Do Two Monitors Slow Down Your Computer? The Truth About Dual Monitors

Do two monitors slow down your computer?

Nowadays a lot of people are using dual monitor computer setups. Having two monitors really help in accomplishing any task quickly and effectively which results in a significant increase in productivity.

But as we all know that everything has its advantages and drawbacks. So you might wonder about the drawbacks of this setup. While thinking of its possible drawbacks the question that will definitely come to your mind is that “Do two monitors slow down your computer?

Actually, if you use two monitors simultaneously for general work like web browsing, sending files, listening to music, etc. then it will not have any significant impact on your computer’s performance. But if you run software that demands high graphics like video editing software, CAD software such as AutoCAD/SolidWorks, Simulation software, or stream high-quality videos or play games then using two monitors will have a substantial impact on your computer’s performance. Moreover, the intensity of the impact is totally related to the power of your GPU as the GPU processes the visual data of a computer.

There are a lot of factors that determine whether a computer’s performance will be impacted or not if two monitors are used with it instead of one. In this article, we will walk you through all those factors separately.

Does a Second Monitor Slow Down Your Computer?

Generally speaking, a second monitor should not cause your computer to slow down. However, there are some factors to consider.

If your computer is old and your GPU is not that powerful then it may struggle to process the graphics of two monitors simultaneously. As a result, you’ll see lag in the computer’s performance.

GPU is the key component regarding the processing of graphics. Whether a computer’s performance will be slow or not due to having two monitors mostly depends on the power of its GPU.

Another thing that can slow down a computer is if you run resource-intensive applications like Video editing software or 3D modeling software on both of your monitors simultaneously. These software generally puts heavy workloads on the GPU and now as you are running them on both monitors at the same time so it kind of put a double load on your GPU.

Do Two Monitors Slow Down Your Computer?

Does Your Computer Need Any Additional Hardware to Run Two Monitors?

In most cases, you don’t need any additional equipment to run two monitors on your computer.

However, if you have an older PC then your GPU would also be old. It will be very burdensome for an old GPU to process the visual data for both screens at the same time.

So, in that case, you have to buy a new and powerful GPU for supporting two monitors simultaneously.

While buying a new GPU you may also have to change other components of your PC as many times old and new components don’t sync with each other well and sometimes they don’t sync at all. It actually depends on how old the computer is.

How Does the Resolution of Your Monitors Affect Your Computer’s Performance?

The resolution of your monitors is a key factor that has a substantial effect on your computer’s performance.

The higher the resolution of a monitor, the more pixels it has to display, which means that it requires more processing power and memory from the computer’s graphics card.

This could lead to decreased performance when running graphics-intensive programs or playing games, especially if the computer’s hardware is underpowered to handle the higher resolution.

If the graphics card of a computer is not powerful enough to handle high-resolution monitors, it may struggle to maintain a consistent frame rate when running games or other graphics-intensive applications. This may lead to a choppy or jerky performance.

Your computer will slow down if you connect two 4K monitors to it as a 4K monitor has a 3840*2160 resolution which requires a powerful video card. This problem will surely occur if your computer is old as old computers’ GPUs are not powerful enough to handle 4K monitors but if you have the latest computer with a powerful GPU then this problem may occur in a very subtle way.

Do Two Monitors Slow Down Your Computer?

How Does the Refresh Rate of Your Monitors Affect Your Computer’s Performance?

The refresh rate refers to the number of times per second the screen updates the image displayed.

Though a higher refresh rate will provide you with a smoother and more responsive experience but it will also demand more processing power from your computer’s graphics card. If your graphics card is not strong enough to handle such a heavy workload then it’ll cause a drop in Frames Per Second (FPS).

The refresh rate that you should set on your monitors depends on the power of your setup and the types of work that you’ll do.

If you have a new and powerful GPU then the possibility of it being able to handle two monitors without slowing down the PC is very high. But still, if you run graphics-intensive applications like running a game on one screen and also running a 3D modeling software on another screen at the same time then you might experience a lag in your computer’s performance.

How Does the Type of Connection Between Your Computer and Your Monitors Affect Performance?

If you connect two monitors to your computer then the type of connection you are using also influences the performance of your computer.

Suppose if you are using older connection types like the VGA or DVI then you can expect a little slow performance.

On the other hand, if you are using modern connection types like HDMI or DisplayPort then it’ll give a faster performance as they have higher bandwidth and transfer data quickly.

How Does the Ability of Your Graphics Card Affect Your Computer’s Performance?

Your graphics card is the most important component in determining whether you’ll face a slowdown or not when using two monitors on your computer.

Graphics card processes all the visual information for your monitor. If the graphics card is old or not powerful then it’ll not be able to handle high-quality graphics as more power is required to process them.

A powerful graphics card can handle higher resolutions and higher refresh rates and it’ll not have any noticeable problem in handling two monitors simultaneously.

If you have a computer setup with two monitors and are facing a slowdown on your computer’s performance then buying a new and powerful graphics card is an option you should consider.

Graphics card

How Does Using Two Monitors Increase the RAM Usage?

RAM or Random Access Memory is the short-term memory of a computer that stores the data of all the applications running on the computer. When the computer is switched off then every data gets erased from the RAM.

In the case of a dual monitor setup if you run the same number of applications in your computer even after attaching another monitor to it then the usage of its RAM will be the same.

On the other hand, if you plan to double the number of applications to run on your computer as you’ll add a secondary monitor in it then it’ll definitely consume more RAM space. In this case, you must add more RAM to your system.

How to Lessen Dual Monitor Lag

Now that you’ve got the answer of your question “Do two monitors slow down your computer?” We will now discuss what can you do to lessen the dual monitor lag.

There are a few things that you can do to reduce the lagging of your system.

  • Make sure that the settings on both of your displays are the same. Go to Windows and check whether the resolution, refresh rate and color settings are the same on both of your monitors. If not adjust them to the same settings. When the settings of your two monitors are different then the GPU struggles to render as now it has to make additional calculations or adjustments for different resolutions and refresh rates. This may result in lagging of your computer’s performance.
  • Update the drivers. You should make sure your graphics and software drivers are up to date. This will fix any outdated or corrupted files that are slowing down your computer.
  • Use your Integrated GPU. The graphics on your second display can be processed by your internal graphics card. This will significantly reduce the workload on the dedicated graphics card, improving performance all around.
  • Run only the applications that you are using right now. Programs running in the background consume a substantial amount of your computer’s power. So it’s necessary just to keep the applications you are currently using and to shut down any program that is not needed now for your work.

Final Verdict

I hope now you’ve got the answer to your question “Do two monitors slow down your computer?” You can see that it depends on a lot of factors.

So if you are planning to build a two-monitor setup you should keep all these factors in mind and organize your setup accordingly.


Can I use an external monitor with my laptop?

Yes, most modern laptops have a built-in port for connecting an external monitor. You can use that port for connecting an external monitor.

Can using two monitors damage my computer?

No, using two monitors will not damage your computer but if you are using an old or low-configuration computer then you may face a slowdown in your computer’s performance.

How do I know whether my computer will support dual monitors or not?

For this, you have to check the specification of your graphics card and the specifications required for the games or software that you are planning to use on your computer. If the specifications of your graphics card fall within the range of those games and software then you can go ahead. But if not then you will face a slowdown while running the game or software on both screens simultaneously.

Do I need a specific operating system to use two monitors?

No, you don’t need any specific operating system for using two monitors on your computer. Most modern OS like Windows and macOS support dual monitor setup.

Does using two monitors affect my computer’s power consumption?

Yes, using two monitors will increase your computer’s power consumption. Though usually it will not be significant but if you are concerned about it then you can customize your computer’s settings to conserve energy.

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