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Dual monitor questions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2007 4:14:27 AM

How does the "extend desktop" feature actually work? Say I maximize a window on my main (left) monitor. Is it now going to automatically span both screens? Is there any way to make it to where you have the extra desktop space available to you but it's not utilized unless you manually drag a window onto it? Essentially I'd like to be able to continue to use my computer normally except when it's convenient to me to display something on the second screen.

When I play games, will only my main monitor be used with no performance hit? Or will my frame rate be reduced by having the second monitor hooked up?

Never had a dual monitor setup before, so please excuse my stupid questions.

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March 22, 2007 5:03:06 AM

Quote:
How does the "extend desktop" feature actually work? Say I maximize a window on my main (left) monitor. Is it now going to automatically span both screens? Is there any way to make it to where you have the extra desktop space available to you but it's not utilized unless you manually drag a window onto it? Essentially I'd like to be able to continue to use my computer normally except when it's convenient to me to display something on the second screen.

When I play games, will only my main monitor be used with no performance hit? Or will my frame rate be reduced by having the second monitor hooked up?

Never had a dual monitor setup before, so please excuse my stupid questions.


I used to run dual monitors at work and I loved it. If you maximize your window it will only maximize on the one screen. To get it on the other screen you will have to drag it over. The next time you open a program it will open on the screen it was last closed on, so if you close a program on your left screen it will open on your left screen, and if you close a program on your right screen, it will open on your right screen.

I have never actually gamed with two monitors, but my understanding is that if you run the game at full screen it will black out the other monitor until the game is closed or minimized. You should not see a performance hit at all.
March 22, 2007 5:36:44 AM

Great, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Thanks! I guess a two monitor setup is in my immediate future.
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March 22, 2007 5:41:21 AM

You will love it. I have been trying to talk my wife into letting me get another monitor, but have not yet been successful. Enjoy the monitors.
March 22, 2007 6:22:32 AM

depends on the game you're playing.. some games black out one screen and play on the other, some games span both (which is bad for FPS since the crosshairs is right in the crack). Some will run windowed, etc. I have a dual monitor setup and like pieces of it but would have rather just sprung for a bigger widescreen monitor to start with. Running videos full screen has a crack, some programs black out the other half of the video, typically end up just resizing to one monitor
March 22, 2007 7:03:06 AM

I used to use a dual setup with my old CRT monitors and whilst gaming I could still use the other screen to see things like xfire, msn and teamspeak without problems. But then I bought a TFT and the dual setup is not really compatible in the same way with a TFT and a CRT. The only option it has is to stretch the desktop over the 2 monitors which is way out of proportion and gaming (especially fps games) is almost impossible. Whether it's because of the 2 different monitor types is something that I don't know.

Maybe I'll put the wife's TFT on mine to see if it works like the old way that I preferred.

If anyone knows the answer, it might save me some lifting and waiting till she's taking a break from WoW!! ;) 
March 22, 2007 8:18:15 AM

I use dual monitors both at home and at work... when you have 2 connected and load a game on mine, the game loads up on the primary monitor and leaves the secondary monitor with whatever was on your desktop before... if the game is running at a different resolution to the desktop then when it loads it will change the resolution of the secondary screen... which can be a little annoying. Some games i play allow me to click on my secondary screen and use messenger etc while leaving the game on screen, others minimize the game when i click off of it.

Using ultramon i can get windows to load up stretched across both monitors or just the one.

Depending on the way you have your dual screen set up (and presumably what graphics card you use) ( i use dual view rather than span on my NVIDIA card) which makes things just load on the one monitor. whereas if i were to use span, the start menu automatically will stretch across both monitors, and maximized windows across both as it thinks of the screens as one. if you load a game in span then it will load on the primary monitor and turn the 2nd onto standby

Because of this i prefer dual view with ultramon, allowing me to stretch windows if i like but sticking to one screen if i prefer.

I have never had a game manage to stretch across both screens

I have also not seen a performance hit from having the 2 screens, if there is one i think it is pretty negligible, although i guess it depends on your graphics and screen size/resolution... i am using 2x 19" Wide @ 1440x900 and a 512MB NVIDIA 7950GT at home and an NVIDIA FX5200 at work on 2x 17" @ 1024x768 & 1280x1024 at work (although i dont game on those... obviously)
March 22, 2007 8:45:59 AM

I too use Dual Monitor setup. Sadly I have a huge CRT monitor sitting next to an LCD. It looks off but I love it! I think this is much better than having a widescreen. I can work on one side and display a movie on the other. Love it! Ultimate in multi-tasking hardware! :D 
March 22, 2007 9:03:18 AM

i have been using two monitors for three years now both in work and at home they are an absolute joy to work with and to play on all i can say is that i totally depends on how you set up your drivers you can have it work any way you want i peronally like dual view and use it primarily to play a full screen movie as i work on the other monitor. in terms of gaming i have never had a problem. in fact i did a little registry hack on RA2 that allowed me to span the entire map over two screens which was awesome
March 22, 2007 10:30:42 AM

I've been using dual monitors so long that it seems like an injustice when I have to actually USE a single display somewhere. I've actually used a quad display setup at work for a while (2 x 21" LCDs and 2 x 17" LCDs) luxurious at first, but it actually cumbersome in day to day use (for me, anyways), though the nVidia drivers managed it well. ...just moving Windows around 4 monitors seemed a little overkill. Using nVidia's DualView (very simple, thank you nVidia) you'll have a primary and a secondary monitor with dual displays. Most dialog boxes will open on your primary display while programs will typically open on the last screen they were closed on. As noted by another poster, I'd also recommend dual monitors over a single wide-screen (even 2 x 17" vs 1 x 24")

Irrelevant side note: Another poster above noted he may have to ask his wife if he could get a second monitor. I'm engaged and the thought of having to ask to buy gear is scary and sickening. That really happens? I'm going to have to correct that before it ever happens over here. ...but good luck with your wife.
March 22, 2007 10:43:41 AM

Quote:


Irrelevant side note: Another poster above noted he may have to ask his wife if he could get a second monitor. I'm engaged and the thought of having to ask to buy gear is scary and sickening. That really happens? I'm going to have to correct that before it ever happens over here. ...but good luck with your wife.


Oops, yeah thank god my wife isn't like that but yep, there are some things that you do need permission to buy.

Always watch what you say too coz women are like computers - they store stuff in memory that sometimes you wished they would forget!
March 22, 2007 5:49:10 PM

Man, too true. I'm engaged as well, but fortunately the first couple of years I'll be married I'm going to be the sole breadwinner (she's still in school) so I'll be able to play that card at least :D 

Thanks for the responses, everyone, very informative.
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