Connect a third monitor to your PC

What's better than running two monitors at a time? Running three, of course.

As I wrote the other day, it's a pretty simple matter to add a second monitor to your PC. But what about a third? That might require a little more doing.

See, while many desktop video cards offer dual VGA or DVI outputs, it's rare to find one that has three of them. A few squeeze in VGA, DVI, and HDMI, but that would require at least one HDMI monitor. Reader Dave, who asked about this possibility, has three monitors with VGA and DVI inputs only.

You have a few options, Dave. First, you can install a second video card--assuming your desktop has an available expansion slot. Ideally, the second card should be the same make as the first, but that's not mandatory. You can get a reasonably powerful video card for as little as US$30.

Next, consider one of the USB adapters I mentioned the other day. Search for "USB to DVI" or "USB to VGA" and you'll find plenty of plug-and-play products that provide a standard monitor input. Prices start at around $50, and graphics performance isn't always great (so this isn't the best choice if you're looking to play games across all three monitors).

One last option is to repurpose a spare laptop or even desktop, using a software solution like MaxiVista to add its screen to your primary system. I wrote about this a while back in Turn a Spare Laptop Into a Second Monitor, but it works just as well for a third monitor. MaxiVista sells for $39.95.

Okay, readers, did I miss anything? What solution would you recommend for a reader like Dave?

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags peripheralsupgradingmonitorsvideo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?