Posted 06 January 2005 - 10:43 PM
That is certainly a great question cows!! The advantages are many, with very few disadvantages.
Easier multi-tasking. You can have full screen applications on one screen while a different one on the other screen. I use this feature quite a bit. Watch DVD movies on one while surfing BC; playing pogo while doing animations; and researching questions and answers easier.
Expanded taskbar. With more applications open, you have a better chance t have more of the same window open. It gives more room to be able to see each one instead of having to go through a list of them.
Easier icon managment. Even though most people do not like alot of icons on the desktop, you can have it situated to where the icon is located, will depend on which monitor it opens up on. In similar fashion, you can have specific applications open up to their own default monitor.
Better security. You can keep Task Manager open on a monitor while you start an application. It will show you the image names that open and you can research if they are ones that need to be looked into.
Complicated set-up. The set up can be difficult when using an AGP and PCI video cards together, or even if you use an external video card as a secondary source. The difficulty is greatly reduced if you get a video card that has 2 seperate video out connections.
Increase of RAM is recommended. Even though you give some RAM back to the OS when you replace the integrated video card, you usually have more applications open at the same time. In the case of Windows XP, I would not do this unless you have at least 512 MB RAM. More would be even better.
Need more physical desktop space. It may not seem like it, but having 2 monitors can have space limitations. You can have them set up top and bottom, but I would recommend them being right and left. If they are touching it would be ideal but not necessary.
A few points to consider that are not really advantages or disadvantages:
-You can have a CRT and LCD configurations, but it works out better if both monitors are the same size (15"CRT and 15" LCD).
-It is highly recommended to have the monitors (and all computer equipment) to be on at least a surge protector. A battery back-up (UPS) would be better, but if you have both monitors plugged into it, you can not go by the times listed with the product.
-Some screen savers will not mirror good to both monitors. Some of the images may become distorted.
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.