Having a dual screen monitor does not just look great. It can also boost a person’s productivity. Whether they are working on a video, editing large images, managing a team or simply playing online games, dual monitors will give a person more space to work on their projects. The best-priced dual monitors usually start at about $297.
- 1 Computer
- 2 Monitors
- 2 Video Cables
- Compatible Graphics Card
How to set up Dual Monitors for Windows
Check your ports. You will need two video out connections on the back of your computer, one for each monitor. There are 3 main types of connections, listed from oldest to newest: VGA, DVI, and HDMI. For best results, use two of the same connectors for your dual monitor setup.
- Monitors are typically connected to either the motherboard or the graphics card. Most graphics cards support two or more monitor connections, while most motherboards support one and sometimes two.
- If you have a monitor with a VGA cable, and your port is DVI, you can purchase an adapter that will attach to your VGA connecter and allow you to hook it up to a DVI port.
- The ability to set up dual monitors depends on the power of your graphics card and CPU. Running a second monitor puts more strain on your system. A more powerful graphics card means the display has more pixels, which makes a dual setup possible.
Attach the second monitor to the open port on your computer. In most cases Windows will automatically detect the new monitor. If it doesn’t, restart the computer.
- If you want to connect a second monitor and there is only one port on your motherboard or graphics card, you will need to install a new graphics card in order to attach the second monitor.
- The monitor does not need to be the same manufacturer or size. For easiest viewing, use two monitors that are the same size so that your desktop stays uniform.
Follow the monitor setup wizard. In most cases, this will start automatically when a new monitor is plugged in. You will be given options to either mirror or extend your desktop.
- Mirroring duplicates what is shown on your primary monitor. This is most useful for giving presentations, where your laptop may be connected to a projector or TV.
- Extending makes the second monitor another screen for your desktop. This will allow you to drag windows and icons onto the second monitor, giving you more room to multitask.
- You can also set the second monitor as your primary desktop monitor. This is useful if you attach a monitor to a laptop and want to use it instead of your laptop’s display.
Setup the monitor manually. If the monitor wizard does not automatically start, or you want to change the settings yourself, you can use the Display Settings tool.
- Right-click the desktop, and select Properties or Personalize. Select Display Settings from the list of preferences.
- You should see icons with numbers representing your attached monitors. If one is disabled, it will be grayed out.
- Select the second monitor and choose to either extend your desktop or mirror your desktop.
- Your options may be dependent on the graphics card that you have installed. You may need to make these changes from within your nVidia or ATI control panels. If you have these installed, they can be found in your Start menu.
How to setup Dual Monitors for Mac OS X
Step 1: Connect the Second Monitor
Macs feature video connectors that let users install a second monitor. Each of these displays will require its own video cable.
Step:2 Choose to Extend or Mirror
Many monitors will be recognized automatically, and the user will be prompted to select their preferred settings. If they choose to mirror, a similar image will be shown on both computer stations. The desktop will be stretch across two monitors if they choose to extend. A person should open the Display preferences and use Detect Displays if their monitor is not shown.
Step 3: Adjust the Settings Manually
People who would like to change the settings for themselves can do so on the Display preferences menu. To access it, they should click the Apple Menu and choose System Preferences. They should then select the Displays tab to choose the setting that they want.