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How to build a modern multi-monitor workstation

Paul Mah | Oct. 7, 2016
Many of today's PCs and laptops can easily power two or more external monitors, and a multi-monitor setup can help you get more done in less time. Here's how to find the best configuration for you.


Erogtron's monitor arm frees up desk space to make the most of a small desk.

About those monitor arms, which hook up to the VESA mount interface on compatible monitors. These monitor arms typically clamp to the edge of desks, to free up space that would normally be taken up by monitor stands. They're particularly useful on smaller desks. The arms also let you position monitors more precisely, or push them out of the way when they're not needed.

You'll want to measure the lengths of the various cables you want for your setup and get them ahead of time. DisplayPort 1.2 links up to three displays and then connects them to a PC, but it's often easier to run multiple DisplayPort cables directly to individual monitors. Cable ties or wraps can help you manage the cables chaos.

Many new monitors have USB hubs, which are useful for plugging in flash drives, or dongles for wireless keyboards and other peripherals. The USB 3.0 standard only supports copper cable lengths of up to five meters, so a USB optical cable, with its starting length of 10 meters, could be helpful.

You will not likely regret an investment in an additional monitor, especially if you work a lot at a fixed desk. However, it is certainly possible to overdo it with a multi-monitor rig and end up spending a lot of money with little ROI. The key is to experiment a bit to find the environment that lets you work most effectively.


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