More Than One Computer Screen?

Considering Using More Than One Computer Screen?

The use of more than one computer screen or monitor is called multi-monitor and a clear definition of this is provided by Wikipedia.

Usage of Multi Monitors

There is limited information on the internet regarding usage of more than one computer screen.  A survey was however conducted by JPR (Jon Peddie Research) back in 2002.  Thus all the data below has probably doubled or more by now.

The 2002 JRP survey revealed that of the individuals surveyed 32% were already using multi monitors.

54% of those only using a single monitor were planning to purchase an additional display screen.

Also 42% of mobile computer users said that they used multi monitors with the majority of them (71%) using them as an extended desktop.

More than one monitor increases productivity.

There have been many surveys done to determine whether or not multi monitors increase productivity.  The overall consensus is that a second or more monitors quit significantly increase productivity with results ranging from 20 to 40%.  A survey conducted by Fujitsu Siemens Computers revealed that multiple monitors increase productivity by 35%. This survey data is also out of date, conducted back in 2009 – so the results may now have increased even further.

How Multi Monitors are Used in the Workplace

The way in which more than one computer screen is used is dependent upon the individual, however there are some patterns of use that have been found.

Email Kept Open on One Screen

By having your email always open on a second screen you are able to very quickly see any new information that comes in and it is also much quicker to send emails as the need is generated as one works on another program on the second screen.

Comparisons Across Screens

A high usage of more than one computer screen allow users to compare or contrast a product, diagram, map etc across the two screens.  Website designers are among the many users of multi monitors for this purpose.

Laptop and Monitor

One of the most common uses is by those who use a laptop for mobile work and then connect to a second monitor at the work base.

Conference Calls

Being able to have other applications open during a skype conference call allows individuals to be able to quickly access information on the additional computer screen(s).

How to Connect a Second Monitor

Hardware Requirements

Firstly for a desktop computer, a video card that has ports for two computer screens is needed.  If this is not the case a second video card can be purchased.

Secondly, the video card also needs to have the ability to display more than one computer screen.

For a laptop, the laptop screen is the one monitor and the second monitor in most newer laptops are already catered for by an additional port provided.

For Apple users, iMacs have a second port built-in.

How to Check If Your Video Card Has Two Ports

Plug in the second computer screen.  Go to Control Panel, then select Display.  When the new menu comes up choose Change display settings. Then select the Advanced settings.  Choose the Monitor tab of the video card display and then you will be able to see if the card shows the number of monitors that you have connected.

If both monitors are shown then your video card is able to display more than one computer screen.  However, if there is only one then your video card has the capacity to display only one monitor at a time.

Step By Step Guide On Setting Up Dual Displays

An article from Dell provides links to detailed instructions on how to set up a second monitor depending on your Windows operating system.

Practical Restrictions to Multi Monitors

Lack of Space

There are some practical restrictions to using more than one computer screen.  The most obvious being lack of desktop space.  Computer screens, especially the larger screens which are now most common do take up a fair amount of the desktop.  There are solutions to this including elevating the monitors on an open ledge which maintains most of the usable desk space.

Visibility Difficulties

This starts to occur when a user has around four or more monitors and limited desk space.  Elevating one monitor above the other means that the computer screens are raised to quite a height making the visibility and ease of use more difficult.

Video Card

As discussed above, depending on the video card that a user has plus the system hardware capabilities and the amount of resources that a user requires this could result in the slowing down of applications.  The solution is obviously to upgrade.


As noted above it may be necessary to upgrade the one or more components of the computer.  Then, of course, there is the cost of an additional monitor or two or three…

Article by Affordable Computer Repairs Brisbane.

more than one computer screen

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