multi-display desktop

The ability of our PC’s to run multiple programs and present a variety of information simultaneously has an enormous effect on our own productivity. However, our capacity to interface with all of this stimuli at the same time often corresponds to the amount of actual PC monitor screen real estate we have available to us. As a result, one of the ways we can really boost our productivity is with a multi-display desktop setup like the ASUS VG279QM three-monitor display that I have been testing this week.

 

Long gone are the days when using our PC’s and other devices or browsing the internet meant focusing on a single window for an extended time. Today we are constantly conditioning ourselves to multitask. Having multiple programs and windows on the go at any given time is simply the norm. Here are a few ways in which a multi-display desktop can help you get the most out of your PC.

Enough space

For this look into multi-display desktops setups I am lucky to be using three very nice ASUS gaming monitors. The ASUS 27″ VG279QM TUF gaming monitor is a real gem. It features an HD screen, 280 Hz refresh rate, G-SYNC compatibility, and more.

You’ll learn very quickly (as I did) that for this sort of setup you’ll want to have ample space. A large desk or other spaciously robust solution is a must. Since my own home PC desk is otherwise occupied, I tested this multi-display desktop setup on my kitchen table. It takes up the entire space—but it sure does look amazing.

You’ll also want to ensure you have not only enough desk space to house a multi-display monitor setup, but enough distance as well. In early testing I had the monitors pushed a bit too close to my seat. The result was something almost intrusively immersive, with the vast display area resulting in uncomfortable viewing angles.

Once I set the monitors back a ways, the result was night and day. The enormous expanse of screen space is still immersive and sublime, but without requiring significant craning of the neck to reach the edges. The lesson here is that with this much viewing area, it’s ideal to ensure the proper distance for optimal vision.

multi-display desktop

Multi-display desktop compatibility

Another key factor to consider from the outset when planning for a multi-display desktop setup is GPU (graphics processing unit) compatibility. In order to support multiple displays your PC’s GPU (or video card) must have enough display outputs. These can be made up of a variety of connection types, so long as they are compatible with the monitor(s) you are using.

For example, my GPU for this setup has 3 outputs—(1) HDMI, (1) DisplayPort, and (1) DVI. The ASUS monitors I am using accept only HDMI and DisplayPort, so for the third connection, I am using a DVI-to-HDMI converter cable. The good news is that it doesn’t matter that each connection is of a different type, so long as each monitor has its own connection to the GPU.

Of course while I used multiple types of connections, your setup may be different depending on your GPU. Many GPU’s are manufactured with multi-display desktop setups in mind, and come with 3-4 HDMI outputs, as an example.

The good news is that the process is really as simple as just plugging your monitors in. Once the connections are made Windows will automatically detect each monitor. From there it’s just a simple matter of tweaking the display settings to ensure the monitors are recognized in the proper order, and you should be all set to go with an incredible multi-monitor display!

multi-display desktop

Going bezel-free

For this multi-display monitor setup I have also incorporated the ASUS ROG Bezel-Free Kit. This neat accessory uses reflective angles to give the illusion of a seamless appearance between each individual monitor. It’s a very impressive trick to say the least.

I have to admit: while the bezel-free kit is easy to install initially, it took me quite a bit of tweaking to get it just right. For the kit to work, the monitors have to line up just perfectly. Even the slightest angle being askew will cause warping or black bezel reflections.

While it takes a patient and steady hand, once the kit is properly aligned it does look quite amazing. It’s worth noting that the viewing angle is reduced; you must sit directly in line with the angle of the kit. Moving too far out of the optimal area will cause those imperfect reflections and lines to appear.

In truth I believe the bezel-free kit will be a matter of personal preference for most. It has its own strengths and drawbacks—at the end of the day it isn’t exactly invisible itself. The trade-off for a seamless screen is a small amount of screen warp right where the monitors meet. Nevertheless, while some may still prefer to simply see the bezel, others will surely be impressed by the bezel-free kit’s vanishing act.

multi-display desktop

Boosting productivity

With your multi-display desktop up and running, the results can be outstanding when it comes to productivity. With so much screen real estate at your disposal, it’s simply easier to juggle multiple windows and programs at the same time. No more digging and hunting through endlessly layered tabs and windows to find what you are looking for!

I myself tend to have multiple windows open on my PC when I am working my day job. Spreadsheets, web portals, virtual machines—these are all windows I am juggling at any given time. With a multi-display desktop setup such as this however, my productivity no doubt gains a huge benefit.

Instead of constantly flipping through windows, I am able to stretch all my active tasks across the screen. So much time is saved by simply having to traverse the horizontal expanse of my viewing area as opposed to regularly minimizing or burying each active program or task.

multi-display desktop

Be productive at work, and at play

Of course our jobs are important, but so is our leisure time, and that may just be when I enjoy my multi-display desktop setup the most. As a gamer I don’t just use my PC to play. I also enjoy streaming, watching other players on platforms such as Twitch, checking out videos and guides, and much more.

With three monitors I can comfortably play a game while simultaneously watching my favourite speedrunner, and even following along with a walkthrough guide all at once. It’s amazing the amount of entertainment multi-tasking one can do with enough screen space to host games, media stream, web pages, and more all at the same time.

Of course the truly bold may even wish to format a custom resolution for their multiple display setup that will allow a single game to take advantage of all three screens. Imagine how immersive the experience of a racing game might be when the cockpit of your racer is spread across not one, not two, but three impressive 27″ gaming monitors such as these. Just make sure you have a healthy GPU that’s up to the task!

multi-display desktop

With the proper setup, a multi-display desktop can really improve performance and productivity

In an age where information and accessibility are at an all time high, the benefits of having multiple PC monitors really can’t be overstated. We have become so accustomed to bouncing between web browsers, office programs, media players, and much, much more. Having more space to manage and view everything at once can not only boost productivity, but overall enjoyment as well.

Having three gorgeous 27″ ASUS gaming monitors linking together with a bezel-free kit is a pure joy. The immersive experience really improves my time at the computer, both in regard to work and to leisure. I definitely would recommend a multi-display desktop setup to anyone looking to gain more from their PC in the home or office.

73 COMMENTS

  1. Working from home now remotely from an animation studio. I will have one screen with the 3D program maya, and another with my compositing program Nuke. And then the internet browser on the other keeping up with the news every day. Currently doing this with 2 small screens, one borrowed from work lol.

    Ps I love the Zelda BOTW desktop BG in the pics

  2. Oooh. As a streamer, I salivate when I see this. I would game on one, run streaming software on the other and use the third to keep a browser open for quick searches whilst streaming. Or who am I kidding, I’d stretch a game across it too. Oh. This is such a gorgeous setup.

  3. I would love this for gaming, but would also be great for my work! I monitor telephone service for 2 provinces and have a minimum of 20 windows open at a time. So this would work great for that!

  4. A multimonitor screen setup would be sweet for gaming and working. I usually use 2 screens at work, but having that 3rd screen and working from home will really make my side surfing more productive. 🙂

  5. This would be perfect for me as I’m an administrator in a school now working virtually. I’d use one monitor for emails, one for SIS and one for virtual meetings. I’m intrigued by the bezel free kit….

  6. Having something this seamless would be a dream! I’m currently running 3 different monitors in a very makeshift way with one currently on its way out. Having one for games, one for stream software and one for chat would be AMAZING.

  7. all for gaming 100% when I am in the game I am not doing anything else unless it is a new game then 2 for gaming and one for a walkthrough if available and this would be remarkable

  8. One for game development, the second monitor for homework and projects, and the third monitor for editing or photoshop or gaming.

  9. Better than my current setup of two 24″ monitors. One monitor for productivity applications, other taking the never ending conference calls and third for emails.

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