VGA, DVI, hdmi = 3 monitors on 1 video card?

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
25,232
292
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If a video card has VGA, DVI, hdmi then can i put 3 monitors on the card?

i have a vga monitor, and 2 dvi monitors. i plan to use a hdmi to dvi converter/adapter.

is this possible?
 

NoQuarter

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2001
1,006
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76
If a video card has VGA, DVI, hdmi then can i put 3 monitors on the card?

i have a vga monitor, and 2 dvi monitors. i plan to use a hdmi to dvi converter/adapter.

is this possible?
No, all consumer level cards support only 2 video outputs at once except for the new Radeon 5xxx series which supports 3 *only if* one of them is DisplayPort.

You can use a DisplayPort->VGA or active DisplayPort->DVI on the Radeon 5xxx to get 3 outputs but that's the only way to do it on a single card. Since one of your monitors is VGA and the DP->VGA adapter is only $20 that's definitely a good option for you though.
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
If a video card has VGA, DVI, hdmi then can i put 3 monitors on the card?

i have a vga monitor, and 2 dvi monitors. i plan to use a hdmi to dvi converter/adapter.

is this possible?
It's an either/or for the DVI/HDMI. You can use either the DVI or the HDMI. The VGA is always available. We learned it the hard way with a friend of mine. Luckily he has a Dell U2410 and the mobo's IGP also has a DP so now he's using HDMI for the HDTV and DP for the Dell and everything is working great :)

If you want to hook up 3 monitors, either get a HD5xxx series (one of the monitors needs to be connected to DP though - active converters needed, perhaps a passive one for the VGA LCD will work) or grab an extra office-level card for the third monitor - remember to check if you have room and a proper slot for it.
 

thewhat

Member
May 9, 2010
186
3
76
It's an either/or for the DVI/HDMI. You can use either the DVI or the HDMI.
This isn't true for all graphics cards, tho, is it?

It's probably mostly so for integrated graphics, but I don't expect it to be the rule for dedicated ones.

I'm curious about this myself, since I'll be buying a new card shortly and it certainly has to support DVI+HDMI at the same time, with HDMI audio. (I'm mostly looking at the 5450 right now.)

It would be nice to have a compatibility list for this. Including which cards support the extended desktop, in case it's not so for all of them.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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This isn't true for all graphics cards, tho, is it?

It's probably mostly so for integrated graphics, but I don't expect it to be the rule for dedicated ones.

I'm curious about this myself, since I'll be buying a new card shortly and it certainly has to support DVI+HDMI at the same time, with HDMI audio. (I'm mostly looking at the 5450 right now.)

It would be nice to have a compatibility list for this. Including which cards support the extended desktop, in case it's not so for all of them.
No, it's not true. On pretty much any videocard, you can use dvi and the hdmi-port. If you want more then two screens on the HD 5xxx-card, you will have to use one displayport in addition to either two dvi's or dvi + hdmi.

Also note, sometimes a passive displayport to vga adapter works, some people claim.
 

max789

Member
Mar 29, 2008
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Qbah

Can you mention which mobo your friend has? From your comment, it seems that its onboard IGP is NOT disabled when a display card is installed, so that the card's HDMI output is used in conjuntion with the onboard DP output.

Does the display card used also has a VGA output? If so, can all three outputs (onboard IGP's DP plus the display card's HDMI and VGA) be used concurrently?

Thanks!

We learned it the hard way with a friend of mine. Luckily he has a Dell U2410 and the mobo's IGP also has a DP so now he's using HDMI for the HDTV and DP for the Dell and everything is working great :)
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
Qbah

Can you mention which mobo your friend has? From your comment, it seems that its onboard IGP is NOT disabled when a display card is installed, so that the card's HDMI output is used in conjuntion with the onboard DP output.

Does the display card used also has a VGA output? If so, can all three outputs (onboard IGP's DP plus the display card's HDMI and VGA) be used concurrently?

Thanks!
He's using a M3A78-EM. However, he's not using a dedicated graphics card at all and is using the IGP (he doesn't play games at all). Though the same limitations apply, I'd say (hence why he can use a DP with another digital connection but can't use HDMI+DVI at once). I guess it would be possible to attach 3 monitors with this motherboard but we never tried it (as he doesn't have a third monitor) -> VGA + DVI/HDMI + DP(native).
 

LokutusofBorg

Golden Member
Mar 20, 2001
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No, it's not true. On pretty much any videocard, you can use dvi and the hdmi-port. If you want more then two screens on the HD 5xxx-card, you will have to use one displayport in addition to either two dvi's or dvi + hdmi.
I think the right way to say this is, HDMI is just a translation of the DVI output, so it shares hardware with the DVI output. When you have a dual-DVI card with HDMI, and you plug something into the HDMI port, one of the DVI ports will no longer be usable.

So yes, you can use DVI and HDMI at the same time, but only if the card is dual-DVI (i.e. DVI + DVI/HDMI).
 

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
25,232
292
126
No, it's not true. On pretty much any videocard, you can use dvi and the hdmi-port. If you want more then two screens on the HD 5xxx-card, you will have to use one displayport in addition to either two dvi's or dvi + hdmi.

Also note, sometimes a passive displayport to vga adapter works, some people claim.
so i dont need a monitor with displayport? the 3rd monitor just needs VGA so i can use a display port/vga adapter?
 

NoQuarter

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2001
1,006
0
76
so i dont need a monitor with displayport? the 3rd monitor just needs VGA so i can use a display port/vga adapter?
This is correct..

If you get a 5xxx card you hook up the monitors like this:

DVI -> Monitor #1
HDMI -> DVI adapter -> Monitor #2
DisplayPort -> VGA adapter -> Monitor #3

*or*

DVI -> Monitor #1
DVI -> Monitor #2
DisplayPort -> VGA adapter -> Monitor #3


The key is one monitor has to be fed off the DisplayPort, even if you use an adapter to change the format. So DisplayPort -> VGA is what you are looking for.

This setup will work with the caveat being that the DisplayPort->VGA adapter is a bit finicky so some people get occasional flickering or even get no signal at all :( If you were actually buying a new monitor you're better off getting a native DisplayPort one instead of counting on the adapter, but since you already have the monitor the adapter is a good alternative..
 

Mike61704

Junior Member
Aug 6, 2010
1
0
0
This is correct..

If you get a 5xxx card you hook up the monitors like this:

DVI -> Monitor #1
HDMI -> DVI adapter -> Monitor #2
DisplayPort -> VGA adapter -> Monitor #3

*or*

DVI -> Monitor #1
DVI -> Monitor #2
DisplayPort -> VGA adapter -> Monitor #3


The key is one monitor has to be fed off the DisplayPort, even if you use an adapter to change the format. So DisplayPort -> VGA is what you are looking for.
New to the forums, I have been searching the internet high and low and am very confused. I purchased a saphire radeon hd 5670 that has 1-dvi 1-hdmi and 1-vga connection. there is not display port connection. Could I do this to make three monitors work?

DVI -> Monitor #1 (connected and working)
VGA -> Monitor #2 (connected and working)
HDMI -> DVI adapter -> Monitor #3 ??

I know that the DVI connector on the card has a DVI-D Dual Link connection. Any help would be appreciated!!
 

zagood

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
4,103
0
71
Sorry, you can only use two of those at once. What you're looking for in the ATI 5xxx series are cards that support Eyefinity. Those are the only consumer level cards that support more than two monitors on one card.
 

webalchemy

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2010
2
0
0
I have a question about the ATI card - the POWERCOLOR HD 5550 has 3 ports DVI, HDMI and VGA and yet it is stated in the specs

http://powercolor.com/Global/products_features.asp?id=230#Specification

that is can drive 3 monitors because it has 3 independent display controllers.

So is it correct to assume that I can use all 3 outputs for a triple monitor setup?

Has anyone actually tried this?

Thanks in advance and I hope to get some feedback because I am planning to buy the card tomorrow.
 

cusideabelincoln

Diamond Member
Aug 3, 2008
3,264
2
81
I have a question about the ATI card - the POWERCOLOR HD 5550 has 3 ports DVI, HDMI and VGA and yet it is stated in the specs

http://powercolor.com/Global/products_features.asp?id=230#Specification

that is can drive 3 monitors because it has 3 independent display controllers.

So is it correct to assume that I can use all 3 outputs for a triple monitor setup?

Has anyone actually tried this?

Thanks in advance and I hope to get some feedback because I am planning to buy the card tomorrow.
That card won't drive three monitors at the same time.

For the features they list they obviously just copied over generally what the ATI 5000 is capable of. In the features they list it like:

ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology *2,*3
Three independent display controllers
-Drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
Display grouping
-Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display

*2. ATI Eyefinity Technology can support up to 6 displays using a single enabled ATI Radeon™ graphics card – the number of displays may vary by board design and you should confirm exact specifications with the applicable manufacturer before purchase. ATI Eyefinity technology works with games that support non-standard aspect ratios, which is required for panning across multiple displays. To enable more than two displays, additional panels with native DisplayPort™ connectors, and/or certified DisplayPort™ adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your cards DisplayPort™ or Mini-DisplayPort™ connector(s), are required
However if you click on the Specifications tab and scroll down you will see under the Feature Support section that it does not support Eyefinity.

Feature Support
OpenGL - Support
CrossFireX™ Technology - Support
ATI Stream Technology - Support
ATI Eyefinity Technology - BLANK
ATI Hypermemory Technology - BLANK
 

webalchemy

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2010
2
0
0
Thanks for pointing that out.

In that case I'll just revert to buying a PC HD 4670 and just use my onboard graphics for the third monitor :)
 

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