Dual Monitors: Using nVIDIA Notebook and nVIDIA Desktop?

Posted By
Feb 16, 2004
I’ve looked around the nVIDIA docs and SEARCHed this board, but darned if I can figure this one out 🙂

I have a Gateway desktop that is my primary PS-CS machine. It has an nVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600 card with (I believe) 2 monitor connectors (and a 3rd connector that looks like a PS-2 mouse port). I also have a Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop with an nVIDIA GeForce 4 4200 Go card. Both systems are running XP Home.

Can I hook the laptop up to the desktop in such a way as to move my palettes off to the laptop screen while editing my images on the desktop? If so, how do I make the connections and configure the software?

Any advice MUCH appreciated!

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Feb 17, 2004
bump… I could really use some help–nVIDIA provides no direct support, and I don’t see anything at the Dell or Gateway sites.
Feb 17, 2004
I have no idea if it’s possible to do what you are talking about in the first instance. It should be simple to set up your desktop monitor to work off the laptop though if the laptop specs are sufficient to run PS (thinking RAM here). Another alternative might be a new second monitor for your desktop. Not expensive these days.
Feb 18, 2004
Your Desktop must have two video cards or one that has dual capabilities. (Two outlets to connect a monitor on each one.)

Second: and here is the problem with a laptop, you must have on your laptop a separate connection for the monitor only which no laptop has to my knowledge.

Easy solution: buy a cheep 15 inch LCD or CTR as the 2nd monitor which will hold the palettes and a second video card (can be a real cheap one because it will only use the palettes.)
Feb 18, 2004
Paul, I just recieved the 2 March 04 issue of PC Magazine and on page 70 of the user to user section, they address a very similar situation to yours. It basically sounds like you can do what you want. Hope this helps!
Feb 19, 2004
Thanks, Eugene–

Yes, I’m 99% sure I can use a "big desktop" either from my laptop or from my desktop, since both support dual heads under nVIDIA. Problem is, I don’t know how to get started, and the nVIDIA doc. files are clear as mud (plus no nVIDIA support exists).

If possible, I need how-to advice from a PS-CS user out here who is doing it ;-).

I have limited counter/table space, so would like to continue using my 20" CRT on the desktop for my images, while moving the palettes to the smaller laptop screen.

I think I could solve the problem by hauling out one of the older VGA monitors I have and running a "DVI" (which I’ve never used) output from the extra port on my desktop video card to a VGA converter or adapter and thence to the regular VGA connector on my monitor. But I’m not sure how to handle the "DVI-VGA" conversion–i.e., is is just plug ‘n play?

I’m also pretty sure I could use the dual-headed card in my Dell laptop and hook my big CRT into its VGA port directly–but this would mean I’m disabling my desktop machine(which would be headless), and I believe would force me to run PS-CS off the laptop, which I’d rather not do.

I’m still looking for the voice of experience on this :-).

I’ll try to find PC mag and check out your lead, though.


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