When you want to buy a new PC/Laptop or want to add a screen to your existing setup, one of the first questions we will ask is what connections do you have on your device?
Check your PC
The available ports on your pc will depend upon the model of your PC/Laptop. On a PC they are normally at the rear of the case
They may also be on a dedicated graphics card; the number of connections may vary on the graphics card you have installed.
Check your Laptop
On a laptop the ports may be on the sides or rear of the device
Some laptops may have a docking station with allow you to connect a single cable to the laptop. This can be left at the office with the devices attached and easily allows you to take the laptop to meetings and then reconnect when you return.
Check your monitor
If you already have a monitor then these are normally found on the rear of the screen, the type of input connector can also vary on the monitors make and specification.
When you are buying a new monitor, then ensure that you have a matching connector type on your device so you can connect. There are a wide range of adaptors available so you can often convert from one type of connector to another.
Some monitors may include an USB hub which is used to help with cable management rather than the display input.
Currently the most common connections will be:
|VGA||Legacy analogue connector|
|DVI-I||Analogue/Digital connector (can be used with VGA adaptor)|
|DVI-D||Digital only connector|
|HDMI||Used with dvd players, games consoles and satellite receivers. Good for PC to TV.|
|Mini HDMI||Found in some DSLR cameras|
|Micro HDMI||Found in some digital cameras|
|DisplayPort||Can support up to 144Hhz at 4k|
|Mini Display Port||Same connector as Thunderbolt 1 & 2.|
Converters and adaptors
Most of the display outputs and screen inputs work at their optimum when using the same cable with the same connector, however some are fairly interchangeable, for example you are unlikely to find a Mini or Micros HDMI connection on a PC, instead a cable with one end which has the mini HDMI and the HDMI connector on the other end is likely to be your best option.
Although some monitors do have DisplayPort connections, often an DisplayPort adaptor is used. These are able to convert to most of the main types of display output. As screen resolutions increase we expect to see more monitors with DisplayPort built-in to handle up to 4K or 8K screen resolutions.
What do you do if you have used all the display connections?
If your PC/Laptop has a single output and you want to add a further display, then adding another display is possible.
Most devices will have an USB connector and there are a wide variety of adaptors which can be used on USB2 or USB3 and can be used for general use.
|USB 2.0||Max 480Mb/s|
|USB 3.0 & USB 3.1||Up to 5Gb/s Normally colour coded blue but not always.|
|USB Type-C (USB 3.2)||Up to 10 Gb/s|
The latest USB 3.2 connect can also allow a docking station to be connected as well as many other devices at the same time.
If you have a desktop PC this may have a spare adaptor slot which can be used to install a graphics card, these are often used in conjunction with a CAD application or for gaming. The latest graphics cards have high speed graphics memory and graphics processor (GPU) which allows the application or game to offload some of the processing of the graphics from the CPU and will provide some amazing results in real-time.
If you need assistance with identifying the display connections or would like to discuss your requirements, please call 0333 332 6600 and speak to one of our team.
Connecting an additional monitor
Once you have your monitor and have the right cable to connect to your PC/Laptop, connecting the screen should be simple. Plug in the power and data cables into your PC/Laptop and then the monitor and switch on.
If Windows does not detect the screen or it is showing on the wrong side, you can adjust the settings
To Access display settings
- Click the Start button -> Settings -> System -> Display
- Right click desktop select “Display settings” from the drop down
The screen should show your current displays
If the Screen is not detected, you can click on Detect and Windows will search devices to see if any have been added. This is sometimes used if the screen is connected via USB adaptor.
Clicking on the Identify button will show the number which Windows has assigned to each screen.
This corresponds to the number displayed in the Display Settings window.
If the screens are not in the right order or you would like to reposition them, highlight one using the left mouse button and you can reposition the screen
If you monitors are next to each other adjust them accordingly. If they are above and below then position them so windows will allow your mouse to move through the joined side.
If you have two different monitors which support different resolutions, then it may look like this. You can position the connecting side to suit your needs. This may be for a laptop with an external monitor or two different monitors makes or models.
Each monitors display size, known as resolution, can be adjusted by highlighting the screen you wish to adjust and selecting the Display resolution in the drop down. Ideally you want the screen resolution to match on both screens or the application window can look odd when you drag from one screen to another.
Once selected the resolution will change and a confirmation bar with a count down will allow you to keep the new changes or revert. If you cannot see the new resolution, Windows will revert once the timer has reached zero.
Extending or Duplicating desktop
If you are using a laptop with a screen or occasionally using it with a projector. Knowing how to Extend or duplicate your desktop is essential.
Within the Display settings option check the Multiple display section
The available options in the menu allow you to Duplicate, Extend or Switch off a screen.
The “Make this my main display” option is used to select which screen will be used for the Login screen or security menu.
Should you need any further assistance with the setup of your monitors please give our team a call on 0333 332 6600