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Windows 7: Multiple monitors - Windows or nVidia Control Panels?

08 May 2010   #1
DarkStar GT

Windows Home Premium (64)
Multiple monitors - Windows or nVidia Control Panels?

I am getting a second 22" monitor. My graphics card is a Gainward 9500 GT - nVidia-based with one DVI, one VGA and one HDMI connections.

Do I use the Windows Seven Control Panel - Display or the nVidia Control Panel to configure the monitors? Or some combination of both? Any pros or cons?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

This is one of those that comes down to user preference as there is no right or wrong way. Any changes made in one will be reflected in the other, so once the new monitor is hooked.. up check both and use the one you're most comfortable with
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #3


I use Nvidia Control Panel just to enable/disable the second monitor, and use the Windows settings to change the resolution etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit

I just happen to have two 22" monitors (and will never go back to one). I don't let nVidia run because it is not needed so why use the resources? However, although not free, UltraMon is indispensable in multi-monitor setups, IMO. There are a couple free alternatives, but the ones I've seen don't work as well - for me, and many others anyway.

A couple other comments. Study your graphics card manual carefully to see which ports you can use at the same time. Ideally, your new monitor will support HDMI so you can use that connection, and your existing monitor uses DVI so you can be all digital. If your new monitor does not support HDMI, I would consider a different monitor as HDMI is here to stay, DVI is not.

Sometimes there are difficulties establishing which monitor is Monitor 1 and which is Monitor 2. Again, your manual should show which connections takes precedence, but be ready to swap connections. Then when you think you have it all set up, Shut down, power off AND unplug the computer from the wall (or set the master power switch on the back of your power supply, if it has one, to off) for about 15 second, reconnect and power on. Once up, make sure Monitor 1 is still Monitor 1. If not, swap and try again. You must unplug or hit the master switch to remove the ATX Form Factor required +5Vsb standby voltage used to, among other things, keep some settings alive when the system is simply turned off, but still plugged in.

Once you get everything setup the way you like, check out Blatte's Backgrounds at Exoteric Roach. Scroll down to the bottom to see 3 galleries of background designed specifically for dual monitor setups. They are pretty cool - and the price is right - free. My background radio maintenance so I was immediately drawn to Waveform in Gallery 2.

Also, since everyone MUST inspect the interiors of their computers periodically, and clean out heat trapping dust when needed, I recommend marking your cables and the card's ports so you can easily see which is 1 and 2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #5
DarkStar GT

Windows Home Premium (64)

Thank you for the info, guys.

What does UltraMon offer over nView?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 clean install

Hi DarkStar, I have two Geforce 8600 GTS cards and two monitor attached to the first video card. I used Windows 7 control panel to configure them and DisplayFusion: Multi-Monitor Taskbar and Desktop Wallpaper|Binary Fortress Software (it's free) to move windows over displays, to have different wallpapers on each display and to resize and position windows.
Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkStar GT View Post
What does UltraMon offer over nView?
This might help - Beyond Ultramon: Free Software Solutions for Multiple Monitors | Maximum PC
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Multiple monitors - Windows or nVidia Control Panels?

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