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Adding a second monitor 
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I really should know this but it's been a while since I've been into the hardware side of things.

Work computer is an Optiplex 7010. Comes with Intel HD 2500 integrated graphics chipset. Comes with one monitor (22" 1680 x 1050 dell monitor) that has VGA and DVI input. Back of the machine shows 1xVGA and 2xdisplayport.

I'm looking at adding a second identical monitor for an extended desktop.

Do I use:
Monitor 1 - VGA->VGA
Monitor 2 - Displayport->DVI

or

M1 - Displayport->DVI
M2 - Displayport->DVI

or something else?
I don't really want to spend too much as it's for my benefit at work. Monitor is going to be a second-hand special off ebay.

TIA

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Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:11 pm
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Personally, I would get a couple of Display Port to DVI adapters, as the VGA input will show different colour shades to the DVI one, and this will eventually get on your nerves.

Trust me on this. I speak from experience.

Hope this helps,

John.

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Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:02 pm
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John_Vella wrote:
Personally, I would get a couple of Display Port to DVI adapters, as the VGA input will show different colour shades to the DVI one, and this will eventually get on your nerves.

Trust me on this. I speak from experience.

Hope this helps,

John.

I concur. This is the setup I've got at work. You can pick up a perfectly serviceable DP to DVI adapter for about £10 and then you've got all digital output.

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Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:37 pm
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Agreed, use both DisplayPort outputs.

The DisplayPort -> DVI adapters cost next to nothing, I think we pay around 5€ each for them (D-Lock).

22" 1680x1050 has been obsolete for nearly a decade! :shock:

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:32 am
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big_D wrote:
22" 1680x1050 has been obsolete for nearly a decade! :shock:

It's what we have at work and it's all the CCG will pay for. TBH It's still an improvement on the last monitor which was I think only 19 or 20" square.

I'll buy the displayport->dvi cables and a secondhand monitor and see how things pan out. I'll need to rearrange my desk as currently the monitor sits on top of the PC.

Thanks for the advice.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:34 am
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I currently run 2 22" 1920x1080 displays off my notebook + docking station (plus the internal display).

I prefer the 22" FullHD displays to the 24" FullHD displays, as they are a little sharper. At 24", I want at least 1920x1200, which is hard to come by these days, most monitors are only FullHD, but the extra resolution, while not a lot, makes text sharper.

At home I have a Dell 32" curved monitor with 3440x1440, I am very tempted to buy one for myself for work...

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:17 am
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big_D wrote:

At home I have a Dell 32" curved monitor with 3440x1440, I am very tempted to buy one for myself for work...


How far back do you sit from that when at home - is it "normal desk" distance - at home I would be approx. 90ish cm from my monitor so wonder if that would work for me (I have a 22" at the moment and thinking of a 27" 2560 x 1440 but if 32" would work..... :) )

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:45 am
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Yes, I have it around 80-90cm from me (I'm at work, so can't measure exactly how far). The curvature of the display means that, although it is extra wide, the whole monitor stays at the same distance from your eyes, so no re-focusing as you look left and right to the extremities. Certainly better than angling multiple "normal" monitors on the desktop.

The extra width is like have 2 normal monitors next to each other, so I only need 1, instead of 2, displays. It also makes maximising easier, for really big Excel documents or for working on photos, it can stretch over the full width of the display, instead of maximising on one display, or being dragged across both displays, with a black border in the middle.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:29 pm
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Cheers

I will have to give that some thought (and obviously pass it by the finance committee - some horse trading in shoes and handbags may be needed)

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:56 pm
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I had a look at that Dell monitor. Reminds me of this: http://hexus.net/tech/news/monitors/104 ... d-monitor/

As it stands, having two monitors means I can have the clinical system on one screen and the patient documents or the dictation system on the second screen to avoid me flipping back and forth and missing something.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:20 pm
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I'm giving serious consideration to replacing one or maybe both of my 22" 1860x1050 monitors with another 28" 4K, as the two 22"s are above one another and the top one is too high to use for any length of time, without neck ache.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:27 pm
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Right so got a monitor and two displayport cables. I'm using the extended mode and it's working really well. But I do have some snaggles that I need to work through:

1. The "new" monitor sits a bit higher that the old one despite both being on the same flat desk. Slight niggle and hopefully I'll adjust or stick something under one to raise it.
2. The amount of deskspace required is HUGE. I normally have the monitor sitting on top of the computer. On either side are practice related stuff - thermometer, aurisope, label printer, stack of forms (stored vertically) etc. I've had to move everything to accommodate this. It looks like I'm going to have to rejig the lay out of my desk (normally crowded anyway).
3. Colour matching and brightness. The "new" monitor is less bright and more warm despite being the same RGB/brightness/contrast. I suspect it was probably heavily used but need the colour matching to be the same or it's going to annoy the hell out of me.

I've only just set it up so will see how things go during this afternoon's surgery.

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:41 pm
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Could you get a dual monitor VESA mount and stick them both on that? The would let them both be the same level and lift them clear of the desk you you could put stuff under them.

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:15 pm
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I did have a look but ruled it out for the time being. I normally like to move the monitor to show patients diagrams/letters etc. The height difference is miniscule (about 5mm). The calibration needs to be sorted out because despite being at the same settings, there's a huge difference in colour temp and brightness. I might have a fiddle around later this week.

I've since moved my laser printer to under the desk and moved things around a bit. It's already an improvement but the previous clutter was manageable. The new layout means I'll need to keep my desk very tidy! I just need to sort out what plugs in where as there's not enough sockets and I'll probably need to get a multiplug extension cord. We have PAT testing coming in the next month so will try to get one sorted before then.

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:07 pm
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That is the problem with a) cheap monitors and b) old monitors. They are not well calibrated to begin with and they lose their brightness and colour fidelity with age.

You can get a new 24" monitor for around 100 - 120€, but a professional, colour calibrated model still costs upwards of 350 - 400€. The same with 4K monitors, you can get a budget 4K monitor for 500€, but a professional quality one will cost well over 1500€.

Unless you buy the monitors at the same time and use them equally, there will almost always be some difference. But in your case, a calibrating tool will probably cost more than the monitors are worth!

We have one apprentice at work, she has an old Dell monitor that has a red veil over the whole monitor, it looks really bad next to her other monitor. Unfortunately, the monitor still works, so I can't swap it out...

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Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:04 am
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