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tkthustler
Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-07-2014
Location: United States
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Message 1 of 19

Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Hello, I recently purchased a Think Centre m91P seen here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883266694.

 

I have purchased a display port to VGA adaptor and have two external monitors up and running, that is one hooked to the display port and the other to the VGA input. 

 

Unfortunatley they are both running duplicate screens and when I go to display settings I don't have the option to ID or detect the 2nd monitor. I also don't have the option to extend the display and when I click on the drop down box for the display it only shows one input. 

 

Can anyone assist how I can get this up and running so I can function wit two monitors?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. 

 

Moderator note: fixed broken link.

SeniorGuru
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Message 2 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

That's not really how you run two monitors in "extended desktop" mode.  You are using a setup that is intended to provide identical output onto two monitors out of a single video card port.  This is actually equivalent to running "clone mode" from a video card that contains two ports to feed two monitors individually.

 

What you really want is simply a multi-port graphics card installed in your M91p, which provides connectivity to two monitors simultaneously from its two ports.  Then you can use the video card's drivers and/or Windows to configure your two connected monitors to run either in (a) clone mode, with identical output to both monitors, or (b) extended desktop mode, which spreads the Windows desktop "double-wide" to use the full horizontal expanse of both monitors so that you can drag windows back and forth across both.

 

I would suggest a very modesly priced ASUS Silence (fanless) HD6450 card, which includes both full-size and low-profile brackets in the retail box. So you can use it in either a tower or small-form-factor case.  Note that the VGA connector is available on the full-size bracket, so if you use the low-profile bracket in a SFF case you will only have the remaining two DVI and HDMI connectors.  If you have to connect to a monitor that only supports VGA, you'll have to use an adapter.  But if you have the option of a digital connection on both your monitors, then both the low-profile and full-size brackets will allow you to connect to your two monitors.

 

Note that the HD6450 card is a "modest, entry-level" graphics card.  It is generally superior to any built-in onboard graphics that came with the M91p, but is not a high-performing gaming card by any means.  It's also low-power, which means it's perfectly compatible with the PSU in the M91p.

 

If you want significantly better graphics performance (i.e. 72Gbps vs. 9Gbps bandwidth!!) but still with low-power consumption and also with both full-size and low-profile brackets in the retail box for use in either case size, you can go with the somewhat more expensive and newer Sapphire DDR5 R7 250 low-profile card (which is actually the new rebranded model name for the old HD7750 card, but Sapphire's version includes DDR5 memory which almost triples its old performance). This is a MUCH higher performing "mid-level" card which actually contains THREE digital connectors on its low-profile bracket, DVI, microHDMI and miniDP (the latter two through included adapters for connection to standard HDMI and DP cables, or you can just buy your own straight-through cables with the correct connectors at either end and avoid the adapters entirely).

 

NOTE: there is no VGA connector on this R7 250 card, so if you must have one you'll need to buy an adapter.  There are only the three digital connectors: DVI, microHDMI, and miniDP.  This is consistent with virtually all modern monitors, where VGA is pretty much a thing of the past and digital connectors are always present and always preferred.

 

Also, the R7 250 is also a low-power card (although it uses somewhat more power than the HD6450) and is usable on the M91p with its modest PSU.

 

Both the HD6450 and R7 250 make use of the latest Catalyst video drivers from AMD.

tkthustler
Paper Tape
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Location: United States
Views: 5,008
Message 3 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Wow, thanks so much for the response. It appears most of it is way over my head. To confirm, you are saying there is no way to runa dual monitors on extended display without purchasing a new video card?

 

This is a bummer, i was under the impression this was a business referb. How could a business computer only run with a solo monitor. 

 

OK like I said most of the writeup was over my head but if I purchase the card you linked will I be able to install this by myself? Would I need to adjust any additional settings?

 

Thanks again for the reply.

 

 

SeniorGuru
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Message 4 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Running two monitors in Windows "extended desktop" mode requires a video port connection for each monitor.  Two monitors, two ports.

 

If you wanted to, there is an even more advanced setup which is possible, for three or more monitors, using what AMD (the manufacturer of the two video cards I suggested) calls EyeFinity.  In this case, you can use all three connectors on the video card, and on the DisplayPort connection you daisy-chain monitors designed for this type of approach. Each monitor has two DP connectors, one for "input" and the second for "output", and a whole string of these monitors can be connected through one single DP connection on the video card.

 

 

But for just two monitors using two video connector ports on the card, that is standard Windows.  So you either buy an add-on video card that provides the multiple video connectors you need, or your computer already comes with multiple video connectors on the motherboard.

 

In the case of your M91p, I believe the M91p came with two onboard video ports from the motherboard.  There is already a built-in VGA and built-in DisplayPort connector, both supported by the onboard built-in Intel Graphics.  So you don't actually need an add-on extra video card as I discussed, you just need to use the two video ports on the M91p.

 

This provides the same dual-port two-monitor configuration as I've described using the external add-on graphics cards I mentioned earlier... but without requiring an add-on graphics card (although that would provide superior performance).  You've already got the two needed ports on the M91p.

 

So, you need to connect one monitor to the onboard VGA connector, and the second monitor to the DisplayPort connector (or with an adapter to DVI or HDMI if your second monitor doesn't have a DisplayPort connector on it).  That's a perfectly acceptable way to do what you want, with just what you have.  Once you establish these two connections to the two monitors, you will now be able to configure "extended desktop" mode across the two of them.

 

So, technically, you don't actually need to install an add-on graphics card just to drive the two monitors, unless you want much better graphics performance. But for modest normal ordinary needs, the onboard Intel graphics and dual video outputs should support two monitors for "business needs".

 

Nevertheless, installing an add-on graphics card is a simple task... unless you've never been inside a computer before. In this case if you don't want to learn how to do it, just take it over to Best Buy or MicroCenter or TigerDirect or to your local computer store, and pay them a few dollars to do the install (it's only a few minutes, really, to do it yourself).  Then you download the Catalyst drivers from the AMD web site and install them, and re-boot, and you're on your way. You use Catalyst Control Center (also installed with the driver package) to configure your multiple desktop setup and set monitor resolution although the "recommended" hardware-suggested values will already be pre-populated for you to just OK to.

 

It's quite easy, if you did do it yourself though I realize the first time for anything is always a bit daunting.

tkthustler
Paper Tape
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Message 5 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

So, you need to connect one monitor to the onboard VGA connector, and the second monitor to the DisplayPort connector (or with an adapter to DVI or HDMI if your second monitor doesn't have a DisplayPort connector on it).  That's a perfectly acceptable way to do what you want, with just what you have.  Once you establish these two connections to the two monitors, you will now be able to configure "extended desktop" mode across the two of them

 

I thought that is exactly what I did. You mentioned that it would not work in post #1...or so I thought that's what you said. I have 2 monitors with VGA cords.  I had One plug directly into the VGA input on the back of the computer and the second I put an adaptor of the VGA plug and inserted it into the display port input.  

 

I'm going to have to forward this to a friend because I'm lost by your explination. I really appreciate your time in replying but now I'm even more confused. 

 

I'm hoping not to have to purchase anything else. Is it possible to work using only what I have? The new egg listing has a pic (click view more) of the back of the computer if that helps. 

 

Again thanks for your time. 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,308
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Location: US
Views: 4,987
Message 6 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Well first, the Newegg listing page is gone. I guess you bought it, and it's no longer available.  So I can't look at it.

 

But I can look at the M91p documentation on the Lenovo site. I just don't know if you have a tower (full-size) case or a "small form factor (SFF)" case.

 

Now, my apology for misunderstanding what you actually said in your original post.  I thought you were saying that you'd bought a Y-SPLITTER, and connected the single end to the DisplayPort connector on the M91p, and then connected the two other ends of the Y-splitter to your two monitors. I only now see that you really were describing a DP->VGA ADAPTOR for the DisplayPort connection, and connected one VGA monitor that way.  And the other VGA monitor was connected directly to the VGA port on the M91p.

 

Yes, that is what I described in my previous post that I wanted you to do and that I previously hadn't realized you'd already done as described in your first post.  My confusion, my mistake.  Sorry to muddy the waters here.

 

So, back to the start.  Theoretically the built-in Intel Graphics does support two monitors in extended desktop mode.  According to this Intel web page, there should be no problem whatsoever:

 

Follow these steps to enable extended desktop mode:

  1. In desktop mode, right-click the Desktop and select Graphics Properties.
  2. Click Display > Multiple Displays.
  3. Select extended desktop mode and click apply.

Are you saying this doesn't work as they describe??  Have you previously followed these steps only to still have it not behave as they describe it should?

Community SeniorMod
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Message 7 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Hi all,

 

I can't help with the monitor question but I did fix the broken NewEgg link in the 1st post.  You should be able to view the product now if that's useful.

 

regards,

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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SeniorGuru
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Message 8 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

Hi all,

 

I can't help with the monitor question but I did fix the broken NewEgg link in the 1st post.  You should be able to view the product now if that's useful.

 

regards,

Z.


Many thanks. Certainly is helpful to some degree, at least to confirm that there was nothing else included such as an add-on graphics card.  It's just the Intel graphics which is present.

 

I think OP didn't realize that the Intel drivers need to enable multi-display support from the Graphics Properties item on the Desktop RMB popup menu.  I'm hoping that's all that's needed to be done.

tkthustler
Paper Tape
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-07-2014
Location: United States
Views: 4,968
Message 9 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Ok no worries for the confusion. It appears we may be getting closer to a solution.

 

OK so on my other laptop I can right click the background and immediately go to graphic properties. On this M91 desktop I can not. I only get the options of screen resolution, personalize, gadget etc.  Just to reiterate once I go to screen resolution where on my prior computer I have the option to Identify, and extend display I do not have this once I get into this option. See post #1 for additional info on that. 

 

So I may need some help with steps 1 through 3.  I can post some screen shots if needed when I get home from work today. Thanks for the responses. Also you mention desktop mode..is that standard??

SeniorGuru
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Location: US
Views: 4,963
Message 10 of 19

Re: Setting up dual monitors for extended display - need help

Are you saying that when you right-click on the desktop, the popup menu you see does NOT look like the following (i.e. it does NOT include the two Intel graphics items)??

 

 

If not, sounds like you need to do a Windows Update, which hopefully will pick up lots of things including the latest Intel Graphics driver.

 

If you go to Device Manager and expand Display Adapters, what do you see?  Assuming you show an Intel HD Graphics item, if you right-click on it, select Properties, and then select the Driver tab, what is the driver and version/date?

 

Here's what it probably should be:

 

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