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Dual Monitor Setup: Do you really need one?

Working on computers is great. Everything you need is right at your disposal in the comfort of your home or office. You can set your whole workstation up just the way you like it and customize it to suit your needs perfectly. You can get the right chair, the right desk, and all the equipment you need for your work. Optimizing your workspace is a step in the right direction for increasing productivity and being more efficient in the workplace. One of the things you can do to achieve the most productivity is utilizing a dual monitor setup.

What is a Dual Monitor Setup?

A dual monitor setup is exactly what the name points to, a desktop setup with two monitors being used with a single PC or laptop. It’s used as an extension of your virtual workspace almost. The dual monitor setup has long been popular among professionals from the IT field and programmers, among others as well.

Recently gamers have started using dual-monitor setups as well since it allows a wider field of view and they can even use the second monitor for streaming purposes if needed. They can use it to read their chat, check up on their notifications and social media and more.

What can you do with Dual Monitors?

By utilizing a dual monitor setup, you can simply increase the workspace that you have access to on your desktop. It gives you extra flexibility and research proves that it can increase your productivity. There have been a number of different studies and researches that have concluded that using a dual monitor setup can increase productivity by 20% to 30%. If you find yourself using multiple applications at a time and switching back and forth between them repeatedly; you’d definitely benefit from using a dual monitor setup. Speaking of benefits.

What are the Benefits of a Dual Monitor Setup?

There are a great number of significant benefits you can achieve by using a dual monitor setup. The types of benefits actually depend on the work you intend to do but I’ve listed a few of the common ones down below.

Increased productivity is easily the most obvious and useful advantage of a dual monitor setup — it’s even been proved by independent researchers and multiple studies. It is what every professional would require out of a setup: maximum productivity. A dual monitor setup provides the best opportunity for achieving that, and it boosts productivity up to 30%. Using a dual monitor setup can speed up your work significantly and eliminate wasted time, thereby increasing productivity.

Using multiple programs simultaneously, is a huge benefit for all kinds of professionals. From programmers to gamers and even artists — they all benefit from dual monitor setups by using multiple programs at a time. Even if you’re not one of the above professionals, most of us do work that involve multiple programs and you do certainly waste time switching back and forth between them. By utilizing dual monitors you can streamline your workflow and eliminate the need of switching programs back and forth. You can dedicate a primary screen for the task at hand and the secondary screen for references and secondary tasks or programs. For example, streamers can use one screen for playing their games and the other to monitor their stream chat, status, and donations, etc.

Sharing data between applications is much smoother and convenient. All you need to do to share an image is drag it from one screen to the other, and just drop it into the program directly. For instance, you can do this same thing with Photoshop. Simply drag your image from the file explorer open on the secondary screen to the Photoshop application open on the primary screen, and it will open the image instantly. You don’t need to insert images through the file directory and waste time browsing through it to find your required image. You can streamline your workflow and reap the benefits.

Referencing and monitoring information is way easier with a dual monitor setup since you have a wider field of view and can open multiple applications, webpages, and files on your two monitors. You can also benefit from dual monitors when watching video tutorials or instructional videos for programming or any computer program, even a game. All you need to do is open the video on one screen and the program in the other, then just follow the steps and voila.

Simple to use. Convenience is key to the dual monitor setup benefits. Speaking of which, setting up the dual monitors isn’t difficult at all. In fact, you don’t need to install any third-party applications or programs to get the most out of your workspace. Dual monitor support is already built into different operating systems. All that’s required is a graphic card unit that supports a dual monitor setup, and then you can enable it from the display settings. Using dual monitors is simple and intuitive as well. You can drag applications and files from one screen to the other and they will all be at your disposal instantly when you move your cursor from one screen to the other. Windows even remembers which screen you opened your program on last and then opens it in that same screen whenever you open it next time — this can prove to be quite useful.

What are the Drawbacks?

Even though there are a significant number of advantages retained when using a dual monitor setup, there are also some drawbacks.

A second monitor uses up more desk space. This can definitely lead to problems if you already have a limited desk space. Having an insufficient amount of space can cause hindrances in your workflow and overall ease as well. There are a few ways you can make that better though. Careful planning goes a long way in making sure you don’t just run out of desk space and lose on increasing productivity. Using dual monitor stands is an appropriate solution for this problem.

More resources are used. That doesn’t just mean more electricity is used by the second monitor, it also applies to the resources of the graphics card from your computer. Splitting the graphic card’s power between two monitors can lead to low frames and laggy interfaces in some highly demanding programs and games. Although it isn’t a common issue since decent graphic cards these days are powerful enough to run dual monitors with ease.

More distractions is potentially a big problem. I say potentially because it all depends on what you choose to display. If you have social media opened up on a secondary screen for entertainment or to pass the time, it will certainly distract you. Having YouTube opened up would not help either since we’re all inclined to watch cat videos whenever we get the opportunity to do so.

A second monitor incurs more cost. This drawback is possibly the most obvious one. However, what you invest in the second monitor will return to you manyfold in the form of increased productivity and ease. I believe this certainly justifies the cost, especially since decent, budget monitors have become increasingly affordable over recent times.

Dual monitors are all about productivity, ease, and efficiency. If that is your bottom line, then you would surely benefit from using a Dual Monitor Setup.


Bill Wilson

Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.