Maximizing Your Desktop Visual Experience

The improvement of computer processing units accompanies by an increase in RAM allows modern computers to meet the needs of their users. Previously, only a few applications were available to computer users, but as more innovative software has appeared in the consumer’s market users may be running a multitude of programs simultaneously (not including basic services). Considering majority of computers have one display (monitor), a user’s view able area is consumed, if not crowded. As user’s face crowded screens, many wish to widen their display, but larger monitors do not necessarily mean an increase in efficiency as you will continue to have to readjust program windows to fit in the single screen. A much simpler solution, and more often than not, a cheaper solution, would be to purchase a second display.

Whether or not your computer hardware is compatible with this option I do not know. To figure this out, first thing you should look at is your video card. On the back of your desktop you will see a blue VGA port in which your monitor is plugged into. If on the same surface area (this item will most likely be vertical) there are several other ports (including multiple USB ports and sound/microphone inputs), then sadly your monitor is plugged into your motherboard and you are unable to continue this tutorial. However, if your monitor is plugged into a much smaller surface area (horizontally placed) and consists of only a view ports (including the blue monitor/VGA port, the S-Video port (which is a small black circle with pin holes), and possibly a DVI (similar to the VGA port, but white with more sets of pin holes) or HDMI port. This would be the video card.

Once you have identified you have a video card, check to see if there are any available VGA, DVI, or HDMI ports located on your video card (not the motherboard!). If not, you may purchase another video card if your motherboard and power supply can support it. If ports are available, you are in luck, but to be safe contact your video card manufacturer to see if it is able to handle dual displays. You will need to do the same thing in the previous sentence with your motherboard. If all is okay, you may proceed in plugging in your second display. If you are purchasing another monitor (I am not condoning any purchases) make sure its display cord has a matching output end as your available port. Most commonly users will have a spare DVI port, yet have a VGA monitor cable. This is a simple fix as you can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter for only a few bucks.

Once plugged in, your computer’s operating system should recognize the display. Right-click your desktop’s background and enter the Screen Resolution window or Properties window, depending on your operating system. You may then select the display you wish to manipulate and begin fitting it for your needs by adjusting its resolution and orientation, but most importantly it’s function. Functions include mirroring the other display, or to act as an extension. Extending these displays is seen as one of the most useful functions as you may now run multiple programs simultaneously without constant readjustment and minimization, resulting in less interference of your work.

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