General use: dual monitor. Gaming, one monitor


Nov 9, 2005
Hey guys,
Quick and easy one here, that I can't seem to find an answer on. When I'm using my computer for non-gaming (development, programming, graphics, audio work etc.) I'd like to use both of my 22" Acer's.
However, the impending FPS hit would, in fact, suck terribly for me. I can't do SLI and for now have an 8800GTS 320. That'll change once the new nVidia high end rolls around, whenever that is.
So, when I'm gaming, I'd like to just use one.
Anyway, my question is, how do I do that easily?
You should be able to set them up as dual-monitors, hen jus run your games windowed on one in 1680x1050 I believe.
There's a performance hit from running 2 screens? I run my dual 19s in dual view and the game just launches on the primary monitor.
It'll just open on the primary monitor. The FPS hit from drawing the second screen is not a problem on recent cards. Worked fine on an 6600gt and on an 8600gt.I remember having a small hit on the card I had before the 6600gt, but it's no longer a factor.

Most games will lock the mouse to the primary monitor. Others may not, and for that, use Ultramon to make a hotkey to bind the mouse to the primary monitor so that you can't click out of focus.
No, if you're using Dualview. If you're making the OS think it's just one big screen then yes, it will. Nvidia usually defaults to Dualview so it should work fine.
Dual monitors doesn't effect most games, the desktop will still render on the other monitor and it wont have much of an associated frame rate hit, nothing noticable, games will render on your primary monitor only unless they support dual monitors, such as Supreme Commander, in which case you set your preference in the game menu.

Quick note, Nvidias SLI doesn't work with dual monitors, if you want to get the performance benefit of SLI you have to stick with 1 monitor, or constantly switch between SLI and extended desktop.
You could see a frame rate hit if you ran your game in windowed mode in order to use the second monitor as a desktop. In WoW, I used to get much better fps in full screen mode, rather than windowed, but alt-tabbing in full screen meant that I would occasionally crash.
Why not just disable the second monitor when playing games? That's simple to do in the Display Settings applet.
I keep my second monitor (HDTV) disabled, unless I'm using it for movies. Some games don't lock your mouse on the 3d app screen, and if you try scrolling to the side your 2nd monitor is on and click, it will alt-tab you.
Dual monitors is actually really nice for some games. I play a lot of Civ 4 while windows media player is on the second monitor playing whatever TV show I'm watching at the time. Obviously this isn't useful for more intense games, but it works great for turn based.
I have used Dual monitors a lot and don't notice any performance problems. If you get "Ultramon" you can really easily disable the second monitor if you want, but I rarely do. I also play a lot of games and its nice being able to put your Ventrilo screen on the second monitor so you can see who is talking, you can also put your temp/fan monitor so you can monitor your overclocks better while playing. I think 95% of games will only use one monitor unless your using a program/device to make your computer think both monitors are just one.
I think once you start using dual monitors you will find its a lot easier to do than your probably thinking it is.