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Mark Bolton
09-22-2014, 7:53 PM
I think I know the answer but hoping the guru's out there can give me a heads up on displays greater than 2x. I currently run laptop screen and a 24" extended display. What beyond having a system (PC Desktop) with I am assuming 3 cards? is requried? Does OS (windows) support this by default?

Sorry for the vagueness of the question but Im just kicking around the idea beyond google.

Tony Joyce
09-22-2014, 8:33 PM
What beyond having a system (PC Desktop) with I am assuming 3 cards? is requried? Does OS (windows) support this by default?



Short answer. You can use two video cards to run four monitors. Each card can run two. I think there are some very, very high end cards that will run four on one card(I used to have one). Yes Windows supports multiple monitors.

Actually you can do three cheaper than I thought.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5751ZH4343

or four

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814139087

Bill Huber
09-23-2014, 11:02 AM
You can get USB adapters that will do what you want.

You laptop will have a VGA out and then you just need a to get a USB adapter and you are set (one per monitor)

I would just go to Amazon and do a search on USB to VGA adapter and I am sure you will find what you want.

Greg R Bradley
09-23-2014, 11:16 AM
Even the current $500 HP Business desktops that I'm installing at the low end support 3 monitors as shipped with just onboard video. A few of the really compact ones like the ProDesk 600G1 mini, which is 7x7x1.3" will only support 3 if one of them is the old style 15pin VGA analog.

Win7 supports multiple monitors perfectly. XP generally benefitted from the multiple monitor control software that shipped with the video card or the computer that came with those cards. I started with multiple monitors with NT 4.0, when it required some skill to get it set up well. Now its just easy. NEC P series monitors will even interconnect so the controls on one change them all.

2 big monitors along with a 19" 4:3 business monitor for taskbar/desktop/folders/etc. works very well.

HP current high end laptops support 4-5 monitors as shipped.

Mark Bolton
09-23-2014, 12:21 PM
Hmm, I wonder if my new laptop supports more than one. Likely not as it has onboard video. Will do some looking. Three would be very handy and with monitors so cheap now its not such a big deal.

Mark Bolton
09-23-2014, 12:45 PM
You can get USB adapters that will do what you want.

You laptop will have a VGA out and then you just need a to get a USB adapter and you are set (one per monitor)

I would just go to Amazon and do a search on USB to VGA adapter and I am sure you will find what you want.

Investigating this now Bill, Thanks. In doing some reading it seems perhaps my on board Intel HD4400 will support three displays on this laptop. It only has the one HDMI output but perhaps the USB option would work for a third display. Very interesting.

Behind the times and was thinking it would be difficult or require a different machine/video setup.

Thanks again.

Matt Meiser
09-23-2014, 1:35 PM
My current work Dell Precision will only drive 2 displays at a time even though it has DisplayPort, VGA, and DVI outputs and the built in display. It will detect all of those at once, but turn a 3rd on and it disables one of the two that was on.

Eric DeSilva
09-23-2014, 2:27 PM
Are you sure you want three? I've was running a pair of the Dell 24" 1920x1080 monitors for a long time, but they recently replaced my work computer with one that has a built-in 23" screen, so now I've technically got three monitors. I've got the screen on the all-in-one shut off, however, because looking at it requires that I swivel my head around too far. I like having two, but I was surprised to find three didn't add anything. I might feel differently if there were some diagnostics or something I was running full time and didn't have to look at all that often.

I like the quality of the HDMI outputs much better than VGA, so I run one of the monitors using a "Plugable" USB to HDMI adapter--works quite well and seems fully compatible with the Windows display set up in preferences.

Mark Bolton
09-23-2014, 3:29 PM
Are you sure you want three? I've was running a pair of the Dell 24" 1920x1080 monitors for a long time, but they recently replaced my work computer with one that has a built-in 23" screen, so now I've technically got three monitors. I've got the screen on the all-in-one shut off, however, because looking at it requires that I swivel my head around too far. I like having two, but I was surprised to find three didn't add anything. I might feel differently if there were some diagnostics or something I was running full time and didn't have to look at all that often.

I like the quality of the HDMI outputs much better than VGA, so I run one of the monitors using a "Plugable" USB to HDMI adapter--works quite well and seems fully compatible with the Windows display set up in preferences.

Im really not sure Eric and I guess I could only know if I tried it. For years I ran a small HP laptop along side my 23" hdmi monitor (though the laptop only had VGA output) with an extended display. I do a lot of drawing so its nice to have whatever Im working on on the large screen and reference material as well as other programs like mail and so on on the small screen. That HP laptop recently had a HD failure and I wound up just purchasing a new laptop that is only slightly larger but has a 15+" display (amazing how fast tech moves). So now Im running the 15" with the 23" via HDMI.

I guess perhaps with this larger laptop monitor I am getting drunk on display size :D. In past weeks I really began to wonder about the third display being very handy though I agree its not like youd be actively working on all three displays (talk about a sore neck) especially where my desk is up against a wall and fairly shallow so I am fairly close to the monitors.

I have a second 23" monitor however its VGA only and I leave it at the house. I suppose I could order the adapter and see if the three displays worked but then looking online an inexpensive 23" monitor is just over 100 bucks so it would seem like its not too awful a risk to take.

Still looking into it.

All great info. Thanks guys.

Dave Richards
09-23-2014, 3:39 PM
Mark, I agree that having a second display is handy for showing reference materials and and such. My second display is a Wacom Cintiq (21" but I'm lusting after the bigger one, now) and I find that very useful for editing images. I'm not sure what I would use a third display for, though.

John C Lawson
09-23-2014, 8:37 PM
At work, my guys run two 23" monitors and one 19" 4:3 monitor. They have Dell Latitude 7240's running Windows and a docking station. The person who set it up tells me it won't run four because the laptop screen is the fourth. We use DVI and USB ports. Why do they need so much display real estate? Because they each monitor 44 system consoles.

Greg R Bradley
09-23-2014, 9:42 PM
Before this weekend, I had three 30", a 24" 1920x1200, and a 19" 1280x1024 at home. ONE 30" went to work and I'm crippled. The one 30" that went to work replaced two 24" 1920x1200 and it is an improvement. It just depends on what you are doing with the computer.

Eric DeSilva
09-24-2014, 12:03 PM
I really like having matched dual 24" monitors at work, but do use a single 30" 2560x1600 monitor at home. For the stuff I do at home--AutoCAD, Sketchup, browsing--the single monitor works really well. At work, where I parallel process more (I've always got Outlook running, as well as a browser, Excel, Word, Access, MapInfo and some other things), having the greater horizontal spread seems to work better.

Shawn Pixley
09-24-2014, 10:52 PM
I run two 24" HD monitors of my old HP laptop (one VGA, one USB). That is about all you can reasonably see without a lot of head turning / reposturing.

Today I was transferring to my new Mac Air. I'll run two monitors with it as well.