How can I add a second monitor to my desktop PC?
Having a second or even a third monitor for your PC is definitely becoming a must have requirement for many work environments. One thing is for sure that once you have more than one monitor you will never want to go back to just one!
There are a number of ways that adding additional monitors can be achieved and the solution that works for you will depend on a number of things:
Does your PC have an additional monitor port and if so what type of port is it DVI, VGA or HDMI? If your PC has a second monitor port it may not be the same type as the first port.
What type of ports does your second monitor have – again DVI, VGA or HDMI? Some monitors may have a combination of DVI & VGA.
Given the above different scenarios there are a number of ways you can solve the problems.
Only one port on your PC
If you are comfortable opening up your PC, it may be possible to buy a second video card and add additional ports. But this will require you to ensure that the second video card that you buy is either compatible with the existing video card or if not has two ports that match the available ports on your monitor.
There also needs to be an available video card slot in your mother board (of the right type) and in addition to that the card needs to fit into the port housing at the back of the PC.
You can see why this option is only for someone that really knows what they are doing and understands the technologies well.
From a cost perspective a second video card can cost from around £40.00 upwards.
A far simpler way to add additional ports to your PC is to buy a USB 2.0 to DVI Full HD Adapter with VGA and HDMI Adapters. This basically allows you to connect your additional monitor using a USB port
and then connect to a monitor of any type (DVI, VGA or HDMI).
It literally is plug and play, you simply install what’s known as driver software using a disc that comes with the adapter, follow a few basic instructions, connect your second monitor and reboot. Voila, you are off and running in 10 minutes.
At the time of writing we recommend the adapter below that costs £49.99 from Maplins – who we are
happy to recommend as the staff in the Beovis Valley branch in Southampton are fantastic.
The great thing about this solution is that if you change your PC or get a new monitor, it is guaranteed to work!
Two ports on your PC but the second port does not match your monitor port.
There are various adapters available that will allow you to overcome the problem with VGA to DVI adapters similar to the one below costing only a few pounds.
If you have a device with HDMI output and a screen with DVI input, or vice versa, you can convert between the formats with an HDMI to DVI adapter cable.
VGA to HDMI adapters are available at a greater cost, but not all may be bidirectional and require more investigation and thought.
I have tried to keep the above explanation as simple as possible without going into detail on the difference betweeen VGA, DVI & HDMI.
My best advice is do not invest in anything until you are sure that the solution you have chosen is correct. That said, you can’t go far wrong with solution 2 above (USB 2.0 to DVI Full HD Adapter with VGA and HDMI Adapters), by all means contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.