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Does Having Two Monitors Affect FPS?

As an owner of two monitors, I was frustrated to find out that my gaming experience was suffering from decreased FPS. After doing some research and testing, I wanted to share my findings and potential solutions with other gamers who are experiencing the same issue. In this blog post, I will discuss the potential impact of having two monitors on FPS, and how to address the issue if it arises.

Now if you’re wondering if using two monitors can affect the FPS, the short answer is yes. However, the degree depends on your computer activities. 

Frames per second (FPS) measures how many still pictures a monitor can play in a second. The higher the FPS, the more pictures are shown, thus resulting in high-quality playback. In contrast, a lower FPS can result in laggy playback— and nobody wants that. 

Can Two Monitors Affect My FPS? 

It mainly depends on what you play on your monitors. Any program that requires your GPU to speed up, like editing and gaming to provide HD playback will most likely impact your FPS, especially if you’re doing them simultaneously. 

However, experiments show that gaming while reading an article on the other monitor can do little to nothing to your FPS. On the other hand, watching on Youtube or live streaming can lessen your FPS to up to around five to eight FPS. 

What Affects My FPS? 

Rather than the monitors, major variables affect your monitor’s FPS. See the following factors to help your computer achieve an optimum FPS: 

1. Your PC’s GPU & CPU 

If you’re into gaming or editing, your GPU and CPU matter greatly. The efficiency of your GPU can only be as excellent as your CPU, and vice versa. 

For starters, your CPU determines how fast instructions are sent, while the GPU works on how well these instructions will be displayed on the screen. Buying an outdated version of either one of these can cause bottleneck issues. 

Check the specs of your GPU and CPU to make sure they’re matched. As a rule of thumb, buy the latest versions of CPUs, as GPUs are much quicker to upgrade. The goal is to let your CPU be compatible with most GPUs. 

Also, keep your GP drivers updated by checking their manufacturer’s website for new drivers. 

2. Your PC’s Motherboard and RAM 

The motherboard may not directly affect your FPS, but it determines the efficiency of your PC’s components. For example, the voltage regulator module (VRM) is a part of the motherboard that converts usable power to the CPU. Higher power means better CPU performance. 

On the other hand, the RAM is the memory of your computer. A lower memory can cause your PC processes to slow down. However, this will not be an issue for recent PCs because recent releases have built-in 16GB RAM that works for most gaming activities. 

It will only cause problems if your RAM is around 4GB-8GB. Having said this, make sure that your motherboard and RAM are also updated to keep up with other components. 

3. Your Game Graphic Setting 

Sometimes what’s causing a low FPS is your game setting. Try some tweaking in these areas to see significant changes in your FPS. 

Display Resolution

Try adjusting the resolution that wouldn’t exhaust your GPU. For example, if your monitor is 1080p, lower the resolution to 1280×720. Exceeding beyond, or sometimes putting the maximum resolution, can strain your GPU and slow down your PC. 

Though this would lessen the quality of the graphics a little bit, it will allow you to play or edit more smoothly. 

Refresh Rate 

If you’re adjusting your resolution, you might stumble on the refresh rate. It caps the FPS of your monitor. Measured in hertz (Hz), your monitor’s FPS is usually 60Hz. Sometimes, your GPU can provide higher FPS, but your monitor’s setting might hinder it. 

To unleash your GPU’s potential, you’ll need a monitor that can keep up with the refresh rate.

VSync 

Sometimes we’re too excited to amp up the setting and get surprised by visual tearing. This happens because your GPU releases more FPS than your monitor can cater to.  

To synchronize your resolution and refresh rate values, we turn on the VSync by opening the Control Panel > Gaming or 3D Settings then turn the Vsync on.   

Anti-Aliasing 

Anti-Aliasing or AA smooths your game graphics by matching and evening out the playback. Most games allow you to adjust the AA (2x AA, 4x AA, 8x AA, etc.). The lower your resolution, the higher your AA should be, and vice versa. 

4. Excess Running Programs 

The number of programs we’re running on our PC can often affect your monitor’s FPS. Running too many background programs can slow down your PC by eating its memory. This is even more prominent when using two monitors.

To ensure a high FPS, close unused programs. You can also use an external or internal optimization app to detect unused programs eating too much memory.

Conclusion 

Having two monitors does affect your FPS. However, the extent is determined by the processes and specs of your monitor and computer

High-resolution monitors paired with high-performing GPU and CPU will work fine regardless of PC activities. In contrast, a PC setup with bottleneck issues will most likely have problems with lower FPS.