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How to create an insane multiple monitor setup with three, four, or more displays

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | June 16, 2015
Studies have shown that dual monitors can increase productivity, but the jury is still out on whether adding even more monitors means even more productivity.

Before you buy your monitors, you will also want to make sure they have input ports that correspond with your PC's output ports. While you could use conversion cables, such as DVI-to-HDMI or DisplayPort-to-DVI, they can be a hassle. If you have a VGA port on your PC or your monitor, I suggest staying away from it: VGA is an analog connector, which means your picture will be noticeably fuzzier and colors will be less vivid.

Set up your PC

Set up your monitors, plug them in, and turn on your PC. Voila! A perfectly-formed multi-monitor setup! Well, it is pretty easy, just not that easy.

The first thing you will want to do is configure Windows to play nicely with your multiple monitors. If you are running Windows 7, right-click on the desktop and click Screen resolution. This will take you to the Screen resolution menu, where you will be able to configure what limited options you have for multiple monitors in Windows 7.

Here, you can see your setup, identify your monitors (click this and you will see large numbers appear on your screens, so you can identify which screen is which), and choose your main display. You can also choose whether to duplicate your desktop or extend your desktop between the screens. In most multi-monitor setups, you will want to extend your desktop across all three (or four, or whatever) of your displays.

If you are running Windows 8, you have more options for your multi-monitor setup: You can extend the taskbar across displays and assign different wallpapers to each screen without using third-party software. Windows 7 users will need to use third-party software such as DisplayFusion or MultiWall to accomplish this. In Windows 8, you will also notice more intuitive mouse movement across your monitors, and all corners and edges will be active so you can access your Charms bar and other apps from any screen.

In addition to Windows' multi-monitor configurations, there is also Nvidia's and AMD's control panels (depending on which type of graphics card you have). To access Nvidia's control panel, right-click the Nvidia icon in your System Tray and click Nvidia Control Panel. Under Display, click Set up multiple displays. Here, you will be able to fiddle around with your monitor setup as well as set up Nvidia Surround.

To access AMD's control panel, open the Catalyst Control Center in your System Tray and go to Graphics > Desktops & Displays to configure your multi-monitor setup. Here, you can create an Eyefinity group, which lets you set up a desktop to span multiple displays in any configuration.

Gaming

It is one thing to use multiple monitors to do work and watch Netflix. It is another thing entirely to use multiple monitors to play video games. If you want to use your snazzy new multi-monitor setup to do some three- or four-panel gaming, there are a few extra things you will have to take into consideration.

 

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