About Dual Monitor Cards
Video cards have been around for many years and their primary purpose continue to serve as major graphical enhancements that lift the limitations of integrated graphics.
Although integrated graphics solutions are far better now, an entry-level video card can provide better 3D graphics performance when it comes to gaming and certain applications.
The GPU also plays a more important role in Internet browsers and performing other productive tasks like video encoding and converting.
If that isn't convincing enough, you may notice too that several motherboards have only one video port so it is impossible to plug two or more monitors to your system. Dual monitor configurations open up a lot of multitasking and productivity possibilities so try to outfit your system with a dual monitor card.
Here are some of the characteristics of dual monitor cards...
High Video Memory
When you have multiple screens active on one system, your total resolution is increased and that means more video memory is required if you do not want your overall system performance to be affected.
Video memory is often mistaken for overall graphics performance which isn't true and it always better to consider things like clock speed and the actual model card for determining how powerful a video card really is.
But when it comes to multi-monitor configurations, it always helps to get more than enough video memory like 512 MB.
Extra Video Ports
Dual monitor cards must have at least 2 video ports so you can have a proper multi-monitor setup. Even if your motherboard already has a video port, adding a video card with a single port isn't enough because the motherboard port is linked to your integrated graphics.
All monitors must rely on the same video card. Many modern video cards including entry-level ones provide at least three ports and the interfaces may vary. For instance, entry-level cards will have a VGA port along with a DVI and HDMI port. As long as your monitors support these interfaces and you have the appropriate cables, you should still be able to take advantage of multi-monitor setups. Some special cards may provide support for up to 6 monitors because they have the necessary specs to handle the load.
Multi-monitor Gaming Compatibility
Multi-monitor setups aren't just about productivity. There are some games that take full advantage of multiple screens. Imagine playing a flight simulator and then see how three screens can benefit you instead of one. When you enter the cockpit view, you can see a lot more so the overall experience is much better.
Because adding more screens means more graphics rendering, you need a fairly powerful dual monitor card so frame rates are maintained. Otherwise, you may have to tone down the screen resolution of all screens. Other games that may take advantage of multi-monitor setups include racing games and some first-person shooters.
A dual monitor video card can literally double your productivity if you plug two identical screens to that card. Any modern card that has the necessary ports should be more than capable of handling the load without your system suffering in performance.