"unsupported" secondary video cards in XP

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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 4:02 am

Sometime earlier today it dawned on me that I had several old ATI Mach64 PCI cards and a few waning 15 inch monitors. At approximately the same moment in time I thought "I have four free PCI slots!!!11". Simultaneous to these two revelations, I started getting agitated by lack of desktop space. I set about making my first foray into the world of multi-monitor, but it seems that XP is bent upon impeding my opportunity-cost-free endeavour. ATI Mach64s aren't among XP's supported cards for secondary video devices. By setting a Mach64 as my primary and my Radeon DDR as a seconday, I can get dual monitor.

The query: Is this limitation hardware related, or caused only by the lack of driver support in XP? If the latter, does anyone know of anywhere that has created some sort of driver or workaround for this sort of thing?

If hardware limited, any recommendations for cheap but "supported" PCI cards that support 1024x768@32bit? Ideally I'm looking for for the 10-20 price range, as image quality or features aren't particularly needed (these monitors couldn't use it, and I've got the features i need from my Radeon VIVO).

Thus ends another lengthy post by me! Information much appreciated.

edit: ha! it's not over yet!
send comments to 1024x768@32bit

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: murray on 2002-03-17 03:03 ]</font>
murray
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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 4:23 am

AFAIK it's hardware. The cards that I have that support dual-headed operation have switches on them, so I can select whether they try to become primary devices or wait for the OS to initialize them.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 5:16 am

I thought it was a driver issue--or at least that's what I remember it being in Windows 2000. I've never had to physically set a switch for multiple monitor support.

Ah hah! A quick check of Microsoft's search engine reveals a list of supported video cards for Windows XP's multiple monitor function:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... US;q307397

Interestingly, I checked on multiple monitor support in Windows 2000 just a moment ago; Microsoft also lists the need for a switch, jumper, or driver for disabling VGA. I've only ever known about cards that used the driver, never cards that actually used a physical switch. That's just weird. Out of curiosity, Speed, which cards had the switches/jumpers?


Derek Andersen
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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 5:58 am

My old Matrox Millennium card has a switch. The last time I checked, it was mostly Matrox cards. Things may have changed a bit since then. For instance, the physical switch probably has been replaced by a p'n'p setting.

Now that I think of it, most newer mobos have a CMOS setting that allows you to choose between AGP and PCI for the VGA device--I guess that would be firmware. But if you were going to have more than one PCI card, I think there would need to be a switch or something.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 5:59 am

Thanks for the linkage
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