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View Full Version : 2 Monitors and a TV - Options / Recommendations?




RonOot
Jul 30, 2008, 08:46 PM
I have a new mac pro with a 8800GT. I am currently running two 17" LCDs with it. In the near future I will buy a television, which I would also like to run off the mac. I have vista installed via boot camp for games. I've read that OS X can handle multiple graphics cards fine, but how does Vista with bootcamp? What happens when you try to play a game? Does it affect performance at all?

What other options are there? Is there anyway to run three displays off this one card? Could I find a splitter for one of the DVI ports or something?

If anyone would like to present additional options or make recommendations I am all ears. At this point I am in research mode.

Thank you!



RonOot
Jul 30, 2008, 09:25 PM
Does something like this actually work?

http://cgi.ebay.com/24K-Gold-Plated-DVI-I-to-DVI-and-VGA-Splitter-Cable_W0QQitemZ5855179900QQihZ001QQcategoryZ64631QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

And if so, is it a simple clone or can the displays run independently?

matt321
Jul 31, 2008, 12:24 AM
All that cable does is clone a display.

In order to run 3 devices, independently, you need a second video card. You can use either a 2600xt or another 8800gt but 2600xt will be cheaper.

As for Vista, it may have a hissy fit about having two different types of video cards (nvidia and ati.) Can anyone clarify if an 8800gt and a 2600xt get along in Vista?

RonOot
Jul 31, 2008, 07:15 PM
I could get a 1366 x 768 LCD for my computer (http://tinyurl.com/6dvepy), and a TV with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Then I could get a DVI-I splitter and send the analog signal to the monitor and the digital signal to the TV. It would be a clone, but thats OK because I still have my other 17" (1280 x 1024) LCD to work with.

So would that work? Will the 8800GT be able to display 1366 x 768 without any fuss (Leopard & Vista)?

I'd like to try to avoid the extra noise / heat / power consumption / driver confusion of an additional video card.

blownco
Aug 1, 2008, 03:48 AM
buy this


http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/

RonOot
Aug 1, 2008, 10:59 AM
From what I understand, that TripleHead2Go (and other similar devices) presents itself to your computer as one large screen. The device will then split that output across multiple monitors.

My question then, is the computer aware of the multiple monitors? When you "full screen" an app, will it confine itself to the monitor it is in, or stretch across all monitors connected to the device? Because I will be hooking up a TV and frequently playing video in "fullscreen" this is important.

I still like my idea of getting a TV and PC monitor with matching resolutions and splitting the DVI-I to both of them. Its kinda annoying that widescreen computer monitors use an apsect ratio of 8:5 (16:10) whereas TV's use 16:9. Fortunately there are a couple of vendors out there with 16:9 computer monitors though.

ChemiosMurphy
Aug 1, 2008, 01:43 PM
I've done the 720p route and it sucks. Don't do it.

My brother's mac mini can't do it, and nor can my mac pro. It looks absolutely crappy in 1280*720 with really weird black bars around it and text is hard to read.

You can turn on the overscan mode so that the text looks more legible, but then you lose half your dock and the entire top menu bar. It sucks.

If I were you, I'd just go 1080p. For the love of God, just go 1080p because it is not worth the aggravation of that 1366 BS.

Also. Boot camp will work with dual video cards.

blownco
Aug 1, 2008, 03:49 PM
From what I understand, that TripleHead2Go (and other similar devices) presents itself to your computer as one large screen. The device will then split that output across multiple monitors.

My question then, is the computer aware of the multiple monitors? When you "full screen" an app, will it confine itself to the monitor it is in, or stretch across all monitors connected to the device? Because I will be hooking up a TV and frequently playing video in "fullscreen" this is important.

I still like my idea of getting a TV and PC monitor with matching resolutions and splitting the DVI-I to both of them. Its kinda annoying that widescreen computer monitors use an apsect ratio of 8:5 (16:10) whereas TV's use 16:9. Fortunately there are a couple of vendors out there with 16:9 computer monitors though.


you are correct sir. i thought it was able to split the desktop independently but i was wrong.

madboom
Aug 4, 2008, 07:43 AM
The ATI + Nvidia will not work in Vista. You would need to use 2 cards from the same manufacturer under Windows.

Furthermore while it works under OS X it is not perfect, at least not for me it's not. I often have problems booting with more than 2 monitors plugged in. After OS X starts I can plug in the 3rd & 4th monitors connected to the 2600 and it works fine. Sometimes it will even boot correctly with the monitors plugged in but not turned on.

RonOot
Aug 9, 2008, 12:38 AM
I set up the solution that I had described on July 31st. I bought a monitor and a TV that have the same native resolution. The monitor uses VGA, and the TV connects via HDMI (from DVI). I picked up a splitter that goes from DVI-I to VGA and DVI-D. The first thing I noticed was that when I use the splitter (no tv hooked up yet), the monitor is no longer detecting appropriately and only shows up as "VGA Display" without the option of choosing the correct resolution (without the splitter the monitor is detected correctly, and has the correct profile and resolutions). As soon as I connect the TV the mac ceases to recognize the VGA at all, but correctly detects the television and allows me to pick the correct resolution. So, unless someone has any ideas, my original goal of mirroring the TV and monitor are a failure.

I am going to see if I can find a friend with a VGA splitter, since the TV also works with VGA input. I've already hooked up the TV with VGA, and the quality is noticeably less than HDMI... but if thats what works, I might end up going with it.