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#195136 - 02/05/08 08:13 PM Multiple Display question
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Good Day, my geek posse!

Some of you may remember that I have a JVC 1080p HD-ILA TV. I dig it.

I have a quasi-HTPC in that room. Without going completely off-track, I mostly use it for streaming FLAC files. No DVR functions because I have the DirecTV HD-DVR.

I still have a crappy old 15" LCD attached to the PC also, because it is often more convenient to simply use that rather than use the TV.

I am using a Gigbyte GV-NX66128DP video card, which feeds the monitor via VGA and the TV via DVI-to-HDMI.

I'm having trouble launching some games, I think because of the NVidia Dual View configuration (I can't clone the monitors because they are different resolutions).

I thought about getting a widescreen monitor to match the TV resolution, but that seems like a pretty pricey solution. I've tried to work through the issues with the NVidia software, but it irritates me and I can't make it work.

What if I just got another cheap video card for the monitor? I've never run two video cards before. Should I look for a better/different dual-head card or something?

It's not a robust machine (AMD Athlon 64 3000+, Socket 939, 1.5GB RAM) and I'm not a hard core gamer. I just want to be able to play some PC games on the TV (Madden, etc.) I only have the one PCI-E slot.

Whaddyathink?
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#195137 - 02/05/08 08:16 PM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
It sounds more like a driver problem than anything else. What kind of errors are you getting? And what games?


Edited by kcarlile (02/05/08 08:16 PM)
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#195138 - 02/05/08 08:25 PM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Madden 2006. I don't remember the exact error. I want the monitor to have the taskbar and the computer "stuff" on it, but play the game on the TV (which is the right side of the dualview display). I've tried every combination of which one is primary and it just won't flippin work. I updated the drivers. It could certainly be user error. I've tired of trying.

Maybe I'll just get a newer copy of Madden and see if that works.
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#195165 - 02/06/08 12:22 AM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: tomtuttle]
doormat Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 395
Loc: Cold Lake, AB
 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle


I'm having trouble launching some games, I think because of the NVidia Dual View configuration (I can't clone the monitors because they are different resolutions).


I know what you're saying about the nVidia software. Did some hair pulling myself.

Not sure if this is at all helpful but I have a laptop at 1280x800 connected via VGA to a projector at 854x480 and am using the Clone view with my projector set as the primary. Everything shows up on the projector but video and games are just black windows on the laptop. There is a little bit of side loss on the projector (usually the close window X is offscreen). Other than that it works quite nicely.
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#195168 - 02/06/08 01:26 AM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: tomtuttle]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
You didnít say exactly what troubles some games are having. If they just fail and exit to the desktop about all I can suggest is besides updating the drivers as you already have also make sure you have the latest patches for the games.

If the only issue is having your ďdesktop on the monitor and your game playing on the TV then there is no real good solution only work-arounds.

Most applications are not mutli-monitor aware and will insist on starting on whichever monitor you designated as primary which is also where your desktop icons and taskbar default. What I did is to designate my TV as the primary and then drag all the desktop icons and the taskbar to the smaller LCD monitor. The first time you start any program after setting up multiple monitors the program will default to starting on the (primary) TV in my case. You can then drag it to the secondary to use it. If you exit a program that is multi-monitor aware (most operating system stuff is) it will restart on whichever monitor you closed it on. Most applications like games will always start on the primary if started in full screen mode.

The work-around for games is to either start the game in windowed mode if itís available. Some games allow you to select this from a menu, others require you to edit a resource or startup file and some just wonít allow it or donít function properly in windowed mode. Search the internet for instructions on how to use window mode on a given game.

I use the other gaming work-around which is to start the game in full screen mode so it pops up on the primary monitor normally. The problem here is that this usually locks the cursor into the game and wonít let you move it to the other monitor while the game has focus (the application that the mouse and keyboard are currently tied to). To get out of the game and back your desktop use ALT+TAB to move the focus out of the game to the desktop or another open application. This should cause the game to minimize to the taskbar and allow you to use the mouse and keyboard normally. When you want to go back to the game just hold ALT down and keep pushing the TAB until the game pops back up in the primary monitor.

Hope this helps. Iím tired so if itís not clear Iíll try to clarify it later or maybe someone else with a better solution will chime in.

P.S. I set up the dual monitors using the Windows: Properties > Settings box and donít mess with the nVidia stuff.


Edit: One more work-around. Use Linux and a Windows emulator. Most popular Linux GUIs allow you to CTL+TAB between virtual desktops avoiding the whole dual monitor issue completely. I use to do that but havenít got around to putting Linux on my HTPC yet.

Dean




Edited by grunt (02/06/08 01:37 AM)
Edit Reason: another option
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#195204 - 02/06/08 11:47 AM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
I'm wondering if there might be a config switch somewhere to tell it which monitor to use (1 or 2).
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#195206 - 02/06/08 11:58 AM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Gentlemen, thank you very much for the excellent guidance. You've given me several approaches to try, and consequently, provided "hope". I appreciate your help and will report back. I'm going to need time and beer to approach this again.

So, adding a second video card wouldn't really help me, would it?
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#195221 - 02/06/08 12:36 PM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17739
Loc: NoVA
Not likely--it seems to be more of a game problem than a driver problem as I initially thought.
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#195241 - 02/06/08 01:57 PM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: Ken.C]
doormat Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 395
Loc: Cold Lake, AB
Probably somewhat off base, but, do you have anything else running in the background? I know I have to shutdown folding@home before launching any games, even though it is supposed to just be using idle processing power.
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#195246 - 02/06/08 02:44 PM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: doormat]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
No, there is nothing else running. The mainapp.exe just bombs out. Could just be the game, so I'll try that and also working through the NVidia stuff again. I do appreciate the suggestions. Thank you so much.
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#195354 - 02/07/08 12:50 AM Re: Multiple Display question [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I'm wondering if there might be a config switch somewhere to tell it which monitor to use (1 or 2).


Good thought but AFAIK there isnít a switch to tell Madden or most other games which monitor to use in full screen mode. The primary as assigned by the OS is all you get. You might be able to use a Hex editor to hack the game and tell it which monitor to use in full screen mode but I doubt it's worth it. But telling it where to start still wouldnít solve the problem of using other applications on the other monitor while the game is running in full screen mode. The mouse and keyboard focus would still be locked into the game and youíd have to ALT-TAB out to use the mouse and keyboard outside the game.

Some programs allow you to set a ď-windowĒ switch at the command line or in the ďTargetĒ field of a shortcut to start it in window mode. Others have an option usually in the video settings menu to choose window or full screen. Some games require you to edit a .ini or other resource file to make it start in window mode. And some games even let you toggle between windowed and full screen modes with ALT-ENTER or another key combination. Itís a mess.

@ tomtuttle

Here is a link that may offer some DIY help.

http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/faq.asp

Madden should not crash just because your using dual monitors. It should start and run on the primary just like normal. If you havenít already unplug one monitor and make sure it starts and runs normally. If it crashes with only one monitor hooked up then try reinstalling it and all the patches.

If it only crashes with multiple monitors then for now simplify things by taking the nVidia software out of the equation. Set it back to itís default settings with one monitor attached and then only use the Windows Display Property tool (Right_click (on the desktop) > Properties > Settings) to configure your monitors. If the game no longer crashes with both monitors running then Itís likely nVidia and Windows werenít playing nice with each other \:o
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