Will Using Dual Monitors Affect Gaming Performance?

Discover the impact of using dual monitors on gaming performance. Learn how factors like GPU load, VRAM usage, resolution, and multitasking can affect your gaming experience.

Explore when dual monitors may or may not impact performance and get tips on optimizing your setup for the best gaming experience.

In today’s gaming industry, connecting two monitors to the same PC is standard practice. Nowadays, having one monitor for your main game is usually insufficient because you want to be able to use the other for online browsing, Discord chat, or viewing videos.

The subject of whether running two monitors has an influence on performance does occasionally arise, and while the majority of people would say there isn’t one, is that really the case? In this piece of writing, we’ll delve a little deeper into this subject

 Effect Of Dual Monitor

Gaming Simplified has done research to determine the benefits of using one monitor over two. They discovered that the best FPS was obtained without a second monitor.

However, having a second monitor open and showing, for example, merely an article will essentially have no impact on your frame rate.

However, your FPS will decrease if you use a second monitor to watch YouTube videos or broadcast on Twitch.

Despite the decrease, it will only be by about 10 FPS, therefore it might not have a significant effect on your ability to game. However, if you play video games competitively, this can have an impact on how well you do.

Gaming performance can be slightly impacted by having dual monitors, but for the majority of users, this effect is usually minimal unless you’re straining your system or running a lot of demanding programs at once.

As long as you’re conscious of system resources and settings, the impact on gaming performance should be minor because modern GPUs and systems are built to handle twin monitors efficiently.

Factors Affecting Gaming Performance

Dual monitor utilization can affect gaming performance, however, most users won’t notice much of a difference. When using two monitors, the following elements may have an impact on your gaming performance:

GPU Load: 

Your GPU must simultaneously render images for both panels in order to run games on multiple monitors. Compared to playing the game on a single monitor, this may result in an increase in GPU demand.

Modern GPUs are built to easily manage multiple screens, so the impact on performance is typically negligible unless you’re running a lot of demanding applications at once or using very high resolutions.

VRAM Usage: 

Due to the GPU’s need to store textures, frame buffers, and other data for both screens when playing games on multiple monitors, the VRAM consumption may increase. If you’re using high resolutions or playing graphically intensive games, this increased utilization could 


somewhat reduce the amount of VRAM that is available for the game. However, unless you’re using all of your GPU’s available VRAM, the effect on speed is typically minimal.

Resolution and Refresh Rate: 

Gaming performance may be impacted by the two displays’ combined resolution and refresh rate. More GPU processing power is needed to render graphics at higher resolutions and refresh rates, which may lead to slower frame rates or worsened performance.

When playing on two monitors at once, the effect will be more apparent than when playing on just one. The impact on gaming performance should be negligible if you just use one monitor for gaming and the other for less demanding applications.

Multitasking and Background Applications:

Dual monitors provide the benefit of allowing gamers to multitask while playing. However, running resource-intensive programs or having several background processes might use up system resources (CPU, RAM), which might have an impact on how well games function. To maximize system resources for the game, it is advised to close unneeded apps and processes when gaming.

Testing Dual-Monitor Performance

Gaming Simplified investigated the performance differences between using a single monitor and using two at once. This is what they did:

source: digitaltrends

They started by launching Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor from Steam, running the benchmark eight times and using the second display for various tasks.

The game was being tested at 3440 x 1440 resolution, Ultra settings, and uncapped FPS, with an Asus GTX 1080 TI OC. The second display had a 2560 x 1440 resolution.

To increase the amount of work the GPU had to do, they ran the game at Ultra graphics settings. One of the most potent graphics cards was used, which greatly aided the test. Four distinct tests were performed on the second monitor, an Asus PB277, which used the resolution mentioned earlier. We performed each test twice.

The evaluations performed are listed below:

  • When the graphics card is not connected to the second monitor
  • Using full-screen mode and online video.
  • Viewing a web page in Chrome.
  • Streaming in full-screen on Twitch.

After that, Gaming Simplified calculated their average based on the average of the two standards. Perhaps not surprisingly, not having a second monitor gave the highest frame rates, even though Chrome was just open with one item open on the second display. In essence, your frames won’t change whether you have a second monitor or not if you only use it to read things.

When the Dual Monitors Won’t Affect the Gaming Performance

Firstly, having dual monitors won’t harm your gaming performance if you’re using the newest GPU. It’s because the majority of GPUs can simultaneously generate images on several monitors and have several video outputs.

Additionally, many monitors can be supported by the GPU’s memory without noticeably degrading performance. Once more, the second monitor doesn’t use a lot of power.

The normal GPU power requirement for using a second display is only 1%. Additionally, depending on the display resolution, it uses roughly 200MB of RAM. Furthermore, for top-tier graphics cards like the 3080 or 6800XT, this additional load is minuscule. Additionally, having two displays will have an impact on the CPU. 

Despite the minor RAM use, the dual monitor normally has little impact on RAM. Additionally, there is no connection between RAM and the ability to use two monitors.

When Does the Dual Monitors Affect Gaming Performance?

In general, using two monitors shouldn’t affect how well you play games. The performance of video games can be impacted by budget GPUs, though. For lower-end GPUs like the 1050ti or 1650, it might be evident.

Even for these cheaper GPUs, the performance impact is often extremely minimal. There is one additional item that stands out. Although the GPU is largely unaffected by dual monitor setups, it might still result in increased current flow, which raises the erature.

Consequently, the GPU will undoubtedly heat up, and a temperature that is too high occasionally causes the GPU to burn (this is an extremely rare occurrence).


Depending on your hardware, the resolution and refresh rate of your displays, and the particular games you play, the effect of a second monitor on gaming performance might vary greatly.

In some circumstances, the performance hit might be minimal, especially if your computer is capable of multitasking and playing games at the same time.

Consider changing your display settings, shutting down unneeded background programs, updating drivers, and ensuring your system can handle the demands of the games you’re playing if you’re having performance problems while using a second monitor. Disconnecting the second monitor during gaming sessions may assist performance if you observe a noticeable performance decline.

How to Improve Dual Monitor Performance?

System settings, hardware, and usage patterns all need to be optimized if you want to get the most out of dual monitors. Here are some pointers to improve the performance of dual monitors:

Use a high-quality cable:

 When connecting your monitor to your computer, it is usually advisable to use a high-quality cable. Flickering or slow refresh rates can be caused by a cable that was poorly manufactured or has damage.

Adjusting display settings:

The next step is to optimize performance by adjusting your display settings. You may ease the burden on your graphics card, for instance, by lowering the screen resolution or refresh rate.

Close out-of-the-way programs:

 To free up system resources, you can also close any apps that aren’t being used on the second monitor.

Make use of a separate graphics card:

 An integrated graphics solution is less effective than a discrete graphics card in managing numerous screens.

Update your graphics card drivers:

Make sure you have the most recent graphics card drivers by updating your graphics card drivers. Outdated drivers might compromise performance and lead to compatibility problems.

Apply a balanced power strategy:

 To make sure that your computer is using resources effectively, choose a balanced power plan in the power settings.

Verify the monitors are compatible:

 Try to match the settings of your monitors as nearly as you can if you’re using two different models. This covers options like contrast, brightness, and color balance is might ease eye strain and provide a cozier atmosphere at your desk.

Tweak your taskbar:

The taskTaskbaruld be tweaked such that each display has its own Tlessn to lessen clutter and make it easier for you to keep track of your open windows.


 Depending on what you are doing on your second monitor, the resolution you are playing at, and the graphics card you have, it may slow down your game’s performance. However, the frame rate was still consistently between 125 and 130, which is more than enough for the majority of players. Additionally, if you are using a wireless mouse and lose the dongle, don’t panic!

You would most likely observe the same outcomes as I did, with all figures in the 10 FPS area, if you scaled the resolution and graphics card to your level. If not, I would assume that either your graphics card is insufficiently powerful or that you are running your games at very high settings.

To prevent eye strain, make sure the new monitor offers the proper brightness and contrast before purchasing one. Check out our opinion on curved vs. flat gaming monitors as well as our picks for the best PS5-compatible monitors.

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