Multiple Monitors

Overview
Multi‑monitor laptops
Multi‑monitor desktops

Multi‑monitor Graphics Cards
USB Display Adapters
Wireless USB Display Adapters

Multi‑monitor PowerPoint
Multi‑monitor PowerPoint Viewer
Multi-monitor Screen Saver
Enabling a PC with multiple monitors

Usually, computers (Desktop PCs) come with only 1 monitor. Unlike laptops, they support 1 monitor only. You can add additional displays to the PC through the following ways:

  1. Using multi-monitor graphics cards
  2. Using multiple USB display adapters

Adding more displays using multi-monitor graphics cards

Graphics cards that support multiple display outputs are available in the market. These support 2 to 4 display outputs through VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. This is the most efficient and performance-oriented option when compared to using USB display adapters.

For setting up a 3 monitor PC, you have the following options:

  1. Add a dual-output display card to allow you to add 2 more displays to the PC. You would reuse the existing display card of your PC and its attached display in this case.
  2. Add a quad-output display card to allow you to connect up to 4 displays to the PC. You may want to remove the PC's single output display card in this case if you want to attach only 3 displays to the PC. With a quad-output display card, you would be able to connect your 3 displays while still have 1 display output available for future use.

    Note that Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows Vista requires displays to be driven by the same driver for Aero effects. This typically means that you should use the same display cards or use multiple display outputs from a single graphics card. Using a single quad-output display card would meet these requirements.

Click here to see a list of available multi-monitor graphics cards from Amazon.

Adding more displays using multiple USB display adapters

Using USB display adapters, you can add more displays to your PC or your laptop. A USB display adapter connects to the USB slot in your PC or laptop on one end and allows you to connect a display at the other end. This option is more convenient than the multi-monitor graphics card option as it does not require you to open the PC for adding any display board in your PC. Also, it may be the only option for laptops. Note that USB-to-VGA display adapters suffer from speed limitations of the current USB 2.0 interface. This makes the USB-to-VGA option suitable for less demanding applications.

A single USB display adapter supports one VGA, DVI or HDMI output. For connecting 2 more displays to your PC or laptop, you need a couple of these USB-to-VGA adapters.

Click here to see a list of available USB display adapters from Amazon.

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