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Author Topic: multiple monitors vs large monitor?  (Read 9131 times)
techidave
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« on: November 16, 2011, 01:42:03 PM »

I have two 19" monitors on my desk.  But would one wide screen monitor be just as good?  Then i could have two windows open, they wouldn't be full screen though.

Surely someone here has worked with a setup like this and can give me some advise before i spend my money.

thanks in advance,
Dave
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 02:09:19 PM »

I've got two 17" monitors at home, and one 22" widescreen monitor here at work. When I'm at work, I really miss the two 17s ... And when I'm at home, I never miss the 22.
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Shades
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 02:20:17 PM »

For most of the things I do on a PC, I could easily do with one monitor of sufficient resolution (nothing lower than 1920x1080 though). Buy a monitor with bigger resolution and you could be set as well.

Having a second monitor is also very handy, especially with applications that have to be open, but do not require 100% attention.
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 02:21:33 PM »

Depends on what you use them for.

I've got a stack of 22" Mistsubishi CRT monitors. They have superb color and resolution. They're absolutely gorgeous. Especially for graphics - or media editing - which is what they were designed for. All that 'real estate' is a joy to have available.

However, I use two 19" flat panel monitors for my day to day work. And wouldn't swap them for anything.

If I had to choose between one or the other I'd definitely opt for 2 smaller monitors every time.

Now if I could just get three monitors... Grin


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cranioscopical
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 02:24:57 PM »

FWIW
I have 2x27" side by side and 1x27" on a backup machine.
Working with 1x27" drives me nuts.

The problem with wide-screen monitors is that so few now have 1200 dpi vertical.
Luckily for me, mine happen to be 1920x1200 and I'd compromise on the 1920 long before I ceded any ground on the 1200.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 08:33:01 PM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 02:42:44 PM »

Multiple monitors all the way.
Its not just about screen real estate.  With multiple monitors you can more easily layout and maximize different applications on different monitors (though a program like GridMove helps a lot if you are using one big one).
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wraith808
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 03:31:47 PM »

I've got two 17" monitors at home, and one 22" widescreen monitor here at work. When I'm at work, I really miss the two 17s ... And when I'm at home, I never miss the 22.

I'd say it depends on the size and the use.  For those sizes, I can see why you'd feel that way.  But I have a 25" at home, and with Windows 7 and the snap to edge of screen, I don't miss the 2-17" monitors from work.

(That said, now I have my laptop screen, a 24", and 2-17" monitors at work on 2 separate computers using multiplicity... *that* is great!)
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 03:40:26 PM »

With multiple monitors you can more easily layout and maximize different applications on different monitors (though a program like GridMove helps a lot if you are using one big one).

Or (with a single monitor) consider using Linux since multiple desktops are both the norm - and work quite well in that environment. (Good thing too since multi-monitor setups can still get annoyingly tricky on some Linux boxes. It's gotten better recently. But it can still be a headache depending on the graphic card selected.)

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wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 03:54:10 PM »

With multiple monitors you can more easily layout and maximize different applications on different monitors (though a program like GridMove helps a lot if you are using one big one).

Or (with a single monitor) consider using Linux since multiple desktops are both the norm - and work quite well in that environment. (Good thing too since multi-monitor setups can still get annoyingly tricky on some Linux boxes. It's gotten better recently. But it can still be a headache depending on the graphic card selected.)



There are a couple of good multi-desktop programs for Windows too - AltDesk was the one that I found I liked most.  (Though I recently saw the mac implementation and had to admit it was pretty slick).
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 05:00:49 PM »

For trying to monitor a remote server that's in the process of doing, stuff... While also trying to have a life. the dual monitors cannot be beat. I can do a full screen for the server on monitor 1, while continuing with my stuff on monitor 2. Ya can't do that with a single wide monitor.

And if you're thinking why not put the remote server in a window? That's because the remote server is an entry point to several other machines that are also being accessed on the remote network, that are running in windows. So if I'm tied into multiple remote networks (happens frequently), I really need to keep the who's who separated to avoid creating more problems than I'm currently trying to solve. Wink
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Deozaan
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 05:16:33 PM »

I say both.

Get multiple large monitors. cheesy
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 05:25:58 PM »

I say both.

Get multiple large monitors. cheesy

Hay! ...Nothing wrong with compromize... Wink
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nudone
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 06:20:05 PM »

I was trying to resist braggin, I mean chipping in...

Go for three if you can, a nice big one in the middle and smaller ones either side. I've got the perfect setup after years of half-hearted experimentation (quadruple monitors were a waste of time).

My array now resembles an extremely widescreen monitor that covers the width of the desk. So that's a 30" flanked by two 20"s in portrait mode.

I sometimes sit in front of a 24" screen on an older pc and it feels claustrophobic.
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barney
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 06:32:36 PM »

Late to the fray again  embarassed.

I have two (2) laptops set up, each having a 2nd, 24" monitor.  One machine, a 17", is the work machine.  The other, a 15.6", is a documentation, reference, email, research machine.  For instance, when I'm working on Web stuff, I'll have PHP documentation up on the 15" screen, JS (or other) references up on its 24" screen, as well as a browser for researching issues those docs do not reference or resolve.  The 17" laptop screen will have some IDE up, often two (2) or three (3), while the 24" screen for this box will have, usually, several browsers up to check output, as well as other reference material - myBase, WikeNotes, Ultra Recall, gbCodeLib, Source Code Library, and the like, to let me reference various snippets I may have acquired.

When I have occasion to travel - the 17" machine is the traveler, in spite of its weight - I tend to feel very cramped and shut in with just the one (1) screen  Grin.

Methinks there's no possible single monitor/screen configuration that could do what I'm accustomed to doing.  Even the old four (4) quadrant plasma screens I used at some previous jobs don't hold a candle to what's here right now.

Sidebar:  When I get my new external video card unit, I'll have up to four (4) monitors hooked to one machine.  Downside to that will be, of course, RAM and CPU limitations on that machine - a significant consideration when thinking of multiple monitors with multiple applications running from one (1) box.  

All things considered I'd say multiple monitors, no matter how small, will outperform a single giant one (1) every time.
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tomos
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 03:43:02 AM »

the thing about monitors these days is the format, long and, eh, shallow. Can you even get any other format these days expect 16:9 ?

I think nudones setup would appeal to me best - even with "just" two monitors (big landscape, smaller portrait).

I just have one 16:10 monitor and it suits my needs okay (so I think it depends very much on your needs/work-pattern), two would be very nice, but an unnecessary luxury for me.
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Tom
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 04:46:55 AM »

I say both.

Get multiple large monitors. cheesy

+1 cheesy

My wife took my small monitor to use with her laptop. I do miss it. I like to have 1 screen for video, 1 screen for reference, and 1 to work on.

Last I checked, the place where I wanted to get a specific monitor was out of them. I want another Samsung BX2440. It's excellent, and I use it as my main monitor. I want a third monitor (that one again) to stick in permanent portrait mode.

I find smaller monitors are still very good for "reference" though. Keep stuff on there to read, but don't work on them.
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Edvard
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 07:23:43 AM »

...
Or (with a single monitor) consider using Linux since multiple desktops are both the norm - and work quite well in that environment. (Good thing too since multi-monitor setups can still get annoyingly tricky on some Linux boxes. It's gotten better recently. But it can still be a headache depending on the graphic card selected.)

Virtual Desktops are my lifeline on Linux... I can't work without them.
In Windows at work, I don't miss it (because all the Windows VDt's eventually annoyed me), but I do have two monitors.
Apples, Oranges, whatever.

Now I have acquired another 17" CRT for home, and it's quite fun having USEFUL Virtual Desktops AND two monitors.
Unlike the old days, multi-monitor is now a breeze on my Linux system, what with the Catalyst drivers for my ATI 2600GT.
If I didn't have that, Xfce 4.8 now has a GUI front-end to RandR/Xinerama/Zaphod/Compiz.
 
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2011, 07:52:41 AM »

I have 3 24" Samsung monitors - wouldn't swap them.

Why not by a bigger widescreen monitor and stick it in the middle of the two 19" monitors?

You would need a card that supports 3 screens though (ATI Eyeinfinity cards mostly do  - check the models).
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ewemoa
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2011, 08:29:15 AM »

I want a third monitor (that one again) to stick in permanent portrait mode.

+1 for portrait mode!

These days I've been using portrait mode mostly for messing with the connections to my screens though -- easier to get at the connectors when the screen is rotated Wink
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nudone
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2011, 10:52:26 AM »

I have 3 24" Samsung monitors - wouldn't swap them.

Why not by a bigger widescreen monitor and stick it in the middle of the two 19" monitors?

You would need a card that supports 3 screens though (ATI Eyeinfinity cards mostly do  - check the models).

You can still use more than one graphics card - if you've got the motherboard slots. The cards don't have to be too special either. I had two monitors driven by a very, very, cheap nvidia card a while back. Now, I've got two screens running off an old geforce 7800 and the main 30" running of a (cheap) geforce GT 430 - which I had to buy specially because the older cards couldn't output to 30".

I'm guessing a single card that can run three (or four) screens won't be too cheap.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »

Depends what you consider expensive:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/X...I/dp/tech-data/B003CMHE3E  < £50 up to 2560 x 1600 res. (DVI, VGA and HDMI sockets), HDCP ???

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004L2K8ZA < £70 not sure max display res., DVI, DP and HDMI ports (probably need a DP-DVI adapter), HDCP compliant.

That latter plays games well too and both support eyefinity (display 3 screen displays either as a single continuous display - task bar spans all three, three displays extended - choose task bar location and run three screens with independent res.).

You can get some awesome gaming when you have it in single screen mode across 3 displays on large screens!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 11:17:43 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

Edvard
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2011, 03:27:45 PM »

Matrox has always made some pretty amazing multi-monitor stuff, from basic dual screen, to 3-screen surround gaming from one video card (box actually), to 4 and 6 screen Response Center systems and Control Workstations, to wall-of-monitors immersification.

Graphics performance consistently fell behind nVidia and ATI (that may have changed), but then again, who didn't?
... And why would you care when you have more display space than you can gawk at without moving your head?  Kiss



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nudone
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2011, 05:12:18 PM »

Depends what you consider expensive:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/X...I/dp/tech-data/B003CMHE3E  < £50 up to 2560 x 1600 res. (DVI, VGA and HDMI sockets), HDCP ???

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004L2K8ZA < £70 not sure max display res., DVI, DP and HDMI ports (probably need a DP-DVI adapter), HDCP compliant.

Not a bad price then.
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brianpals
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 09:40:19 AM »

Hi techidave

I'm just catching up with some of my older emails and I noticed your post via the November newsletter.

I imagine that you've done what you needed, given all of that 'advice' from all of those experts who totally confused me!

I, too, have two 19" monitors right in front of me and the set up is just great.

I also have a widescreen monitor with a newer system but's it's not nearly as good for convenience, even when I use the free and excellent Winsplit Revolution program on it.

In fact Winsplit is also excellent on these two monitors as I can split each monitor in two and have four fairly large screens to manipulate data between.

I hope this has helped but I would imagine it won't make much difference to your (already made?) decision.
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techidave
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 09:59:49 AM »

Actually, I havent done anything on this yet.  Had too many other fires pop up.  But I do expect to look at it again in the near future.

thanks for the suggestions.
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