Dual head video cards

Josh Paetzel josh at tcbug.org
Tue Jul 17 12:39:43 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 17 July 2007, dgmm wrote:
> Are there any "gotchas" I should look out for when purchasing a
> dual head video card?
> I'm currently looking for a cheap NVidia card with both analogue
> and digital output to use my old 21" CRT and the new 19" LCD but,
> as usual, there's very little info other than for Windows in the
> write ups/reviews.
> I've never used dual head before so I'm concerned that some cards
> might share resources to the extent that they are windows only . 
> Maybe I'm seeing potential problems that aren't there?
> Budget is tight so I don't want to screw up the purchase.  "Cheap"
> is word I'm looking for :-)

You'll need to use the binary nvidia drivers, the open source nv 
driver doesn't support dual-head at all.  So you run in to a couple 
of gotchas there.  The first being that the nvidia drivers are i386 
only, they aren't available for AMD64, and the second is that 
twinview has a sort of odd behavior when you use different 
resolutions on each monitor.  It's hard to describe but the driver 
basically pretends that the resolutions are the same and then only 
draws what can be displayed of the smaller one, so there's desktop 
outside of the monitor that you can drag windows in to but obviously 
can't see.

With regards to cards I've used the recent nvidia drivers and 
dual-head with everything from an fx5500 PCI card to 6200LE to 6600GT 
to 7200 cards.  I've used the legacy drivers with various 4x00ti 

Here are links to cards I've personally used with dual head in the sub 
$50 range USD.




Josh Paetzel
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