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Ideal Dual Monitor Setup for Work/Personal

 9:07 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Recently upgraded my desktop and I'm on the fence about upgrading my monitors as well. I currently have two 19" monitors (5:4).

Since widescreen seems to be the only thing available these days, I'm wondering what setup a lot of you are using or would recommend. Initially I was planning on getting two widescreens, but felt that may just be too much space. One widescreen and one smaller monitor as a secondary one would be ideal, but matching up sizes doesn't seem to work well (especially since few places sell non-widescreens).

Any help or suggestions on setup, size, brand is appreciated.



 9:13 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have dual 24" monitors, thinking of adding a 3rd, if that's any help ;)

You might consider keeping the 19" monitors and simply stick a 24" in the middle and position them all toward the bottom or top of the bigger monitor.

That would allow one major workspace with lots of room on either side for other things on your screen.


 9:41 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

i've three monitors, which i highly recommend, just as 2 is so much more efficient than 1, then so is 3 to 2.

(i've tried 4, but there is no real gain to having the fourth)

i have the biggest in the middle (widescreen, 26inch ASUS), on the right i have one with the screen rotated 90 degrees (this also at a low resolution, to make reading code easier) and the remaining one on the left.

the rotated one one was a very expensive viewsonic 3:4 in its day, the left hand one is a samsung widescreen 20inch

i've had no problems running three in different sizes at different resolutions and in different brands.

i'll buy a bigger monitor next time, retire the one on the left, put the new one in the middle.


 10:21 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

bears5122 - I don't know how some people can run multiple monitors. I dont want to give up that much desk space to monitors...

If you're squeezed for space (like me), then I'd suggest getting a 23 or 24 inch monitor. I purchased a dell U2311H which is an IPS flat panel monitor and sells for around $300 (look for sales...). I'd suggest you look into the difference between TN and IPS monitors. Dell also sells a 27 inch monitor for around $1,000.

A lot of folks will purchase multiple monitors instead of one big one; it's much more economical to purchase multiple monitors.

The nice thing about this market is you have a lot of choices. You can go for quantity or quality, or both. I decided on the ultrasharp because they don't have any dead pixels, which were annoying on my last monitor. The IPS panel gives me a superior image too.


 4:05 am on Feb 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Upgrade one to 16:9, at whatever "inch" width fits on your desk. Might find that sufficient, and will also allow you to test your site on what I consider ugly "internet TV" surfing... in all those little boxes those devices allow... you'll want your site to look good and the best way to determine that is to see it as it might appear...


 4:48 pm on Feb 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't know how some people can run multiple monitors

i don't know how people can function without multiple monitors :-P


 6:19 am on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Any ideas on dual/multi monitor software?


 6:24 am on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Any ideas on dual/multi monitor software?


 3:22 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Your operating system and/or display adapter manufacturer should handle this for you. If the OS isn't doing well enough, visit the card manufacturers web site and get the latest drivers for your operating system.


 3:23 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Any ideas on dual/multi monitor software?

to do what ? dual/multi monitors depend on ( are driven by ) the graphics card(s).which are hardware

Ah Coopster posted while I was typing :)

The drivers ( if you are on windows ) are going to depend on your graphics card and it's manufacturer .( tip ..save your old drivers first seperately 'case you need a"rollback" ..sometimes new drivers can bork unusual configs and leave you with no display ).

some "catalyst" drivers work better if you don't install the entire pack ( gui complete )..just the bits you need.

Linux etc is different ..but if you have it you'll know that ;-) ..depends on the "distro" as to how well it copes.

brotherhood of LAN

 3:32 pm on Mar 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I use one 24" monitor and Ubuntu's workspace switcher, which is currently set to 4 desktops... extra monitors have their benefits (read from one and work with the other), but a lot of the benefits of multiple desktops saves getting more monitors.


 3:14 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ideas on multimonitor software like:



 3:37 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for clarifying ;) ..can't comment on any that include the ability to change keyboard shortcuts or hot keys as all my windows ( all now 7 ulti ) machines run on English ( as primary language ) but with French keyboards..already keyboard mapping in some software is a night mare ..I just have learned to live with it.

I run on main monitors ( for example photoshop ) with secondarys used to run the help files or a supplementary app or plugins that launch in their own window ) ..important is colour balance between the two must match ..the rest for me ( seperate task bars etc ) is bells and whistles ..

Have two ( 7 ulti ) machines set up running double ( matched 22" monitors each ) ..one of them has a third output to a 32" flatscreen TV for testing because here you can now get internet on your TV ..and many browse that way ..via wii like remotes.

My Linux machines are set up is like brotherhood of Lan's ..multi desktops on widescreen 22" monitors ( one linux box has two screens )..linux handles desktops so much better than windows ..and has done for years.

Ps nothing ever "snaps" to grid or to corners ..( hate that ) .


 3:41 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

If my motherboard has two video outputs (one vga, the other I think is hdmi or something) is that the equivalent of two video cards? Or do I need to purchase a second video card to run dual monitors?


 12:32 am on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

you are going to need to grab another card.

just pick up a cheapy $30 card, then you can leave your on board card enabled and run 3 monitors if you wish.


 2:16 am on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)



 2:55 pm on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

J_Rad, you sure about that?

I am not a techie, but i believe that those do outputs form one card will allow wheel to have 2 monitors.

Just checking!


 3:03 pm on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Turns out some cards will let you run dual monitors (perhaps most cards). I bought another card that does do this. Never got it working perfectly under linux, next time I do an upgrade I'll try it again.


 7:39 pm on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

99% of the time if its VGA, and the other output is HDMI, its an either or situation.

I've even seen some boards that have VGA and DVI and its either or!


so i was just going with my gut and saying he'll need to just pick up a cheapo dual output card, then he'll even be able to grow to 3 monitors if needed.

if he had said hey my VIDEO CARD, has VGA and HDMI i would have said yep plug it up!

discrete video cards are another animal.


 7:52 am on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

thanks for the response.

Does anyone have experience with multiple vid cards in ubuntu, to get more than 2 physical screens?


 6:50 pm on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

as long as you've got device drivers, I don't see a big deal.

just check on that before you buy the card cause linux and drivers........ then when you use the device driver from the manuf ubuntu is going to whine about your driver not being open source hahaha :-P


 1:07 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

The biggest improvement in dual monitor setup was when I realized I could just turn one of my 26" screens 90.


 1:21 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I already do this with my dell screens, which swivel, I have then as portrait, not landscape.


 5:06 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just switched to a 30" dell u3011 from 2 dual 19" monitors and I absolutely love it. It's easier on my neck to look straight out then at an angle when using the dual's. Also a thing to keep in mind is resolution when shopping. Some monitors are larger but have the same pixels as


 4:13 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

bigger monitors are awesome but I don't think they'll ever replace separate screens for me! I'm eyeing a 27 inch and the only thing on my mind is hmmm i'll keep my 19 and give away my 17!


 1:24 pm on Oct 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a 20" right now and I bought two 24" to bring me up to three.

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