Best way to provide multiple video ports on office PCs?

sasllc
sasllc used Ask the Experts™
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I run across business customers who want to use multiple monitors, but their computers don't offer enough video ports and/or the wrong types.  Typically they are on Win10 or Win7.

I can install a video card, or I can connect multiple USB adapters, such as USB- to-HDMI.  Keeping in mind that this is just for small office use, I need guidance as to whether one of these methods is the definite "best choice"--and why.  TIA
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Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
Running video out a USB port is silly I/M/O, as it has the potential to chew up all the USB bandwidth on that PCI-to-USB bridge.  Dual-port video cards run about $40 each new and $15 used.  I/M/O the only time to use USB video adapters is when the system has no available slots (e.g., SFF, AIO, laptop) or the owner forbids it.  YMMV.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I agree - USB is great for impromptu needs - take your laptop to a client's office and barrow a monitor - or if you need the right kind of port to connect to a particular projector.

But with most onboard video cards (especially ones that only provide one monitor port to begin with, a cheap $50 card that supports 2 monitors will probably outperform and be more reliable then trying to use USB.

I'll also note, older USB ones can  suck up some of the bandwidth of the USB bus (which I believe is shared) - this means using video can slow file transfers to USB devices.  Lastly, some USB to VGA adapters I used had limitations as to where the monitor was logically positioned.

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