New PC Monitor

My Dell monitor is acting up and my local computer geek says it’s time to buy a new one. He suggested WalMart. I looked at WalMart and they have one for less than $100. However, in looking at the box it says some computer gobblydegook about Windows 7 and about having a split screen to view 4 programs at once. I asked the sales people what that meant and, of course, they knew less than me.

With the Holidays coming, it will be quite a while before I can ask my geek to explain that to me. So, I’m asking you guys. What does it mean? Can I simply buy it, plug it in, and use it without having to worry about the other stuff.

I plan to look at photos of naked cartridges with it, so this question qualifies as cartridge related.


Hi Ray,

If you post (or email me) the model number I can take a look at the description on their website and see if I can figure out what they’re talking about. I can’t recall ever having seen an actual split screen monitor for a computer before.

Chip - As I was leaving the WalMart parking lot I thought, “I should have written down the Mark and Mod of that monitor”. But I didn’t. And now it will be at least Wednesday before I can do it. But, I will.

Thanks for the reply.


A monitor is a monitor. It may state that it is CAPABLE of doing some great things other than being a standard monitor but that would have to be a software feature. You do not have to install any monitor software to use it. All the newer Windows version will have software per-installed for most any monitor. The Windows driver will not have the “special features” described o the box. You won’t like using the multiple screens on a smaller monitor however so I’d advise you not to bother installing it. The only thing that you need to be sure of is how it connects to your PC. The standard connection is VGA and most all monitors will be supplied with this cable. It’s the connection cable that has been used since the 80’s. Newer monitors may have additional connection output jacks on the back to provide for DIGITAL hookups and may have an additional digital jack for HDMI hookup but they seldom, if ever, provide the cables for those extra two hookups. Some provide an adapter for the VGA cable to convert it to digital. It you have an older PC it will most likely just have the VGA input jack on the back. All but very high end video cards will have the VGA input. Newer PCs will have two (VGA & DIGITAL) or all three (VGA, DIGITAL, & HDMI) input jacks. IF you have a PC with the DIGITAL input jack it will give you a much clearer picture than the old fashioned VGA. Much that same as the new flat screen TVs.

So to sum it up, any deportment store monitor will hook-up and work on any PC. I personally would avoid buying the cheapest monitor that I can find but the cheapest will definitely hook up and work with your PC and any version of Windows.

Thanks Roger. Reading your description and recalling some of the lingo that was on the back of the box, I think you’ve answered it. My current Dell has the VGA plug (I think). It’s the oblong shaped one with 15 pins on it. As far as I know the one at Walmart uses the same connection, but that’s something I would have to check on.

I’m not necessarily buying the cheapest monitor - it’s the only one that Walmart has. I am considering Walmart because of their no-question-return policy.

In the end I may end buying a refurbished Dell from Amazon. They are about $15 cheaper and I know it will work. The only question is - how long will it work.

Maybe it’s time to buy an entire new PC. Sure as shootin, as soon as I buy a monitor, the tower will quit. :-( Decisions, decisions.

Thanks again to both Chip and Roger.


Dell doesn’t make their own monitors. they just put their name and logo on other brands. I never recommend buying anything PC related refurbished or used. New monitors are so cheap now, why buy one that had a problem to begin with? You do not need to buy a Dell to use on your Dell computer. As a retired IT Manager I had many problems with Dells and refused to buy them after a while. There is nothing special about Dells over any other brands. Usually HP equipment is plenty good for home users and small businesses. I’ve bought and installed hundreds of computers, and their peripherals, over the years and have a mental list of what to buy and what to best avoid. Of course like any other product you can get a bad high-end PC/monitor/printer/etc.

I did a quick look online at Walmart’s monitors. I highly recommend that you avoid Acer products. Spend a little bit more and go for the HP. Many of the HPs are made by Samsung which are normally pretty good. Twenty years ago I would have told you to avoid Samsung, but they’ve come a long ways since then. They made some of the large flat screen Sony TVs. For personal use Samsung is my preferred monitor choice

I need to amend my statement about Dell, they do make fine, affordable home computers. I especially like their servers and laptops. My comments about Dell were directed towards my personal experience with “some” of their high-end, business class desktop PCs. I have lots of friends with Dell PCs that are very happy with them.

Thanks for the additional comments Roger. I’ll follow your advice.

I’m sure you are right about Dell monitors. When I told my computer geek I was having problems he asked, “Is it a Dell flat screen?” I took that as a negative right off the bat.

BTW, when I refer to “my computer geek” it is meant as a compliment. He takes no offense and, in fact, his business is called “Geeks To Go”.


I’m too old to be a geek…the new young breed are geeks:) I started before there was such a thing as a hard drive, RAM, PC, monitors, etc. The machines that we had back then needed a pretty large room to sit in and they couldn’t do much more than a modern adding machine that can sit on a few square inches of your desk…

Yeah, I remember the original computers that occupied an entire room. Of course, I also remember before that when an electric adding machine was something to marvel at.

Today, there are 3 people that you do not want to make angry:

  1. the person that cooks your food
  2. the person that signs your paycheck
  3. the person that fixes your electronics

All 3 can do bad things to you.

Thanks again Roger



If you end up with a monitor and you don’t have the right cables, I have tons of old cables and adapters and I would be happy to put one in the mail to you. Just say the word.

I also take no offense at the term computer geek. In fact that’s my usual response when people ask me what I do for a living!

Thanks Chip. I’m going to wait and see if Wally World has any after-Christmas sales before I take the plunge.


I am agree with the useful statements of “Rogereh”. He guided very well. I was unawaress from lots of features which Rogereh introduces me first time.