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December 13, 2013

Multi-Monitors (Advanced)

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At Digux, we have three screens on our desks, synchronized to form a single desktop. This gives us the ability to drag items from one screen to the next as we use multiple applications constantly to do our job. Our opinion is, once you have more screen real-estate, you’ll never go back to less, because it has a direct impact on productivity. Below, we share information on how you can get started, along with some other cool things you can do with multi-monitors:

How to Get Started:
You need this to get started with a dual/tri-monitor system:

1. An OS that supports multi-monitors (Windows, Mac, Linux*).
2. Two or three monitors.
3. Either a) two or three graphic cards or b) a graphics card that supports outputs for two-three monitors.

Purchasing Advice:
When purchasing your monitors and video card(s) you will want to consider several things:

1. Monitors have a few different connection options such as VGA, DVI, HDMI, and Display Port. For the best quality, our recommendation is to go with an HDMI or Display Port. However, you will want to make sure your video card supports this connection method as well.
2. In terms of your video card motherboard compatibility, you have several options to choose from, but first you need to make sure the slots are available. You can identify available slots by taking the side off of your tower and taking a peak.
3. To determine compatibility, look up the make/model of your motherboard online to see which PCI/PCI Express slots are active/available.
4. After you install the video card(s) and hook up the monitors, you will want to install the driver (If they don’t automatically), then configure the screen resolution and orientation. Drivers can be found on the manufactures web-site. Enabling the multi-monitor feature can be done by accessing the control panel of the OS and finding the screen resolution settings.
5. If you are a gamer, you will want to make sure you consult with your I.T. professional to make sure you get the appropriate setup as multi-monitors can degrade performance unless you get more advanced equipment.

Monitor Mounts:
Another important aspect with having multi-monitors is making sure you have space for them. If you have a big desk you can simply set your monitors side by side leaving on the base. Otherwise, you can invest in a mount that either attaches to the desk or the wall. Here is a few companies online you can find and purchase monitor mounts:

1. www.ergotron.com/
2. www.custommountingsolutions.com/

Adding Multi-Monitor Functionality to Laptops:
Mobile professionals spend time at their main office so it makes sense for them to have multi-monitor capability:

1. Matrox.com offers the DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go adapters for multi-monitor support.
2. StarTech.com offers more of a generic dual/tri-monitor support adapters.
3. Traditionally, a docking station or port replicator that is compatible with your monitor will enable multi-monitor support.
4. Targus has a USB 3.0 Docking Station that is popular and compatible with the Surface Pro.

Wallpapers:
Our favorite web-sites on the Internet for multi-monitor wallpapers:

1. www.digitalblasphemy.com.
2. www.socwall.com

Windows 8.1 Much Improved Multi-Monitor Support:
Windows 8.1 enables us to open multiple Store apps and move them around on our monitors whereas you couldn’t do this in Windows 8. They also enabled the task bar to span across all screens. This is a much improved experience for non-touch desktop users.

Summary:
Multi-monitors are an inexpensive investment to help make your life easier and get more stuff done. It’s that simple.

joseph
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