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Splitter follow up

My last post was about our intention to remove numerous VGA splitters around the school and replace them with DVI-VGA converters instead. So far, we’ve managed to pull out 11 splitters, but have now reached a bit of a dead end.

What should have been a completed project by now has stalled because the graphics cards in the majority of the workstations in the classes cannot clone the output. Granted, these are Geforce 6200 Turbocache cards, dating back to late 2005/early 2006, but it’s still annoying to have discovered this after disconnecting the splitter and getting our clothes full of horrible dust.

It turns out that the cards made by MSI won’t do dual display, despite the fact that the chipset supports it. Another classroom had a Gigabyte based 6200 card, which worked fine after a BIOS update to the card. Another classroom had a much newer 8400GS based card, though this one had a slightly different problem – dual display worked, but it wasn’t stable. It kept losing the configuration. Unfortunately, there is no BIOS update for this card on Gigabyte’s website.

The long and short of this exercise so far is that just because a graphics card has dual outputs, it doesn’t mean that the card can power two displays at once. Luckily at the end of the year, the computers we’ll be putting into classrooms have a different brand of card in them that should allow us to remove many more splitters from classrooms.

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