Multiple monitors with ubuntu 22.04

Hello all,
I am having trouble finding information as to which is a suitable dual monitor high/mid performance graphics card to use with Ubuntu 22.04 running on a AMD quad processor. The aim ultimately, is to have a main screen displaying normal Linux operations, and the second display displaying a Virtualbox Windows 10 session for video work.

The system hardware is as follows:-
Memory 16Gb
Processor AMD A8-9600 radion r7
Discs 5TB
OS Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS 64bit
GNOME 42.9
Windowing System Wayland
Existing Graphics Carrizo LLVM 15.0.7 DRM 3.49, 6.2.0-36-generic

As I am a newby to graphics issues, any help will be gratefully received.

As for multiple monitor, I think anything you find comfortable will do the job, assuming you don’t want go over FullHD.
If you plan to pick a 4K monitor capable of 120Hz, maybe don’t expected that from the laptop. Some HDMI outputs are limited to 30Hz at 4K resolution due to bandwidth limits. So double check what your laptop can really output? Maybe consult with the hardware manufacturer. If you plan to use only FullHD resolution, there’s barely anything that can go wrong in this regard.
I recommend you to choose an IPS monitor, they have somewhat less contrast than a good VA, but definitely better viewing angle, thus more precise, as color representation doesn’t change as you move your head around.
Forget TN panel monitors.

Think about this once again. I did such thing, and I still have a Windows 10 install in VBox, just in case I need to access, modify in some of my pre-linux projects. My desktop runs on i5-8500 which seems to be more perfomant than your AMD:

Windows 10 (not a recent build!) and Vegas pro 16 works on that, but its performance is quite poor compared to a bare-metal install.
Theoretically I can do anything with any of my archived project, say change the font on a title, change the length of a title, adjust volume of audio tracks, and then render the thing…
But I would not want to start a project from scratch with that performance…
So I cannot recommend this setup for work. Better look for a usable Linux-native video editor. There are some.
You’ll be much more happy, believe me!

If you really-really need your Windows based editor, you may try to run it with WINE (or Lutris, or Crossover), there’s a negligible slight chance (still not zero!) it can work.
My bullet proof advice for this case is to have a dual-boot setup.


Up until around Covid kicked off (i.e. early 2nd quarter 2020) I was running 3 monitors off my AMD Phenom II hexcore (circa 2011) running whatever LTS Ubuntu (probably 20 I guess?) - mostly all shonky resolutions like 1680x1050 - on an NVidia GTX650Ti OC - it coped just fine…

But when I was WFH M-F 9-5 during early covid days - I needed more - so I got a 32" QHD monitor and an NVidia GTX1650 “Super”… and then my daughter got a new monitor for her Mac Mini, and I got her old 27" FHD - and would drive that AMD Phenom system like that… But that Phenom was starting to get a big long in the tooth - and running a hybrid of booting of a 256 GB SSD (SATA) and using a 1.5 TB HDD for stuff that wouldn’t fit… But it worked and drove 3 monitors just fine…

Now I’m running Pop!_OS on an AMD Ryzen 7 (8 cores, 2 threads per core - shows as 16 virtual CPU) with 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB NVMe boot drive - with a AMD RX6600 “Navi 21” GPU with 8 GB of DDR5 vRAM - and - driving 2 x 32" QHD monitors (one is a 165 Hz gaming monitor).

Note : I’ve never had to spend much time tweaking anything - multiple monitors just “works” with mainstream distros like Ubuntu and Pop!_OS…

I just thought of another thing I did with that ancient Phenom II system - at one time I had 3 x identical 1280x1024 19" Samsung LCDs on it - and it worked fine (on the GTX650Ti) - and I could even do things like run native Linux games via steam, e.g. Serious Sam 3, across the three monitors! I’ve never been able to get gaming to work that way on AMD GPU… I ALWAYS used the proprietary driver stack with NVidia GPU

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Thank you Laszio for your comments - there’s a lot to digest ! The dual boot suggestion is not really viable, as it’s cumbersome to transfer between the two OS’s - can’t copy and paste. I tried dual boot when I first moved to Linux and quickly decided that moving totally to Linux was the right choice. However, I do occasionally need to use windows for a couple of tasks that are just not available in Linux. Also have not yet found a suitable Linux video editor. I’ve not tried WINE in recent years - hopefully it’s come a long way since then.
Thank you, I’ll look into the suggestions you made.

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Use Linux and run a windows guest in VM . Either Virtualbox or virt-manager(QEMU/kvm) will do. Anything up to Win10 will perform OK in a VM for occasional use. You can copy/paste between guest and host with a VM.
Use a DE with workspaces. You can put the VM in its own workspace and use fullscreen. You can copy/paste across workspaces
I really dont see the need for multiple screens.
VM’s work best with plenty of ram.

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If you are on Linux, you can mount the Windows partition, as Linux knows how to mount NTFS drive. To make this really work you need to shut down Windows 10 in reality, as there’s a setting in Windows, which is enabled by default:
It does not shut down, just lies about it, instead it goes into a kind of hibernate.
Switch this fake shutdown option off, then you will be able to mount Windows drive in Linux for read and write.

If you are on Windows, you may use Paragon ExtFS for accessing the Linux partition.

If it is just occasionally, then VBox could be an option. But don’t expect the real horsepower from that.
I quickly prepared a short video, to make you feel, how Windows 10 in Vbox performs:

This is on my desktop, CPU i5-8500, 16GB RAM installed. The vhd resides on an SSD on the host machine, which runs on Debian 11 -MATE. I assigned 5 cores to the VM, and 6GB of RAM.

I booted it up, started Vegas, which opened a project from 7 years ago…
It’s a 1280x720 25fps (not even FullHD!) project.
Note, that there are a couple of video tracks.
Vegas plays the timeline acceptable if preview set to “preview - half”.
If I set to full, the playback drops to near 5 fps.

If I can count on benchmarks I’d expect a proportionally weaker performance on your CPU.

I don’t know what software you use on Windows?
I think you can try it in VBox anyway, and see, if it performs to your liking, just keep it so.

Look at Cinelerra (GG).
KDEnlive worth a look too.

I myself went for Davinci Resolve, but I’m not sure it could work with your graphics.
If you can install AMD-GPU pro drivers, there’s a chance, you can try Davinci Resolve.
It’s unbeatable, not just on Linux, but On the other platforms too :slight_smile:

Hi Dan, thank you so much for your comments - as with Laszio’s reply there is a lot to take in, and a lot of useful information. I’ll look into the graphics cards you mention - I’m thinking a dual monitor card would be better than two separate cards as I don’t think I could actually fit two cards to that motherboard.
Many thanks

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OK, you mentioned

As I tried to search for it, I only found a laptop.
In a laptop you can’t install additional graphics card.
Isn’t this a laptop?
If despite my assumption this is a desktop computer, and you can install a graphics card, I’d recommend you to pick an nVidia. For reference I have a GTX1060 with 6GB, that’s comfortably enough for Davinci Resolve in FullHD. My laptop has just a 1050 with 4GB, that’s enough for simple things, but complex scenes cannot be rendered there fast enough.
Pick the best card you can afford, but balance more toward more CUDA cores, than towards a more recent card. If you choose Davinci, which I wholeheartedly recommend, that heavily utilizes CUDA, and more CUDA core is more beneficial, than a sligthly more fps in a game…

That’s OK for moving some texts between them.
I use VBox shared folders to pass data (footages) to the VM, and get data (rendered video) from the VM.

Hi Neville, Thank’s for your comments, I do use Virtualbox with W10 when I can’t do whats needed in Linux (rarely now), but the video editor is an issue.
I realise that workspaces can be an option but really wanted two screens so that I can see both running applications together.
Many thanks, Peter

Well there is a really simple , pragmatic way to do it … buy another computer for windows and network them
Might not be modern or hi-tek, but it is guaranteed to work , easy to configure, and probably costs no more than a dual monitor card.
You just open 2 file managers in the Linux machine, point one at the other machine, and you can drag and drop ,between them.

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Hi Neville,
Funny how we get caught up in the techie solutions !! Yes, that’s a solution well worth considering, especially as I might even have another PC knocking around that would be good enough running a single application !
Thanks for the suggestion.

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Hi Laszio, It is a desktop PC and has a GA-329M-H motherboard with 1 long PCIe connector with the ident “NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x 4 22110 M.2”

Thanks for the advice about CUDA cores, I’ll look into the GTX1060


The 1060 was just my choice years ago. A sweet spot between my whish and what I could afford.
You don’t need to pick exactly that.
I just meant, that a GTX1060 has 1280 CUDA cores, whereas a GTX1650 (which is much more recent, and probably faster in games) has only 896 cores.
So the 1060 is a better choice for DR I think.
But a GTX 1660 Ti has 1536 cores, so it would be an even better choice (if you can afford it).
Now as the coin mining madness seems to be fading, the prices of videocards seem to get slowly into a more acceptable level, maybe you can get a much better card for less money.
So take good a look around before you buy. :wink:

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Thank you Laszio for the excellent help - I think I am now armed with sufficient information to make informed choice - great support !

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Thank you to Dan, Laszio and Neville for your efforts to help and advice - very much appreciated