Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best way to connect 2 displays to my laptop?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
December 13, 2011 12:43:00 PM

Hey everyone,

I have an Acer Aspire 5742 i3 6GB RAM laptop. I would like to connect two monitors to this simultaneously so i can dual screen and was trying to establish the best way to do this. Obviously i could just connect one monitor and then use the laptop screen as the 2nd one but it's quite small (15.6") so would rather purchase two identical monitors to sit side by side. I have seen a number of dual and triple display devices (matrox seeming to be the most prominent) but have read mixed reviews about them. FYI I do not play games on this system it is used exclusively for work (and messing around on the internet), I am a web developer so do lots of programming and image editing in Photoshop. As a result my questions are (!):

1) My laptop has one HDMI out and one VGA out, do these output the same screen or can you in theory use these to multi display? Eg can i plug one monitor via VGA and one via HDMI and get dual screen (not cloned) across these (presumably one would then be mirrored on the laptop screen which is fine)? Obviously this isn't ideal as the quality will be different (VGA vs HDMI) but it might be a simple option.

2) As I have an HDMI port I would ideally like to get full HD monitors and connect to them using HDMI so the quality is as good as possible. Looking at the Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition (http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/dh2go/) it seems to connect via VGA from laptop to GPU then via DVI to the monitors. I'm slightly confused as surely if you connect via VGA to the Matrox then presumably it can't output full HD to the monitors as surely this information isn't outputted via VGA? Assuming this is correct is there any way of having dual HD monitors and will this make much difference?

3) Am I right in thinking with a Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition you get the two screens you connect PLUS a third different screen on the actual laptop display (this isn't essential for me, i was just wondering!)

4) Do you have to restart the computer when switching from dual screen via the Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition to just using the laptop screen on it's own or can you just plug/unplug while the machine is on?

5) Once it's setup do the multiscreens connected to the Matrox function in a similar way to having dual monitors straight from windows, or are there any particular differences?

5) Is there a better way of doing what i'm trying to achieve?

Thanks so much for your help, it really is greatly appreciated!

Dave
December 13, 2011 1:04:18 PM

1)Going from http://superuser.com/questions/351443/connecting-two-mo...
it looks like the processor can only support 2 displays. Whether or not it can support outputting separately via HDMI and VGA and turning the laptop display off isn't known. Your best bet is to take the laptop in to the nearest computer repair store and ask if you can try it out.

2)The matrox basically tells your laptop that it is twice as wide as a normal screen, then splits that down the middle and outputs half to each screen. You really wouldn't be getting HD either way.

3)Yes, or if your laptop supports outputting via HDMI and VGA, you could hook up ANOTHER external

4)It should be hot-swappable

5)the one thing I can think of is Aero Snap. It won't work as usual. Dragging to the right edge will fill the right monitor, left the left, and top will fill both with your one window.

5(again)) Depends on what you want to use the monitors for. If 1) works, then you don't need to bother with the matrox. Otherwise, if one monitor is mainly going to display static images, you could get away with a USB video card dealio, like (not that I have any experience with it, just the first thing I found on a newegg search):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 27, 2012 6:45:25 PM

I have an Acer Aspire 5552-7819 with the following specs:

AMD Phenom II X2 N660 cpu
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 display adapter

I'm trying to connect it to two Samsung P2270FH monitors thru a Matrox DualHead2Go device I just purchased, but am having no luck. I am unable to see output on either of the external screens.

When I run the Matrox Setup Wizard I am unable to get it to configure properly. On the "Input cable connection" screen the "Graphics hardware detected:" box says "GXM display not found", "Input connector:" and "Windows display number:" boxes say "Not detected".

When I open Matrox PowerDesk I see three boxes on the top -

GXM product: DualHead2Go Digital Edition
Graphics hardware: Unknown (no DDC communication)
GXM software version: 2.4.0.11

Then I see a Monitors box with the following in it:
Samsung SyncMaster (Digital) on connector 1.
Samsung SyncMaster (Digital) on connector 2.

In the "Current display mode" box, it says:
Unknown (no DDC communication)

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.
April 28, 2012 5:48:43 AM

iwtsmoc said:
I have an Acer Aspire 5552-7819 with the following specs:

AMD Phenom II X2 N660 cpu
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 display adapter

I'm trying to connect it to two Samsung P2270FH monitors thru a Matrox DualHead2Go device I just purchased, but am having no luck. I am unable to see output on either of the external screens.

When I run the Matrox Setup Wizard I am unable to get it to configure properly. On the "Input cable connection" screen the "Graphics hardware detected:" box says "GXM display not found", "Input connector:" and "Windows display number:" boxes say "Not detected".

When I open Matrox PowerDesk I see three boxes on the top -

GXM product: DualHead2Go Digital Edition
Graphics hardware: Unknown (no DDC communication)
GXM software version: 2.4.0.11

Then I see a Monitors box with the following in it:
Samsung SyncMaster (Digital) on connector 1.
Samsung SyncMaster (Digital) on connector 2.

In the "Current display mode" box, it says:
Unknown (no DDC communication)

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks.


1) This really belongs in its own thread
2) Try calling their tech support, it's probably more specific of a problem than anyone here can help with, besides the following advice:
3) Graphics hardware not detected means it doesn't see the device attached. Do you have both the DisplayPort and USB ports plugged in? The device draws power from the USB port, so make sure it is directly plugged in to the computer or try a different port. Run the compatibility test: http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/support/compatibility...
!