Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2372 mails)
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Re: [SLE] Multiple Monitors?
- From: "Csaba Bajko" <csbajko@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 10:38:22 +0100
- Message-id: <00b801c082c4$e55dbb20$752608c3@ketyere>
> HI everyone.
> I want to install a Suse 6.4 box with 2 display cards. The box will have 2
> monitors so that some open apps can be put on to another monitor.
> Is this possible? If so, how? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance.
Your question depends from hardware and software side too, so we have to
divide it to two parts.
>From hardware side every graphics board use GPU (Graphic Process Unit) such
as S3 xx, nVidia TNT, 3DLabs Permedia2, etc. Every GPU have hardware
limitations, for example how many MB of memory can it access, what is the
maximum refresh rate, what is the maximum resolution, pixel clock, etc, etc.
For example 3DLabs Permedia2 GPU can access maximum 8 MB memory on the
Every graphics board have DAC (Digital Analog Converter) which is integrated
to the GPU, or separately chip on the graphics board. The maximum
resolution, the maximum refresh rate, and the 3D acceleration depends from
the used GPU, from the used DAC and the memory size on the board.
Look at the Permedia2 GPU from 3DLabs. For example if you have 4MB memory on
the board and want to use 1920x1200 resolution on 73Hz, it is possible only
with 256 or High Color, but NOT on True Color. If you have 8MB memory on the
board, it is possible on True Color too, but you still don't have 3D
Until now I wrote about ONLY the dependecies of resolution, refresh rate and
the memory, but not about the 3D acceleration. 3D acceleration needs
Z-Buffering which is a technique to make Z coordinate to the picture, near X
and Y coordinate which is classical mentioned as RESOLUTION.
Z buffer also needs memory and other resources too from the board which
means that if you want to use Z buffer too, your available resolution and
refresh rate will be decreased. 3D acceleration also shares the DAC on the
Why is it important? There are several multiple monitor solution on tha
market. For example Matrox has board with dual monitor output, but the
board has ONLY ONE GPU and DAC which means that if you want to use two
monitors, the available resolution, refresh rate and Z-buffer WILL NOT
There are no wonders, because the double monitor solution uses the ONLY ONE
GPU and DAC on the board commonly, so the available resources must be
A littlebit more expensive, but MORE USABLE solution if you use two graphics
board for the two monitors and the graphics boards have OWN gpu, own dac and
own memory, because in case of using two monitors your available resources
(resolution, refresh rate and 3D acceleration) WILL BE DOUBLE.
Of course using two graphics board in one PC generates new technical
questions, because today the motherboards have only ONE AGP slot and it is
not easy to put two cards to one agp slot (except if you are young blond
Multiple monitor capable solutions always demands to use SAME KIND of
graphics board, but you have only one agp slot. So you have to find two same
kind of PCI board, or you have to find two same kind of board, where one of
them is an agp board and the other is pci. (It's not easy)
Ten years ago it was simply because we used a vga board to the vga monitor,
and hercules board to the monochrome display, although monochrome display
could appear only the text window from the application.
The multiple monitor capability depends from the BIOS of the graphics board,
from the BIOS of the motherboard and from the motherboard itself, and last
but not least the operating system and the used application.
ELSA traditionally makes multiple monitor capable solutions. (
http://www.elsa.com) They are the ONLY ONE Company which makes PCI board
with nVidia TNT2 GPU especially for the dual monitor solutions. This board
is the ELSA Synergy II which has AGP and PCI version too. Just you put he
Synergy agp to the agp slot and put the Synegy pci to the pci slot. It
Of course if you want to use for example six monitors it is also possible
with one Synergy AGP and with 5 Synergy PCI. From the vendor provided
software driver (Win9x, NT) you can select that the picture on the monitors
will be same (every monitor shows same picture), or the only one picture is
enlarged to the six monitor where you can move your cursor or window from
the most left monitor to the most right monitor. You can select the
horizontal or vertical appearing, etc, etc.
During Linux I never tried to use multiple graphics cards because my
graphics boards are not same kind of versions ( I've ELSA Gloria Synergy and
ELSA Victory 3D where it is impossible to make it with Victory 3D)
Unfortunately at the moment I have to say let's ask SuSE about the
possibilities from sw side, but of course I will try it too with SAX.
I hope I could help a littlebit.
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