Monday, January 19, 2009

Two Monitors Better Than One

Is using two monitors actually better than using one? According to numerous study’s and surveys the answer is yes, and it is said to increase productivity 7% to 50%. Those are some high numbers, but lets just dig a little deeper here.

Computer users nowadays are always multi-tasking. You usually will be surfing the web with numerous tabs, you will also be instant messaging you buddies, checking your email, typing something up on word, and maybe even playing a game. Now how can you ever expect to fit all of this on one monitor, it just is not possible. This is where two monitors really comes in handy. For example you are writing a paper about a topic you researching on the internet. Instead of having to keep tabbing back to the article and then back to word you can just have the article on one screen and word on the other.

Using two monitors is so easy. A main complaint that many people say is I don’t want to have to go through the hassle of setting up two monitors and getting the right software for it to work. Well the good thing here is Windows already has a built in monitor feature that will automatically register your second monitor when you hook it up to your computer. To edit this feature just right click your desktop background and go to settings. It will show both of your monitors and it will let you adjust a number of features for both monitors.

Some computers may not support two monitors though. To check this, just look on the back of your computer and check to see if there is another monitor input (VGA or DVI) right next to where your first monitor is plugged in. If you look on the back of your desktop and you see your first monitor is hooked up to a VGA or DVI port, but you do not see another VGA or DVI port. If this is the case then you have an older video card that only has 1 hookup for a monitor. There are two ways around this: You can either buy a monitor switch box or buy a better video card that has dual monitor ports. You can buy a brand new low end card that has 2 monitor ports for around $50-$100.

Once you have two monitor inputs just plug in both monitors with either the VGA or DVI cords. If your video card has one VGA input and one DVI input then you are going to have to put on a DVI to VGA adapter on the DVI port to get it to work. This adapter will usually come with any video card you buy. Once again your computer will automatically register your second monitor once you turn it on.

In closing this is well worth the effort. I highly encourage you to give this a try and I guarantee that you will never want to go back to one monitor again. If you have any questions leave us a comment.

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