cheapest way to add dual monitor support
April 30, 2010 6:32 AM   Subscribe

What is the cheapest way to add dual monitor support to my Dell Optiplex 330?

I have two monitors, a 22" and a 19". I would like to hook both of them up the PC, and was wondering what's the cheapest way way to go about that. Do i get a simple video card for the PCI-E slot, or do I get one that support two screens? No gaming will be done on that computer, so the card doesn't need to be that powerful.
posted by PlayWithFire to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
What card is currently in there? I think some of the default dell cards can take a dual dvi - > 2x dvi splitter like this one, which would clearly be the cheapest bet.
posted by CharlesV42 at 7:01 AM on April 30, 2010


Surely PlayWithFire doesn't want a splitter but two independent monitors? Any cheap video card with 2 outputs will do.
posted by turkeyphant at 7:22 AM on April 30, 2010


The basic Optiplex 330 has an integrated Intel GMA 3100 graphics chip with one external VGA port. As mentioned, the easiest thing would be to get a cheap dual head PCIe card. Make sure sure you get a low profile card if you have one of the thin desktop models (vs mid-tower).
posted by sockpup at 7:25 AM on April 30, 2010


You didn't mention if your monitors support dvi or only vga.
posted by bravowhiskey at 8:53 AM on April 30, 2010


Both monitors have DVI in, i think. If not, i have a few converters lying around. I would much rather get DVI only.

Is there anything specific I need to look for in the card?
posted by PlayWithFire at 10:04 AM on April 30, 2010


Since you don't plan on gaming, I think something like this would probably be fine. And it's only $55.
posted by Grither at 10:23 AM on April 30, 2010


Surely PlayWithFire doesn't want a splitter but two independent monitors?

To clarify, the splitter recommended by CharlesV42 is designed to take a single dual-link DVI connector and split it into two independent single-link connectors for display on separate monitors. You would need to confirm that your existing video card does in fact support dual-link DVI in order for that solution to work.
posted by contraption at 11:37 AM on April 30, 2010


@contraption, CharlesV42:

Dual link DVI does not mean you can hook up two monitors to a single port. The dongle linked by CharlesV42 is for cards with a DMS-59 port which supports (2) DVI connections.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:58 AM on May 1, 2010


Oh crap, you're right! I stand corrected, very sorry for the bad information.
posted by contraption at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2010


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