Multiple graphics card outputs

graphics card

It's been some time I've actually brought a graphics card and it appears the day when they came with 1 or maybe 2 if you wanted VGA connectors has passed, with most offering DVI-I and HDMI 1.3 and in some cases no VGA output.

So the question is, if I get a graphics card with say 1 of each, where exactly does that leave me? Can I run a seperate monitor off each or is it a case of picking one to use?

Some of the websites selling the things have thrown in phrases like "Triple Display Support" which I guess means each output can drive a display, while others ignored the detail. Visiting the ATI or Nivida site for the models in question wasnt entirely useful, since that neither made it entirely clear in the specs what outputs there were, instead just saying things like "Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP Max resolution: 2560×1600" (from a card from what I can tell has 2 DVI outputs, not that the spec said x2 anywhere I could see…).

Also regarding audio, I am right in thinking that only HDMI supports Audio out? What happens if I wish to use speakers separate from my monitor?

Best Answer

As Vilx- noted, dual display support is pretty much de rigeur these days and you can assume any video card supports that.

Triple and quad output is still more exotic, although all newer models of ATI video cards do support triple output as a new standard (under the marketing weasel name eyefinity), which is encouraging! Triple display support might become somewhat more common if NVIDIA copies ATI in the endless race for video card one-upmanship.

Note that current "eyefinity" models are a weird mixture of

  • DVI
  • DVI
  • DisplayPort

So you must have at least one DisplayPort capable monitor.

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