Thursday, July 01, 2010

How To Set Up Multiple Monitors On ATI Radeon 5450

So why am I writing a how-to post?

Because I spent about 6 hours trying to figure out how to get my second monitor to work!

I've been Googling my brains out and reading all sorts of message threads to no avail.

My graphics card, the cheap ATI Radeon 5450, asserts that it has *dual display* capability.

So I bought a splitter, just like I did on my last two-monitor PC, but that only reproduced the same output on both monitors, and at a much lower image quality.

Previously, I had used a DVI splitter, this time I used a VGA one. Did that matter?

Well, it depends on what you read. Some people said that a VGA splitter couldn't *extend* or *stretch* the desktop* onto another screen....and some people swore it could.

The manufacturer is no help, of course. I didn't even see a phone number I could call or someone I could email.

Call Dell? No way. They'd tell me to call Microsoft or to call AMD - but only after wasting 40 minutes on hold and with some clueless ESL tech support person.

All I freakin' wanted to know was what kind of cables to connect my monitors to the card with. THAT'S IT.

Rather than waste all this time, I would have been perfectly content to order them, whatever splitter or adapter I needed, or even a totally new graphics card - BUT ONLY if I was sure it would solve the problem. It was astounding to me the deficit of easy-to-find guidance for such a simple question.

I did finally stumble upon the solution though around lunchtime today.

The answer was incredibly simple. I just plug one monitor into the VGA slot, and the other monitor into the DVI slot! For some reason I assumed that you had to use one kind or the other - and *split* the output somehow. Using both of them seemed counter-intuitive.

Yeah you multi-display video gaming geeks can go right ahead and laugh at me.  While you're at it, why don't you post this knowledge online somewhere?

It is amazing isn't it - that the private market for tech support is (usually) much better than that provided by manufacturers?


Paul Mitchell said...

This could have been an E-Book.

CaptiousNut said...

I wasn't even done my edits and you have a comment up!

Paul Mitchell said...

I am a stalker.

CaptiousNut said...

A blogger like you should definitely be working off two screens.

Unknown said...

So what about three monitors on a 5450? I have one VGA and Two DVIs. Does a DVI splitter work on the 5450?

CaptiousNut said...


No idea. It might.

If you have the stuff....just plug it in and try it. You know you have to change the *display settings*, right?

I do recall reading somewhere that to do 3 monitors on this card you had to use three different cables: VGA, DVI, and HDMI.

Good luck!