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I want to put two 1600x1200 monitors in vertical position side by side in order to have a combined screen size of 2400x1600.

I know there are these USB to VGA adapters that will allow me to add two VGA ports to my laptop. But from there I wouldn't know what to do.

What software do I need in order to combine the two rotated monitors in one single big screen??

Thanks.

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2 Answers 2

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If you are using a USB device, and are running windows, it should pretty much work out of the box, you simply go to your display properties in windows and you'll see two monitors listed in the same screen in which you setup screen resolution. You'll see a visual layout of the two monitors, and you can drag one so its placed above the other.

You should know however, that the painting rate over a USB -> VGA adapter is noticeably slow. For instance, if you drag a window around on the monitor connected via USB, you'll notice it slowly painting downward as compared to the directly connected monitor. Also, watching video on the second monitor also seems to look bad. If you can avoid using such an adapter, it would be ideal. Of course this may be unavoidable for an older laptop, but if you are thinking of getting a new laptop, many have both a VGA and an HDMI connection, which should work much better.

Either way, its totally worth it to have the second (or third monitor), even if you must connect via the slower USB interface.

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What about a PCMCIA adapter instead? Would it be slow as the USB adapter? –  GetFree Nov 8 '09 at 3:35
    
I've never tried a PCMCIA, version but a quick search for pcmcia vga adapter showed they do exist, although they are expensive. One review, here: amazon.com/Vtbook-PCMCIA-Typeii-Video-Adapters/dp/B000N2TDNA said: "The only reason it is not 5 stars is that is only slight[l]y less in refresh rate than your typical card" I couldn't find in hard numbers on the actual data transfer rate of PCMCIA vs USB 2, so its hard telling if the PCMCIA version would have the same issue as much or not. For the money, I'd probably go with a usb version –  DrFredEdison Nov 9 '09 at 1:55
    
... or try the VGA -> VGA x 2 version that MicTech linked to –  DrFredEdison Nov 9 '09 at 1:56
    
Bandwidth: USB2 48 MB/sec; PCCard 133 MB/sec; ExpressCard 250MB/sec; 1600x1200x24 bit @ 60hz = 345MB uncompressed; 1280x1024x24 @ 60hz = 236MB uncompressed. If, like the USB device the PCCard adaptor is a dumb frame buffer and dependent on the host to do all actual rendering it's probably still going to lag. If it's a full up actual GPU then it has the same bandwidth as the PCI bus and should be suitable for any non-gaming usage. –  Dan Neely Nov 25 '09 at 19:53
    
What about this: sewelldirect.com/… It says it's as fast as an internal video card. Is that possible? –  GetFree Dec 23 '09 at 8:44

Matrox DualHead2Go

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This looks pretty cool, being as this review of it, digitalproducer.digitalmedianet.com/articles/… mentions video editing, but doesn't mention any of the video chopiness issues I mentioned in my answer, I think this would work better, and the $150 price point seems reasonable –  DrFredEdison Nov 9 '09 at 2:04
    
What about this one? sewelldirect.com/… It says it's as fast as an internal video card. Is that possible? –  GetFree Nov 9 '09 at 18:51
    
AFIAK The Matrox devices only work for horizontal layouts. –  Dan Neely Nov 25 '09 at 19:48

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