The use of external monitors with a laptop has been a mainstay for many users who have the capability to do so but have been hesitant to take the plunge. The increase of screen real-estate surely seems enticing particularly now that most laptop screen sizes continue to get smaller and smaller by design.
But a common question that always remains is, does the use of a monitor with a laptop decrease performance?
As a general guide, the use of an external monitor with a laptop does not reduce the performance. The external laptop monitor receives media data from the laptop’s graphics card as a mirrored signal.
This mirrored signal is then carried to the external monitor via an HDMI cord or a VGA cable. The only reason why this configuration might not be beneficial to performance (at least in some instances) is if your screen size and resolution do not match what your graphics card is optimized for.
For example, if you have a laptop with a Radeon R9 390 card and you only use an external monitor that still has a resolution of 1280×800 then your laptop will be rendering graphics that it has no way to output.
This may end up leaving GPU resources starving and potentially resulting in either poor performance or even an inability for the graphics card to render at all – both equally bad scenarios.
Your best bet is to download and run a free application called AMD Radeon™ Settings. This application will give you the information that you need to take an educated guess as to whether or not your external monitor configurations are optimized for both performance and display quality.
If you’re using the same brand of laptop as your graphics card, then each time that you connect an external monitor to your laptop, you should be able to check and see whether or not you’ve successfully connected the monitors by opening up your Display Manager.
But if you use both screens together, due to the lack of ports on your laptop, monitor resolution can be reduced. In this case, the performance may decrease.
Overall, if you connect multiple monitors to your laptop through an HDMI cord or a VGA cable, then it will not reduce your performance. However, performance decreases when screens of different resolutions are connected.
In short, an external monitor will not decrease the performance of a laptop when used with one.
In fact, using an external monitor is a more efficient option for users who want to do more than one thing at a time, such as watching a movie while they’re working on their laptops.
Does Connecting A Monitor Affect FPS?
While most laptops GPU and CPU are optimized to render at their optimal performance when used together, there are some laptop graphics cards that may drop in framerate if the external monitor resolution is different than what is set on your laptop.
In general, connecting external laptop monitors affects the FPS. While having more screen space is beneficial, most laptops are built for portability since gamers are generally quite mobile.
This means that the weight, battery life, and cooling of your laptop will be affected by adding additional monitors.
How Does Laptop Connectivity To External Monitors Affect Battery Life?
Laptop connections to external monitors affect the GPU, CPU and even the laptop’s battery life as the processors are put under more strain.
With this in mind, it’s important to make sure to always connect your external monitor through an HDMI cord or a VGA cable if you want to play at top frame rates. If you use both screens together, due to the lack of ports on your laptop, monitor resolution can be reduced.
If you’re someone who is always on the move, laptops generally aren’t known for their amazing battery power: some can geek out around an hour of constant use on a single full charge and only about half of that if you’re doing anything serious with it like gaming or video editing.
If you are using multiple screens, your game’s FPS can be reduced if your laptop’s graphics card is not powerful enough to handle rendering at that resolution.
As a general rule, connecting external monitors will reduce performance in most cases however it depends on how good your hardware is.
The solution here would be to run a game profile through Radeon™ Settings – an AMD application that allows users with AMD graphics cards to optimize all aspects of their game.
Some titles will allow the user to manually determine which configurations they want for each monitor that is connected, whereas others might cause your computer to automatically detect settings that are best suited for its hardware configuration.
The general rule here would be that you should only use one external monitor if you’re looking to run at the top frame rates possible.
Do you need more RAM for dual monitors?
As adding more daisy-chained external monitors to your laptop impacts the performance of the laptop, you would think that adding more ram would resolve the performance of a laptop using multiple monitors, but does adding more RAM for dual-monitor setups help improve the performance of a laptop?
In general, adding more RAM for a laptop using dual external monitors increases the performance of the laptop. The GPU uses more processing power when external monitors are used, so having more RAM will help to reduce slow-downs and stuttering in games.
Is It Easier To Play With External Monitors?
In general, using external monitors is easier than playing on one laptop monitor because it allows gamers to see more of the map at once and notice enemies who might be sneaking up on them from a different angle.
The general rule here is that if you have the hardware to support it, adding screens for a better view of what’s going on can make a significant impact on your play style and could even give you an edge over the competition.
If you’re going to connect more than one screen then three or four screens is ideal as it allows a gamer to have a better view of the map, and in-game character’s status bars.
Overall, more RAM for your media source means more power because the computer’s operating system doesn’t have to constantly shuffle data around between the internal and external memory.
If your gaming rig is set up for playing with multiple screens, more RAM for your computer will improve performance in games, reduce stuttering and reduce frame dropping on higher resolutions.
Do external monitors use RAM?
As a general guide, external monitors for laptops do not use RAM, with the exception of video cards that are designed for dual-monitor setups.
If you’re connecting an external monitor to a laptop, you have essentially added another display to your computer. This means that if you have too many monitors connected, this will max out the memory on your system’s RAM if your setup demands for the onboard graphics cards to demand more PSU capacity than normal.
Overall, external monitors have nothing to do with RAM, but it depends on how powerful your setup is.
Using multiple monitors means you have to have enough RAM for the computer’s operating system to run everything efficiently.
Can external displays be used for dual display laptop gaming?
If you’re looking to use an external monitor for a gaming laptop, cheaper laptops might not be able to support this, but the majority of laptops on the market should be able to run a dual-display setup.
In general, it’s better to use one external monitor with a laptop for gaming because the screen has been designed specifically for that machine.
Using two separate screens can cause your computer to stutter and slow down when you’re in action-packed sequences because the computer has to allocate processing power to both screens.
If you’re wanting to use an external monitor with a laptop, it’s important that you buy one that is designed for your machine and check whether your hardware supports this before making a purchase.