Monitors—two or more

Brian Boru

Moderator
Now that you can…
https://forums.pcgamer.com/threads/play-two-games-at-once-on-same-pc.116431/
…the case for multi-monitor setups grows, doesn't it? Hmm, um… yep!

Are you a member of Super Screeners, an elite caste of the PC Master Race which uses more than one desktop monitor?

Or are you a lowly unfortunate with only half a screen? Yes, I'm talking to you, laptop user—don't you ever wish you could see things, do stuff… you know, the electronic equivalent of walk & chew gum?

if I'd had a dual monitor setup, but I haven't ever managed/bothered to set one up at home
I rate the diff between 1 and 2 monitors like that between monochrome and color monitors, or between 1-button and 2-button mice. It's huge, especially if you use your PC for more than gaming, or need a walkthru visible on another screen. Grab an old spare TV from someone and hook it up for a month—2nd screen doesn't have to be super-duper.

I've had 2 monitors, and later 2 TVs, for a long time, ~15 years. I work on the same PC I play on, so 2nd monitor has been a significant productivity boost. It's most frequent resident is OneNote, into which I paste info I want to keep handy or from which I get instructions for whatever I'm doing.

I spent a couple of years as a lowly unfortunate, but always had at least one TV, and usually two, in tow to have a usable setup—my Alienware R17 had 2 graphics cards in it. So for a while I had 2½ screens, which worked out mostly like 2½ Men, so the Alienware screen usually stayed closed—I also brought full-sized KB & mouse along for the rides.

In hindsight, it would have been better to hump a complete desktop system around of course. But I hadn't been a lowly unfortunate before, and didn't realize how lowly I was going to be in my unfortunate state. Live and learn—and of course, now I can look down my nose with quiet conviction.
“And if you gaze long enough into a 17", the 17" will gaze back into you.”

Hardware Setup

It's pretty simple, a case of you have or you don't. You need:

► 2 video outputs from your PC, usually on the back of your graphics card. It is possible to split a single output, if you fancy a bit of DIY, but hopefully you have 2 to hand.

► Cables to connect those outputs to the video inputs on your monitors or TVs.
Not a biggie, but if you're connecting to a TV, HDMI is preferred, whereas if to a monitor, go for Display Port. HDMI was designed for movies and TV, Display Port for computers—but as I said, not a biggie.

So make sure you have the right connections—male or female, HDMI or Display Port—on each end of your cables. If unsure, take pics of each input & output port and show 'em to the shop assistant.
 
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