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Dual Monitors

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I recall a thread where some people were very adamant about the virtues of dual monitors, so much so that I thought to try such a setup. It is early days, but I cannot yet see the advantages over using one high resolution monitor.

Perhaps someone can steer me toward what is to be gained by such a setup.
 

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Media and work, multiple things to compare. No one is going to tell you what to do since its all preference.
 
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hi Andy,

I'm a WAN Network Engineer and work from home full time.

My set up is = Laptop + 2 x 27'' external displays.

I have cisco soft phone + Skype IM on the laptop.

one of the 27" displays has Outlook email displayed + Snip and Sketch + extended desk top for other applications.

The other 27" display has various web browsers open + Excel spread sheets - multiple + Skype for Business opened.

The advantages are when you have to work with and referring to multiple sources simultaneously = reading and email + editing a spread sheet + referring to an application/program + cutting/pasting to and from a document/source, without having multiple overlapping windows to negotiate.

Additionally, I have my home pc connected to both 27" displays at the same time = I can have my pc running at the same time and just change the display input to use my home pc without having to start and stop the laptop and or home pc.

Hope this helps.

regards
 
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Much appreciated; I'll give it some time and see if it works for me. My Son certainly uses his dual setup.
 

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Dual monitors: benefit or hindrance? Now there's a good question and there's no one answer.

I've actually got dual monitors, but most of the time I just use one as I prefer my focus to be on the one display in front of me. The other one is literally switched off and the driver shows only one monitor enabled.

Now, there are times when a second monitor is invaluable and that's when I use it. Things like doing my accounts where I have to look at a statement while I work on the accounts application is much easily done when I can put the statement on the second monitor, for example. Another could be development work of some kind, such as the website project I'm currently doing, where I can put resources on the side monitor while the main work goes on the front monitor. There's loads of examples like this, it just depends on your work and preferences.

I think you should try to borrow a monitor and give it a go. Only then can you tell for sure if it's of benefit to you. Oh and dual monitors take up quite a lot of table space when they're 27" and 28" big.
 
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I don't see any scenario where having two monitors could ever be a hinderance - unless you want to talk about the actual work surface space of your computer desk being consumed by the second monitor. Just because you have a 2nd monitor, that does not mean you have to always put something over there.

Yes, running with multiple displays does put a little more demand on system resources, but it really is a miniscule, negligible impact.
I cannot yet see the advantages over using one high resolution monitor.
Okay - first, forget about resolution. Running with multiple monitors has absolutely nothing to do with the qualities of the secondary (or primary) monitors. Nothing at all. It is all about real estate space - the number of square inches available for Windows desktop.

I am assuming first, you have your Windows desktop "Display" > "Multiple displays" set to "Extend these displays" so you have one large Windows Desktop and not the same thing appearing on both monitors.

Now, instead of minimizing or closing or opening a new window in front of your current Window, drag it over to the second monitor so you can see both open windows at the same time. For example, on Monitor 1, I have this post's window open. On Monitor 2 I have the Settings windows open.

My email inbox is always open on Monitor 2.

I hate to be wrong when posting technical facts when helping forum posters. I mean I REALLY hate to be wrong. So I tend to verify my facts before posting - even if I'm already pretty sure I am right. I don't want my chronic GCF* cloud my memory, or just normal changes/advances in technologies to change what used to be fact. So I will have the forum post text reply box open on Monitor 1 and another browser session open on Monitor 2 with my Bing Google search results displayed which allows me to see and quickly copy & paste links, or text or whatever into my post.

I say give it time. If you changed jobs, and moved from a tiny desk in a closet office that you worked at for years, to a large executive desk in a large corner office, it would take you time to learn how to efficiently use all that extra space. After a while you will think nothing of it - until you have to downsize again.



*GCF - geriatric cranial flatulence

edit comment: fixed a typo
 
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I recall a thread where some people were very adamant about the virtues of dual monitors, so much so that I thought to try such a setup. It is early days, but I cannot yet see the advantages over using one high resolution monitor.

Perhaps someone can steer me toward what is to be gained by such a setup.

I use dual both at work and at home.

1 - it's an easier set up for most people who already have one monitor, no need to go out and get an expensive extra wide monitor when a "budget" 1080p will do
2 - when using spread sheets and browsers, I find it easier to just grab what I need and toss in onto the second monitor as it takes up the full screen space. No need to move applications to each side and then possibly rely on scroll bars to see all the information.
 
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Okay - first, forget about resolution. Running with multiple monitors has absolutely nothing to do with the qualities of the secondary (or primary) monitors. Nothing at all. It is all about real estate space - the number of square inches available for Windows desktop.

edit comment: fixed a typo
I beg to differ... a high resolution monitor might be viewed as multiple monitors combined.

I will give it time; only fair.
 
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a high resolution monitor might be viewed as multiple monitors combined.

Really depends on the exact monitors for example you can state that a single 29" 2560 x 1080 monitor may have a similar pixel height and screen space as two 20" 1920x1080p monitors.
 
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I'm sort of with Andy on this.

I had dual monitors for a long time, but once I started working on a 55" 4K screen, I can now do four things at once, and all are very easy to read and work with using the four corners. The big caveat here, is that I rarely if ever need more than four things on my screen at once.

To be fair, I went big for this reason. Desk space for me now makes it tough to fit dual monitors anymore.
 
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I beg to differ... a high resolution monitor might be viewed as multiple monitors combined.
No. Sorry, but that is wrong. I don't understand why are you trying to make this argument when you have admitted yourself your lack of understanding of the advantages of dual monitors? That makes no sense.

One large monitor does NOT equal two smaller monitors - regardless the resolutions. If you think it does, you don't get it!

And I will say it again - the resolution has nothing to do with this. If you think it does, you don't get it!

If anyone is thinking of buying a new monitor for a single monitor setup, my advice is to get the best monitor their budget will allow.

If anyone is thinking about moving to a multiple monitor setup, my advice is to the best monitors their budget will allow.

The only added advice for a multimonitor setup I would add is try to find monitors that have very thin bezels. That said, even if the bezels are wide, our minds are wonderous things and before long, those bezels and that gap disappears - much like the rear view mirror in our cars. Its still there, we know, we just don't see it until we consciously look it.

I'm sort of with Andy on this.

I had dual monitors for a long time, but once I started working on a 55" 4K screen,
Now wait a minute! A 55" big screen TV (even if used as a "monitor" can hardly be compared to a dual-monitor setup. Surely you are not sitting arm's length away from that screen, for example.

And Andy is suggesting resolution is the determining factor. It is not. It may factor in, but it is not a primary factor. Super high resolutions are great for image viewing, but not so much for text, for example. You still have to be able to read your Word documents, spreadsheets and forum posts.

If you are playing a game and sitting 6 feet away or even across the room, then sure, a big screen hi-rez TV may be ideal. But if you are doing work, sitting at a desk, with your monitors sitting on that desk, and have many open windows, a dual monitor setup is a great solution.
 

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No. Sorry, but that is wrong. I don't understand why are you trying to make this argument when you have admitted yourself your lack of understanding of the advantages of dual monitors? That makes no sense.

One large monitor does NOT equal two smaller monitors - regardless the resolutions. If you think it does, you don't get it!

And I will say it again - the resolution has nothing to do with this. If you think it does, you don't get it!

If anyone is thinking of buying a new monitor for a single monitor setup, my advice is to get the best monitor their budget will allow.

If anyone is thinking about moving to a multiple monitor setup, my advice is to the best monitors their budget will allow.

The only added advice for a multimonitor setup I would add is try to find monitors that have very thin bezels. That said, even if the bezels are wide, our minds are wonderous things and before long, those bezels and that gap disappears - much like the rear view mirror in our cars. Its still there, we know, we just don't see it until we consciously look it.


Now wait a minute! A 55" big screen TV (even if used as a "monitor" can hardly be compared to a dual-monitor setup. Surely you are not sitting arm's length away from that screen, for example.

And Andy is suggesting resolution is the determining factor. It is not. It may factor in, but it is not a primary factor. Super high resolutions are great for image viewing, but not so much for text, for example. You still have to be able to read your Word documents, spreadsheets and forum posts.

If you are playing a game and sitting 6 feet away or even across the room, then sure, a big screen hi-rez TV may be ideal. But if you are doing work, sitting at a desk, with your monitors sitting on that desk, and have many open windows, a dual monitor setup is a great solution.

Sitting a bit more than arms length, but at a desk as normal thanks.

Also. with just a bit of tinkering I removed the text issues that can plague larger screens.

I tend to put my feet on my subwoofer and at that relaxed position I am (my eyes) within 40" of the screen on the regular. Just broke out the tape to measure ;)
 
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One large monitor does NOT equal two smaller monitors

I can't speak for Andy but what I saw "might be viewed" in his response I assumed he was talking about similar screen space.

Sitting a bit more than arms length, but at a desk as normal thanks.

Also. with just a bit of tinkering I removed the text issues that can plague larger screens.

I tend to put my feet on my subwoofer and at that relaxed position I am (my eyes) within 40" of the screen on the regular. Just broke out the tape to measure ;)
nice, unfortunately I don't have the space for a 55"...well actually I do at work but I would be blocking my office door which can be a good thing at times but also a fire hazard.
 

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Just measured another factor....

On my 55" screen, if I use the 4 corners, I have 4 X 27" diagonal screens to view. Again, broke out the tape to verify.
 
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All I am really saying is, unless one has used a multi-monitor setup long enough to learn how to use it effectively and then get used to it, they really have no grounds to discount, dismiss, or discredit it.

SP has used a dual monitor setup and a big screen setup and FOR HIM, his setup works. And that's fine. That said a quad monitor (or big screen quad equivalent) is not the same as a dual-monitor set up - the topic of this thread.
 

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SP has used a dual monitor setup and a big screen setup and FOR HIM, his setup works. And that's fine. That said a quad monitor (or big screen quad equivalent) is not the same as a dual-monitor set up - the topic of this thread.

How is it not the same if that is how it is used?

You all are essentially speaking of real estate to use. Compared to use of 2 X 27" monitors, I get double that, without having to look anywhere else. Just sayin', seems the same to me.

Also as to the point of this thread, read the OP not the title. He is asking which is better between multi monitors and high res single screen.
 
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It is a matter of scale. Two monitors side by side is a different working environment than 4 monitors in a 2 x 2 setup (or a monster TV working as a 4 monitor setup in a 2 x 2 configuration).

That said, I must step back. I have never used a 4 monitor setup (or big screen TV) in this fashion. I have used a 4 monitor setup, but in my situation, the two top monitors received their signals from different sources. I could not slide an open window on a bottom monitor to a top monitor, for example, or from one top monitor to the other.

It is also a matter of individuality. YMMV. To that, I am just saying we, and I mean "we" cannot and must not assume what works for us will work for all. This is why I also say if you (we) have not tried it and fully understand the potentials, don't knock it.

if I use the 4 corners, I have 4 X 27" diagonal screens to view.
Let me ask you this SP. Now that you are used to living with your 55" TV in your simulated 2 x 2 quad 27" monitor setup, would you be happy with just one 27" 4K monitor? If not, then that illustrates my point about the advantages of a multimonitor setup, and it illustrates my point that resolution is not a factor here. And please note I didn't ask if you could "get by" with. I said, would you be "happy" with just one monitor?

Perhaps someone can steer me toward what is to be gained by such a setup.
You really just have to try it for yourself. Take the time to learn how to most effectively use it for you. Take the time to get used to it. Then decide for yourself if it is beneficial for you, or not.
 

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If not, then that illustrates my point about the advantages of a multimonitor setup, and it illustrates my point that resolution is not a factor here. And please note I didn't ask if you could "get by" with. I said, would you be "happy" with just one monitor?

To be fair, I wasn't saying either is better. I am saying I can do the same as you with one screen, and likely similar res (1080p per screen for me). What I am saying, is that in my instance, it is all the same.

What drove me to this was the way in which GPUs handled multiple monitors in the past....IE the card would not run at an idle state, which creates excessive heat just to look at the desktop. Going to one screen relieved that stress on the cards. Things may have changes since then.

To say res is not a factor is silly. At 4K I get 4 X 1080p screens, where on a smaller monitor, it would be near impossible to use in the way I am. On a 27" at 4K, I would have to scale down, which defeats the resolution upgrade. If it were a 55" at 1080p it would look like ass. Tried it with a 40", and is why I went 4K on a 43", but that screen has issues doing normal things. Got a new screen for the living room, which made the 55" free to use, so I did.
 
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I recall a thread where some people were very adamant about the virtues of dual monitors, so much so that I thought to try such a setup. It is early days, but I cannot yet see the advantages over using one high resolution monitor.

Perhaps someone can steer me toward what is to be gained by such a setup.
Since I went 4K I agree to 95% with your assessment.
There are times when a second screen can make sense, for example if you want to watch a video at full-screen resolution, as you either end up with some menus and other crap if you watch say YouTube on half of the 4K display, or big black bars if it's something else.
It might also be useful to have a lower resolution screen for certain things like command prompts etc. as well as if you're running some older software, as these things don't tend to scale that well.
I'm sure there are some other use cases, but none that I would feel I gained something on.

Beyond some niche scenarios like that, I don't see the advantage of two lower resolution screens over a single high-resolution screen.
For one, I don't have to have an awkward gap in the middle, or strain my neck to use the second display, as I don't have enough space to two displays in a perfect placement. The latter might be my issue, but it's hard to use two display and place them in such a way that you don't end up sitting in a weird way when using them, so better ergonomics is a clear win when it comes to a single display.
I guess I've never had a pair of identical screens with really slim bezels so this might colour my judgement here.
Still, 4K has really suckered me in and I don't know if I'd ever want to use a lower resolution screen as my main computer screen.
 
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they really have no grounds to discount, dismiss, or discredit it.

agreed

Beyond some niche scenarios like that, I don't see the advantage of two lower resolution screens over a single high-resolution screen.

I have dual 27" at home (one 1440p and one 1080p) but I do more work on the 1080p. I find many web sites (particularity back ends that display a lot of financial, sales, and inventory data) as well as MS office just seem to look better at 1080p in my opinion.
 

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Since I went 4K I agree to 95% with your assessment.
There are times when a second screen can make sense, for example if you want to watch a video at full-screen resolution, as you either end up with some menus and other crap if you watch say YouTube on half of the 4K display, or big black bars if it's something else.
It might also be useful to have a lower resolution screen for certain things like command prompts etc. as well as if you're running some older software, as these things don't tend to scale that well.
I'm sure there are some other use cases, but none that I would feel I gained something on.

Beyond some niche scenarios like that, I don't see the advantage of two lower resolution screens over a single high-resolution screen.
For one, I don't have to have an awkward gap in the middle, or strain my neck to use the second display, as I don't have enough space to two displays in a perfect placement. The latter might be my issue, but it's hard to use two display and place them in such a way that you don't end up sitting in a weird way when using them, so better ergonomics is a clear win when it comes to a single display.
I guess I've never had a pair of identical screens with really slim bezels so this might colour my judgement here.
Still, 4K has really suckered me in and I don't know if I'd ever want to use a lower resolution screen as my main computer screen.

Well said. In my scenario, I want the screen centered as well. If I were to have to look off to the sides, which I did on the past, it just sucked compared to what I can do here. Granted, if you want to keep an eye on TeamSpeak/Discord, or you want to monitor things while gaming, the second screen has an advantage over one large one, but with apps that do that with an overlay now, it made my need for that second screen sort of pointless.
 
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I have dual 27" at home (one 1440p and one 1080p) but I do more work on the 1080p. I find many web sites (particularity back ends that display a lot of financial, sales, and inventory data) as well as MS office just seem to look better at 1080p in my opinion.
Well, I wouldn't know, never used things like that. Office works fine on 4K, you just shove it over to one half on the screen and you got it 1920 wide, but 2160 long, which is often an advantage I'd say. It also allows me to keep a browser open side by side with the document, which is really handy when you're doing some research as you're writing something.
But as I said, it comes down to what you're working with, not everyone has the same needs as well. However, for what I mostly use my computer for when it comes to work, 4K is pretty much unbeatable. Once you've edited some pictures on 4K, you really, really don't want to go back to something with lower resolution, among other things.
 
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Reminds me of the elitist thread

* Some people find dual monitors wonderful

* Others prefer a single high resolution monitor

I'm trying both to see what is right for me and started this thread to see what others thought.
 

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Reminds me of the elitist thread

* Some people find dual monitors wonderful

* Others prefer a single high resolution monitor

I'm trying both to see what is right for me.

That is all you can do. While we can shove points down your throat and glow about our individual preferences....this thread comes down to your own experiences with both and make an informed decision for what fits you best.
 
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For the moment I have a high resolution preference, but reserve the right to be shown wrong.
 
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