Sunday, January 17, 2010

Triple Monitor option for Dell Studio XPS 8000

I'd been considering adding an additional monitor or two to my Dell Studio XPS 8000 desktop since I purchased it a number of months ago. I already run two 19" displays so I'm maxed out in terms of the 2 video outputs (DVI) for my 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 graphics card. I tried hooking up my TV using a DVI splitter but all that did was duplicate one video output to two monitors.

I assumed my only option (and a cool one at that) would be to add an additional graphics card to my computer. When I opened the Dell Studio XPS 8000's case I noticed two open slots for PCI and PCI Express 1x. Two other slots were currently occupied: a PCI Express 16x that housed my GeForce GTS 240 graphics card and a PCI Express 1x port that housed my internal wireless card. So to recap that's 1 PCI Express 16x port, 2 PCI Express 1x ports and 1 PCI port.

I decided to purchase an install a second graphics card in the PCI slot, just in case something cooler came along that I could then use the last PCI Express 1x port for. I purchased and installed a PNY Verto 512MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS PCI graphics card. Once I managed to fit the rather large card into the small space provided (thank you Dell), which required removing my wireless card temporarily, and connected the TV's VGA cable to the card the TV sprang to life. Windows 7 detected the new hardware immediately and within a few minutes I was up and running. No need for the accompanying drive software!

Now I can run Hulu Desktop on my TV and work all from the same powerful system! Plus if I had to work would be much easier. Have you ever tried comparing two applications, its much easier with dual or even triple monitors!

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