Dual Monitors with Your Windows PC
Dual Monitors for your Windows PC can provide lots of extra space to work or play!
An additional monitor is truly the easiest way to increase your productivity in a multitude of applications. If you haven't considered a second monitor, you should!
To get started, you will need to identify the video card already installed in the computer system. Right-click My Computer, and select Properties, click the Hardware tab, and click the Device Manager button. Now double-click the Display adapters icon, your video card is listed there. Now double-click your display adapter, select the Driver tab, click the Driver Details and note the Provider & File version.
It's important to realize that not all video cards can support dual monitors, so armed with your video card information, you can compare your video card and driver file version with a list of supported video cards listed in the hardware requirements for multiple displays in Windows XP from Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307397.
You can choose to purchase a new compatible video card to match your existing card or you can purchase two new compatible cards. Depending on which type of slots are supported in your computer (check the manual), you can select two new PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) video cards or choose one PCI and one compatible AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) card. PCI and AGP cards, if compatible, can be successfully installed in a single computer system.
You also have the option to purchase a single video card with dual video ports for running dual monitors. Most manufacturers offer these so called "Dual Head" graphics cards, and this really simplifies things. Whichever card you decide on, make sure that its outputs match your monitor's inputs (DVI or VGA).
Studies have shown that adding a second monitor to a system will improve production by 30-50 percent, that's a huge boost for a relative small investment!
Another advantage is that two smaller monitors should be much easier to justify financially than one larger monitor. Two 17" or 19" LCD monitors, generally cost much less than just one 20" LCD monitor.
From a visual stand point, you may like to have two of the exact same monitors on your desk, though it's not necessary that the monitors match in terms of size, brand, or technology (LCD or CRT). Any two monitors can work in a dual display setup as long as the connections on the monitor and the graphic adaptor(s) match up.
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