Last Updated on December 17, 2021
One of the easiest ways you can enhance your productivity is to invest in a dual monitor setup. A dual monitor setup is not just aesthetically appealing, it is a must for a myriad of professional work.
Currently, one of the most attractive feature of almost all desktops is that you can install multiple monitors on them and turn them into a workstation. On top of that, since desktops are generally cheaper than laptops, a dual, or even a triple, monitor setup is generally quite affordable for most.
It is a well known research proven fact that dual monitors can save you time and hassle when working on a complex task that require multiple windows to be open at the same time.
In this article, we will review some of the best desktops for dual monitors. We will look at affordable as well as performance grade pre-built desktops available in the market.
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Comparison of Top Desktops for Dual Monitors
|Acer Aspire |
|8 GB||512 GB|
|Acer Aspire |
|12 GB||512 GB|
|8 GB||256 GB|
|8 GB||256 GB|
|Acer Aspire |
|12 GB||512 GB|
1. Acer Aspire TC-895-UA91 – Affordable Desktop For Dual Monitors
First up we have a highly affordable standalone desktop featuring a decent processor for work related to office and home use.
If you dont need a high performance, or even a mid performance, desktop for gaming or video editing then this is an excellent desktop to have.
It should be noted here that performance is a relative term. The Core i3-10100 processor featured here is not a weak processor at all. In fact, you can most certainly use editing software or even game on this, if you choose to install a dedicated graphics card.
Intel Core i3-10100 will only ensure that all of you office tasks, or even editing, is done seamlessly and without any issue. While weaker processors from the Pentium or the Celeron series may show lag even in the weakest tasks, this processor will glide through most day to day tasks.
When connecting to dual monitors, you can use its VGA as well as the HDMI port located on the back input/output panel for each monitor separately.
Other than the excellent processor, this desktop also features a decent amount of RAM i.e 8 GB which is again great for multitasking as well as for using editing software at a lower level.
Besides that it offers a large and an ample 512 GB of SSD. Which is quite excellent for its price.
All in all, if you are looking for a decent option for home or office use, then this is the best desktop for dual monitors in our opinion.
2. Acer Aspire TC-895-UA92 – Core i5-10400 – Mid Range and Mid Performance
A mid range desktop with a respectable Intel Core i5-10400 processor and and ample RAM for professional software.
Next up we have our personal favorite. The value this desktop offers is unlike any other currently in the market.
This is the famous Acer Aspire desktop featuring an Intel Core i5-10400 processor. Now the thing about Core i5s is that they are the most versatile processors from Intel.
They are powerful enough to be used for editing or gaming, yet also affordable enough to be bought by almost anyone.
While Core i7 processors are an overkill for many except the enthusiasts, a Core i5 processor bridges the gap between performance and budget.
It should be noted that not all Core i5 are created equally. For instance a Core i5 processor for laptop is weaker than a Core i5 processor for a desktop.
For instance the Intel Core i5-10400 found on this desktop is more powerful than the Core i5-10310U found on laptops.
In other words, not only are you getting an already affordable and highly valued configuration here, it is also faster than an average laptop of the same category.
Other than that, it features a decent 12 GB of DDR 4 RAM. We recommend that you upgrade this to 16 GB if you believe you will be performing heavy editing jobs on this. This also includes an ample and fast 512 GB SSD.
This desktop also features a VGA and an HDMI out port which you can use to connect your two monitors.
Other useful and core features include a USB Type C port, an optical as well as a keyboard and a mouse.
In short, if you are looking for an option powerful enough to handle editing jobs, then this is the best desktop for dual monitors in our opinion.
3. HP Pavillion 690-0073w – Gaming Grade Desktop for Dual Monitors
A reasonably priced gaming desktop capable of supporting FHD – QHD games on dual monitors with ease.
We have selected this desktop for the gamers or the high performance users out there.
For starters, you must note that gaming desktops are generally very expensive. In fact, if you go out looking for the most expensive personal use desktop in the market, you will probably comes across a gaming desktop.
The price of a gaming desktop is determined by many factors the primary of those are the processor and the graphics card.
This HP Pavillion 690-0073w, while being the most expensive desktop in this list, is in fact one of the cheapest gaming desktops out there.
The reason we have fallen in love with this desktop is because it offers a very decent GTX 1660Ti graphics card. As far as the performance of this desktop goes, it can handle almost all of the AAA games at high or ultra graphics at FHD resolution.
Besides an excellent graphics card, this desktop also features a decent Core i5-9400F processor. As mentioned earlier, a Core i5 processor is an excellent processor for gaming and also maintains an excellent price tag.
A Core i7 processor for an NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti would be an overkill. Hence, going for a Core i5 makes more sense here.
On top of that, this desktop also features a 256 GB SSD. While it does not offer a large capacity HDD, the SSD is a welcome feature. Just as a faster processor can enhance the performance of your PC, so can an SSD. An SSD is at least 5 times faster than a normal HDD.
The only drawback of this relatively high grade desktop is that it lacks a high amount of RAM. It only offers 8 GB of RAM. While this is great for gaming, it may show its limits when performing professional levels of editing or rendering tasks.
In short, if you are a gamer, then we highly recommend this as the best desktop for dual monitors.
4. Lenovo IdeaCentre F0EW005TUS – All in One Desktop for Home Use
One of the most popular and valued All in One desktop with an excellent processor and support for multiple monitors.
Lenovo IdeaCentre F0EW005TUS is not a standalone desktop. Instead, this is an All in One desktop meaning it packs the entire hardware behind its screen.
The best part about all in one desktop is that they are easy to manage and they are aesthetically appealing. They are highly favored by home and business users.
They are sleek and also quite easy to move around.
This particular AIO desktop features a decent AMD Ryzen 3 4300U. This is suitable for almost all of the day to day to tasks you may perform at home or in an office. Whether it is surfing on the web or writing a research report, this has enough juice to serve you well.
The way you would do a dual monitor setup on this is quite simple. This AIO has an HDMI port on the back side. This can be used to attach the second monitor to it.
It should be noted that this desktop has a 24 inch monitor. Therefore, in order to enhance the continuity between two screens, the second monitor must also conform to the 24 inch size.
Furthermore, this desktop ditches an HDD and instead chooses to go with the 256 GB SSD. We personally love the fact that it offers an SSD since a typical home or office user will see very visible benefits from it.
As far as the RAM is concerned, it is also quite ample at 8 GB of RAM. This is good enough not just for basic home use but also for so much more.
All in all, if you are sold by the idea of a having an All in One PC, then this is best desktop for dual monitors for typical home and office users.
5. Acer Aspire C27-962-UA91 – Mid Performance All in One Desktop
Finally, here we have one of the most popular large screen 27 inch desktop for those who prefer an all in one machine.
The greatest attraction of this desktop is ofcourse the size. If you plan to have a 27 inch dual monitor setup, then this desktop can certainly work well for you.
However besides that, it offers an excellent overall configuration. While the processor featured here i.e the Intel Core i5-1035G1 is weaker in comparison to the AMD Ryzen 3 4300U featured in the AIO above, it balances out by offering a dedicated entry level NVIDIA MX130 graphics card.
While you would not be able to game on this GPU, it will surely help you out in professional software where 3D acceleration is required.
Besides that it offers a decent 12 GB of RAM and a good 512 GB of SSD. The desktop comes with a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse for declutting your desk.
You can connect a single extra monitor to this via the HDMI port located on the back.
So in short, if the prospect of 27 inch AIO appeal to you, then this is the best desktop for dual monitors for you.
Can Dual Monitor Screens Improve Productivity?
Yes, it can. It is a research proven fact that having multiple monitors can boost the productivity of users particularly those who multitask.
According to a Research by University of Utah, College of Humanities
Respondents got on task quicker, did the work faster, and got more of the work done with fewer errors in multi-screen configurations than with a single screen – By Colvin, Janet; Tobler, Nancy
A similar result was found by a research by Dell.
What is Needed for Dual Monitors?
Basically, you need to have a single desktop with at least two video output ports in order to run dual monitors.
The video output port can be a combination of HDMI, VGA, DVI-D, DP, or Thunderbolt 3.
Do You Need 2 GPUs for 2 Monitors?
No, you do not Need 2 GPUs to run 2 Monitors. Most of the modern GPUs come with at least 2 video output ports. Unless if you are using ancient graphics cards with single outputs ports, chances are your GPU will have more than 2 video output ports.
Can I Connect 2 Monitors to My Desktop?
Most of the modern computers be it laptops, tower desktop or all one desktop all offer support for at least dual monitors.
If you PC has an extra video port output, you can certainly connect an extra screen to it.
Common video ports include HDMI, D-Sub, DVI-D, DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3.
For a tower desktop, you need to have any two of these video output ports to connect dual monitors.
For laptops and AIO desktops, you need to have only a single video output port since the native screen on laptops and AIO desktops already counts as one screen.
Another important thing to note is port compatibility. You need to have to the same port available on your extra monitor too in order to connect it to your system.
In case if your monitor does not have a compatible port, you will then too invest in adapters. However, in many cases, the quality of video output over adapters tends to deteriorate particularly if you invest in a cheap adapter.
How Do I Setup Dual Monitors with HDMI?
Basically in order to have dual monitors setup with only HDMI ports, you will first need to have two HDMI outputs on your desktop.
Second, you will need to have a single HDMI output on both of the monitors as well.
For AIO desktop, you will notice that most have only a single HDMI output. That is because you only need to connect a single monitor to achieve dual screen setup.
Can You Run 2 Monitors off 1 HDMI Port?
This depends on what you want to achieve.
HDMI ports do not have the capability of sending two independent signals to two different monitors.
Hence you cannot have two separately controlled monitors on a single HDMI port.
However, if you simply want to MIRROR one screen on two monitors, then you can use a splitter to achieve this.
MIRRORING, as the name implies, means that the action done one screen will be reflected on the second screen as well.
This, unfortunately, is not what a dual monitor setup implies for productivity users.
What To Look for in Dual Monitor Setup?
While preferences may differ from person to person, you can take the following tips into consideration if you are unsure about how to go about choosing the right dual monitor desktop.
Type of PC
The first and foremost important consideration is the type of PC you want. There are budget, mid range, performance and workstation grade desktops out there.
If you are a home user, small business owner, accountant, writer etc, then a budget desktop would be highly suitable for you.
A budget desktop is generally a desktop that features a low grade processor i.e Intel Celeron, Pentium, Intel Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor. It has a low memory ranging from 4-8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and does not feature a dedicated graphics card.
A mid-range desktop features an Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor, generally does not have a dedicated graphics card, but may feature a low range one, and has a decent amount of RAM. These generally offer SSD over HDD. These are great for average video editors,
A performance grade desktop features A Core i5 to Core i7 (or AMD Equivalent) processors, they have a dedicated graphics card, a high amount of RAM and SSD. These are generally bought by gamers and enthusiasts.
Workstation grade desktop are a completely different story, they have special graphics card, a very high performance processor and a large amount of RAM and SSD. These are generally used by CAD user, scientists, engineers, film industry users etc.
When choosing the right desktop for dual monitors, you must pay attention to the output available.
Desktops have a range of output ports including VGA, DVI-D, DP and HDMI port available. Desktop may have a different configuration of these.
When choosing the right monitor, you must make sure that it has the relevant slots that correspond with the available slots on the desktop.
For instance if your desktop has a VGA and an HDMI port available, then you must make sure that you procure two monitors that have either the HDMI or the VGA available.
In case if you do not have the relevant ports on the monitor or on your desktop, you will need to purchase separate adapters. However, we generally advise against going for the adapter route particularly if you are procuring new monitors.
Also Read: Best Keyboards for Excel
Monitors Specs to Look For
Monitors have a list of aspects. However, when choosing monitors for a dual monitor setup we recommended the following few important features.
- Thin Bezels: This is very important if you want to have a seamless continuity between two screens.
- Same Size: The monitors have the same physical size i.e both 24″, both 27″ etc. Do not have one smaller than the other.
- Same Resolution: We recommend that both the monitors have the same resolution. This is because when connecting two monitors with different resolution, the system will drop the overall resolution down to lowest available.
- Same Aspect Ratio: The most common aspect ratio of widescreen monitors is 16:10 and 16:9. The 16:10 monitors are slightly elongated vertically. Therefore, in order to avoid damage to continuity between two screens, we recommend same aspect ratio.
- Same Refresh Rate: Monitors range in refresh rate from 60Hz all the way to 240 Hz. We recommend you choose monitors that have the same refresh rate.
There are many other factors that go into buying the right monitor.
If you have the choice, go for the exact same dual monitors i.e same model, same brand. This will give you the perfect look and continuity between two screens.
In this article we looked at some of the best desktop of dual monitors setup. We looked at standalone as well as AIO PCs.
While the preferences may differ, the guide to choosing the right desktop as discussed above will point you to the right direction particularly when you are new to buying desktops.
The good news is that almost all desktops from budget to high grade models feature support for dual monitors. All you need to figure is what are you needs from a PC. Do you plan to surf the web or do you plan to game and edit videos?
The answer to these questions will more or less determine the type of PC you choose.