I've seen a few threads about this lately, so I figured I'd whip up a quick step by step tutorial to setting up dual monitors.
Dual monitors are a great way to increase productivity. It makes things a lot easier, ask anyone who's ever used a dual monitor setup. Once you go dual monitors, you'll never want to go back.
First, you need to have hardware that can support dual monitors. Obviously, you need at least 2 monitors, but you need the right graphics card. There are 2 ways to do this.
1) A single graphics card with 2 ports. You hook up one monitor to each port.
2) 2 graphics cards with at least 1 port each. Note that if you're using dual monitors, you cannot use SLI/Crossfire. So 2 of something like this:
After you've installed the video card(s), you need to set it up in the operating system. I'm going to cover Windows XP here.
1) Right click the desktop, and choose properties
2) Go to the Settings tab
3) Click the secondary monitor, and check the "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor" box
4)And finally, hit okay. It should be setup correctly now.