The next step in computer displays is the use of running dual monitors. This comes in really handy for both the private sector as well as business applications. Running dual displays doubles your visual tabletop making your multitasking much easier to work with.
A dual monitor system can be set up different ways. You can set them up to act as a extra wide view, so you can drag and drop work between the two displays. They can also be set up to show identical views (perfect for business applications where a second party needs to see the screen), or they can be set up independent of each other.
Many cab companies and courier services use the dual computer monitors because there is always a active screen that they need to keep up on the monitor at all times. In a situation as this, the second monitor would be for that purpose. In these situations the second monitor may be displaying the availability of units rolling around a metropolitan area, or the second monitor could be showing ‘GPS’ activity of units in the field while monitor number one does the dispatching work. These are not the limitations of running dual monitors, but rather just a couple of examples.
Personal uses of dual monitors are just as beneficial. Running two monitors on a personal computer gives the computer owner the ability to do multi-tasking without closing or minimizing a entire window. Some examples of these uses on a personal computer are simple. You may be writing a letter on monitor number one while watching a DVD on monitor number two.
I personally use dual monitors on my computer because of a number of reasons, mostly because of the graphics software that I use in my photography hobby, other times I watch German television stations on monitor number two while surfing the web or reading emails on monitor number one.
One might ask, “is it hard to setup dual monitors on a computer?”. Actually, it isn’t hard at all. If your computer doesn’t offer two outlets for plugging in two monitors, the upgrade is pretty simple for you or a shop to do.
First you have to purchase a display card that will give you the dual monitor capability. These will in most cases be available as a video graphics card to go into the green slot of your computers mother board. If your computer is currently running a PCI or ISA display card, … you will have to remove that card before installing the new card to avoid computer system conflicts in the device manager of your operating system.
If your computer is using a ‘onboard’ display adapter, … the onboard display device will automatically become null and void as you install the software for the new card you are installing, because the drivers for the new card will show up as a upgrade with a more current date.
Once the card and its software are installed, go into the software for the card you bought and setup the way you want the displays to appear.
There are a great deal of manufacturers out there that make display cards for running dual monitors, and they can differ in price greatly. Prices can range anywhere from $99.00 up to a couple thousand dollars. I installed my card that was manufactured by ATI. It is the ATI Fire GL V7300 Graphics Adapter which gives a maximum resolution of 3840 by 2400. This card can be used by Linux systems as well as Windows systems and the card costs about $1,348.00 depending on where you buy it.
Your local computer store may offer more affordable cards that sell for under $500.00. I bought mine on the theory ‘you get what you pay for’. But that’s me, … someone else could be very happy with a standard card under $500.00.
Regardless of the price range you decide to go with, … a important fact is, buy one that offers a lot of it’s own onboard memory. The more memory it has, the better. The last thing you would want to experience is a slow machine because you are doing demanding things that requires video memory, finding out you bought a card with small memory and now its drawing the balance of the memory it needs from your system ram. Do it right and make it worth your while. Get a card with a lot of memory, you will be very happy with it.
I’ve already been asked if it was possible to run more than two monitors on one computer. Yes it is. However for personal computers and most businesses, this wouldn’t be practical. Only a few mandatory needs are currently out there for this technology. A couple of examples being, people working in the New York Stock Exchange (for watching numerous stock activities at once) or some major 911 dispatch centers across America in large metropolitan area’s, for monitoring and dispatching police, fire, and paramedics.
What’s more, … to setup a computer with four or more monitors could cost thousands of dollars, and usually is run with some custom software that costs just as much.
Running dual monitors is something that absolutely anyone can do and benefit from it. As I mentioned earlier, … the price range is pretty wide. You can do it, … just pick your price.