Video card compatability

  John Ross 12:05 23 Oct 04

I am looking for a new computer and am keen to use 2 monitors for my graphics work.
I would want to use a single desktop spread across 2 screens.
I have a 32Mb NVidia Geefoce 2 GTS in a PCI bus in my old computer.

The computer being offered by the Staff Home computing Initiative has 256Mb NVidia GF FX 5500 video card. It doesn't say if in PCI or AGP slot, but my guess is the former? They didn't seem to know what a dual head card was, but my impression was this card is not one.

Can anyone tell me:
Is the nVidia GFFX5500 card dual head, or able to run 2 monitors?
If not, can I put the older video card into the new computer and use it to run a 2nd monitor?
If yes, can you run the same desktop across 2 screens when using 2 video cards?

Thank you!

  bremner 12:31 23 Oct 04

That card is not dual head and is AGP.

You would need a card like the Quadro 4 280 click here

You can run two graphics cards but this can cause problems with the BIOS - this is advice from Matrox I found click here

  John Ross 12:52 23 Oct 04

Thanks for this useful advice.

Is the Quadro card good enough to "play the latest games" eg Halflife 2?

The spec on the computer I am being offered says only one AGP slot which presumably already has the graphics card in it. Therefore a second graphics card would need to go into a PCI slot?
I have read that having one in an AGP slot and one in a PCI slot is a non-starter, but your link to Matrox seems to suggest this might still work?

  bremner 14:59 23 Oct 04

Quadro is not up to the latest games - it is only 64MB.

Mind you only a Ati X800 or GF 6800 are up to the latest games!

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