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Dual Desktop FAQ
Actually game performance will not be affected. Though keep in mind that all single monitor activities such as games will take place on the primary display as it is set in windows. The same is true in the TwinView situation except that the unused monitor will shut off.
In the dual video card situation can I have the task bar extend across both desktops?
No, look at it this way you are just accessing some extra space and adding it to your existing desktop and your primary display will act as it always has. This is different when you have TwinView, you will have a desktop that is 2x the width or height as a normal desktop. This means that the task bar will span across both monitors, and error messages will be split between the monitors. The Nvidia desktop manager gives you a little control over this but I've found that it doesn't always work.
Can I assign different wallpapers to each of my monitors?
No, but you can combine them in Photoshop or PaintShop Pro and use that image as your wallpaper. This only really works if you have the same resolution across both monitors.
Who can benefit from a dual monitor desktop?
I'd say the benefit would be more for graphics professionals, CAD workstations, web development, etc.... The hardcore gamer will not see a benefit in having an extra monitor. Granted there are some creative ways to have a game play across two monitors. For instance you can play the game in a window and then span the window across the desktops, though the speed will only be as fast as the slowest device. You can also try some of the things on the Multi-Head Gaming website
For a dual monitor desktop what do you recommend, TwinView (or similar) or dual video card?
Actually it depends on how you plan on using your computer. For instance if you are a gamer by night and programmer by day I'd suggest the dual video card approach. If you don't plan on playing games much or have another system specific for games I would suggest the TwinView. Having used them both I'm partial to the dual video card approach.
I have a GeForce3 and a GeForce2 MX card in my system, The display manager will only show settings for one device.
You have run into a classic problem when using video cards based on the same video processor. For the longest time I was using a Hercules GeForce2 Ultra and an Inno3D MX PCI card. This worked great; there were separate entries in the Device Manager, I could edit each of the entries and all was good. Later I upgraded to a Hercules GeForce3 card I ran into problems. I was able to use both desktops as before but when trying to change the settings for the MX card I was prompted with the settings for the Hercules. Typically this was only a problem when trying to change monitor settings though this would extend into overclocking and color depths as well. What I ended up doing was this. I downloaded the latest Nvidia drivers and extracted them to a directory on my HDD. I then removed the video card instances from the Device Manager and rebooted. When prompted I had Windows use the extracted drivers and reinstalled the video cards. I could then setup my desktop and make changes when needed. As always check for the latest "stable" drivers and if you still have issues you might think about switching out your secondary video card for another using a different processor.