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Old 05-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
traigo
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2nd video card for 4 monitors on dell Inspiron 530 with Ubuntu 64


I have a Dell Inspiron 530 that I upgraded myself to support 2 24" monitors. Everything is working fine, but I just came across 2 new 23" monitors through a trade. I would like to install a second video card and run all 4 monitors. Is this possible?

Dell Inspiron 530 ~June '08
4GB 800mhz DDR2
250GB primary drive
1TB secondary drive
Intel Conroe Dual Core 64 bit
XFX Geforce 9600gtx 512MB 2x Dual-DVI & 1 S-Video
600w PSU 4x 12v, 6x SATA, 1x PCIe
Ubuntu 8.04 x64

Thanks,
Traigo
 
Old 05-07-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
sniff
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It can be made to work but there are issues. The easiest way is to get yourself another nvidia card and use xinerama. Configure four separate 4 x windows in nvidia-settings and then enable xinerama to allow you to drag windows between them. Last time I did this xinerama had to be enabled manually in the xorg.conf file because nvidia-settings never actually did it. The problem is that the performance isn't great and you can't have 3D desktop effects (well its been done but its not easy). Biggest performance problems come when you drag windows between monitors. I also had an issue with an xinerama bug that effects mouse buttons but that has been solved now, I'm not sure which distros the fix has filtered into.

The other setup I like is having two twinview setups, one for each pair of screens. One pair has a KDE4.2 x session, the other runs ICEwm. Currently KDE4 doesn't allow two sessions. With this setup performance is better but I can't drag windows between the two sessions, also the twinview hack that allows windows to respect the screen edges when you maximize them doesn't work with multiple x sessions (so nvidia told me after a spent a fair while trying to get it to work), so windows maximize over whichever pair of screens it belongs too.

Things I am not sure about, ATI has Big Desktop and some cards with 4 DVI outs, I don't know if these work better. I don't know if Gnome allows two x sessions, one on each twinview pair say, I never tried it. I fancy a go at having one Gnome one KDE but haven't tried it yet.

I might be able to answer some questions if you have any.
Cheer.
 
Old 05-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
traigo
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Window Dragging between pairs is not really a problem but the resizing is. I'd like to be able to do it at least within each pair. My other thought is running synergy and having a second computer (of which I have plenty laying around). I have it setup with my laptop right now. I'd have to buy a new video card anyway so I was checking to see if I could just use my current system.
 
Old 05-07-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
sniff
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With four screens and xinerama the maximizing windows respects the edges of each screen correctly. Its just the dual twinview setup where windows maximize across whichever pair they belong to.
 
Old 05-07-2009, 06:05 PM   #5
traigo
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Thanks, that gives me something to consider. I do enjoy my compiz eye candy, though.
 
Old 05-07-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
thorkelljarl
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PSU

One hopes that the 600w PSU that you have is of quite good quality if it is to power two 9600GTX graphic cards in their compiz glory in addition to the other devices of your system.
 
Old 05-08-2009, 03:24 AM   #7
sniff
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psu should be okay, my system has a 8600 and a 9800gx2 and under full load consumes less than 400 watts.
 
  


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