Use two monitors without Graphics Card (No GPU) – Extend Mode (Easy Trick)

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Do you want to connect two monitors to a computer for multitasking? This is possible even if you don’t have a Graphics Card (GPU). Low-end computers don’t have Graphics Cards. So, you can use this trick to use many monitors in extend mode. Let’s see how to connect many monitors to a computer without any Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

To use a dual monitor setup without a Graphics Card, you have to use USB to HDMI or USB to VGA adapters. After connecting the adapter to your computer, install the drivers. You can now use Extended mode with dual monitors without a Graphics Card.

Want to learn more about implementing this trick? Read More…

Here is a video tutorial explaining how to do this process…

Why use two monitors with one computer?

There are several reasons why you should use two monitors with one computer. The main reason for normal users is productivity. If your monitor size is more, you can see more. This means you can have various panels opened at a time on a big monitor.

But what if you have a small monitor? If you don’t have a giant monitor, you can use two small monitors by joining them to a single computer. This makes more space to arrange many windows, ultimately resulting in more productivity.

Let’s learn more about the advantages and uses of having two monitors later.

Duplicate Mode Vs. Extended Mode

Before we know about using two monitors, we need to know the ways of using two monitors. There are majorly two ways monitors work – Duplicate Mode and Extended Mode. Let’s understand them as this will help us choose the correct adapter.

Duplicate Mode / Mirror Mode

If two or more monitors are working in duplicate mode, they display the same output. This mode is used where one output needs to be shown in various places and in various displays. Duplicate mode is used for public gatherings, presentations, tutorials, etc…

And also, this mode has two names – Duplicate mode and Mirror mode. When we refer to one of them, we mean the above definition.

Extended Mode

If two or more monitors work in extended mode, they act like a giant monitor. They are synced with each other and can allow you to move your cursor from one to another monitors. Extended mode is used to have a large display area to arrange more panels. This mode is used for productivity.

Duplicate / Mirror Mode vs Extended Mode

How to connect two monitors without a Graphics card in Extended Mode?

Generally, if you have a graphics card, you can use two monitors without any other adapters. For a mid to high-end graphics card, there will be two HDMI or Display ports. The number of ports and types depends on the Graphics Card.

Use two monitors without Graphics Card (No GPU) - Extend Mode - Graphics Card with 2 Display ports, 2 HDMI ports, DVI-D port

If you have a graphics card, your two monitors’ input cables should be connected to a graphics card. But your monitor’s input cable should be connected to the motherboard if you don’t have a graphics processing unit. Motherboards have a single VGA or HDMI or Display Port.

We can connect one monitor’s cables to the motherboard but we can use the second monitor. Unless we have a second input port for our second monitor. So, how do we get another input port from our computer to connect the second monitor?

We have two options to connect two monitors with one computer. The first one is VGA Splitter or HDMI Splitter. The second one is USB to VGA or USB to HDMI. Let’s find out which is best for you.

Note: Don’t confuse this HDMI splitter with HDMI splitters that allow you to use a single monitor at once and act like switches. They are used for multicomputer with one monitor.

Caveat with Splitters

VGA Splitter

Generally, Splitters duplicate the output into two screens. So, splitters don’t work with extended mode. They work only with duplicate mode. So, they are not at all useful for us. They can’t be used for productivity. Even though they don’t work with extended mode, they have a use.

Splitters are used for duplicating output into two screens. They are not intended to be used by common computer users for productivity. They are intended to be used for events where many displays display a single output. They are used for public gatherings, presentations, tutorials, etc…

Solution – USB to VGA & USB to HDMI

The only way to use two monitors without a Graphics Card in Extended Mode is through USB to VGA or USB to HDMI adapters. They are cheap and affordable and solve the problem. You can get them on amazon and other e-commerce sites.

Note: USB to HDMI adapters are no longer available. But there is a chance of finding one. So, search on various e-commerce websites.

USB end should be connected to your computer, and HDMI and VGA ends are to be connected to your displays. After getting one of these adapters, you have to install drivers. The compatible drivers for these kinds of adapters are free and are available on the internet. They support all configurations and refresh rates.

How to solve low-resolution issues with USB to VGA and USB to HDMI adapters

Sometimes when these USB adapters are plugged in, they don’t support the full resolution or refresh rate of your display monitor. The output will be of less resolution and the display appears to be stretched. There is a simple trick to solve these kinds of problems.

This low-resolution issue occurs when you are using a USB 2.0 port. USB 2.0 port doesn’t allow high-speed data transfers. To fix this, you need to connect the USB end of the USB to VGA or USB to HDMI connectors to a USB 3.0 or higher port.

Generally, the front ports of low-end computers are USB 2.0. So, you may face this issue. You can find USB 3.0 or higher ports at the back of the cabinet or on the motherboard’s back panel.

Computer - Mother Board Back Panel

Do I recommend this trick?

Yes and No. I recommend this trick if you want to use lightweight software and applications for productivity.

And I don’t recommend this trick if you want to use this for gaming or any other CPU and GPU-intensive tasks. Your computer may lag if you are using an application that is resource intensive.

So, if you want to use this trick for gaming or video editing, you need to have a very powerful CPU with good integrated graphics or lightweight software.

At the end

I hope that this trick helped you. If you have any issues while using this trick, you can comment about them. We will reply to you and get them fixed. What are your thoughts on using this trick? Let me know in the comments.

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