Okay, you caught us: using dual monitors won’t really speed up your computer. However, it will significantly increase your own productivity while leaving only a small dent in your computer’s performance. With monitors constantly dropping in price, running a dual monitor setup has never been easier.

How much does it cost?

23 and 24 inch monitors can now be found for less than $200. While higher end monitor brands – like Dell and Samsung – may be priced a little higher, brands like Acer still provide sharp visuals at an affordable price. You’ll probably want a monitor that has HD capabilities, which means that it is rendering in 1080p quality.

You may not even need a 24 inch monitor. If you’d rather have two small 19 inch monitors, then that’s a possibility too. You may be able to pick up a couple cheap monitors on a local classifieds site, for example. Monitors come in all different shapes and sizes, and it’s easy to mix and match to find the monitor setup that works for you.

Do I need a new video card?

While monitors aren’t nearly as expensive as they used to be, you may need a new video card (or a new laptop) in order for your setup to work properly. Some video cards only have one video port on the back, which means you can only connect a single monitor. While choosing a video card with 2 HDMI ports isn’t always realistic, most modern video cards have some combination of VGA, HDMI, and DVI ports.

If you do need a new video card, then you don’t necessarily have to add several hundred dollars onto the cost of your dual monitor setup. Cheap video cards with dual monitor capabilities are available, and if you’re not using your PC for gaming, then you don’t necessarily need a higher end video card.

Advantages of a dual monitor setup

A dual monitor setup enhances your computer’s performance by doubling the amount of desktop space you have. You can have twice as many windows open at any one time. This is particularly useful for college students who need to write essays that rely on multiple sources, or for anybody who has to deal with large amounts of data at a single time.

Many gamers also appreciate a dual monitor setup. If your video card can handle the increased resolution, you’ll be treated to fantastic visuals over a massive desktop space.

While a dual monitor setup may seem strange at first, after using it for a few days, it’s tough to go back to anything else. It doesn’t take long to grow accustomed to the greatly expanded room on your computer, and suddenly a single monitor doesn’t quite seem to cut it.

Laptop users aren’t left out of a dual monitor setup

Just because you use a laptop doesn’t mean you can’t run two monitors. In fact, many of today’s laptops have 2 ports that you can use to attach two different monitors. Your laptop may have one VGA port and one HDMI port, for example, or even 2 HDMI ports. By plugging a monitor into each of these ports, you can be just as productive as your dual-monitor desktop brethren.

Ultimately, running two monitors is an easy way to improve the time you spend on the computer. If your video card can handle it – and if you can afford the cost of the extra monitor – then it could be a worthwhile upgrade to make. Whether you use your PC for gaming, work, or school, there are all sorts of benefits to a dual monitor setup.  

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