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Why Use Two Monitors On One Computer?

I Always Wanted To Know:

Why do people use two monitors on one computer?


Dual monitor, where two monitors are connected to the same computer, have become increasingly popular among business and home users. With more computers coming with multiple video output ports almost anyone can enable two screens. What advantages do two monitors bring and what potential drawbacks are there?

The Benefits:

The benefits of two monitors is twice the screen space. Web browser on one screen and e-mail client on the other? Monthly budget on one screen and bank statement on the other? Video game on one screen and work on the other? The possibilities are endless. Most people who use dual monitors never want to go back to a single.

The Drawbacks:

Twice the screen requires twice the video processing power. Most modern computers can handle this task with ease when it comes to webpages, e-mails and word processing. Once you combine video games, HD video or other graphics intensive tasks you can see slowdowns because the computer has to update two monitors not one.

What Do You Need?

If you want to use two monitors the list of items you’ll need is pretty basic. Start by checking the manufacturers specifications (or look on the back of your computer) and see if you have two video outputs. You’ll then need two monitors compatible with those video out ports. A popular combination is one monitor connected via VGA or DVI cable and another monitor connected via HDMI cable.

You can configure the way the monitors display information ( split screen, duplicate, which monitor is on left/right) inside of windows display properties in control panel. You can find detailed instructions on how to do so for Windows 7/Vista by clicking here [1].  Windows XP instructions can be found by clicking here [2].


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