FAQ Tech Blog

Working with multiple Screens

Seeing double or Improve your staff productivity without breaking the bank.

A number of clients have used multiple screens connected to their pcs over the years and with the cost of large 20in plus monitors falling to under £100 each is it still worth running multiple monitors?

multiple screens

The basic principle of running a single screen on a desktop allows you to see one application at any one time, the latest versions of windows allow you to split your screen easily having several applications visable at the same time. In principal this should provide the same results as having two or more screens.

Running multiple screens allows the pc to also improve performance, when your switching between applications on a single monitor, Windows will minimise or overlay the screens on each other. This can slow down your work, in some cases each switch between applications can take anything from a second to a full minute (or more) if you have some resource hungry spreadsheet open.

Main advantages of multiple screens

  • Increased productivity – some studies have suggested between 10% to 42%. One company has reported that two 20 inch screens are actually better than two 24 inch screens as the gain decreases where the PC needs a more advanced graphics card to handle the desktop area.
  • Multiple application in use at the same time – if you have your email open on one screen and a spreadsheet or word document open on another, you will find you can multitask, workflow becomes quicker. This also works for social media or news feeds on the web.
  • Sharing data between applications – if you are working on two documents or calculating payroll, then having one key application open and then using the 2nd screen to search for data allows you to work quicker and often with fewer errors.
  • Video conferencing – if your using Skype on one screen you can still work on another, when we remote control a user screen we will have our 2nd screen available for updating our call logging software and searching the web for answers if we dont have the answer immediately.
  • Easier comparision – If your switching between two documents its easier to have them both side-by-side so you can see the difference, if you have to wait between switches then its easy to miss a mistake
  • It’s very easy – adding a second or third screen is easier than ever before, some pcs have two display ports built in and if they don’t then a simple usb adaptor can add the screens without having to open the machine.

Disadvantages of mulltiple screens

  • More Distractions – With social media or email open all the time its each to get distracted.
  • Lack of resources – if you have an old machine and resource hungry applications then you may not notice any improvement in performance, its worth checking with us first.
  • Lack of desk space – If you desk is not big enough you may consider a mount which attaches to the desk and allows multiple screens to be held away from the desk itself. This can actually release your deks space for something else.
  • Cost – Cost of monitors have dramaitally fallen over the years, if you need more than 3 screens we would recommend dedicated graphics cards which can be costly but for most users the USB devices are suitable.
  • Too much space – When you have too large a screen you can waste too much time resizing and arranging windows.

How to add an additional monitor

You will need the following:

  • A Monitor – this can be any size – although its recommend you match screens, its not essential.
  • An adaptor – usb adpators are the easiest to connect – obviously check if you have a spare usb port.
  • Power – under your desk will be a nest of cables, ensuring you have enough safe power available
usb connection for screen

Setting up

once the phsyical kit is connected and you have installed the drivers for the USB adaptor, the screen will generally detect itself and you can extend the desktop via the Display Settings screen, this can be found in the control panel or by right clicking the desktop and choosing screen resolution or personalisation

screen settings

Hightlight the second screen and ensure the “Extend the desktop onto this monitor is selected”

Should you wish to purchase an adaptor and screen please contact us and we can provide a quote to match your requirements.