While my last few video cards have been perfectly capable of supporting multiple monitors, I’ve not bothered to hook a second monitor up to any of them.
That is mostly because I don’t have a second monitor lying around to hook up. My main monitor is still the same 1600×1200 Dell unit I have been using for more than a dozen years now. It certainly wasn’t very new when I posted a picture of it as part of a post back in 2007.
A new monitor is on my wish list, but the combination of price for what I would want, uncertainty over what to get, and the fact that my old monitor is still chugging along without issue has kept me from pulling the trigger on a new one. And, of course, we always have other things to spend money on.
However, a second monitor has become available of late. At work our office moved annoyingly far from home. My commute, which was once five miles over surface streets, is now 20 miles over a mountain highway that has to close any time we get a hard rain because the mountain decides to roll onto the road.
To help with that the company gave me a dock for my laptop and a monitor to hook up to it to give me a little more screen area. It is a crap monitor. You can tell what your company thinks of you by the equipment they give you. This is a 1600×900 monitor in an age when full HD 1920×1080 monitors are dirt cheap. Not exec at our HQ would put up with this for a moment, but somebody not in management in a satellite office a couple thousand miles away gets their choice of leftovers in a closet. It is basically my old monitor with 25% of the vertical cut off. But it is still bigger than the laptop monitor, so it is better than nothing, which was the alternative.
When not using it for work I found that I could plug it in to my current nVidia GeForce GTX 960 video card just fine. Most of what I play at home doesn’t really benefit that much from the second monitor. I generally play games full screen and the second monitor sitting there tends to be distracting.
But for EVE Online and multi-boxing it is quite the boon.
I have multi-boxed with a single monitor on fleets before, alt-tabbing between clients. For a travel op or when the enemy doesn’t show up, that works. But when it is time for combat I tend to forget the client in the background for long stretches, only to find that account is sitting in its pod in a station having been blown up while I was busy elsewhere.
But with the second monitor hooked up and a client running on it I seem to be able to keep track of both and at least keep them alive.
It can still be a challenge in combat to keep both clients active. We were in a fight a couple of weeks back and my main was in the DPS ship for the doctrine while my alt was target painting (which improves damage application) and in comparing the kill mails after the fight, there was quite a bit of variation as to which targets got hit. The alt was on a lot more kill mails as well, due to locking and activating faster (and splitting two painters).
My daughter, walking in while I was playing was taken aback at the sight of two monitors. She has a 27″ iMac and has all the video real estate she needs for drawing and games, even if it won’t play Overwatch. She wanted to know how two monitors on one computer would even work. I had to show her the cursor moving between the monitors and clicking to change focus before she got it.
Anyway, I have that going for me. I just have to pick the right fleet roles. Two clients that both have to actively target is a bit of a chore. But scouting or fleet boosting might be a role complimentary to DPS or logi.