How Does One Computer Work With Two Monitors?



  • Using multiple computer monitors as opposed to just one has a variety of uses and benefits to a number of different types of people, from a professional video editor to someone looking to to accomplish their everyday computer tasks more simply. It's believed to increase productivity.

Required Ports, Cables, and More

  • Getting one computer to work with dual monitors for the purposes of any of these tasks is a fairly straightforward endeavor. You will need two monitor displays and dual sets of corresponding video cables. You also will need a video adapter with two separate display connections--whether these connections are digital or analog is irrelevant so long as the available monitors match up to either of those specifications appropriately. As long as the proper video adapter is available, CRT monitors (the old desktop kind), LCD monitors, or whatever else should work just fine, so long as they are SVGA monitors. However, it's also important to note that your Operating System (OS) must be advanced and current enough to support multiple monitors. Microsoft Windows SE, Millennium Edition (ME), 2000, XP, and Vista all support dual monitors, as do recent versions of Mac OS X. With Mac computers specifically, some models automatically come with two monitor ports, depending on the type of computer in use. Also, Mac computers can handle dual monitors even with video processes that are integrated and included within the motherboard.

Video Cards and Preferences

  • If a Windows-based machine lacks a proper video card, a new video card that supports multiple monitors can be purchased and used to replace the old video card. Or, a monitor switch box can be bought and used to attach both monitors to it. Once this is all completed, preferences for dual monitors need only be updated on the computer of choice. This can be done through the "Display" section of the Control Panel in Windows, or in the same area on Mac under "System Preferences."

Don't Forget

  • Keep in mind that multiple monitors cannot be supported without a video card. Also, the user should always be sure to use only the monitors that are supported, or in other words, be sure to match up the appropriate cables with the appropriate monitors. Otherwise, usage of dual monitors will be crippled. Also, once all settings are updated and preferences are switched, and all connectors are securely fastened, it is still always necessary to restart the computer to achieve the desired results.

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