Traders need multiple screens to accommodate all the charts, trading software, email, web browsers and other information. Having information available at a glance is much better than having to click through dozens of tabs to display the desired information. Most traders use anywhere from 2 screens all the way up to 12 or more.
One of the first questions we get is how to properly set up and configure the monitors. Does it take special software, or does Windows work all the magic? We’ll explore how to properly configure your displays with Windows 11 in this article.
The obvious benefit of using multiple monitors is increased screen space to get work done. Switching between tabs on a single monitor is time consuming. The more screens you have the more charts can be spread out to look at quickly. Can you use one or two very large monitors (or even tv screens) instead of more smaller monitors? Yes, it’s possible and some of our customers go that route, but it’s not always an ideal solution. Our recommendation is to use an array of three to eight 27″ screens.
First, make sure all the cables are properly connected to the monitors you’re using. Newer monitors will have input detection and will automatically choose the source that’s plugged in. If you have an older monitor you might need to manually select the input type to what is currently connected (HDMI, DVI, VGA or DisplayPort).
Which ports do you plug your monitors into on the back of the computer? Generally, you can plug into any port that you require, based on the port type needed. If you have multiple video cards installed, then plug your primary monitor into one of the ports in the top video card.
If your computer is brand new and this is the first time booting up the system we recommend only connecting one monitor initially. You’ll go through the Windows OOBE (out of box experience) then boot to the desktop for the first time. After that, shut down the computer and connect the additional monitors. Now boot up the system again. After you’ve successfully booted to the desktop again all your monitors should show up. If any of the monitors are still not showing anything check that your monitor is set to the correct display input. It’s also possible that individual monitors need to be turned on in the Windows display settings, we’ll cover that next.
On the desktop, right click on any empty spot on the desktop and the menu below will pop up. Click on “Display settings“.
Now you should see a screen similar to the one shown below. In this example there are 3 monitors and each of them are set to different screen resolutions, that’s why the 3 numbered boxes are different sizes. Windows will show each monitor as a gray box with a number, the blue one is currently selected so you can change the settings of that display.
At this point, if any of your screens are still showing nothing (the monitor is on and connected but you have a black screen) check and make sure each screen says “Extend desktop to this display“. Click on each of the numbered boxes and check the drop down menu in the lower right corner. If the screen is off it will say “Disconnect this display“.
You probably noticed in the above image that the 3 monitors are shown with different size boxes, that’s because each screen is a different size and is set to a different resolution. Screen #1 on the left is a 4K monitor and is set to 3840 x 2160 display resolution with the scaling set to a default of 150%. Windows will set a default scaling based on the resolution, sometimes it can be hard to read the text if the scaling isn’t increased on a 4k monitor. Screen #3 is set to 1600×900 and screen #4 is set to 1920×1080.
The monitors can be mixed with different screen sizes, brands, models and resolutions. It’s always best to buy an array of monitors that are all the same size, brand and model when possible. When the monitors are set to different resolutions moving the mouse from screen to screen isn’t the smoothest experience.
There are several options under “Multiple displays”. The monitor you want Windows designated as the primary monitor can be set by checking the box “Make this my main display”. The other 3 options should be checked for each screen to make the user experience better.
The physical layout of the monitors on your desk should match the layout of the monitors in display settings. Click the “identify” button and each monitor will display a number, then click and drag each of the monitor icons in display settings so they match the physical layout.
To modify what shows on your displays, press the Windows Key + P. Extend is the defaul and the most common setting, we recommend leaving it set to that.
Configuring a trading set up for multiple monitors is easier than it’s ever been. Windows has made the process incredibly simple and no extra software is necessary. All the settings we’ve went through can also be found in the NVIDIA control panel, there are a number of advanced settings that you won’t find in the Windows display settings. We recommend leaving most advanced NVIDIA settings as default. To explore NVIDIA settings type “NVIDIA Control Panel” in the Windows search box on the taskbar.