Duel monitors while gaming

tel0004

Limp Gawd
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Jan 26, 2007
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I'm probably going to get a second monitor soon.

I want to use it mostly for AIM while gaming. My question is, if I'm playing a game in full screen mode, can I get over to that monitor easily, without exiting the game.

The games I play are CS, Orange Box, Vegas 2, Flight Simulator.

If I can't is there an easy way to run duel monitors, one for the game, and one for AIM and such.

I have an old laptop which I could use as the processor for monitor 2, but that would require a second keyboard and mouse, which I don't have the room for.
 

Deviationer

[H]ard|Gawd
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mostly yes. Some games out there don't like it when you try and mouse over to the other screen (they tend to minimize like if you did alt+tab or windows key) . Usually the best is to run the game(s) in window mode but at the native resolution for the display.

Also I'd check out a program called Ultramon:
http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/
I used it for it's ability to copy or just extended your task bar to the secondary monitor ("Smart Taskbar")
 

CJRP

Limp Gawd
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Will one of your monitors slap the other with a glove before they duel?
 

tgrimley

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You'll notice a slight drop in frame rates with dual (not duel..) monitors as well as a little sluggishness in minimizing and maximizing games. Also, make sure your primary monitor is on the right of your secondary otherwise it will screw with your right monitor (if left is primary) when you launch a game in full screen (under XP at least).

I usually disable my secondary when I want to play a game..
 

MrHood22

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I tried it and the HL2 games didn't like it unless I ran in window mode. I'm actually trying to sell my old monitor now.

Samsung 19" - $140, hit me up :)


(sorry for throwing the ad in there, but it's on topic :cool:)
 

House Julii

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I use two monitors. When I play CoD 4, I usually have my secondary off, so I don't know if it gets screwed up. However, I sometimes read web pages in the secondary when I play Eve-Online. You can mouse over to the secondary, but it minimizes the game if you click when not in windowed mode. Oh, and some RTS games don't scroll correctly on the side where the monitors "connect".

To get the extended desktop on my computer, I have to plug in the primary, boot up, then shut down. I then have to plug in the secondary, and it will boot up with the extended desktop. Might just be a glitch with my particular computer.
 

maademperor

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google/download mouse jail and it will help to lock the mouse into the game so at least you wont contstantly accidentally move the mouse over to the other screen and either get killed in the game or have it minimize for no reason..
 

kelbear

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It will affect the monitor running a game at full-screen unless the game is already being run in a windowed mode. The amount of down-time will depend on how much of the game you can cram into the graphics card and RAM cache. Otherwise it won't be able to keep it all on standby in the cache and will need to pull it all up again when you flip back to the game.

I had a minor drop in framerate from having a second monitor enabled about 6 years ago when I started to use dual monitors. Now if you have a card worth a damn you will not get a difference(i.e, a 6600gt was plenty), it's just drawing one desktop-size texture and leaving it there. It's meaningless in the face of all the crap getting streamed through the primary monitor in real-time.

Just use the laptop.
 

tel0004

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I have an E6750, 8800 GT, and 2 gigs of ram, so my computer is pretty up to date. My friend leaves town monday, so i'm taking his monitor to try it out, and if I like it, I'll buy one this week.
 

Grentz

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You'll notice a slight drop in frame rates with dual (not duel..) monitors as well as a little sluggishness in minimizing and maximizing games. Also, make sure your primary monitor is on the right of your secondary otherwise it will screw with your right monitor (if left is primary) when you launch a game in full screen (under XP at least).

I usually disable my secondary when I want to play a game..


That is bogus on the left/right thing. It should not matter. I have run dual monitors for many years and had my primary on the left and on the right and either way it works fine.

You might have some catch with your setup/drivers or something, but overall it should not matter for most setups.
 
S

SpeedRunner

Guest
Will one of your monitors slap the other with a glove before they duel?

Listen, if I had two monitors and they dueled... I would bet on the smaller monitor to win. Why? Because I like the underdog.
 

polive

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Let them fight it out to the death! ;D

I've had some games work with it and some not. Some games like to crash when you minimize them by clicking on the other screen. I like having the second screen to monitor temps, bit torrents running, maybe a web page that streams, all kinds of uses.
 

Canon

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This is not a good reason to setup a dual monitor setup....

The secondary monitor is mostly good for displaying things you don't need to interact with such as Vent/TS, music player, cpu temps, clock etc. etc. No game I play allows me to easily interact with the stuff on the secondary display without minimizing it.
I still love being able to stuff all my junk on my secondary display to avoid cluttering up my main display. :)

As for the secondary display getting "messed up" when going into a game. This happens if the game resolution is lower than the desktop resolution. When the game adjusts it's resolution items on the secondary display seem to shift etc. If you adjust game resolution to be the same as your desktop resolution this doesn't appear to be an issue. This applies to the resolution on the primary monitor. For example my primary monitor is 1920x1200 and secondary is 1280x1024. If I start a game in 800x600 (common default resolution) everything on the secondary display shifts. If I bump the game res back up to 1920x1200 everything goes back to normal on the secondary screen.

I recommend if you wish to use AIM, then just setup your laptop and use that because your basically going to be alt+tabbing out of the game to reply to messages which is pointless.
 
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I don't think anyone else had said this but you should look into a KVM switch. When you hook up the monitors though hookup the secondary monitor of the PC and the Laptop to the KVM. This way when you use your KVM switch then your same keyboard/mouse will switch to using your laptop on your second monitor that can run your aim/whatever. You can also choose not to even use the KVM with the monitors and just have the second monitor display the laptop directly so you can see exactly when an IM pops up but it also means that you won't really have dual monitors on your PC. This was really convoluted so hopefully you either got what I was trying to say or someone else can tell you better.
 

Gabe3

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To the OP. what your aiming for is not going to happen. I've been running dual monitors for years and games will lock your mouse, the only way to unlock it is to alt tab or run the game in window mode. window mode usually lowers your FPS quite a bit and is buggy with some games. I run vista sidebar, xfire, instant messengers, and windows mail on my second, and open a blank IM with someone so if someone IM's me it will make a tab IM.
 

tel0004

Limp Gawd
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Thanks for the help everybody. I'll think I'll do it, then if needed, get a KVM switch, so the second monitor will have its own computer running it.
 

Gorankar

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Listen, if I had two monitors and they dueled... I would bet on the smaller monitor to win. Why? Because I like the underdog.

If mine fought, the outcome would be clear. @ over 70lbs my 22"crt would have little trouble squishing my poor anemic 2405. All it would have to do is fall over on it.

OP yeah for what you seem to want a second pc would be best. An old computer would be more than enough for that. Or even better an, old laptop.

I do recommend against a KVM for gaming. Some usb types I have used, have been quirky or sluggish when it comes to games. Some usb ones had troubles with certain mice working properly for actual gaming. One of those tiny keyboards set off to the side for AIM might be a better idea. Ask around though, someone may have used one that was trouble free for that purpose with the same setup as you.
Almost never had any issue out of vga/ps/2 style kvms, but who still uses ps/2 anymore.
.
 

WiLLiSTER

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I hate having to switch between computers while I'm playing games to chat on aim, but it saves me the hassle of having to alt+tab or minimize the game. Then again, running the game in windowed mode with dual monitors has never failed me. Hitting the windows key wil bring the mouse out of the game so you can freely move between monitors. Either way, it'll work fine. You don't need a kvm switch.
 

Domllama

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I think i came into this same situation when I was trying to decide 2 monitors vs 1...I actually tried 2x22inch and it didnts work well..game split in the middle of screen in windowed mode ran really laggy..so opted for a 24" as playing on anything bigger also gives me a headache, good luck though!
 

Frostex

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Its handy, but unless you run the game in windowed mode you won't be able to interact with anything on your 2nd monitor very well, it's a shame this isn't done better to be honest, it would be nice to have a fully 3d maximised window on one monitor and then hold something like the windows key and enable interaction with everything on the right monitor without issues, but that's just not the case.

Also you can't use dual monitors with SLI, if thats a route you're considering going at any point.

I left my 22" wide LCD and 19" CRT for a 30" Dell LCD, never going back! Although I still have my CRT and considered dual monitors the other day, I can't get them both on my desk :<
 

OutKlast

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How do you use 2 monitors while playing?

I tried COD with both screens used for the games by just using Nvidias extended screen thing; (makes windows think its a single monitor with like a ~2500x1024 res or whatever size it works out to. Super annoying though with a ~1" gap and half your crosshair on one side, half on the other.
 

Hulk

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I havent read the other replies but why in the world do you want to duel your monitors?

what weapons will you be using?
 

CubicleGeek

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You have to run windowed mode if you want to scroll your mouse over without minimizing the game. Even in windowed mode there are some quirks.

1) Sometimes games confine the pointer within the context of the window when the game has focus, so you have to alt-tab anyways.
2) Sometimes games either don't run in the background or don't draw to the screen when it doesn't have focus, so you don't see anything in the window unless it has focus.
3) Most games don't support a full screen windowed mode (i.e. window with no borders) so you lose a little bit of real-estate on the game when maximized and/or end up with a strange resolution.
4) Sometimes you get a combination of the above.

The only game that did windowed mode correctly that I've personally played has been WoW, but to be quite honest, I haven't run dual mon since getting a 30" because it's enough real estate for what I do and it's a hassle having dual monitors and SLI. As indicated by another poster, unless more games follow how WoW handles windowed mode, the best solution is to run a laptop for all your AIM purposes. The only downside is you can't cut & paste to and from the laptop.
 

Cannydog

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CubicleGeek has an important consideration... Dual Displays will not work with SLi!

I've been using Dual Displays for a while now. Ultramon is a must if you want to try this type of setup. But you still won't have the performance you might expect. I've recently abandoned the idea. It's more functional to use a laptop for the web browsing and such that I do when playing a game.
 

damonposey

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yeah people seem to overlook the possibility of just having 2 computers to meet their needs. for the price of a high-end video card you can just build a cheap and quiet desktop for web surfing. I'm thinking of doing that myself, a desktop with just passive cooling and quiet HD and power supply, so when I don't want the gaming rig on, I can do email, surf web with limited noise.
 

tgrimley

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That is bogus on the left/right thing. It should not matter. I have run dual monitors for many years and had my primary on the left and on the right and either way it works fine.

You might have some catch with your setup/drivers or something, but overall it should not matter for most setups.

You're right if the resolution of the game and the normal desktop resolution are the same. But if they are different it will resize your secondary display if it is on the right. Anyway, just wanted to mention this mostly to inform people that you can right with your primary on the right and it will not resize your left display no matter what resolution the full screen is in.
 

Bomber18

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yeah people seem to overlook the possibility of just having 2 computers to meet their needs. for the price of a high-end video card you can just build a cheap and quiet desktop for web surfing. I'm thinking of doing that myself, a desktop with just passive cooling and quiet HD and power supply, so when I don't want the gaming rig on, I can do email, surf web with limited noise.

I tried something similar to this. I have 3 monitors at my computer desk and I had one of them hooked up to my old gaming computer. The thing you have to watch out for is how are you going to control the other computer? Either you have a KVM swtich and are only controlling one at a time or your desk top holds 2 keyboards and mice.

Overall the best way is sadly gaming computer + laptop but I have found just having the extra monitors and being able to at least view what emails/ims/web sites are open is often enough.
 

Spare-Flair

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It's not going to work. Just try using another computer or the laptop. Come on, USB keyboards and mice cost under $5 these days for just the bare basic ones.

I thought this thread was going to be about games that support dual monitors which is a really cool thing (like Supreme Commander which has another map on the other screen).

For my second monitor, I just keep monitors, music players, and a clock. You are not going to be able to interact with anything on it in game unless you play in a windowed mode.
 

tel0004

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I think that's spelled dual.

Yeah, I realize that. I think about 15 people have made fun of me for misspelling it.

Thanks for rubbing it in.

(JK)

Of course if they did fight, then they would be duel monitors.

Anyway, I've gotten the second monitor, and I love it.
 

Spare-Flair

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Yeah, I realize that. I think about 15 people have made fun of me for misspelling it.

Thanks for rubbing it in.

(JK)

Of course if they did fight, then they would be duel monitors.

Anyway, I've gotten the second monitor, and I love it.

Actually, they would be duelling monitors.
 

vicaphit

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World in Conflict supports dual monitors. Same thing as Supreme Commander basically.

I use my second monitor for my temp gauges/frames per second monitoring.
 

TheRapture

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To the OP. what your aiming for is not going to happen. I've been running dual monitors for years and games will lock your mouse, the only way to unlock it is to alt tab or run the game in window mode. window mode usually lowers your FPS quite a bit and is buggy with some games. I run vista sidebar, xfire, instant messengers, and windows mail on my second, and open a blank IM with someone so if someone IM's me it will make a tab IM.


Great advice. This is my experience, I also have had duallies for 6+ years. I also use UltraMon. I use my secondary to show MSIM, Rivatuner temps, etc, while playing a game.
 

Diablo2K

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Its unfortionate that you cant do what your wanting to do with 2 monitors. I also have 2 monitors and would like to be able to do the same. I mean even if I had to use 2 seperate mice or something I would be cool with it, but the only way to do what your talking about is with 2 seperate computers. But for me this also raises another issue as I like to place the Ventrilo window on the 2nd screen so I can watch whos talking and see whos coming and going and I use the 5th mouse button to talk. so for me its either Alt tabbing or going without.
 
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Great advice. This is my experience, I also have had duallies for 6+ years. I also use UltraMon. I use my secondary to show MSIM, Rivatuner temps, etc, while playing a game.

I just started with duallies about 6 months ago. Another vote for UltraMon. (best damn multi-mon support app ever!) I usually leave my temps, media player, task manager etc in the other window as well.

The only problem I have is that when I play starcraft, my secondary goes apeshit. Other than that, I don't know how I survivied so many years with only one monitor.
 

tgrimley

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I just started with duallies about 6 months ago. Another vote for UltraMon. (best damn multi-mon support app ever!) I usually leave my temps, media player, task manager etc in the other window as well.

The only problem I have is that when I play starcraft, my secondary goes apeshit. Other than that, I don't know how I survivied so many years with only one monitor.

Try switching which is your primary (put your primary on the right of the secondary).. it's probably because Starcraft runs at such a low resolution.
 
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