
- the original PS may or may not have a white wire at position 18 on the main connector, and some new ones do not - that is used for an ISA slot / ISA card function - it doesn't matter whether the replacement PS has the white wire or not, since your mboard has no ISA slots.

The PCI slot on the end of the 3 slots closest to the center of the mboard should NOT be used for anything except a PCI video card, because that slot is forced to use the same IRQ as the onboard video, or as the AGP card in the AGP slot if you have one, and that situation frequently causes problems for other than a video card. A PCI video card can probably be installed in any of the 3 PCI slots, but it's NOT a good idea to install other than a video card in the first one.

Most people are not aware that when you connect two monitors to a video card, there are a few commonly used programs that will only produce a display on the monitor Windows sees as the Primary monitor.
E.g. Power DVD will only actually play DVD playback in it's window on the Primary monitor.

If both monitors having an identical display of what is on the screen in all circumstances is fine, you have another alternative.
You can get a video splitter box (hardware in a box) and a video extension cable and connect them to your existing single video output port, and connect your monitors to the box. A video splitter box is the same thing used in stores to display exactly the same display on two or more monitors at the same time. If both your monitors are VGA that can be relatively inexpensive, and in any case you will NOT have to replace your existing power supply. They have a built in amplifier, so if you want one monitor to be more than 6 feet or so from the computer, that's no problem as long as you use a heavy duty video extension cable to the farther monitor as well.

The video splitter boxes here:
(NOTE that the simple video splitter cables will usually yield you POOR results, according to what I've read)

VGA Extension cables:

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Related Solutions

February 27, 2009 at 14:26:41
"It has to be the same card that is in now correct?"

On almost all mboards, installing a video card in a slot automatically disables the onboard video - all settings to do with it in the bios Setup are also then ignored, such as the amount of ram that is shared with it.

The only exceptions are some really old mboards that are probably no longer being used (most are pre-pentium) that have a jumper you move to disable the onboard video,
or - a few recent mboards with special main chipsets and onboard video that have a"hybrid" or similar feature, and even then the onboard video is still disabled unless the video card is using one of a very small group of recent video chipsets.

Onboard video is always a comprimise. The video is built into the mboard, so you don't need a video card unless you want to install one, mboards with onboard video are not much different in cost from similar ones that don't have it, but sharing the ram with the onboard video as much as halves the ram's maximum bandwidth (max. data transfer rate) the ram is otherwise capable of. When the onboard video is disabled, the ram is no longer shared with it, and the same ram performs much better when higher max. data transfer rates are required by the programs you are using.


The term "card" is frequently mis-used.
You presently have a video chipset built into the mboard, but you DO NOT have a video card.
It's a card ONLY if it's an actual physical card or module that you install in a slot or the equivalent, that is REMOVABLE, that attaches directly to the mboard, usually INSIDE the case.
A USB connected video adapter isn't a "card" either.

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February 27, 2009 at 16:21:24
Thanks for the information and the links, The reason for the second monitor is just ease of viewing multiple charts without having to tab back and forth. just a convenience. I looked up upgrades for the Dimension 2400 and found ( e-Geforce 6200 256 mb DDR2 PCI Graphics card) capable of handling two monitors. I would think I could plug one monitor into the original port and the second into the new card. When I get the card in a few days and install it I'll post here how it works out for me. Thank all for the help

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February 27, 2009 at 17:12:58
"I would think I could plug one monitor into the original port and the second into the new card."


Did you read what I wrote?

I told you twice ....
the onboard video will not work once you plug in the video card.

Any video card with the same chipset requires a similar amount of PS capacity.

Minimum of a 250 Watt power supply.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 18 Amps.) "

Your power supply must meet or exceed both of those specs for that video chipset.

If you don't know what ratings your PS has, open up the case and take a look. If you can't see the label, you will have to remove the 4 screws that hold it onto the back of the case, on the outside of the case, and maybe one or two inside, and find the label on the PS box.

If it's rated 200 watts, or if it doesn't meet the current at 12v spec, you will have to get one with more capacity, for a card with that chipset.

If you have to replace the PS, you might as well get a better video card with a newer video chipset too.

If the PS is inadequate, if you don't get one with more capacity, the power supply will be damaged and will fail, sooner or later, and there's a definite possibilty that could damage something other than the PS while failing , e.g. the mboard.

If you don't want to have to replace the PS, look at the specs for cards with an older chipset and choose one your power supply can handle.

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March 6, 2009 at 13:27:31
Well, I checked my PS and found it to be 200w where the e-GeForce 6200 requires a minimum of 250w. After changing the PS out I installed the new graphics card and driver installation CD. I placed the VGA adapter to the new card and hooked up both monitors, This is when I got identical display on both monitors. I then hooked one monitor to new graphics card and the other to the on board port and got the results I was looking for. I can display separate browsers on either monitor,
Thank you for the assistance

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March 6, 2009 at 16:41:35
Once you have installed the drivers and related applications for the card, you haveat least two options for the ports in the cardc - to CLONE the two displays, or similar, so they are identical, or to spread the display over the two monitors. You might also be able to display different displays on the two monitors
I have not used NVidia video so I don't know where you do that in your case.
See Control Panel - Display - Settings- Advanced for somewhere where you can do that, and/or look for a NVidia display settings related entry in your All Programs list (it will be last in the first part of the list unless you RIGHT click and sort the list alphabetically), and/or look in Control Panel for a NVidia related icon, and/or or see the Help for the video drivers.

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