I currently have a mishmash of three different monitors, used for 2 computers.
I am thinking of repurposing all three and replacing them with three new monitors and I have a third computer that I wish to add to this circle of playmates. The first two computers are capable of ATI's eyefinity, which I would like to make the most use of. The third computer is a gaming laptop that has only an HDMI port on the side. If possible, I would like to occasionally drive my center monitor with that third computer (for example, when doing maintenance on it, applying updates, installing software, etcetera).
My home office also serves dual purpose as an occasional music recording studio.
Computer 1: Q6600 tower workstation used for music making and some photo editing. I wish to do more photo editing and also begin doing some video work. Device Manager says that Computer 1 has a Radeon 57xx (I think it's a 5730).
Computer 1 Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA, Display port
Note: Computer 1 card will possibly be upgraded later this year as part of a new i7 system build. The replacement card will very likely be a newer Radeon with Eyefinity.
Computer 2: HP Laptop with a Radeon HD 6470 M.
Computer 2 Ports: Both the laptop and the dock have connections for DVI, VGA, Displayport. I plan to use only the dock when using this laptop in my home office.
Computer 3: Asus G73S Gaming computer. Geforce GTX 460 M. I use this computer as a remote recording studio and occasional blueray video player and database testing and development machine. In the coming year or so, I plan to use it to also run virtual instruments via Ethernet, so it will be "slaved" to Computer 1 when running in this capacity.
Computer 3 ports: Only has an HDMI port.
Note: Computer 3 will not often be driving an external monitor...usually it sits in the corner near my music keyboards. It currently uses WIFI to get all of its updates and authorizations for music instruments/software. But at some point, I would like to bring it into the main workarea with a KVM so that I can do maintenance on it with a regular computer keyboard and use it nearer to the home office router.
1. I would like to do more photo editing. Most photo editing will be done using Computer 1. I think it may be time for at least one IPS panel.
2. I would like to be able to use all three monitors for Computer 1 and all three monitors for Computer 2, though not all three for both computers simultaneously. I plan to get a USB KVMP soon, but mostly for keyboard, mouse, and printer switching to any of the three computers. At this time I don't plan to run any monitors through a KVMP, but who knows; I may get creative later.
3. I would like to occasionally use the center monitor for Computer 3 via HDMI.
What I think I need:
4. Three monitors the same resolution for Eyefinity support. It seems that 1920 X 1080 is a popular standard for the sizes I'm considering (24" to 27").
5. At least one of the monitors should be IPS for the photo editing on Computer 1. They are expensive, though so I'm not sure I can afford three IPS monitors.
6a. At least one displayport-capable monitor switchable between Computer 1 and Computer 2.
6b. At least two displayport monitors so that I can use Eyefinity with both Computer 1 and Computer 2.
7. I do my own music composing and mixing on Computer 1. Computer 1 uses its own dedicated active monitors (speakers), so C1 will not be outputting sound via HDMI or Displayport.
8. Computer 2 is just for my day job which is computer/business related. The sound is not critical. If I can pipe the sounds to one of the monitor's built-in speakers, that would be fine. Otherwise, I don't care if I hear the pings and pongs coming from the laptop's own internal speakers.
9. I love 27" monitors, HOWEVER, three 27" monitors will have a total wingspan of roughly 75", which would push Computer 1's monitor speakers too far to the sides for proper stereo imaging during my music activities. I may still do it (damn the torpedos!)...but before I do, I would like to at least consider three slightly smaller monitors, especially seeing as how the IPS selections seem to be more plentiful at sizes of 25" and smaller.
10. I have an estimated budget for the monitors of about $1,000. If I have to buy accessories, such as a 3-monitor stand, I'd consider that as an added expense.
11. I play very few full-motion games. None in the last 5 years.
12. I do not need or want three monitors with built-in speakers or webcams. If one monitor choice (the one I use for my center monitor) has a decent webcam or has speakers, then I might use those features. But the side monitors should be clean of unneeded features, if possible. I have two webcams already, and as mentioned above, the music requirements dictate other solutions for speakers.
13. I would like monitors that generate less heat. Very low power usage during sleep mode would also be nice.
14. I think I would like a manufacturer's warranty of 2 years or more, and I don't want to pay money for any add-on warranties.
I have just begun my search. Hoping to buy within the next 3 months, so I have plenty of time for research and decision-making.
In a few minutes, I will post the results of some of my searches. I am open to suggestions and thoughts.
Thanks in advance!