XPS 8500 with 2 or 3 monitors | Nightmare


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XPS 8500 with 2 or 3 monitors | Nightmare

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Hi Everyone,

I am desesperatly trying to connect 2 to 3 monitors to my brand new XPS 8500. I have been trying to 3 weeks, talkings to several people, rom either Dell or electronic retailers. Everyone has a different opinion, I am spending a lot of money and nothing works... I went through all the threads of this forum and this is even more confusing as it seems like that there is no clear answer to the issues I am dealing with. Let's recap:

-XPS 8500 with 8 GB Memory, Intel 3rd Gen Core, 1 TO hard Drive and Windows 8

- My XPS has a dedicated Video Card (AMD Radeon HD 7570), with 1 DVI and 1 HDMI

- Integrated Intel Card with a covered VGA and a cobered HDMI.

Below is a similar picture to what I have in the back of my tower. As you can see there are only two video ports on the video card and the rest is covered.

- Initially, I bought 3 monitors with VGA and DVI ports only.

I was able to plug only one of the monitors on the video card with a simple DVI to VGA adaptor, which is provided with the XPS 8500, and it worked just fine.

I tried to connect the second monitor to the integrated graphic card by removing the cover but it didn't work. A Dell technician spent a few hours with me on the phone trying to detect and activate the onboard graphic card but it didn't work either.

The BIOS has also been modified. As indicated on other topics, the Intel Multiple-Display feature was enabled.

The Dell Technician finally told me that there was an issue with the card and that I needed to return the computer.

- I got a second XPS 8500 but, of course, I obtained the same results. Talking to another Dell Support Representative, it seemed that because there is a video card installed on the computer, the onboard graphic card is automatically disable and even by enabling it in the BIOS, we won't be able to activate it. His recommendation was to buy a DVI splitter or a VGA splitter for 2 of my monitors and an HDMI to VGA converter for the third one.

- I bought all the required cable and the only I got with the splitters (DVI splitter or VGA splitter), was a terrible performance and the same display on both screens. All these splitters are able to duplicate the same signal but you can't expend your desktop from one screen to another.

- The HDMI to VGA works great and so far with the other monitor connected to DVI via the DVI to VGA adapter I was able to connect 2 monitors. By changing the configuration in Catalyst, I was able to expand my display on both monitors, great! Well, that was until my computer went to sleep mode. When I returned and moved the mouse, both screens started blinking like if they were trying to get a VGA signal but they couldn't. I had to reactivate the configuration in Windows 8 (windows key+P) which is not easy when your monitors keep turning on and off every second. I tried multiple configuration but it didn't fix the system. Dell recommends to turn off the Sleep Mode. <profanity deleted>

- Finally, I was still unable to connect a third monitor, and I talked to another Dell Support Representative who told me that the only way to run 3 monitors on this unit was to change the video card. He told me that the 7770 could work but it would be better with 3 HDMI monitors in order to get a similar resolution and screen quality on all monitors. I returned my 3 VGA/DVI monitors and got 3 HDMI/VGA/DVI monitors (at least I have now all the possible outputs on each monitor). I went to a local big box electronic retailer to get a new video card and have it installed but they told me that none of the cards they had in $100-250 range could work with 3 monitors and Eyefinity. They told me that my only two options are the following:

1. Buy an expensive card ($449) and change the power supply.

2. Go the cheap way and buy a USB to HDMI converter which I did.

At this point, my only hope is the following configuration:

*Monitor 1: DVI to VGA via a DVI/VGA adaptor provided by Dell (Directly on the Radeon 7570)

*Monitor 2: HDMI to HDMI  (Directly on the Radeon 7570)

* Monitor 3: USB to HDMI via the USB convertor I got (from the integrated graphic card, the USB ports are not covered and hopefully they'll work).

If all that works and I can expend my display across all 3 monitors, most likely I won't be able to run high end graphics on the 3 of them and I still have the Sleep Mode issue.

I am kind of disappointed and angry. I understand that there can be several issues but the lack of expertise from Dell drives me crazy. At this point, I am not sure what to do, should I find someone else who is able to install a video card without changing the power supply, is there a way to turn on the integrated graphic card like some people claim they did, should I return my XPS 8500 and go for something else...? What do you guys think?

Thanks a lot

All Replies
  • Here are a couple of cards $100 or under that will display three monitors. You certainly don't have to spend $450!



    I'm not sure if they'll do that with VGA connections, though; most monitors these days use digital connections.

  • Thanks. What kind of power supply do you need for such card? The XPS can only handle 460 W.

    Can you enable Eyefinity with these cards? Thanks.

  • Is Eyefinity AMD's implementation of DisplayPort? If so, the 7750 card has it.

    Your stock power supply is more than adequate for either of those cards.

  • I had the same problem w/ my system but the fix is simple. My system runs a different setup but the solution is the same. What I did was buy two of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1PU0NF5865 With that tool, your monitors would connect through your USB slot instead of through the usual slots.
  • Yep, dell sucks in this regard...Ihave a 8700 and it only has one video card slot unlike the older model I have...so to make it simple you should just buy another video card.

    You can find some on e-bay sometimes otherwise buy a new one. You can get a new one for under $300 that will support 4 monitors.

  • Bit of an old post. But for anyone searching for the same subject.....

    I have been able to run three monitors, using the on-board vga and enabling 'multi-monitor' in the bios.

    Seems ok so far. Big Smile

  • I have the same XPS 8500 as you EXCEPT mine came with the NVidia GT640. 3 Ports... HDMI, Display, DVI.  I had no problem running 2 monitors. I'm using the HDMI and DVI ports, BUT I am using HDMI to HDMI and DVI to DVI. I cannot say about HDMI but DVI to VGA connects I have never seen any problems on any type of computer or monitor combination. BUT use the card ports alone not the on board ports and setup the displays thru the cards software. If your card only has two ports and your want to use 3 or more monitors, check with the cards maker to see if possible and best way to do it (a Y cable works on a lot of cards).

    The on board ports are Intel HD 4000 graphics. You might check with Intel on using with your AMD card.. i.e. is it possible. The Dell BIOS could be the factor in that though.

    Good Luck. I have problems with Dell Support and their knowledge of theses Add-In cards.


  • I'll take a stab at this one. I find it hard to believe the Dell techs wouldn't have caught this BUT THEY ARE DELL TECHS.

    Do you have an Intel CPU WITHOUT integrated graphics?. I forget which ones but I know one of the I5 3rd gens didn't have graphics therefore no onboard graphics

    One way to find out is unplug the vid card and if you have no graphics well your CPU doesn't support it.

    AN EASIER WAY would be to look up the CPU on Intel's website..