I'm using the following splitter here:


I've got two monitors connected. I have my desktop extending to them but, it shows the same 'extension'. Is is possible to have the two screens be different instead of the same?

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    The problem is that the computer only "sees" one output for display, so it pushes one image out that pipe. The fact that you later split it and send it two places doesn't change that. You need the computer to "know" to send multiple images. Dec 16, 2011 at 19:00

6 Answers 6

  • A pretty standard nVidia 7 series with 2 VGA outputs that can be extended to use with 2 monitors.

nVidia 7 series with two VGA outputs

  • You can also find pretty cheap USB screen extenders nowadays.. they won't support Full HD specs, but if you just need to extend to a monitor, then these are quite good, and pretty cheap on eBay.

USB to VGA adapter

--UPDATE oct/17 DisplayPort has become very popular within the last 12 months and most motherboards with an Intel Graphics can support up to 4 HD displays using daisy chaining (monitors require this feature). But if your monitor does NOT support daisy chaining there are devices that will give you 4 separate outputs called MST Hubs.

Radeon MST Hub 6 displays scheme

--UPDATE nov/12

  • Since the introduction of USB 3.0 with its ability for extremely high data transfer comes the USB to HDMI adapter for 1080p, with the ability to extend monitor and play HD content (eg.: BluRay).

USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter

  • Also on USB 3.0 there is another product that allows you to extend USB to TWO extra HD monitors and allows up to 6 extra monitors in total.

USB 3.0 Docking station

  • Revealed at CES 2012 MSI developed a Thunderbolt external GPU called GUS-II. Mostly Macintosh users will benefit from this at the time, but Intel MB should be shipping this interface soon.

MSI's GUS-II External GPU

  • A more professional card that has 4 outputs (notice the cable looks like yours, the split method, but it is actually 4 separate VGA channels).

Video card with a 4-way display connector

  • And here is a massive configuration of 8 monitors that can support Full HD for each monitor. Usually HD rendering by design software, extreme gamers or commercial use.

four video cards mounted on a mother board, with two video outputs each

  • 3
    WOW. Pumpkin pulled out ALL The stops on this answer. HoF right there baby. Dec 16, 2011 at 16:17
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    Awesome answer. I'd just add that my nvidia has a VGA and a dvi socket and sees them as separate. OP may need a DVI->VGA adaptor
    – Wudang
    Dec 16, 2011 at 17:24
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    The difference between the splitter in the question and the splitter above is that the first is a "duplicator" not a splitter because that's all a single VGA connector can do: show one screen's worth of info, and the second is a splitter run off either a proprietary connector or a DMS-59 (which usually only handles 2 screens in one connector) connector. Dec 16, 2011 at 17:26
  • @music2myear since a normal DVI digital plug consists of two link channels each equivalent to an HDMI1.3 (or earlier) video connection, I'd think it'd be possible to run 4 monitors at up to 1920x1200 off a DMS-59 if the card itself supported the configuration. Dec 16, 2011 at 18:23
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    Most ATI cards can support 3 monitors with a single card. And as @afrazier pointed out there are 6 monitor versions. Dec 16, 2011 at 19:44

No, that splitter will always show the same image on both monitors. What you need is a video card with dual outputs (which is pretty much standard these days).

You may have seen a similar-looking splitter on other machines, but that is because either they are using a video card with a DVI port that supports dual monitors, or the card has a proprietary connector which requires the dongle. The splitter in your picture is just a standard VGA signal splitter.


No, not with a splitter like this - it's just sending the same signal out twice.

Ideally, you'd use two separate video outputs for this - that is, a video card with two independent outputs (or, worst case, a USB video adapter). There are some products, like the Matrox DualHead2Go, which will fool the system into thinking you have one very large monitor connected and then split the signal down the middle.


Short answer: No.

This is only capable of sending the same analog signal to both screens.


Nope, not with a splitter. You are stuck with a mirror as the PC/video card sees both monitors as one.


I'm going to go against everyone else and say YES! (Theoretically)

I say theoretically because I know it can be done I just don't know of any software that will allow you to do it. And caveats apply.

First you need to emulate two screens in your OS. Trick it into thinking there really are two screens.

After that's working you need colour shift the output of these emulated screens and combine them. For example, make the left screen output only blue and the right so it's only red and green.

This combined output will be sent to both monitors through the splitter. You can then modify your monitor settings so that the left monitor doesn't display any red or green and the right doesn't display any blue.

This solution will work if you are not doing colour sensitive work and need to use the splitter that you asked about.

  • 2
    Clever, if impractical. :) Dec 16, 2011 at 18:59
  • OK I gots MAD issues with this answer LOL... Issue 1) "first you need to emulate two screens in your OS. Trick it into thinking there are really two screens"... um... yeah... and HOW exactly would one go about this? Dec 16, 2011 at 20:13
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    @Annan, +1 What an amazing idea. I'm a software designer so I may be able to cook up a quick application to do this! It will take some work but I think it is definitively possible! If I get it to work, you will be the answer :D
    – Freesnöw
    Dec 16, 2011 at 20:41
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    @OGChuckLow The original question was OS agnostic. Multiple X screens can be easily added in Linux by editing the xorg.conf file. The X screens will be there though the output won't be sent anywhere until you specify where to send it. So that's your answer! ;) Though I don't know enough about Xorg to know how to do the combining nor colour processing.
    – AnnanFay
    Dec 16, 2011 at 20:56
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    Damn... I have to owe you a rep then cuz it's locked neg in :( But you explained. On a side note... I respect and admire the creativity of your answer but still feel it's kinda... well... awful. Who needs 2 screens but doesn't care AT ALL about the color? LOL. Aside from that, Very creative and I may have just learned something :) Dec 16, 2011 at 21:34

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