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Dual Monitors

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March 24, 2006 3:50:49 AM

I was building a new computer and I have two monitors so I was wondering how do you set up a two monitor system. I am a noob
Do you need two keyboard and mouse?
How does it work lol?

More about : dual monitors

March 24, 2006 4:23:10 AM

If you don't know how a dual monitor setup works, you shouldn't even be building your own computer...

Seriously, that's scary.
March 24, 2006 5:25:26 AM

I almost have to agree with doublehelix, do you have a vid card with two outputs, either dvi or vga? If so plug them both in and enable the second in the driver, both nvidia and ati have wizards that pretty much do it for you. If you want to add another pci video card you have to make sure it supports being a secondary display then do the same thing.
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March 24, 2006 11:55:12 AM

What kind of video card are you using?
March 24, 2006 12:05:32 PM

Yeah, it depends on what kind of video card you are using. My 7800GT can do dual monitor display but that about it and I don't see the point of it since I use my system for gaming. Why do you need a dual monitor display anyways?
March 24, 2006 12:34:31 PM

It can also depend on the MB that you're using. If it has build in graphics (and a VGA port) and if you have a graphics card as well, then you can also use the 2 monitors.
March 24, 2006 1:07:53 PM

Quote:
Yeah, it depends on what kind of video card you are using. My 7800GT can do dual monitor display but that about it and I don't see the point of it since I use my system for gaming. Why do you need a dual monitor display anyways?


I run duial monitors off the same card. I find it useful to run 'distractions' in the 2nd monitor, i.e. a movie if I am browsing, or download windows etc. When I'm gaming, I often keep an open chat window on the 2nd screen, provided it does not mess with my ping too much. Once you have sampled the luxury of having a dual monitor setup, it is very very hard to go back to just one.
March 24, 2006 1:51:53 PM

Well, if you multitask a ton. I just set up dual 19' Hitachis on the 7800GT. I have lots of things running all the time. I do the internet DJ thing and I find it useful for keeping everything in sight. Winamp, Shoutcast, filezilla (I also run a seperate music server), Firefox, Limewire, Trillian, VNC, etc. I do prefer the 20.4" Dell 2005 FPW though and will probably switch back soon. If you game with this setup, you use a single monitor. It's odd though, having the start button and your clock about 3 feet apart. It has uses.
March 24, 2006 5:00:15 PM

How much would dual monitors affect the performance of a video card?
March 24, 2006 5:20:23 PM

None, if you run a game it will run on the primary or secondary only, which ever you choose, the rest of your desktop stays on the second display, jsut can't do anything with it, but it's nice to have a walkthrough open on one and play on the other!
March 24, 2006 5:37:58 PM

What about the performance when you overlay and play with the game on both monitors?
March 24, 2006 5:38:25 PM

Do the monitors need to be the same? Or can you "mix and match" them?
March 24, 2006 5:39:56 PM

Never tried that, I've got a 22" crt, that's big enough for me :) 

You can mix and match, my other display is a 19" lcd! Can't get much different than that!
March 24, 2006 6:15:26 PM

Typically if your computer can support 2 monitors, the graphics driver will deal w/ the setup of the monitors.

Your computer will recognize both as will the driver. Just extend the desktop to the 2nd monitor, and voila!

Yes u can mix and match, no problems. you can have diff resolutions on both if you want.

Or you can just get two computers :p 
March 24, 2006 6:18:33 PM

Quote:
What about the performance when you overlay and play with the game on both monitors?
March 24, 2006 6:37:35 PM

Michaelahess kinda answered your question. Game from 1 monitor. If you mean general Windows applications, I can't see any difference.
March 24, 2006 6:48:20 PM

Also Matrox has an external splitter that will enable you to setup dual monitors with one video port. One of our managers has it on his laptops docking bay and it works just like our PC's with dual ports (but I believe it is VGA only and there is no DVI version). It actually supports some of the onboard solutions (ATI and Intel) as well as graphics cards.
March 24, 2006 8:00:34 PM

Quote:
Michaelahess kinda answered your question. Game from 1 monitor. If you mean general Windows applications, I can't see any difference.


How was my question answered? I'm talking about playing a game thru both of the monitors at the same time. How much performance is lost relative to normal play on one monitor? Is it split 50/50 among the monitors, or is it less due to the overlay and the fact that your video card is already computing the geometries and texture but now at a higher resolution?

Thanks
March 24, 2006 8:04:22 PM

I think its just at a higher res. From the OS's point, it just sees that you have a 'screen' of say 2- 1200x1600s, so that'd give you 1200x3200.

So the game would put out (if it could) 1200x3200.

Performance would be game specific, I would think.
March 24, 2006 8:26:04 PM

From my understanding, few games will work on dual monitors. I believe it's game specific. Would stand to reason if you now are driving 2 monitors, you'd take a huge performance hit.

"None, if you run a game it will run on the primary or secondary only, which ever you choose,"

Check it out: http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/faq.asp
March 24, 2006 10:53:37 PM

Yup, I've never seen a game that let me select to run on both, might be some flight sims that do, otherwise you need additional spanning hardware, I think matrox has stuff like that, you plug it into one port then multiple monitors into that and the box streches it to fit the other monitors sorta like kamel5547 said.
March 25, 2006 3:41:38 PM

i Wanted to game on one monitor while doing slight work or posting on forums such as these on the other one. One more thing. If I have two monitors and two copies of world of warcraft could i do one on each monitor. I am aware that there would most likely be lag
March 25, 2006 4:54:46 PM

It just adds "enhanced functionality" I use Ultramon personally, much more flexible.
March 25, 2006 5:44:52 PM

You can do that if it lets you open the game more than once; I know it is possible, but some games just bring you to the session that is open. Try opening the game so 2 versions are running on one monitor, and if that works then it will def run on 2. Note that it will cripple the performance of your computer....
March 25, 2006 6:00:20 PM

playing games on one monitor while posting on forums or anyother activity on the other monitor is not possible. I started my dual monitor because of this reason as well but it doesn't work. here is why. when u click on ur secondary monitor, it technically "quitting" out of ur gaming on the primary monitor. therefore, the game will automatically minimize itself. i've played around with the duals and i couldn't find a way to get the game runing while doing something else on the other mon.

so far the only good use i have of the second mon while playing a game is when i'm on aim. i keep the aim chat window on the secondary mon while i play on the primary. Ususally, when one mon, i have to minimize everytime someone sends me a msg to see if its important and worth replying or not, but now witht he second mon, i can see the messages without minimizing. i know it sounds kinda stupid but i think its actually pretty handy when ur getting shot at and receiving 50 messages at the same time. ^_^
March 25, 2006 6:59:39 PM

Its quite easy to use 2 windows without minimizing the game... Just play in windowed mode. And fill in your first monitor you only have your taskbar. And you can freely go to the other screen... Also it might even be possible to stretch it to the other screen to. But cant test it as i dont have a second monitor. I just do this on my tv :)  so thats why i know the windowmised shizzle work.
March 27, 2006 12:20:26 AM

Quote:
playing games on one monitor while posting on forums or anyother activity on the other monitor is not possible. I started my dual monitor because of this reason as well but it doesn't work. here is why. when u click on ur secondary monitor, it technically "quitting" out of ur gaming on the primary monitor. therefore, the game will automatically minimize itself. i've played around with the duals and i couldn't find a way to get the game runing while doing something else on the other mon.

so far the only good use i have of the second mon while playing a game is when i'm on aim. i keep the aim chat window on the secondary mon while i play on the primary. Ususally, when one mon, i have to minimize everytime someone sends me a msg to see if its important and worth replying or not, but now witht he second mon, i can see the messages without minimizing. i know it sounds kinda stupid but i think its actually pretty handy when ur getting shot at and receiving 50 messages at the same time. ^_^


That's not entirely true. I can play World of Warcraft in a "full window" and keep thottbot.net on my second monitor. That way I can keep a quest window open or a map open while running an instance... if I need to update something on the browser, all I gotta' do is move it to the second monitor. WoW still stays open, but the "priority" goes to the browser

It all depends on the game itself.
March 28, 2006 5:24:05 AM

i've been using multiple monitors for years and the biggest reasons for me are Photoshop or audio programs like Cubase...having the tools and navigator on one window and the image on the other is great. I have 2 computers through a kvm switch to 3 monitors here and the ability to have a movie or winamp, a browser and actual work going on simultaneously is great. Gaming, however is limited...as mentioned elsewhere very few games can make use of multiple monitors...some flight sims do (being able to see a map and behind you in one monitor and your main view in the other, for example) but for most games i use just one monitor, but with your drivers you can select which display is your primary and therefore gaming monitor. i have a 22 inch viewsonic and 2 17 inch samsungs wrapping me in their emf right now...lol
KVM switches are great for running your keyboard, video and mouse to 2 computers, though i usually just have my 2 small laptop style keyboards plugged in and just use the kvm to control which machine gets two monitors.
BTW, you do not need two keyboards or mice...your mouse just sees the two screens as one and speeds up its relative sideways motion...my Wacom graphic tablets also map across both monitors perfectly.
!