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Dell OptiPlex 3020 - Three Screens


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#1 theonlybuster

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:54 AM

I'm hoping I can get some insight to this...

I don't deal with Dells often, but my office is full of them and seeing as I'm the young guy everyone comes to me with computer questions.

We're currently replacing one of the computers in the office with a Dell OptiPlex 3020.  Here's kicker, he NEEDS to run three screens.

 

Now I know with a DisplayPort he can run 2 screens via the on-board video port.  I was wondering if simply installing a video card in the empty PCIe slot would allow him to run that third screen? 

 

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.  If additional info is needed, I'll happily add it.



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:43 AM

My experience at work is to use a USB to video adapter  Much less hassle and an inexpensive solution that can move to their next machine.



#3 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:04 PM

I believe with a modern intel onboard/cpu video chipset you can make use of both the onboard and an add in card at the same time. You could potentially do 2 monitors from the add in card and one from the onboard/cpu.

 

I found this post:

 

I have a 560Ti and plug two monitors in to that.
I also have HD3000 graphics and I plug one monitor in to that.

So I know you can do 3.

 

Also I have used USB to VGA but find them to be very slow and do not do video playback well at all. More modern usb3.0 versions may be better.


Edited by zingo156, 06 February 2014 - 12:05 PM.

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#4 epoweredrc

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:04 PM

Welcome to the site and while I am NOT a expert on this, from all the videos and things i have read, to answer your question would be YES.

hope its okay to post videos here, I am new here myself here is a great video

looks like they make a 3 to 1 adapter plugs into the PC and plug all moniters in, I am new to extended moniters, just got a new laptop and been using my old desktop moniter to extend my screen, comes in handy for when I am broadcasting live shows on the net.

good luck.



#5 theonlybuster

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:27 PM

I believe with a modern intel onboard/cpu video chipset you can make use of both the onboard and an add in card at the same time. You could potentially do 2 monitors from the add in card and one from the onboard/cpu.

 

I found this post:

 

I have a 560Ti and plug two monitors in to that.
I also have HD3000 graphics and I plug one monitor in to that.

So I know you can do 3.

 

Also I have used USB to VGA but find them to be very slow and do not do video playback well at all. More modern usb3.0 versions may be better.

 

I'd rather not use the USB, but I'll keep it as an alternative.  The first 2 screens are for your run of the mill office work; QuickBooks, MS Office, Email, etc.  The third screen is displaying maps of locations of vehicles, equipment, and mobile devices via real time.  I don't think USB would be the best idea, but like I said, I'll keep it as an alternative.

 

Last question.  Are there any video cards for the purpose of dual screens.  Let's say a budget of $200 max.  But again, this is simple office use, so I don't need anything top of the line or for the purposes of gaming.  I've been told this tower does not contain an additional power connector for its expansion slot.



#6 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

There are some very good inexpensive cards that will do 2 monitors quite well...

 

Something like this would be sufficient for office work and would support multiple monitors (at least 2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150655

 

Here is a link to all video cards from new egg in lowest to highest cost (find something that is pci-e and has the connections you would like)

http://www.newegg.com/Desktop-Graphics-Cards/SubCategory/ID-48?Order=PRICE

 

Most of the cards will support dual monitor just fine for office work.


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#7 theonlybuster

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:07 PM

There are some very good inexpensive cards that will do 2 monitors quite well...

 

Something like this would be sufficient for office work and would support multiple monitors (at least 2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150655

 

Here is a link to all video cards from new egg in lowest to highest cost (find something that is pci-e and has the connections you would like)

http://www.newegg.com/Desktop-Graphics-Cards/SubCategory/ID-48?Order=PRICE

 

Most of the cards will support dual monitor just fine for office work.

 

Wow, video card prices have really dropped.  I was expecting to spend roughly around $100.  Thanks, to everyone.  This is by far the first tech forum I've gone to where something asinine wasn't stated.  Greatly appreciated it, everyone.



#8 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:10 PM

Oh by the way... You did not mention if it was a slim desktop or standard. Make sure if you have a slim tower you get a card that is Low Profile Ready these cards will fit in slim cases.


Edited by zingo156, 06 February 2014 - 02:10 PM.

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#9 theonlybuster

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:13 PM

Oh by the way... You did not mention if it was a slim desktop or standard. Make sure if you have a slim tower you get a card that is Low Profile Ready these cards will fit in slim cases.

I knew there was something I forgot.  It's a standard case. 



#10 zingo156

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:16 PM

Any of the standard cards will work in this case :)


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#11 theonlybuster

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:10 AM

My experience at work is to use a USB to video adapter  Much less hassle and an inexpensive solution that can move to their next machine.

Out of curiosity, is there a maximum a computer can handle? 

As in if I have 6 free USB ports, can I potentially have 7 screens (6 USB, 1 VGA)?



#12 zingo156

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:41 AM

 

My experience at work is to use a USB to video adapter  Much less hassle and an inexpensive solution that can move to their next machine.

Out of curiosity, is there a maximum a computer can handle? 

As in if I have 6 free USB ports, can I potentially have 7 screens (6 USB, 1 VGA)?

 

 

I am not certain. Maybe RKilroy has an idea.


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#13 theonlybuster

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:56 PM

Just wanted to post an update. 

I was EXTREMELY reluctant to try the USB video option, but after a few problems and set-backs with the addition of a videocard I was forced to go about the USB option to obtain 3 working screens. 

So I went out to the store this morning, purchased 6 USB video display adapters - I needed this for 2 computers. 

 

Our of sheer curiousity, I decided to connect ALL 6 to one machine.  Now the desk was not big enough to support 6 screens BUT I was able to remove in and see all 7 screens working as they should. 

The adapters worked fine with USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0.  I'm quite impressed as well as pleased. 

 

Again, guy thanks for the advice and input, even when I was too reluctant to take certain steps. 






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