Dual monitor setup help

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Thread Starter
Aug 26, 2012
First off, hello. I'm new to this forum and from what I've seen of the people here so far this will be a very educational journey and I will be here for a long while (WooHoo! )

Let me also start this post off by warning all those who dare to read: I am a complete and total noob when it comes to anything about computers. I know absolutely nothing about how they function and I will gladly admit to that, only because I'm attempting to educate myself on this matter.

Now that you have been warned, let's get started. As the title suggests, I'm looking to make a dual monitor setup for my home desktop. My computer is pretty much only used for online gaming and online banking. On most occasions while I'm playing games online I thoroughly enjoy streaming videos and/or internet radio in the background for a little extra entertainment. That is where the dual monitor setup has come into play. I would like to expand my desktop onto a 2nd monitor to use that monitor for extra browsing/video playing while gaming or doing other miscellaneous things on the first monitor. I've done a bit of Google browsing on my own in the past few hours, and honestly it's just led me to confusion. Hence the reason I began searching for a good forum to begin my journey with.

Now that you know my goal, let me tell you a bit about the hardware I'm using. Please remember, I'm a total noob and have no idea what I'm talking about with this stuff .

Compaq Presario CQ5700Y
Single VGA Port
Single DVI-D (dual link) Port
AMD Athlon II 170u Processor
ATI Radeon 3000 (Graphics card I believe, specs from home site)

Current Monitor:
Actually home TV
27" (I think) Dynex tv, nothing special
Single HDMI Port
Single VGA Port (Current plug in to desktop)
AV In 1 & AV In 2
Component plug-ins (no clue what these are, several colors though)

2nd Monitor:
Monitor that came originally with desktop
roughly 25" (very close to same size as the TV)
Single VGA Port
Single DVI-D (Dual link) Port

Now, in my quest for knowledge earlier this evening I had discovered that I could possibly successfully complete the setup by running a matching DVI cable from the desktop to the 2nd Monitor and that could do the trick. Well, while researching a little about the DVI cable I discovered that this cable only transfers video, no audio. This is a issue, as I would really prefer to have sound on both monitors so that I don't have to drag a video or radio to 1 specific monitor at any given time that I'd like to listen to something. After being certain that I had confused myself on Google, I took a trip to the local electronics tycoon to have a chat with their techs and see if they could help me. I explained my situation and current knowledge to the gentlemen and, upon being a little flustered and somewhat confused, he basically told me that the DVI cable would work, but getting sound probably wouldn't happen while extending my desktop across 2 monitors, he said "the sound card would simply get confused on which monitor to produce sound from" after that statement I got a little discouraged. Especially after I began to explain to him that the 2nd monitor has no built in speakers like the current one does (Because it's a TV). He told me that my desktop should have a light green plug-in that I would normally run a wire from that to the monitor to connect my sound (Which is done on my current monitor) and that connecting a sound splitter and doing this with the second monitor would pretty much just confuse the sound card.

So, if you've made it this far, I must say thanks and I feel that you are truly here to help if you've taken the time to read this much! Now that you know pretty much the entire story of my night with this, what suggestions and/or solutions might any of you have to help me? If you do need additional information about the desktop/monitors to aid in finding a solution I will be glad to (attempt ) to find this information. Again, thanks for reading this far, I apologize for some bad grammar and/or spelling mistakes that I may have missed. I'm greatly looking forward to finding a solution to this and continuing to become a part of this community.


Dec 9, 2004
You need another video card. Audio has nothing to do with dual monitors or your current setup. Dragging a program from one monitor to another doesn't move the audio from one to the other.


Dec 26, 2002
Why does he need another video card? The current one has VGA and DVI which the VGA can still be used for the TV and the DVI can be used for the monitor. Simply connect the secondary monitor with a DVI-D cable to the DVI-D port on the video card and enable it under Display Settings or with the ATI/AMD Catalyst Control Center.

The audio is not connected to a monitor, the sound will play out of the same sound source no matter what is on what screen, you just happen to be using the speakers in the TV and that's where ALL the sound will come from no matter what is on what screen.

Also, just as an FYI, an audio splitter would not confuse a sound card because a sound card doesn't know or care how many speakers it outputs too nor does it know what is on what monitor, you can use a single speaker or a hundred speakers off a splitter it simply sends an audio signal and whatever is connected to it produces those sounds regardless of what monitor it's on as well.
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