One of the things great things about being a PC gamer is the sheer amount of freedom you have when it comes to your setup. You can customize just about every aspect of your PC and setup. One of the most popular types of setups is the ability to use two monitors. In my personal experience, having 2 monitors is necessary. But why, what is the reason that gamers need 2 monitors?
Gamers need two monitors for multitasking, increasing the field of view in a game, or being able to control a stream if you are streaming. For multitasking, being able to operate Discord, watch youtube walkthroughs of a game when you are stuck, and controlling Spotify while gaming, makes gaming so much better.
Having a dual monitor setup has its pros and cons. I must admit, there aren’t many cons to begin with. There are also some things you need to know about before you go out and buy another monitor for your setup. If you have any questions or need advice, this article will have you covered, and you should walk away knowing what type of setup is right for you.
Do I need 2 monitors for gaming?
Technically, no, you do not NEED 2 monitors for gaming. That being said, having 2 monitors does have its benefits. It isn’t just about multitasking. Some people use their dual monitor setup just for gaming.
I will state that most pros do not use dual monitor setups to game on, they use it for multitasking. A pro usually prefers performance over everything else and playing the same game on 2 monitors can hurt performance slightly.
1. Dual monitors for gaming
For this, games like battlefield, Call Of Duty, and other FPS games benefit from a better FOV (Field Of View). Racing games also benefit, allowing you to see more of what’s going on when looking out the side of your car and in the cockpit view.
Microsoft flight simulator on dual monitors
With the launch of the new Microsoft flight simulator, a larger field of view makes for a better experience. The game is massive, and the map is almost identical to the real world.
The game itself is a great example of where the gaming industry is at this very moment, and it is a great indication of where the industry is headed. What they have achieved with the scope of the world in flight simulator is truly astounding.
The new flight simulator alone makes having a dual monitor setup worth it. The developers put so much effort into replicating even the most remote real-world locations, and it worked.
Whether you are flying over the skyscrapers of New York City, the beautiful London city buildings, or the remote deserts of Namibia, it will feel like you are actually there. So why not increase your FOV and enjoy everything the game has to offer by using two monitors to play the game..
How to setup 2 monitors for gaming: The monitors
The first thing you need to do is buy the monitors. Because you will be using them for playing games, you want to try to buy models that are as similar to each other as possible.
To avoid problems you might otherwise incur, I recommend getting the same model monitors. This will make it easier to line up the monitor’s side by side. Also, you won’t have one monitor sitting higher than the other.
If you cannot get the same model, you want to get the same size, at least. This means you will have to check the actual size of the monitor rather than relying on the box number.
Some monitors will say “24 inches,” but when you read the actual specs, it might be 23.8 inches.
In a previous article, I spoke about how dual monitors don’t have to be the same resolution. When it comes to gaming, you do actually want both monitors to be the same resolution. If they aren’t, your game might look rather funny.
Same frequency (FPS)
If you have a 144Hz monitor and a 60Hz one, running the same game on them will make the gameplay feel weird. One side will look and play smoothly at 144Hz while the other might feel laggy and slow at 60Hz
I am not saying that 60Hz is bad. The issue is when you put 144Hz next to 60Hz, you will feel a pretty significant difference.
Running the same game at 2 different frequencies might also put extra strain on the GPU and cause your performance to drop more than it would otherwise.
This should make sense, as it is pretty logical. If you have one monitor reading your inputs sooner than the other monitor, it will look out of sync. Even if the times are minimal, you will still notice a difference, and it can be a put-off.
While this may not seem important at first, let me tell you there is nothing worse than having a big bulky bezel right in the middle of your dual monitor setup.
Taking your budget into consideration, you need to find monitors that have thin bezels. Later on, in this article, I will be going over some of my favorite monitors for dual monitor setup, and I will make sure to cover 1080p, 1440p and 4K monitors, so keep reading.
You also need to take into account the way your setup will look. Having matching monitors will mean that you won’t have, for example, one bulky out of place monitor next to a slim thin bezel one.
To avoid running into any of the problems listed above, I recommend just getting the same model.
How to setup 2 monitors for gaming: The GPU
There was a time when playing on multiple monitors was not as popular as it is today. Back then, you needed an adapter that acted as a link between monitors.
As dual monitor setups became more popular, GPU manufacturers started building their graphics cards with this ability built into the card itself.
Before buying or investing in a dual monitor setup, you should check to make sure whether or not your system supports this feature.
In 2020 there are 3 main resolution types that gamers use. These are 1080p, 1440p and 4k. A GPU might have a limited amount of connections for each resolution.
As we said above, when building a dual monitor setup for gaming, you should always try to get the same model. Before you do this, you should check the connections on your GPU to make sure that you can connect both your monitors to your PC via your GPU.
Most monitors also have multiple connection ports; they are normally a combination of HDMI and Display port.
The resolution and FPS
When investing in a dual monitor setup, you should also know the capabilities of not only the GPU but your entire system. If you have a good system that can support 1440p at over 100 frames per second, buying 2 1080p monitors that only run at 60hz will mean that your PC is overpowered for the monitors.
Having an overpowered PC does not mean that buying underpowered monitors is a bad thing; nothing bad will happen. You just won’t get the full experience that your PC offers.
At the same time, if your PC can only run 1080p at 60 Hz and you end up buying two 1440p monitors that run at 144hz, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. All it means is you have now future-proofed your monitor setup for when you decide to upgrade your machine.
With all that being said, you still need to make sure that your GPU has the required connections for whichever monitor you decide to get.
Dual monitor setup for multitasking
I must be honest, this is my favorite setup, and it is how I work and play games. If you plan on multitasking on your dual monitor setup, things like resolution and size don’t really matter anymore.
You can mismatch your monitors any way you want. The only concern you should have is aesthetics if that bothers you.
For multitasking, monitors do not have to be the same resolution. We actually have an in-depth article about this which you can read HERE.
Why multitasking on dual monitors is so great.
Ok, I am going to run through just a few reasons why I love having 2 monitors for multitasking, whether it is in my office or gaming corner.
We don’t only use discord for chatting with our friends. We also use it for being part of communities, especially in MMO and online open-world survival games.
Being able to check in on our discord communities (servers) while in-game is phenomenal. We can update other players who are on the server as to what’s going on in the game.
It also helps with trading with and joining guilds in games like Elder Scrolls Online.
Let’s say you are playing a game and you are stuck in a certain part of it, don’t worry, just open YouTube.
Now, not only can you watch guides and walkthroughs, you can follow along with them in real-time.
Similarly to YouTube, you can use guides and walkthroughs while following them in real-time. You can also keep up with the latest gaming news without having to leave your game. Pretty sweet, hey.
Ok, so this might seem a little bit crazy but trust me, there are people out there who take the gaming pretty seriously. Think of a game like Division where the slightest modification to your weapon can alter the entire build of your character.
Also, in MMO games, some people write down every detail of the build. If you are one of those people, then a dual monitor setup is perfect for you. Think about it; you can have your Excel spreadsheet open on one monitor and have everything there is to know about your character’s build on that spreadsheet and keep it updated in real-time.
Like I said before, it might seem a little bit crazy, but some people invest a lot of time into some games, and they want to get the most out of it. They also do inventory management for MMO games like the Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft.
6. Working on a dual monitor setup
Ok, so I will try and keep the section pretty brief. Take me, for example; I am a writer. This means I do a lot of research before writing an article, and often, I will have to do research and fact-checking while writing an article.
On my one monitor, I have my writing program open, and I don’t need to close it because to my left and on my second monitor, I’m able to do all the research and fact-checking that I need to do. This makes my life so much easier and often increases productivity and efficiency.
I’m able to write articles a lot faster than I would have been able to if I didn’t have a dual monitor setup.
Let’s just take a quick run-through of some other stuff you can do on a dual monitor setup. You can watch movies, series, and sports, you can control your Spotify, you can even work while gaming. Having this freedom is honestly epic.
Great monitors for a dual setup
In this section, I will give a small list of monitors that are best, in my experience, for a dual monitor setup.
The MSI Optix MAG240R is my favorite monitor for a dual monitor setup. It is a 24-inch curved 1080p 144Hz 1ms display with AMD Freesync. The monitor retails at $220 on Amazon, and you can find out more about the monitor HERE. The curve suits a dual setup, and the MAG240R has some seriously thin bezels that will ensure great immersion when gaming.
The DELL S2719DGF is a 27-inch 1440p gaming monitor that has a 155Hz refresh rate. The bezels might not be the thinnest amongst the ones I mention here. The monitor is just so good that I had to mention it. It retails for $399 on Amazon and can be found HERE.
For Multitasking and other non-gaming purposes, the Samsung S22R350FHN is a 22-inch 1080p thin bezel IPS 60Hz monitor that can be found on Amazon for only $109. Unless you are in design work or simply just prefer having a bigger monitor, then this monitor is perfect. You can find this monitor on amazon by following this LINK. You can game on this monitor; in fact, it will be great, but if your PC can run at 1080p 144Hz, I recommend trying a monitor like that
The Acer Predator XB271HK bmiprz 27-inch is a UHD IPS monitor with a 60Hz 4ms display. The monitor supports G-sync and has built-in speakers for those days where you don’t feel like wearing a headset. To find out more about this beast, follow this link.
In this article, we discussed two of the different main reasons why gamers need two monitors. For me, the reason for having two monitors is because I like multitasking, for gaming and work.
For gaming, you should always consider getting the same model. Doing this will remove a lot of the hassle that comes with lining your monitors up. Games can look strange if both monitors are not the same in terms of resolution, FPS, and response time.
For multitasking, it really does not matter what the specs of each monitor is. All that matters is that you can do whatever it is that you need to do.