Multi-monitor – How to: Duplicated screen and extended desktop

In relation to some of our digital signage Mini-PCs the term “multi-monitor” is often mentioned. There are many different subitems behind this pretty complex topic which we want to present you in this new series. Today we want to show how to duplicate your screen and extend your desktop.

Basically, it should be noted that a PC can only control as many monitors as it has multimedia interfaces. Depending on the type of interface, CPU and graphics card the resolution of the content can vary. Our spo-comm Mini-PCs are all equipped with at least two multimedia ports.

What is a duplicated screen?

A duplicated screen is literally just a screen that is doubled on to another monitor, which means that on both displays the same content is shown. But also the reflection on a TV or a projector is possible.

How To: To duplicate the screen the first step is connecting and setting up a second monitor. In case of a Windows-PC press the key combination “Windows” and “P” and then choose the option “Duplicate” (see picture 2, second selection from the left).

What is an extended desktop?

The difference between an extended desktop and the duplicated screen is that the former one doesn’t double the display. On each of the connected monitors a different content can be seen.

The biggest advantage of an extended desktop is that it creates more working space. On one of the displays can be worked actively and the other one can be used as a storage area – just to give an example. Also video walls that are used in the digital signage field count on the extended desktop. Because they are controlled by more powerful graphics card, you can find out more about this topic in one of the upcoming articles soon.

How To: As well as for the duplicated screen another display has to be connected. The key combination is also “Windows” and “P”. By selection the option “Extend” Windows creates a blank desktop on the second screen on which programs and tabs can be moved now.

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18 Mar 2019 Array ( [id] => 393 [title] => Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article. [description] =>

Integrated graphics cards (IGP)

A graphics processing unit – or shortly GPU – is integrated when it is a part of the chipset on the motherboard or on the same die with the CPU. The first option is called an onboard graphics card.

Since an integrated graphics card has no own memory, it utilizes – just like all the other programs – a part of the system’s RAM. How high the amount of this part is, can be controlled via the BIOS or dynamically by the system itself.

Our Mini-PCs with an Intel CPU are equipped with the integrated graphics card Intel GMA or the successor Intel HD Graphics.

Pros and cons of an IGP

Because an integrated GPU has no own video RAM it needs just a small amount of space. Combined with the feature of the low power consumption it is perfectly made for the use in small devices such as notebooks or tablets. They also cost less because no separate fan is needed. Such graphics cards can be used for any common office program or the use in the industrial field. Due to the low clock rate and the fact that it shares the RAM with every other application, an IGP has a substantially lower performance than a dedicated graphics card.

Dedicated graphics cards

In contrast to an onboard-graphics card, a dedicated graphics card holds an own video memory, or short VRAM. It is connected to the mainboard via a PCI-, PCIe- or an AGP-port.

At the moment we have four Mini-PCs in our product portfolio with a dedicated graphics card. The spo-book KUMO IV and the spo-book RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti are equipped with an Nvidia GeForce graphics card. The two other ones are the spo-book QUADRO P1000 – which is equipped with the namesake graphics card – and the spo-book NOVA Q170 that can be stocked up with an Nvidia Quadro P2000.

Pros and cons of a dedicated graphics card

The biggest advantage of a dedicated graphics card is that is has an own VRAM. That’s why the RAM can be relieved and used for other programs. Another pro is that these peripheral devices are clocked way faster and thus are more performant. Especially for the use in workstations or the demanding digital signage field, where many monitors are controlled simultaneously or programs like Adobe Photoshop or CAD for 3D modeling are used, a dedicated graphics card is absolutely needed. The enormous performance is accompanied by a high power consumption and heat development. That’s why a separate fan is needed, ergo much more space than with an IGP is occupied.

It can be summarized that a dedicated graphics card is not necessarily needed for standard applications as mentioned above. But for demanding implementations or multi-monitor solutions in the digital signage field they are very relevant.

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know-how
Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits
We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article.
7 Aug 2019 Array ( [id] => 441 [title] => Multi-monitor with AMD Ryzen™ and Radeon™ Vega [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => For the last part of our multi-monitor series we want to take a closer look on the settings for the multi-monitoring with AMD and what special features these graphic chips have. [description] =>

AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega graphics card

At the beginning of 2018 the first AMD Ryzen™ desktop processors with integrated Radeon™ Vega graphics card were released. Due to this all-in-one solution customers no longer need separate processors and graphics cards – perfect for everyone, who uses desktop devices and appreciates high performance. According to AMD, the Ryzen™ processors with Radeon™ Vega graphics card “deliver powerful multiprocessing out-of-the-box” due to the 4 cores and up to 8 processing threads. In addition to this, they also provide a high level of responsiveness in applications that use the GPU acceleration. (Source: amd.com)

Duplicating & extending: Multi-monitor via Windows settings

The easiest way to duplicate or extend the screen when using an AMD graphics card is – as well as for Intel and Nvidia – via the Windows settings. These can be called up with a right click on the desktop either under the name “resolution” (Windows 7) or “display settings” (Windows 10). Those of you who want it even faster can use the short cut Windows and P.

Eyefinity technology: AMD Catalyst Control Center

For the multi-monitoring AMD provides a special feature, too. It is called Eyefinity and stands for a technology with which the screen can be multiplied. This technology is made for gamers and professional users and developers. Using the Radeon™ graphics cards, up to six displays can be connected.

The settings for Eyefinity cannot be found in the standard Windows settings, but in AMD’s own graphics card driver tool. Once this had the name Crimson and is nowadays called Catalyst Control Center – or short CCC. This tool can also be called up with a right click on the desktop. How an Eyefinity display group can be set up is shown in this video.

Non-Embedded AMD GPUs

Next to the Embedded-GPUs AMD also provides separate graphic processors. You can find a summary of the desktop and mobile processors here. By using a native AGP interface, the GPUs can be inserted into PCI graphics cards. Also, the settings for the multi monitoring with non-embedded GPUs is identical with the ones that are mentioned above.

AMD PCs from spo-comm

The product portfolio of spo-comm provides two AMD based Mini-PCs. On one hand we have our passively cooled RUGGED Ryzen that can play content in a resolution of 4K@60Hz on up to four displays at the same time. This is ensured by its Ryzen V1807B CPU with integrated Vega 11 GPU. On the other hand there is our KUMO Ryzen, which is the AMD counterpart to our best seller in the digital signage field KUMO IV. This Mini-PC is also equipped with a performant Ryzen V1807B processor and the Vega 11 GPU. Using its four DisplayPorts the system is perfectly made for the use in digital signage applications in the high end field.

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know-how
Multi-monitor with AMD Ryzen™ and Radeon™ Vega
For the last part of our multi-monitor series we want to take a closer look on the settings for the multi-monitoring with AMD and what special features these graphic chips have.
14 Apr 2020 Array ( [id] => 411 [title] => Multi-Monitor with Nvidia GeForce and Quadro [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => A few weeks ago we already looked at how integrated graphics cards deal with Multi-Monitoring. Today it is all about the dedicated graphics cards GeForce and Quadro by Nvidia and what features they have. [description] =>

Nvidia GeForce: Gaming cards for professional use

The series of GeForce cards by Nvidia is perfectly made for the use in the consumer field. The cards are supposed to provide ultimate PC gaming experiences. Due to the smooth replay of 4K content or even virtual reality applications, the cards can not only be used gaming but also for professional applications.

For the Quadro as well as the GeForce cards the feature Nview comes as standard. Using this feature, the screen can be used and designed much more efficiently and is thus, perfectly made for everyone who is working with different windows or a huge amount of data at the same time. The work can on one hand be distributed to many screens or, on the other hand, to virtual desktops on which can be toggled between by keystroke.

The Nvidia architecture CUDA is also standard for both these graphics card series. It is made to increase the processing power when applications are running parallel, for instance when editing images or videos. In this article we summarized more about CUDA.

Also at spo-comm you can find a Mini-PC with a GeForce graphics card. The RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti is equipped with the namesake GPU. It has 768 CUDA cores and can play content on up to seven screens at once.

Nvidia Quadro for workstations with MOSAIC

The name Quadro stands for a desktop graphics cards developed by Nvidia for the use in the creative and technology field. Next to a very performant graphics processor and a high storage, they also provide 8K display outputs just to give an example. With these features they ensure that professional workflows are sped up.

Only the Nvidia Quadro cards bring along this special feature called MOSAIC. It is designated to interconnect the displays to one group, so that they build one big screen. One significant benefit of MOSAIC is that the displays can be placed not only next to each other, but also in a grid. Depending on which graphics card is being used, grids of for example 2 x 2 screens can be realized. But the most important advantage is actually another one: With MOSAIC it is possible to disconnect one display during the application without the arrangement being dissolved or changed.

In the range of spo-comm Mini-PCs there are two systems with a Quadro graphics card. Our QUADRO P1000 is standardly equipped with the namesake P1000 with 640 CUDA cores and the NOVA Q170 can optionally be equipped with the P2000 with 1024 CUDA cores.

Nvidia Turing™ for real-time ray tracing

In 2018, Nvidia introduced its “revolutionary” Turing™ architecture. Together with the GeForce RTX™ graphics platform the GPUs offer real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence and new shading technologies. The razor-sharp, realistic images and special effects are perfectly made for the gaming field, but they can also be utilised in professional digital signage applications. 

Another detail of the Turing GPUs is the feature Nview which we already know from the GTX graphics cards. This feature is explained in the first section “Nvidia GeForce: Gaming cards for professional use”.

Our KUMO V, that was released in February 2020, is equipped with an Nvidia RTX 2060. This graphics card has 6GB integrated DDR6-RAM and 1920 CUDA cores. It provides an ultrahigh performance for graphics applications and also in the Virtual Reality field. Of course, on four displays at once with a resolution of 4K@60Hz.

GeForce, Quadro & Turing: Duplicated screen and extended desktop

As well as for integrated graphics cards, it is also possible with dedicated ones to duplicate the screen or extend the desktop. As we already mentioned in our last article of this series this can be set up via the screen resolution (Windows 7) or display settings (Windows 10). Where onboard cards only support a maximum of 3 displays, GeForce and Quadro can control up to 8.

Nvidia provides a website with a configurator that shows every connection possibility with a GeForce card.

To set up such specific features the graphics cards driver and the associated management tool is needed. Nvidia calls its own Nvidia Control Panel. How to set up MOSAIC with your Quadro card you can find here.

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Multi-Monitor with Nvidia GeForce and Quadro
A few weeks ago we already looked at how integrated graphics cards deal with Multi-Monitoring. Today it is all about the dedicated graphics cards GeForce and Quadro by Nvidia and what features they have.