Pros: Support for two displays; DVI & HGTV output.
Cons: VGA Adapters will not work for long.
The Bottom Line: If you need to double your work area and have an extra monitor sitting around, you cant go wrong with the VisionTek Radeon X1300.
As I stated in my review of the Dell E196FP (Midnight Grey) LCD Flat Panel 19 Display, it is a little known fact about Windows XP Pro is that it can support multiple monitors, up to ten as a matter of fact. Windows XP makes it possible for you to expand the size of your desktop and in so doing create a desktop work area large enough to view and manipulate numerous programs or windows. Windows XP allows you to easily work on more than one task at a time by moving items from one monitor to another or stretching them across numerous monitors. So I can edit a word document on one screen while doing research on the Internet on another monitor, while running scripts on yet another monitor. I can also stretch a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet across two monitors so that I can view numerous columns without scrolling.
Under the Windows XP model one monitor serves as the primary or master display and will display the logon dialog box when you start, or restart the computer. You set up and configure the multiple displays using the Display Property under Control Panel. What is really impressive is the different screen resolutions and divergent color quality settings can be configured for each monitor. The multiple monitors can be connected to individual graphics adapter or to a single adapter that supports multiple outputs.
Lately, every one in the IT department has started utilizing the multiple monitor capability of Windows XP; most of my collogues have at least two monitors on attached to their computer, some have more. By and large, we have all switched out the last of the bulky tube displays with the Dell E196FP (Midnight Grey) LCD Flat Panel 19 Display. However, in order to use two displays with one computer we needed to install an add-on video adapter in my Dell GX520 desktop. We choose the VisionTek Radeon X1300 GPU 256MB graphics card, which supports up to two displays in a single PCI slot configuration.
Product Description (From the Manufacturer):The VisionTek Radeon X1300 combines an efficient ultra-threaded core architecture with ATI's revolutionary Avivo video and display technology. The VisionTek Radeon X1300 delivers exceptional visual performance for all types of PC entertainment and productivity.
In The Box
o VisionTek Radeon X1300 GPU 256MB graphics card o 2 x DVI-VGA Adapter o 1 x DVI splitter cable o Quick Installation Guide o Drive CD
VisionTek manufactures this card in several different form factors including PCI, PCI Express, and AGP, supporting both 256MB and 512MB of memory; the cards we purchased are PCI with 256MB of memory. The main reason VisionTek manufactures the PCI version of this card is to fit in the new and expanding line-up of low profile computer that ship with limited expansions slots and built-in video adapters. These computers often lack standalone/ dedicated AGP slots, and or PCI express slots, both of which accept full size cards.
The VisionTek Radeon X1300 is built around ATIs Radeon X1300 graphics engine chip. The VisionTek Radeon X1300 allows you to easily connect two VGA or DVI displays using a single X1300 card utilizing ATI's innovative Avivo video and display technology. The card ships with 1 x DVI output and, 1 x HGTV output; other versions of this card also ship with a standard VGA output.
Installation of the VisionTek Radeon X1300 is straight forward: install the card, install the drivers; disable the legacy display adapter via Windows; be-boot and start using the card. The only caveat: one monitor must remain connected to the legacy display adapter until after the installation of the Windows drivers.
Note: I did not have to disable the legacy adapter card if I wanted to include yet another monitor in my setup; remember Windows XP will support up to (10) monitors. I disabled the card because there is no monitor connected to it.
While the computer is rebooting disconnect the cable from the legacy adapter and plug it into the Y-cable provided with the VisionTek Radeon X1300. Once Windows XP reboots only one monitor will work until you extend the desktop under Control Panel/ Display. Unfortunately the Quick Start Guide does not deal with this part of the installation, however if you Google (Dual Windows XP Displays), the very first hit will provide detailed instructions for setting up two or more displays under Windows XP. After choosing my master display and extending my desktop, I was in business; I could now work with two wonderful LCD displays.
Not So Fast
A funny thing happened on the way to two display enjoyment: after about an hours use after extending my desktop my monitor started to flutter quite noticeably. The flutter was not a continuous annoyance; it would come and go at random. The problem was the VGA adapters that ship with the VisionTek Radeon X1300. Lucky for me the Dell E196FP (Midnight Grey) LCD Flat Panel 19 Display includes a DVI input so I was able to utilize the DVI cables that shipped with the monitor to connect to the card in native digital format. Problem solved.
I know what youre thinking: perhaps this was an isolated incident, a freak occurrence; it was not, at least three other people reported the same problem, and the solution was the same. Use the native DVI cables to connect to the card. And besides, digital output is better.
I am loving my new dual displays. The card itself is a very reasonable (I think) for the functionality it brings to the table. I am now thinking about a setup like this for my home office, though I would have to free up some room on my desk. The output is clear, bright, crisp, and now blissfully, flutter free.
If you need to double your work area and have an extra monitor sitting around, you cant go wrong with the VisionTek Radeon X1300.
o Graphics Processor: ATI Radeon X1300 o Core Clock Speed: 450MHz o Video Memory Installed: 256MB o Technology: GDDRS SDRAM o Memory Clock Speed: 533MHz o Max Resolution: 2048 x 1536 o Supported Display Graphics: VGA (640x480), XGA (1024x768), SVGA (800x600), SXGA (1280x1024), UXGA (1600x1200), QXGA (2048x1536), 1152x864, 1920x1200, 1920x1440, 2560x1600
o API Supported: DirectX 9.0, OpenGL 2.0 o Max. Monitors Supported (2) o TV Interface: HGTV Out o Analog Video Format: Component Video o Digital Video Standard: Digital Visual Interface (DVI) o Interfaces: 2 x DVI-I - DMS-59; 1 x HDTV output; 2 x VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) ( with adapter ); 2 x DVI-I - 29 pin combined DVI ( on supplied cable ) o Cables Included: 2 x DVI-VGA Adapter; 1x DVI cable
Amount Paid (US$): 59.99
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