Will my graphics card support these two monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by alexf, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. alexf macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently running a Power Mac G5 with a Radeon 9600 XT (128MB) graphics card. My current set-up involves two 17" Apple LCD Studio display monitors (the last incarnation of the clear lucite before the aluminum ones were released).

    My question is as follows: I am considering replacing one of the 17" monitors with a new 23" Apple LCD display, which would mean the my machine would be running both a 17" and a 23" display. Is this possible with my current card (Radeon 9600 XT), or do I need to upgrade if I want to run these two monitors at the same time?

    Any help would be gladly appreciated, as I don't want any surprises after spending $1K on a new monitor...

    Thanks :)
     
  2. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #2
    I have a PowerBook with a Radeon 9600 Mobility w/ 64MB of VRAM, and it drives the internal screen @ 1280 x 854 and an external CRT (bleh, me wants LCD) @ 1600 x 1200. It does Core Image and such and otherwise has no trouble handling both screens.
     
  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #3
    I ran my 20.1" LCD (1680x1050) and 19" CRT (1172x870 or something) simultaneously off a Radeon 7500 32MB with no problems...I think you'll be fine.
     
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #4
    Any Radeon with two DVI ports can run up to two 23" HD Displays just fine.

    Any Radeon with one DVI and one VGA port can run one 23" HD Display plus an analog display at up to 1920x1080 (or 1600x1200, for you 4:3 holdouts. :p )

    Certain models (which includes yours, IIRC) can run one 30" display and one up-to-23" display. And a few nVidia cards (6800GT-DDL, 7800GTX, and Quadro) can run two 30" displays.
     
  5. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #5
    Thanks for the help. My card (9600 XT) has one DVI and one VGA port. Would I still need to use my DVI to ADC adapter if I swapped one of my 17" LCDs for a 23"?

    Why is it that, if what you are saying is correct, my card can run a 17" and a 23" display together (which totals 40"), yet cannot run one 30" display?
     
  6. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #6
    your 9600xt has one adc connector and one dvi,unplug the adc-dvi adapter and plug the 23" into the dvi.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    If you are buying a new (aluminum) Apple Cinema Display, it uses a DVI interface. You'd probably have to hook it up to the analog (VGA) port with an adapter, while the 17" ADC used the DVI with an adapter. See, this is why I hate ADC monitors...such fuss, no?

    To get the best image, I recommend upgrading to a card with two DVI ports, like the Radeon X800XT. Actually the best card for you with your proposed setup would be the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition, which has one DVI port and one ADC port.

    The 30" display requires a Dual Link DVI -capable video card. The following cards have the capability of running at least one 30" LCD: GeForce 6800GT or Ultra, Radeon X800XT, Radeon X850XT, GeForce 6600LE or GT, GeForce 7800GT, or Quadro. Without the dual link hardware the biggest screens you can run are two 23" or 24" (like Dell's 2405FPW).
     
  8. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #8
    So, if I have understood you correctly, I would have to get another adapter to run both a 23" and 17" LCD screen? (Again, my card is a Radeon 9600 XT and I already have a DVI to ADC adapter.)

    Thanks.
     
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #9
    Ok, I'm making the following assumptions here:

    1. you have two 17" Apple Cinema Displays with ADC connectors.

    2. you are using a Radeon 9600XT with one DVI and one VGA port.

    3. You are using two adapters: one ADC -> VGA adapter and one ADC -> DVI adapter to connect your two ADC displays to the 9600XT.

    If that's the case, replacing one of the 17" LCDs with a 23" Apple Cinema Display (DVI) will require either connecting it directly to the Radeon's DVI port or using an adapter and connecting it to the VGA port. I'm guessing that you'll use the bigger display as your primary so it would be best to give it the digital (DVI) port for better quality.

    I don't know about you but to me the difference in quality between DVI and VGA is pretty obvious - DVI looks a lot better.
     
  10. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #10

    No, you will no longer need the DVI to ADC adapter for the new display because it is already DVI.

    You can't one run 30" monitor because those things are way different beasts. They require a dual link card, because the 30" is actually two 15" screens (I know it sounds weird, but it's actually true.)
     
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #11
    Actually, the 30"er is more like FOUR 15" displays. (2560x1600, or the equivalent of four 1280x800 screens tiled two-by-two.)

    Now, back to your Radeon alexf.... I am going to assume based on your description that you have a 2004 G5 that shipped stock with the Radeon 9600XT.

    That card has two DVI ports, and only has a VGA through an (included) adapter. I'm going to ignore the inconsistencies in your other statements regarding your current setup, and talk about what you need for:
    1 'lucite' 17" Apple Studio Display LCD and 1 'aluminium' 23" Apple Cinema Display HD.

    For this, you need one ADC connection (for the lucite) and one DVI connection (for the aluminium.)

    To connect the aluminum monitor, you just plug it directly into one of the two DVI ports.

    To connect the lucite monitor, you connect the monitor to an ADC to DVI adapter, then plug the DVI end of the adapter into the computer.

    So if you already have an ADC to DVI adapter (which you would have to have, in order to be running a lucite display on that video card,) then you are fine. Although I'm curious how, if you only have one adapter, you are running two lucite displays?


    And to give you a fuller explanation of why the 30"er won't work on your card...

    The 30" display is so many pixels (4 million,) that it is too much data for a DVI connection. So it requires TWO DVI connections. The way this is done to simplify plugging it in is to use a 'dual-link' DVI port. This is where a single port actually carries two separate DVI signals. In theory, it would be possible to hack up some kind of adapter that separates this dual-link signal into two separate 'single-link' (or, 'normal',) DVI connections, and plug the 30" monitor in using both DVI ports on a video card. But I have a feeling the OS would get confused. (There's probably something [that I don't know] about dual-link DVI that is different than just two physically separate DVI ports, though.) I know some video card companies have special adapters that let you separate a dual-link DVI port into two separate DVI connections, so you could plug two DVI monitors in through the one physical connector on the card.

    IBM and Viewsonic make 24" monitors that are quadruple-HD resolution (the equivalent resolution of FOUR 23" HD Displays, packed into 24",) that require TWO dual-link DVI ports. It actually appears to a Windows computer as four separate 1920x1200 monitors. (That you arrange into a two-by-two grid in Windows to make the computer send the data to the monitor correctly.)
     
  12. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #12
    Thanks for the advice, ehurtley.

    The G5 I am running is a dual 2.0 Rev. B (appeared June 2004), but I had it factory upgraded to the 9600 XT when I bought it from the Apple store.

    To be honest, I am not exactly sure what the 2 ports are on the card (I always mix up DVI, ACD, and VGA), but all I can say is that I can plug one 17" Apple LCD display directly into the computer, but for the other port I need the adapter. That is to say, the two ports are not the same.

    I hope this helps to clarify my situation...
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #13
    The 9600 XT has one ADC and one DVI port. You can convert the ADC one to DVI so it does support the newer aluminum displays. You can have up to two 23" Cinema displays plugged into your video card. You'd need to by a converter for the ADC to DVI though.

    You could also have the older 17" Apple LCD plugged into the ADC port and the new 23" Cinema display in the DVI.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    Ah, yes. Sorry, I was confused on the 9600XT. For some reason, I thought it had come out after the aluminum displays, so that it would have had two DVI ports.

    Yes, if you have one of your lucite monitors plugged in directly, then one of your two ports is an ADC port (which is really just a DVI port with power and USB added in extra pins,) and the other is DVI. So you leave your one lucite plugged into the ADC port (no adapter,) and you plug the new aluminum into the DVI port (no adapter.) You then sell the adapter with the old lucite. (Or keep it around for if you ever upgrade your video card to a dual-DVI-no-ADC card.)
     
  15. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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