How many monitors can be connected to one computer? Connection conditions
Hardly anyone is able to name the exact number of possible connections of monitors to one PC, but 50 or more is definitely possible. It all depends on the budget you are willing to allocate for it. To create video walls from dozens of modules, as, for example, in the photo below, special controllers are used. Their task is not only to display the image on many screens, but also to provide each picture with a decent quality.
However, video wall controllers are an extremely expensive solution that not every enterprise can afford. A more affordable option is a video server with several multi-channel video cards. But it can also cost the owner several hundred thousand rubles.
Usually, the user, like most of us, does not need such excesses. Home gaming systems, as a rule, consist of no more than six monitors, and they can be connected not just to one computer, but to one video card. But in order to achieve the highest possible image quality, it is better to distribute the monitors so that one “vidyah” has no more than two or three.
Connecting two monitors is supported by almost any modern video card, even built into the processor (chipset). Three or more. all AMD models from Series 5 and NVIDIA GTX 600 and newer.
In addition to supporting multichannel, the following is important for creating multi-monitor configurations:
- The presence on video cards of outputs that match the inputs of monitors (the use of adapters is allowed in extreme cases, when there is no other way to connect). over, AMD requires a mandatory DisplayPort interface on at least one of the displays (with the exception of SEPARATE branded video cards with a built-in DisplayPort-DVI adapter). NVIDIA do not set such conditions.
- Support for video drivers of resolutions of all monitors.
- Sufficient video memory. 2048 Mb is a conditional minimum for a two- or three-monitor configuration in a non-gaming system. For four or more monitors, especially if you plan to use a computer for games, the memory should be at least 2 times more.
- High data bus bandwidth (from 128 bit) and good memory speed (the more the better). The narrower the tire, the higher the speed should be.
To connect monitors to different video cards, the latter cannot necessarily be combined into SLI or Crossfire. In some cases, in addition to the discrete card (inserted into the slot), the integrated video can be enabled if it is supported by the motherboard BIOS (there is an “Always Enable” option for the integrated video card output). But in such configurations, each pair of displays that are served by one video chip operates independently of the other. This means that creating a common visual space on all screens will NOT work.
If your computer is equipped with a single video card, you can connect monitors to several of its ports or to a friend. To connect 2 or more screens to one video card with 1 input, you need a signal divider. a splitter. For example, as in the photo below. This modification can send a signal to 4 monitors, but the picture quality, as a rule, decreases (it depends NOT so much on the splitter as on the video capabilities). If the stream is barely enough for a single screen, dividing it into a “stream” will reduce both the resolution and the clarity and frequency of the scan. And the more connections, the lower the quality.
When you connect the splitter to displays with different resolutions, the picture quality on them will be different: on some it is better, on the other it is worse. And you will NOT be able to correct it individually, except through the settings of the monitors themselves.
AMD cards featuring Eyefinity technology (based on ATI Radeon R800 series GPUs) allow up to 6 displays to be connected and combined into a single visual space. But here everything is tied to the DisplayPort interface, which, unfortunately, is not equipped with all devices.
The following are the acceptable combinations of connection interfaces when building multi-monitor systems using AMD Eyefinity technology:
- To combine 3 monitors into one system, one of them must be connected via DisplayPort or miniDisplayPort (miniDP), the second via DVI, and the third via VGA, HDMI or the same DVI.
- If there are 4 monitors, two devices must be connected to DisplayPort, the third to DVI, and the fourth to VGA or HDMI.
- In a five-monitor system, all 5 or 3 monitors are connected to DisplayPort (miniDisplayPort), one or two to DVI and one, if left, to HDMI.
- Six-monitor configuration only allows connection via miniDisplayPort.
NVIDIA Surround / 3D Vision multi-monitor technology allows you to create a shared gaming space from three monitors. However, this requires either a dual-processor video card or the combination of two or three cards in SLI. Several more displays can be connected to the remaining video output, they will work independently of the rest.
If you do not have a task to build a video wall for displaying one picture on several screens, it is not necessary to adhere to the above rules. Monitors can be connected in any configurations through any interfaces at the rate of 2 devices per 1 video processor. In addition, each of them will display its own desktop, and you can switch between them, drag windows from one table to another, etc.
If the picture quality on the primary and secondary displays varies greatly, as well as if you need to connect not one, but 2 additional monitors to the laptop, a specialized device. a multi-display adapter will help out. It is a small box with a processor inside, reminiscent of a Multiport Splitter, and a few cables included. The box is connected to the output of the video card with one cable, the rest are connected to the inputs of the monitors. It receives power from a USB port or an external adapter.
An example of such a device is the Matrox DualHead2Go Digital SE.
Setting up additional screens in Windows 10 & 8.1 & 7
After the first activation, the image on the extended monitor, as a rule, duplicates the main one. Sometimes the desktop is stretched to 2 screens at once. To select the desired mode, press the WindowsP (Latin) key combination. this will open the projection panel.
In Windows 10 and 8.1, it looks like this:
In Windows 7. like this:
The Duplicate (Repeating) option reproduces the same picture on all displays. “Expand”. makes the second screen a continuation of the first.
If the system could not automatically recognize the second display, open the “Display Settings” through the context menu of the desktop.
Click the “detect” button (in Windows 7. “To find”).
If the device is physically sound and correctly connected, the system will most likely recognize it immediately. If not, open the “Multiple displays” list and select “try to connect anyway.” to the monitor, which is not detected.
If this does not help, you should check the contacts and, if possible, connect the device with a second known good cable to the second video output or another video card.
The “Define” button in the same section allows you to select which of the two displays will be the primary (first), and which will be secondary (the second, third, etc.).
To change the settings of one of the displays of a multi-monitor system. sizes of displayed elements, brightness level, orientation, resolution, color rendition, etc., click on the rectangle with its serial number on the sir field under the heading “Customize your screen”.
Changes will take effect after saving. You do not need to restart your computer for this.
Additional configuration settings with Multiple Displays are found in the NVIDIA and AMD Catalyst Control Panel menus.
How to connect a second, third. tenth monitor to one computer
You will not surprise anyone with a multi-monitor PC configuration today. And soon, one should expect, having a single display on the table will become an exception, not a rule. So say people who have had the opportunity to compare the convenience of working at a computer with one and several monitors. And the second option, if you believe their words, is much more convenient than the first.
The statistics are of the same opinion. According to their research, if you connect 2 monitors instead of one, the productivity of personnel involved in processing a large amount of information increases by 15-60%. What can we say about gamers for whom multi-monitor systems are the only way to go headlong into the virtual world?
Physical connection of devices
The process of physically connecting the second, third, etc. Monitor to the ports of the video card is NOT difficult. Just insert the connectors of the connecting cables into the sockets of both devices, without forgetting to first unplug them from the socket.
When creating a dual-monitor configuration, if possible, use the same interfaces, for example, only DisplayPort or only HDMI, so that the image quality on two screens does not differ much. If you have the same ports on your video card, connect through different ones, for example, DVI and HDMI or HDMI and VGA. It is permissible to use adapters from one interface to another only in extreme cases, since signal conversion is always accompanied by its losses, sometimes significant. The same goes for splitters. If it is possible to do without them, try to do without.
After completing the connection, turn on the power of the system unit and monitors. Recognition of the latter, as a rule, occurs automatically. You just have to customize them to fit your needs.
Connecting a second monitor to laptops is done in the same way as to a stationary PC. The only difference is that the video card that will serve the additional screen is determined by the system, not the users.
How to connect and configure additional monitors in Windows
Configuring Extra Screens in Windows XP
To access the display options in Windows XP, also open the desktop context menu and click Properties. Next go to the “Options” tab.
If the second monitor is correctly recognized, the sir field will display 2 display icons with sequential numbers. The “Find” option, as in modern versions of Windows, is not here.
By default, both screens display the same desktop image. If you want to stretch it, click on the icon of the second display and check the box “Extend my desktop to this monitor”.
Setting up each screen individually is performed in the same way as in Windows 10: click on the monitor icon on the sir field and Set the Desired characteristics. Options “Screen resolution” and “Color quality” are located here, and the rest. scale, adapter properties, etc., Hidden behind the “Advanced” button.
Most of the settings take effect immediately, but some. only after restarting the computer.
How to connect two monitors to a computer?
- Make sure you can connect multiple monitors to your computer.
- Find out what video connectors are on the video card and monitors.
- Buy the cables you need (if not available).
- Turn off your computer.
- Connect the first monitor to one of the video card connectors.
- Connect a second monitor.
In two 22-inch monitors, the working surface area is much larger than, for example, in one 24-inch monitor, while the bundle of two such monitors itself costs the same as one 24-inch. It is clear which option you need to choose if you need maximum space.
Dual output video card
To connect two monitors to a computer at the same time, you need to get a video card with two outputs, or an additional video card. The latter option is more expensive and will give good performance, but in most cases a regular video card with two outputs will suffice. Often these will be DVI outputs, since two HDMIs on one video card are rare, and DVI is quite enough for our needs.
As for the choice of the second monitor. it’s up to you personally. From an aesthetic point of view, it is highly desirable that they be the same model. If it doesn’t work out, then at least they should have the same diagonal. It will be much more convenient to work with such a bundle.
So, turn on both monitors. You can also configure support for two displays using the built-in tools of the operating system. To do this, we go to the monitor settings (right click on the free area “Desktop”. “Properties”). We turn on both monitors. For basic features, for example, moving a window from one monitor to another, the built-in tools of the operating system are enough, but very soon you may not be enough of them, and then you will need to use third-party programs.
Dual Monitor Applications
There are enough of the latter. Starting from built-in tools in video card and monitor drivers, ending with third-party applications. Convenient is the DualHead program, which remembers the user’s behavior when working with two monitors and adjusts accordingly. If you have an ATI graphics card, you can use the Hydravision software. By the way, there is a small limitation in it. monitors must work at the same resolution.
There are some disadvantages in the built-in Windows tools, which can also be solved by installing the MultiMonitor Taskbar program. For example, Windows adds the taskbar to the primary monitor only. And here is the specified program. for each of them, while the application window, which is located on the left monitor, will be displayed in its taskbar. This is actually much more convenient, and it is not clear why this feature was not included in the OS.
In any case, no matter what program you choose for your monitors, working with them will be much more convenient than with a friend, while NOT much more expensive.
If you are in doubt about what HDMI or DVI outputs look like, we recommend that you read the review below.
However, not all laptop models support more than two monitors. Using the docking station
A docking station is a special piece of equipment with ports that allows you to connect multiple gadgets at the same time. In the case when it is necessary to work on 2-3 monitors from one laptop, they are used.
Reference. Almost all popular gadget manufacturers have a docking station in their assortment. This is due to the fact that modern laptops are getting thinner and lighter. All the need to have absolutely all possible interfaces with you at all times, if you can get a separate docking station and use it as needed. In addition, it is a great addition to existing ports.
The connection technology is NOT intuitive:
- Turn off laptop and external screen.
- Connect the docking station to the computer via USB.
- Connect the cable to the corresponding port of the docking station and monitor.
- Turn on both monitor and laptop.
The additional screen can be configured in different ways, suspension from targets. On the keyboard of laptops, there are often “hot” keys for working with the monitor. To call the menu of actions with the screen, you need to hold down the Fn key and the corresponding key with the drawn monitor or WinP. Next, there are 4 ways to project the image:
- Computer screen only. only laptop screen is on.
- Duplicate. external screen duplicates activities on the laptop.
- Expand. increase the workspace, both screens act as one.
- Second screen only. the image will only be shown on the external monitor.
Step-by-step connection instructions
Through adapters. Directly
- Turn off your computer and external screen.
- Connect the cable to the corresponding port of the laptop and monitor.
- Include both.
How to connect one or more monitors to a Lenovo laptop
A portable laptop provides the user with maximum mobility, while many models are NOT inferior in performance to a PC. Often there is a need to connect additional devices to a laptop to increase its functionality. Working with a presentation, graphs, program codes, comparative tables requires “wide format”, which this gadget does not have. For this, an external screen with a higher resolution quality is used.
Varieties of ports for connecting an external monitor
- VGA (D-Sub). suitable for simple projectors, office monitors, set-top boxes. To connect to modern models, adapters are used: VGA-HDMI, VGA-DVI, etc. The main advantage is its prevalence. But VGA cannot boast of a large expansion without loss of picture quality. 1920 × 1080 and higher is only capable of it with good equipment capabilities.
- DVI is a less popular interface. There are several outwardly absolutely identical varieties: DVI-A (for analog signal), DVI-D (for digital), DVI-I (universal). The only difference is in the contacts involved. If you are very sophisticated with adapters, you can achieve image transfer to 4K monitors, but this does NOT guarantee high quality.
- HDMI is a modern and convenient interface. With its help set-top boxes, monitors, TV are connected. HDMI technology allows video and audio to be transmitted with minimal loss. There are several variations: micro, mini and full size. The advantage of HDMI is its popularity and versatility. Technics with such an interface will be produced for a very long time. The disadvantages include high-quality loss of sound and image when combined with other technologies.
- Display Port is a high bandwidth interface. It is a modern alternative to HDMI. It easily supports not only 4K monitors, but also FullHD, a picture in 3D. Display Port mini meets. This interface is slightly less common than HDMI, but is gradually gaining popularity. The undoubted advantage is the high quality of technology.
- Type C is a versatile connector for data transmission, streaming, charging and more. over, if the laptop has only one Type C connector. It is charged through a laptop, then when a supporting monitor is connected to this port, the laptop will not only transmit a streaming image, but also charge.
Setting up a monitor in Windows 10
On the free space of the Windows 10 desktop, right-click. In the window that opens, select the “Screen settings” item. The display setup menu appears. To switch to an external monitor, you need to call it a square with the number 2. Now you can adjust it in the same way as the main one: change the resolution, contrast and brightness, Scale, flip the image. The “Orientation” item will help you choose how the desktop is displayed: duplicate, expand on both screens, enable only the first or only the second.
Note. Many TV monitors have their own audio system, which is often louder than a laptop. To switch, you need to right-click on the speaker image in the lower right corner of the taskbar. We select the item “Playback devices” and in the list we find the name of the external screen.
With the necessary cables, connecting your laptop to an external monitor is quick and easy. The correct operation of the equipment depends on the compatibility of the technologies. Universal docking stations keep you mobile.
Connecting three monitors on AMD platform
This technology is called Eyefinity. It is implemented mainly on new video adapters. one of the monitors must be connected via DisplayPort.
For AMD graphics cards from the 5th series (for example, Radeon HD 5670)
Next, we will consider some questions that may arise when setting up computer hardware.
There should be three outputs on the video card.
Hardware. standard ports are used to connect three monitors: HDMI, DVI and VGA and modern DisplayPort:
Connection. no problems should arise, just connect the monitors using the above ports and that’s it.
Choosing monitor orientation.
landscape. optimal for such types of computer games as flight simulators and car simulators,
portrait. optimal for those games that require a large screen area:
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landscape and portrait orientation with three monitors connected:
Sequencing. once connected, the system will automatically detect all connected monitors. However, the program will need help in establishing the order of the monitors.
You can also recognize and organize connected monitors using standard Windows tools:
29e20 / w: 600 / h: 304 / q 75 / https: //pcholic.ru/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/nastrojka_3_displeev.Png “/ Click Define in Control Panel. Display. Screen Resolution Setting for Win7
and System. Display for Win10
If each of the screens works separately from the second and is defined as a separate device, then most 3D games and movies will NOT be able to automatically split the picture into three parts. To do this, in the Catalyst driver, implement the function “Group creation”.
Look up-to-date. Video cards for 3 or more monitors
Learn all about your graphics card with GPU-Z 2.16.0 download
AMD video cards allow you to connect up to 12 monitors. But, of course, this is a lot and expensive, therefore
in this article we will consider:
How to install three monitors on a computer
Last update November 9, 2020-
Today, few people are surprised by the presence of a 27-inch monitor with a 16: 9 ratio. Such a monitor allows you to plunge deeply into the space of video games or watching high quality movies. Modern video cards can easily cope with high resolutions, for example 2560×1600. This is all great, but here’s what to do if the number of displays is more than one. two or three monitors?
For gamers. For a greater 3D reality experience from the game.
Well, or for programmers, when several programs are used simultaneously.
The first monitor is writing the code, the second is the debugging of the code, the third is the output of the finished result. Count yourself how long it will take just to switch between windows within the same monitor.
For AMD and NVIDIA firms, this will not be a problem. They predict such modes of operation of video cards in which the image is displayed on several monitors.
Connecting three monitors on the NVIDIA platform
For NVidia 600 series graphics cards
With this connection, a pair of video adapters will be required, since more than 2 monitors cannot work with one video card (NVidia series less than 600)!
You can organize a three-monitor system if you have two GPUs at once on video cards:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260/275/280/285/295
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460/465/470/480/580/590
There are several ways to connect 3 monitors to a PC, equipping NVIDIA video cards:
If the PC has two different video cards. In this case, either extend the desktop or clone it to additional monitors.
Two identical video cards. In this case, it is possible to display the image on 3 monitors.
For NVidia video cards older than 600 series
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 /. And to GTX 2080 /. 3090. all these video cards support connecting 3 or more monitors.
There are also special devices (HDMI splitter) that allow you to display one image on several screens at once:
Or an external Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital SE expansion module for connection via DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort, used on Mac OS:
Does the external card support dual monitors?
Older or cheaper graphics cards may NOT support parallel operation of two or more concurrent monitors. For many video cards, supporting three displays becomes a problem.
There are also cases that displays can work if they are connected only via digital HDMI, or only via analog VGA ports. Simultaneous connection to different outputs was NOT successful.
A couple more tips if suddenly the second monitor does not see the laptop. When connecting from the extended display, close the laptop. The other monitor will now become the primary monitor. Open the laptop. now everything should work.
Another option is to put the laptop into sleep mode. Did the picture appear on the second monitor? Try to wake the laptop out of sleep mode.
Laptop or computer can’t see second monitor via HDMI
Connecting a second monitor to a computer is not a luxury, but a practical task. The second monitor can be any display that has an HDMI, VGA, DVI, Display Port, Thunderbolt, or USB-C port for connection. But sometimes a computer running Windows 10 after connecting does not see the second monitor. There are many reasons for this, so we will focus on each separately.
Is the monitor itself turned on?
It’s trite, but maybe the monitor is not turned on in fact? Check power (plug in socket), power button on the front panel. Some models are equipped with a power on / off button (toggle) at the back, so check that too. A lit or flashing light on the front panel will indicate the display is on.
How to connect to PC?
It is important that the connection of two monitors is to one video card. If one is connected to an external video card, and the second to an integrated one, this method will not work without Special settings and support for the corresponding mode of the motherboard.
Additionally, make sure the connector is securely fastened to the monitor port and PC port. If you are connecting a VGA or DVI cable, make sure that the connector is firmly seated in the connector and that the latches are tightened so that they cannot be loosened.
If you connect a modern display via USB-C, you need the cable to support media signal transmission. This can be found in the characteristics of this patch cord. The computer must also support USB-C video transmission technology. Using ordinary USB-3.0 to USB-C adapters, the screen will NOT display a picture.
Check the ports of the video card with a work monitor and patch cord. Check the connector pins to make sure they are NOT bent. Visually inspect the connectors on both the graphics card and the computer. Make sure the cable is completely intact.
What to check?
Let’s go from the easiest thing that can be done through inattention. And let’s get to the identification of possible breakdowns, in particular.
What to do first?
What if the second monitor, connected via HDMI or another port, does not work? Most likely you did the physical connection of the PC and the display correctly, the devices are in working order, but Windows 10 was unable to initially detect the display. Follow a couple of simple tips:
- Restart your computer after connecting (especially if the connected devices are turned on, which is not recommended).
- Click WinI and go to “System”. “Display”.
- In the “Multiple displays” section, click the “detect” button.
- If in the same item two displays are displayed or started to be displayed, and the first one is set to the “Show only 1” mode, select the “Duplicate” or “Expand” mode so that the picture also appears on the second screen.
- You can check the driver on the display. Right-click on Start and open “Device Manager”. In the “Monitors” section. remove the device for the second, and then update the configuration.
- Check if the connected second screen is visible using the graphics card software. If you have a video card from NVIDIA. NVIDIA soft control panel, for Intel. Intel Graphics Control Center, for AMD. AMD Catalyst. In the section about monitors, you can check the presence of a second one and configure it there.
- If the connected display does not see the software of the video card to which it is connected, the connection may have been made incorrectly or there is a malfunction in one of the elements. Although unlikely, you can still check the drivers for the video card.
- To do this, update to the latest version using proprietary utilities (for example, NVidia GeForce Experience). Or Use Device Manager to remove old and install drivers from Microsoft database.
Next, we will analyze the most popular cases that have NOT been described in this section.
I also advise you to watch the video about working with Multiple monitors in Windows 10:
Are you using an adapter?
There are quality adapters and cheap Chinese. If on the use of the former there are still disputes about possible losses and the quality of image transmission, then the latter may simply refuse to work. If the conversion from digital signal to analog cable must be equipped with a converter.
Also, the video card must support digital-to-analog conversion.
Is the monitor working?
Power off the computer and dual monitors. Disconnect the first one and connect the second one instead. If you use the same cables to connect both screens, then try again through it.
If the computer does not see the second monitor connected via HDMI, try connecting via a patch cord to another connector (DVI, VGA). Still no? Connect the display to a second PC or laptop. If not working, it is likely that the monitor itself is NOT working properly.