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Really trying to think outside the box here. I have a laptop which I now use as my primary work machine. I'm really missing having multiple monitors though. Is there anyway I can leverage a video card in another pc to extend my desktop and get my multi monitor setup back?

The laptop is an ASUS-R1F PC with vista.


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Related Question:… – BinaryMisfit Aug 30 '09 at 20:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could use MaxiVista, which allows you to use another computer as a secondary monitor. This isn't just a seamless remote control like Synergy or Stardock's Multiply, but actually a second (or third, etc) monitor. Sadly, it is not free.

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This is the type of thing I was looking for! Thank you. – Dane O'Connor Sep 12 '09 at 17:36
Too bad this is not free – Vaccano Oct 2 '09 at 20:16

Okay, let's think outside the box for a moment!

USB to DVI External Video Card, High Resolution, 1600 x 1200

alt text

That should do and the price is reasonable.

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ooo, outside the box indeed! – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 22:58
Perfect! The youtube video was really reassuring. While its not leveraging my existing hardware this solves my problem elegantly. Just gotta shell out some cash. Thanks! – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 23:05
you're more than welcome. feel free to accept it as the answer your were looking for :) – Molly7244 Aug 31 '09 at 0:06
Well its not the answer I was looking for. I want to leverage my existing hardware if possible. Mike Cooper's answer was the best in this regard. – Dane O'Connor Sep 12 '09 at 17:38

What you want is Synergy:

Synergy Screenshot

Install it on all the machines on your network and you can simply move your mouse pointer from one to another. Anything you open will actually be running on "that" machine, so it's basically a network-KVM. Very slick in practice, I use it all the time for controlling my laptop sitting next to my desktop (since I don't want to use the laptop's keyboard/mouse).

It also shares clipboard/etc between them.

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1 laptop, multiple monitors, what good will Synergy do in such a setup? Synergy a great solution, but certainly not in this scenario :) – Molly7244 Aug 31 '09 at 21:16
You've rephrased the situation. The question is "1 laptop, video card in another PC, how do I leverage that?", and the solution is to use both machines with something like Synergy. If the OP changed his mind and wants to buy additional hardware instead of leveraging what he has, he should edit the question to reflect that, imo. – Andrew Coleson Sep 1 '09 at 16:15
In fact, it just becomes a dupe of the Related question Diago posted. – Andrew Coleson Sep 1 '09 at 16:18
I agree. Which is why i didn't accept the additional hardware answer. But molly is correct, the idea here is 1 laptop, 1 video card in another PC, 1 context. Synergy will give me a separate context for each machine. – Dane O'Connor Sep 12 '09 at 17:34

There is software, such as stardock's multiplity ( that allows you to control two PCs seamlessly, which could solve your problem, at least while you're local to your PC.

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Hmm this is interesting. Like a more integrated remote desktop. Not really what I'm looking for though. I'm really trying to extend my laptop. 2 monitors 1 pc. Not 2 pc's 1 monitor. I tend to have a ton of windows open while doing development. Having access to another pc doesn't help much since I need the windows to all be within the same context. – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 20:46
Do the windows all really need to be in the same context? I've found that browsing/reference material on another machine/monitor and the ability to copy/paste back and forth is generally sufficient, unless All your windows are part of the same app. – Andrew Coleson Sep 1 '09 at 16:17

You could just put your laptop away somewhere on the network and then use RDP to connect to it. Provided that your other computer has two displays, you can set up the Remote Desktop Client to span multiple monitors.

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this would have the disadvantages associated with creating 1 huge desktop correct? – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 22:59
Never tried, but I think so, yes. – Joey Aug 31 '09 at 5:46

The simple answer is No.

One way of getting multi-monitor support for a laptop is to buy a docking station. The Dell ones allow you to use the laptop's screen and an external monitor. You also get the chance to use a full sized keyboard.

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Eh, docking stations just remap the current laptop's ports. Already using a full keyboard, mouse, and external monitor. The vid card only supports 1 monitor and a max res of 1650x1060. I need more! :P – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 20:43
In that case the Dell laptop's we use a work (by no means the top end) must be able to support 2 (or more) outputs. – ChrisF Aug 30 '09 at 20:46
The Dell's also have a VGA port on the laptop anyway. A lot of consumer laptops don't have docking stations anyway, unfortunately. – prestomation Aug 30 '09 at 20:48
OH, so you have 2 monitors hooked up to these laptops via the docking station? Or is it the laptop screen and monitor combo? – Dane O'Connor Aug 30 '09 at 20:48
I've seen someone using one monitor on the laptop's VGA port, another on the docking station's DVI port and the integrated display of the laptop all at once. That was with a Thinkpad T43. The better docking stations for Thinkpads even allow you to put a dedicated graphics card in there. – Joey Aug 30 '09 at 21:01

I was surprised no one had mentioned the Matrox multimonitor solution DualHead2Go. The nice thing about this solution, is that it works using your existing vga or dvi out. No need to sacrifice one of those rare USB ports on your notebook!

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