3 Monitor Setup: Here’s everything you need to know

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For many, a 3 monitor setup is the perfect way to enhance their gaming and productivity experience. However, moving from a single monitor to a triple monitor setup can be more difficult than you first thought. Luckily we have a lot of experience when it comes to multi-screen setups and in this guide we explain everything you need to know about triple monitor setups.

Three monitor setups have grown in popularity over the years with many of the best racing sim setups using a 3 monitor setup. However, it’s not just about gaming. Twitch streamers, multitaskers, and everyday users will all find benefits in using more than one monitor – effectively tripling the amount of desktop space they previously had.

All in all, we’re here to cover everything you need to know when it comes to a 3 monitor setup. In this simple guide, we’ll explain how to set up a three monitor setup, which monitors are great for use with multiple displays, how 3 monitor setups compare to dual monitor setups, and more.

What is a 3 monitor setup?

A three-monitor setup is a computer setup that uses three monitors at the same time. In 3-monitor setups, the relevant monitors can be aligned in any arrangement and connected via HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, DVI or Thunderbolt 3.

As you can imagine, a 3 monitor setup can be incredibly versatile. Whether your interests are gaming, content consumption, productivity, or editing, most people can benefit from using a triple monitor setup. They’re especially handy for people who like running numerous tabs and processes at the same time, allowing them to maintain a high level of productivity on a second or third screen.

For gaming, racing simulation is probably the most common use case for a 3-monitor setup. However, many games support a multi-screen setup, allowing you to experience your virtual world from a completely different angle.

Are 3 monitor setups worth it?

It all depends on what you plan to do when you are at your PC. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys playing competitive games but does a little work on the side, you probably won’t reap the full benefits of a triple monitor setup. However, for people using Twitch, a triple monitor setup can be extremely versatile.

Popular streamers use 2 or even 3 monitors to ensure that they not only interact with their audience but also give them the freedom to switch seamlessly between their streaming software and other applications. Having a dedicated third monitor for your Twitch chat is also incredibly handy as it allows you to engage with a larger percentage of your audience.

Aside from twitch streaming, a 3 monitor setup is also great for productivity users and traders. If you want to keep tabs on several different stocks or currencies, the best way to do this is with multiple screens. Some people love having bitcoin prices visible at all times — especially considering the volatility of the cryptocurrency.

Below we have listed the most common scenarios that would benefit from a three monitor setup:

  • Racing Simulator/Gamer
  • dealer
  • Video/Photo Editor
  • productivity user
  • Individual work in social media
  • Twitch Streamer
  • journalist

Is a 3 monitor setup expensive?

It all depends on the monitors you intend to use. There are many smaller, budget-focused 24-inch monitors that are great for triple-monitor setups. You don’t have to get the best gaming monitors for a multi-screen configuration – you can go with something a lot less premium.

However, if you want a great gaming experience, you must prioritize high refresh rates and low response times. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed with screen artifacts like tears and smudges.

Overall, you can create a 3 monitor setup for any budget. If you want the cheapest possible setup and don’t prioritize gaming, you can grab three inexpensive 60Hz monitors and get started. However, if you plan to play regularly, you will likely need to pay a premium for at least one of the screens in your setup.

Three monitor setup vs dual monitor setup

So are you going for a dual monitor setup or a three monitor setup? Of course, the triple monitor setup is much more versatile than the dual, as it comes with an additional 24-inch (minimum) screen real estate. However, you may not need this extra workspace.

If you think you can be more productive with a dual monitor setup, you’ll save yourself a few bucks doing it. Of course, if you’re only getting two monitors, you can pick up a little more premium options, giving you a better experience from monitor to monitor.

In addition, two monitors only require two input cables from the GPU. Let’s not forget that not every GPU offers three video inputs – meaning you may be limited to a dual-monitor setup.

How to set up 3 monitors on one computer

If you’re interested in a 3 monitor setup, let’s take a closer look at how to set one up.

Luckily, setting up 3 monitors on your computer is incredibly easy. However, there are some pre-checks you need to do.

1. Check your GPU for video inputs

One of the first things to do before purchasing the monitors is to see if your GPU can accommodate a triple monitor setup.

Check the back of your GPU to see if three inputs are available. If so, then let’s go to the races.

2. Make sure you have enough cables

Next you need to make sure you have all the relevant cables for your new setup. You’ll need to match your cables to the inputs on the back of your GPU – as not all GPUs offer three HDMI or DisplayPort options.

Instead, you’ll often find each GPU with a mix of inputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, DVI).

3. Look for available outlets

While this may sound simple, it’s something that people often overlook. Make sure you have all available outlets before you begin.

4. Connect your monitors to the GPU

Once you have all the cables, inputs, and jacks available, start connecting your displays to the GPU.

At this point, it might be worth labeling each cable with numbers (sticky label) so you can easily identify which cable goes with which monitor.

While this may sound silly, it helps when you need to swap out monitors, cables, or just reorganize your setup.

5. Turn on all monitors and make sure they register with the PC

At this stage, each monitor should turn on and display either a black screen or your desktop wallpaper. If your monitor’s standby light is not active or you see the monitor cycling through the display inputs, chances are it is not being recognized by the PC.

In this case you may need to go to the next step and try to register the monitor manually. Of course, a monitor that doesn’t work with a PC is pretty slim, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

6. Configure your 3 monitor setup in Windows display settings

At this stage you want to go into yours Windows display settings (Right click on the desktop and select from the options) to configure them properly. If you are not lucky, you will often find that the monitors are misaligned.

For example, the monitor on the far left was actually assigned the middle position – and so on.

Inside Windows display settings You can drag and drop the monitors into the right orientation.

If you don’t know which monitor is which, just ‘Identify‘ the monitors by pressing ‘Identify’ button below the screen configuration area of Windows display settings.

7. Save your monitor configuration settings and you are done

You can apply the settings at the bottom of the window. If prompted to confirm settings, simply confirm and close the window.

Best monitors for a 3 monitor setup

If you’re interested in a more versatile multi-monitor setup, you’re probably wondering what the best monitors are for the job. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience with monitors, so we can recommend displays for all scenarios.

Below we have listed some of the best monitors for 3 monitor setups:

Best gaming monitors for 3 monitor setup

Asus VG278Q

Asus VG279Q

The ASUS VG279Q might be a dated panel now, but it still offers excellent value for money and decent gaming performance in a triple monitor setup. It offers a respectable 144Hz refresh rate, a response time of just 1ms and IPS panel technology.

Best editing monitor for multi-monitor setup

Acer B287K

Acer B287K monitor

The Acer B287K is a great monitor for a dual/triple monitor setup. It offers good sRGB spectrum coverage, decent colors right out of the box, and an sRGB emulation preset that’s incredibly accurate. Despite only having a 4ms response time and a low 60Hz reference rate, it brings 4K resolution to the party.

You can read the full Acer B287K monitor review here.

Best budget monitor for triple monitor configuration

Acer Nitro VG240Y

Acer Nitro VG240Y

The Acer Nitro VG240Y is a budget monitor that ticks many of the right boxes despite its price. It might not be as big as the previous two mentions, but it still offers enough screen real estate when it comes to a 3-monitor setup. It features an IPS panel, a fast 1ms response time, and a 1080p screen resolution — not a bad combination of specs for everyday use.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, our quick guide to 3 monitor setups. Hopefully we’ve explained everything you need to know if you’re considering upgrading your current gaming setup. If not, feel free to ask us a question in the comments section and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.