Connect a third monitor to your PC

What's better than running two monitors at a time? Running three, of course.

As I wrote the other day, it's a pretty simple matter to add a second monitor to your PC. But what about a third? That might require a little more doing.

See, while many desktop video cards offer dual VGA or DVI outputs, it's rare to find one that has three of them. A few squeeze in VGA, DVI, and HDMI, but that would require at least one HDMI monitor. Reader Dave, who asked about this possibility, has three monitors with VGA and DVI inputs only.

You have a few options, Dave. First, you can install a second video card--assuming your desktop has an available expansion slot. Ideally, the second card should be the same make as the first, but that's not mandatory. You can get a reasonably powerful video card for as little as US$30.

Next, consider one of the USB adapters I mentioned the other day. Search for "USB to DVI" or "USB to VGA" and you'll find plenty of plug-and-play products that provide a standard monitor input. Prices start at around $50, and graphics performance isn't always great (so this isn't the best choice if you're looking to play games across all three monitors).

One last option is to repurpose a spare laptop or even desktop, using a software solution like MaxiVista to add its screen to your primary system. I wrote about this a while back in Turn a Spare Laptop Into a Second Monitor, but it works just as well for a third monitor. MaxiVista sells for $39.95.

Okay, readers, did I miss anything? What solution would you recommend for a reader like Dave?

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags videoperipheralsmonitorsupgrading

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?