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Old 12-24-2007, 02:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default video card noob needs help on dual monitor setup

Hi, I'm a mechanical engineering grad student buying himself two 19" LCD monitors for Christmas, to replace the giant 19" CRT that currently takes up half my desk.

I would say I am at least moderately computer literate overall, but less than average wrt video cards. Actually I'm pretty much clueless in this area, and could use some guidence.

Here's what I think may be relevent info:

System specs:
HP media center PC m7250n
2.8gHz Pentium D
4gb RAM (because it was near-free)

The stock video card's specs from HP's website:
ATI Radeon x300se
128 MB DDR memory
I/O Ports: Composite, S-Video, VGA

What I need to do:
NO gaming, not even solitaire
NO htpc stuff
CAD/CAM stuff, FEA
other stuff that's not difficult (word processing, spreadsheets)

Budget:
As little as possible? I did just buy two monitors...

As I said, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to video cards. I don't know what brands are good, or just acceptable. I don't know what kind of performance I need from a video card for CAD work. I don't even know what kind of coin I'm looking at shelling out, be it for acceptable or for good performance. ****, I barely know what defines 'good performance' for a video card.

It looks like I may be able to run two monitors with the video card currently in the computer, but I'm not sure. Plus, I think it would be better to have a card with dual DVI outputs so both my new monitors could be hooked up the same way (tell me if this assumption is wrong).

Help!

Mac
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: video card noob needs help on dual monitor setup

Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100164DDR2L Radeon X1650PRO 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

$60, but has a $15 mail-in rebate. It has dual DVI ports and an active cooler. It is also an ATI card, so your current drivers would work with it as is.

There are two models cheaper that have the same criteria... one has a no ranking and uses DDR, the other has a low ranking ranking. I have a Sapphire card and can vouch for them.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: video card noob needs help on dual monitor setup

ATI makes good cards, for what your doing that 1650 should work just fine. setting up dual monitors should be easy, right click go to personalize and find the display settings and advanced, you can activate the second monitor from there.
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