ATI and NVIDIA Dual Head Graphics cards
Originally posted: 01/21/2003
Last updated: 06/08/2008
If you are using Windows XP, you "may" be able to use Dual-Head VGA cards from nVidia or ATi to support both the Host and a BeTwin Station or 2 BeTwin Stations. These Dual-Head VGA cards have two monitor connectors on the rear. You can attach a monitor to each connector.
There are advantages to these Dual-Head VGA cards. They are typically cheaper than purchasing two individual VGA cards. Fewer PCI slots are required as two users essentially share a slot. Some computers may come fitted with these Dual-Head VGA cards, allowing you to add a BeTwin Station without opening the computer.
There are also disadvantages to these Dual-Head VGA cards. Graphics performance is substantially poorer than two individual VGA cards. There are two reasons for this. First, both users must share one hardware acceleration engine. Second, both users must share the video memory. Additionally, due to the manufacturer's VGA driver limitations, hardware acceleration settings are reduced/disabled when BeTwin is running. While these Dual-Head VGA cards may work well for normal office applications, they are not recommended for applications where graphics performance is required, such as graphics design/presentation, games or full motion video, etc.
Occasionally, the Dual-Head VGA cards' manufacturers may introduce bugs in their VGA drivers that affect their ability to function properly or reliabily as two separate independent displays under the BeTwin environment.
If you are using an nVidia Dual-Head VGA card, you can download and install driver version 220.127.116.1171 or 18.104.22.16821 to check if it improves the system stability.
List of video cards that work with nVidia GeForce2 VGA drivers version 22.214.171.12471:
GeForce2 MX 200
GeForce2 MX 400
GeForce4 MX 4000
Quadro NVS 280
List of video cards that work with nVidia GeForce VGA drivers version 126.96.36.19921:
GeForce FX Series (FX5200, FX5500, FX5900 Ultra and etc.)
GeForce 6 Series (GeForce 6100, 6600 6800GT and etc.)
GeForce 7 Series (Geforce 7100GS, 7800GT, 7950GT and etc.)
If you are using an ATi Dual-Head VGA card, you can download and install driver version 188.8.131.52 or 8.493.0.0 to check if it improves the system stability.
Following is the list of video cards that work with ATi Radeon VGA drivers version 184.108.40.206:
ATi Radeon VE
ATi Radeon 7000
ATi Radeon 7200
ATi Radeon 7500
ATi Radeon 8500
ATi Radeon 9000
ATi Radeon 9200
ATi Radeon 9250
Following is the list of video cards that work with ATi Radeon VGA drivers version 8.493.0.0:
ATi Radeon 9500
ATi Radeon 9550
ATi Radeon 9600
ATi Radeon 9700
ATi Radeon 9800
ATi Radeon X300
ATi Radeon X500
ATi Radeon X600
ATi Radeon X700
ATi Radeon X800
ATi Radeon X850
ATi Radeon X1050
ATi Radeon X1300
ATi Radeon X1550
ATi Radeon X1600
ATi Radeon X1650
Instructions for configuring nVidia Dual-Head displays using the 220.127.116.1171 driver can be found here.
Note: ThinSoft cannot guarantee the performance and stability of the Dual-Head VGA cards and/or its' VGA driver under the BeTwin or Buddy environment. If you are not satisfied with the performance or stability, we strongly recommend that you use a separate PCI VGA card for each BeTwin/Buddy Station instead.