Planning Next Monitor Setup

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Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:03 am

About a year ago my Dell 2407WFP-HC monitor fell off a table and the screen cracked; that was the end of it's life. So in the meantime I bought a cheap $120 21 inch display to get me through the next year or so. It isn't an IPS panel though, and I've noticed that it just isn't going to last as a primary monitor.

My uses for the monitor would be a lot of photo editing (I have over 45,000 pictures I need to sort/edit, but I want to wait until I get a monitor with good color reproduction), some light gaming, web browsing, and if it has the connections, an Xbox 360 screen.

I have four ideas right now: (And I have base prices listed, I know that Dell does deals all the time)

1. Dual Dell Ultrasharp U2410 monitors ($499 each x 2 = $998)
2. Dell Ultrasharp U2711 monitor ($899)
3. Dual Dell Ulstrasharp U2711 monitors ($899 each x 2 = $1,798) (If this is possible)
4. Dell Ultrasharp U3011 monitor ($1,399)

I like the idea of having dual monitors, but would a giant monitor be better? I always had this feeling that a 30 inch monitor is so large that I would need to sit far back from the screen and have to turn my head all the way to the left or the right to see the edges.
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themattman
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:18 am

You'll get a lot more useable space from 2 x 24 vs a 30, which will be perfect for office productivity, web browsing etc with many windows open at once (since using a 2 monitor setup, i'll never go back). However, someone more involved in photo editing may favour a single, larger monitor.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:23 am

I'm a firm believer in dual monitors. Even though you might not get the raw size/resolution as a larger single display, the total real estate you have to work with can help out a ton, and there's a lot of benefit to having one display for information and reference while you do your work on a primary display.

So it comes down to what you need. Do you need a really good display to do your photo editing, or would you be better served by having more space to spread out applications?
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:39 am

Have you considered looking into one of the $300-$400 27-inch 2560x1440 monitors being sold on Ebay? They seem to be well made and there is ALOT of information on them:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1215866/revi ... tleap-q270

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1678985

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1675393

Microcenter also has a 27-inch 2560x1440 monitor, which appears to be similar to the ones being sold on Ebay (except it has more inputs and comes from an actual company):

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... id=0384780

http://www.overclock.net/t/1257538/micr ... s-monitors
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 8:44 am

Make sure to look at pixel density and aspect ratio!!! Not only that, but there's just something more "productive" (and cool) about having dual monitors compared to one larger screen. I find it much easier to just drag a window over to a second monitor and maximize it than to half-snap the same window to a larger screen. Plus, working full screen on the second monitor leaves all your desktop icons visible for quickly opening new things. My guess is that if you only have one screen, you'll still be maximizing windows to the full screen and having to minimize and switch windows instead of being able to have two open and maximized at the same time.

Dual U2410's will give you a total of 3840x1200 pixels of real estate (16:10 aspect ratios are better for productivity IMO)
A single U2711 is 2560 x 1440 (16:9 aspect ratio)
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 am

I don't use dual monitors if I don't have to. I have a U2410 now and it rules, but I do want something bigger. In my case, for as long as possible, I'd only be buying 16:10 monitors. My vote is for the U3011. Second place is the U2410s.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 9:44 am

Are you still running that 8800 GTS 512? I would not drive a 2560x1440+ display with that card if you are a gamer unless you are ok with not playing at the native resolution of the display.

Windows is absolutely sh*t on a single display. With the improvements in Windows 8 multi display support http://goo.gl/7qYxu and your system specs I would go with dual U2410's (hint: save your money for some PC upgrades).
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 10:50 am

I have a single U2711. I have to say its fantastic for everything I use it for ( 3D programming/modelling/editing, gaming, watching video etc etc). I find I never have to maximize a window, as theres enough screen real estate there to not care, and I use Ubuntu most of the time so I can quickly switch between desktops when i want to be referencing something.

I dont find the 16:9 aspect ration 1 bit annoying, but maybe if i'd had time to play on a 16:10 i would. Honestly, with the size of the screen, i dont think I'd care about the aspect ratio!
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 12:43 pm

While we're on this topic, I've also weighed the 2x 24" vs 1x30" monitor, but my primary use is gaming. Anyone have suggestions for either camp? I split my time between real-time strategy and first-person-shooters. I drive my 24" IPS dell monitor with a 2GB ATI HD6950 card.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 1:28 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:Have you considered looking into one of the $300-$400 27-inch 2560x1440 monitors being sold on Ebay?


Curse you for showing me more ways to spend money! :P I've been considering nuking my Eyefinity setup and going with a 27"... :-?
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Thanks for all the input!

The displays would most likely be used for non-gaming activities until I upgrade my PC next year when Haswell is released, and I'll be getting a new video card that can drive everything.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:42 pm

Try one UltraSharp U3011 (2560x1600) in the center with one or two portrait-mode 2007FPs (1200x1600) on the side. I have a 2001FP and a 3007WFP in this arrangement.

My second choice would be the UltraSharp U2410.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:49 pm

What's with all of the love for Dell's Ultrasharps for gaming?

If you're only going to be hooking it up to a PC, you can get the same LG panel in an equally quality package without all of the input-lag inducing scalars and such from HP. My HP ZR30w, still the highest rated 30" gaming screen, is the perfect recommendation.

As a side note- 30" panels (or their close 27" counterparts) have a lot of pixels, and care has to be taken to properly power them for the latest games. Here, you might find a pair of 24" panels easier, from both a gaming perspective in video card cost, and in having an easier to use workspace. Same number of pixels, just spread out differently.
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 4:16 pm

Airmantharp wrote:What's with all of the love for Dell's Ultrasharps for gaming?

If you're only going to be hooking it up to a PC, you can get the same LG panel in an equally quality package without all of the input-lag inducing scalars and such from HP. My HP ZR30w, still the highest rated 30" gaming screen, is the perfect recommendation.


Unless you're some Ub3rpro twitch gamer that plays with resolution on 8x6 and no details, the input lag on an Ultrasharp should be no issue. From what I've read on sites around the web, it appears the U2410 has about 15ms of input lag, the U2711 at about 30, and the U3011 just below 25ms. (source: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/con ... #input_lag) The HP ZR30w has around 10-11ms of input lag from what I've read. So let's take that 30ms input lag time and start there. That's 0.03s. We'll use this as a reference. On a GTX 680 at native resolution on a 30" monitor TR averaged 39fps. With an input lag of 30ms that's still only 1.17frames. On the HP it would be from 0.39-0.429 frames.

I'm just saying that the input lag shouldn't be a concern unless you've got something more than enjoyment riding on your games.

(I think I did that math right. Someone correct me if it's wrong.)
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Re: Planning Next Monitor Setup

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 4:39 pm

I agree that it's not tremendous- but why pay more for a slower screen?

I would have happily bought a U3011, had the HP not tested faster, and I not needed the extra scaling etc. that comes with the Dell.
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