So after the debacle of trying to hook up an old 15 inch LCD VGA monitor to my ATI/AMD Radeon HD 6950 using the DVI-D connector
and have it work simultaneously with my new Dell U2713HM 2560x1400 monitor, I had to look for another solution. I did not want to spend more money on an extra active adapter to make the VGA monitor work with my new Windows 8 Core i7-3770 PC
. But then I thought- duh- why don't I just plug in the VGA monitor directly to the VGA connector available directly on the motherboard (Asrock Z77 Pro4 Intel Z77)?
Now I'm no stranger to having multiple different graphics cards in a single computer, lol. In fact, back in 1998, I wrote a Windows 98 multi-video card/multi-monitor article
that had 3 different video cards- one AGP and 2 PCI working together to achieve multi-monitor goodness in the now ancient OS.
I've never tried pairing integrated graphics with a discrete one before, however. So I took a look at the Device Manager, and under "Display Adapters"- low and behold I saw both the Radeon 6950 and the built-in graphics of Intel HD 4000 both active.
So okay- looks good, so I connected the VGA cable from the monitor directly to the VGA connection head supplied by the Asrock Z77 Pro4, and bam- right away the monitor received signal. I right-clicked on the desktop and went to "Screen Resolution", and dragged the position of the VGA monitor (designated as #2) to line up with the bottom of the Dell 2713HM.
Everything works great. I get to control the output of the discrete Radeon 6950 card using the Catalyst Control Center, while Intel has the "Intel Graphics and Control Panel". I tried even dragging VLC and Media Player Classic windows between the two displays while video was playing, and encountered zero hiccup. Now I wonder what would happen if I'm playing a DirectX 9 or DirectX 11 game in a window, and I drag it from one screen to another.... I'll mess with that another time, but for now I'm just happy that I can use both a DVI-I Dual Link and a VGA monitor at the same time, on the same system. Now if I had only done that in the first place instead of going to buy that useless, scammy DVI-D to VGA adapter.
This worked in Windows 8 x64, but I'm 100% confident that it would work no problem in Windows 7 or Vista as well. In theory I can even run FIVE
monitors at the same time to this system. 3 connected to the discreet AMD Radeon 6950 (one has to be DisplayPort), and two more connected to the on-board Intel HD4000. Or even more by adding USB monitors- I do have a Proximus USB mini-monitor and it works fine with the system. Or even more by another 6950 card via CrossFire. Madness!