Confessions of a multi-monitor madman

The first thing guests will notice upon entering my home office/playground is not the functioning-but-retired T-bird Athlon motherboard adorning the back wall, nor the pair of shadow boxes to its left containing a genealogy of Intel and AMD processors. Inevitably, new arrivals divert their gaze toward the 2×2 grid of mix-and-match monitors towering above my desktop’s keyboard. Some scoff at the arrangement. Most are merely amused by dragging dialog boxes from screen to screen. Others will ask if I’ve launched any space shuttles recently. At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t matter what people think about my monitor obsession, because I love my LCD array and cannot fathom going back to a single monitor.

This fascination with multi-monitor setups was borne out of boredom and curiosity while working as a technician at a local computer sales and repair shop. During some down time, I rounded up five old ATI Rage 128 video cards, slotted them into a single Pentium II box, attached five used monitors, and set up a scrolling marquee screen saver that spanned all of them. Customers were captivated. The old "doorstop" computer had a new purpose in life, and I had unknowingly committed myself to spending way more of my future income on monitors than most rational people.

If you’ve never worked on two (or more) monitors before, it might be hard to understand the appeal. Using single-monitor systems is kind of like breathing through a stuffy, particle-filtering face mask. Adding a second monitor feels much like removing that mask and inhaling a deep, full breath of crisp morning air. Suddenly, your desktop is opened up. You can see and do more things at the same time. The computer feels a bit more sprightly for some reason, and that hint of pixel claustrophobia you now realize existed is gone.

As far as PC upgrades go, I would argue the addition of an extra monitor offers about the same perception of boosted performance and functionality as a hefty RAM upgrade. I’m not saying everyone should run out straightaway and purchase a multi-monitor setup—because then my rig wouldn’t seem as cool and unique. However, I would like to discuss some of the pros and cons, so you can arrive at your own conclusions about what pixel nirvana looks like.

What do I need?

Most multi-monitor setups found in advertisements and trade-show demos are comprised of identical panels on custom-built stands. Often, all the displays are linked to one monster graphics card. The beauty of running multiple monitors is the flexibility one has when configuring them. Take my current setup, which is a bit unorthodox. The primary display, a 24" HP LP2465 with 1920×1200 pixels, sits at eye level on my desk next to a 20" Dell 2001FP with a 1600×1200 resolution. Both are hooked up to an aging rock star: a GeForce 8800 GTX. Above those displays, bolted to the wall on articulating arm mounts, are two 1080p, 21.5" Acer G215HAbd panels connected to a GeForce 8600 GT.

Most discrete graphics cards from the past decade have at least two video outputs available, as do most motherboards with integrated graphics released in the last two or three years. Odds are, your computer is already capable of driving multiple displays. Doing so with a single graphics card or IGP is pretty straightforward. If you opt to use multiple graphics cards, as I have, be sure they use GPUs from the same manufacturer and DirectX generation. Otherwise, driver issues and hair loss will inevitably ensue. Also, make sure your monitor, graphics card, dongles, and cables all speak the same language.

Gaming considerations

I, for one, cannot stand bezel interference while gaming. Even when the bezels are razor thin, they’re still a distraction. When AMD introduced Eyefinity, it made a valiant attempt to resolve this issue by cropping on-screen images to create the impression that part of the display exists behind the bezel. At the end of the day, though, you’ve still got big strips of bezel interrupting your view of the game world.

To make matters worse, my mismatched displays and 2×2 configuration are hardly ideal for gaming, even with bezel compensation. As a result, I restrict games to my main 24" monitor. Setting this display as the primary panel in Windows works nicely with games, which automatically use the monitor and the more powerful graphics card connected to it.

I don’t want to discount Eyefinity or other multi-monitor gaming setups. 3×1 display configurations can be a lot of fun with racing sims and some first-person shooters. That said, for my particular collection of monitors, playing games on a single screen is the way to go. Your mileage may vary.

Of course, you don’t have to lose out on multi-monitor goodness while gaming on a single screen. On my other displays, I can still see the cluster of widgets displaying clocks speeds, hardware utilization graphs, temperatures, and network conditions. I can also keep several IM windows open and an eye on my inbox, all while having a web browser showing the latest weather updates, so I know when there’s enough cloud cover for safe outdoor expeditions.

There is one caveat with this arrangement, however. Some older games, particularly real-time strategy titles, refuse to lock the mouse to a single screen. Click outside the boundary of the game window, and you’ll send the computer flickering and stuttering back to the desktop. These interruptions can sometimes be avoided by adjusting your style of play, but there are times that I’ve had to disable my auxiliary monitors as a last resort. Most modern games aptly accommodate multi-monitor configs, so this issue seem to be an exception rather than the rule.

Some thoughts on productivity

Multiple displays really shine when you put down the games and focus on productivity. The ability to have your main task open on one monitor and any number of ancillary windows open on the others can dramatically speed up research and data entry. If you are serious about web programming or content creation, running multiple monitors almost becomes a requirement. While writing research papers in college, I would often have a Red Bull in hand, a Word document open on my primary monitor, and the other three loaded up with two-abreast browser windows or PDF documents as I gathered information and cited sources at the last minute.

My favorite thing about living with so much screen real-estate is having a place for everything, with everything in its place. Outlook and Winamp (I kick it old school) go side by side on one monitor, while another is occupied by Skype, Pandora One, and various other widgets that display stock quotes, calendars, and vital system information. This arrangement frees up the bottom two displays for the main course—whatever I happen to be working on at the time.

If you use your computer for more than email and Minesweeper, you’d do well to assess the potential for improved productivity versus the cost of additional displays. (Pro tip: Windows 7’s "snap" feature is a godsend for multi-monitor users. For a good time, try holding down the Windows key and pressing the left or right arrow keys.)

I’ve got 27 monitors in my Newegg cart now… should I check out?

Whoa there, killer. Take a deep breath (sans face-mask). Before you pull the trigger on some extra liquid crystal goodness, there are a few more things to think about. Consider the cost of failure. Just like hard drives in RAID, the more of LCDs you have, the more likely you are to have one fail. When part of your monitor grid goes dark, you realize just how much you used that space and divert all available resources to sourcing a replacement. If the old model is no longer available and you want to maintain a pristine array of identical displays, you might end up shopping for a set of replacements.

Be aware of ergonomics. Having more monitors isn’t necessarily better if staring at the one in the upper-right-hand corner for any length of time puts unnecessary strain on your neck.

More pixels also means more responsibility. Running auxiliary monitors provides additional desktop area for distractions that can diminish overall productivity, so be mindful of what you’re putting on those extra displays.

Finally, be mindful of my feelings. If you run more than four monitors, you might make this author feel jealous and inadequate. You wouldn’t want that on your conscience, would you?

Comments closed
    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    I like multimonitors, but I get a headache real easily if they aren’t the same DPI and distance. My eyes don’t like to have adjust focus. Generally, I also find a 24″ to be much more production than any number of smaller monitors.

    • clone
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve got 2 and would like to go 3 but I’m frugal and hate paying for stuff that isn’t needed… I do really like having the 2 though.

    well written blog btw, nice that it had character and distinctiveness.

    • JoeKiller
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah why get that 27″ when you can have the 30″ geez!

    • SuperSpy
    • 9 years ago

    An alternative to Synergy is also Input Director (http://www.inputdirector.com/), at least the last time I compared the two, I found Input Director to be a lot more stable and configurable than Synergy (at home I have a ridiculous 6 monitor/3 PC configuration and ID has worked great for months).

    • Nutmeg
    • 9 years ago

    I’d like to get a second monitor, mainly to play two characters at once in Eve. I can and do do it with one and small windows for each client, but it’s not ideal.

    • UltimateImperative
    • 9 years ago

    Mr. Morgan: What’s the case in that picture?

    I used to keep my 24″ 1920×1200 Samsung next to my u2711, but it strained my neck to look at it, so I got rid of it (my parent’s CRT died, so they have my 24″ now); maybe I’ll buy a v. small display to keep my distractions on. But then I’d need a larger desk.

      • David_Morgan
      • 9 years ago

      The case is a Cooler Master ATC-111c-SX2. (circa 2003, or 2004). Great looking case, but not as technically proficient, or easy to work inside as many modern cases. I still love her though.

    • Madman
    • 9 years ago

    I love multi-monitor setup. You have primary screen and a secondary screen for gadgets, reference material and so on. I can’t imagine working with one screen, even if it would be 2x bigger. I like when full screen app is locked to primary screen and is full screen, everything else goes to secondaries.

    There are few annoyances though. Quite often I find myself looking at the second screen and typing while the keyboard focus is on the full screen primary-monitor app. And I also hate that say VLC looses the focus and task bar appears as soon as you click on any of the gadgets while full screen DVD is being played on the primary screen.

    But all in all multiple monitors rock.

    • Mumrik
    • 9 years ago

    I went from two 1600×1200 21″ monitors to one 24″ 1920×1200 monitor and never looked back. Dual displays were a gimmick for me 95% of the time so even though I went from 3200×1200 to 1920×1200 I still gained usable real estate.

    It takes an effort to find a use for more than one monitor. I’d rather just have a single monster of a display. When this one dies (my beloved FW900) I’ll probably pick up a 27″ or 30″ one to replace it.

      • Madman
      • 9 years ago

      If you have full screen app on the primary, there is no way anything else can be displayed on the same monitor. This is why multi-monitor setup rocks.

        • Mumrik
        • 9 years ago

        Don’t have that app full screen then.

          • Madman
          • 9 years ago

          DVD, games, etc. Plenty of them that don’t play well with two screens.

            • Mumrik
            • 9 years ago

            I agree. You seem to be supporting my viewpoint, not arguing against it.

    • Johnny5
    • 9 years ago

    Now I miss having two monitors. When I got an HD LCD monitor I decided not to keep either of my old CRT’s. I mainly used the second one just for my music player, and occasionally when I needed to look at a couple of things back and forth. My LCD is big enough to split the screen space in half, but with my tabs on the side of the screen (as I like them) my browser takes up a lot of space. Eventually I”ll probably get a better monitor and demote my current one to a secondary.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    it sucks that nVidia still doesn’t support 3+ monitors while SLI is active… making it annoying to use 3+ monitors unless you want to keep turning SLI on for gaming and then turning it off afterwards.

    I have fooled around with 3 monitors horizontally and i kept ignoring one of the monitors so I think its overkill for me. I am not a big multitasker so I don’t really have any need for the extra screen space.

    • timon37
    • 9 years ago

    I also love multi-monitor setups (got a rotated 24″ 1920×1200 and 2x 17″). But you have to use it right. For example spreading a window across screens is mostly useless. The main point of having more screens is to avoid switching between windows, since that’s a huge distraction and it interrupts the workflow and thought process.

    Also without virtual desktops (separate switching for each screen) any multi-monitor setup looses quite a bit of its potential. It allows you to for example have a few screens (with a few terminals each) for different task that relate to your main source code on the main screen, and you can easily (a single shortcut or click or mouse_scroll) switch between them without changing the contents of the rest (like the main source code, documentation or reference source code).

    In practice on average I use around 6 virtual screens on each monitor. Also having vscreens you practically never close any windows since leaving them open doesn’t cost anything, except for ram which is cheap. With a taskbar you can very quickly get into a situation where you can’t find the right window, not to mention the constantly changing positions (with vscreens everything is exactly where you left it).

      • Noigel
      • 9 years ago

      “spreading a window across screens is mostly useless”

      Sometimes with programs like AutoCad, Visio, even Excel going across multiple screens helps tons. I agree though, most of the time for productivity you probably leverage the “seams” between monitors just as much as the extra workspace.

      I really dig window management software to help too:

      Win7’s snap is pretty good…

      Divvy is excellent on both Win or OS…
      [url<]http://mizage.com/[/url<] and Gridmove, while a little rough around the edges, is super-customizable too. [url<]http://jgpaiva.dcmembers.com/gridmove.html[/url<]

    • Cuhulin
    • 9 years ago

    I use three 16:10 23″ monitors, with the middle having a tv tuner. Each has assigned purposes, and I’ve gotten so used to having it set up that way that I miss running the auxiliary monitors when I travel. I agree with the distraction of the mis-matched resolutions and sizes that several mentioned, which is why I have the three being essentially identical Samsungs. (If you look closely, you can tell the middle is different, but one needs to look closely.)

    • dashbarron
    • 9 years ago

    My main setup is a single 19″ that I use alongside a second monitor only on occasion. Between a few certain programs, older games, and the mis-matched resolution/sizes of the two monitors, it usually is more annoying to use them both at once than the productivity I gain.

    A little off-topic, but one of the most annoying things about shopping for monitors is the plethora of crappy and cheap options out there. Not even cheap on the display type/pixels, but features. I don’t know how people can buy a monitor that [i<]just[/i<] tilts. I want my monitor to have all the features to be able to do everything: swivel, rotate, pivot, height, oscillate.

      • bhtooefr
      • 9 years ago

      To be fair, swiveling can be done without anything fancy. Rotate/pivot and height on the other hand…

      (Then again, my IBM T221 only has tilt, but that’s because the thing is too heavy for a pivot/height stand, I think.)

    • dashbarron
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<] Finally, be mindful of my feelings young Skywalker. If you wield more than four lightsabers, you might make this Jedi feel jealous and inadequate. You wouldn’t want that on your conscience, would you young Padawan?[/quote<]

    • Pasdepardon
    • 9 years ago

    “Pro tip: Windows 7’s “snap” feature is a godsend for multi-monitor users. For a good time, try holding down the Windows key and pressing the left or right arrow keys.”

    Whoa… Can’t stop playing with it. Thank you very much, you made my day!

    • nagashi
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t imagine NOT having my triple monitor setup for work anymore. Currently I have on left a 20″ Dell 2007FP, 1600×1200 (bought used for $80), but turned vertically, a 27″ 1920×1200 in the center (a year old, $299), and a 19″ 1280×1024 on the right (10 years old, so it is well and truly paid off at this point). It runs off a $500 laptop (left and center) and an old athlon desktop (right) and uses synergy for mouse sharing. Total cost of everything is probably just a touch north of $1300. And people’s eyes pop out of their head when they see how productive it is.

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    In front of me is a 24 inch Dell, to the right is a 20 inch Dell, both hooked up to my main PC. A few feet in front of me and to the left is the TV near the wall. I don’t need a third monitor because that would block the view of the TV.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Hi David Morgan, who are you?
    [url<]https://techreport.com/aboutus.x[/url<]

      • David_Morgan
      • 9 years ago

      Greetings! It was rude of me to not introduce myself, and for that I apologize.

      I suppose I’m now “the new guy” around these parts, this being my first post. (Please limit yourselves to one wedgie and/or swirly please.) You’ll see me running around the site in the future, pounding Red Bull and posting blog entries, rants, and some reviews along the way. Don’t mind the shaking or the twitching eye, I’m told that will go away once the caffeine wears off 🙂

      I welcome any and all constructive comments about my posts to help grow as a writer, and enjoy reading about your related shenanigans as well. Keep em’ coming!

      Regarding the ‘About Us’ page, I guess only time will tell if I’m worthy to earn a spot alongside the great ones. 😉

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Well first and foremost, you’re not very clever to pick Red Bull. And I’m talking all about efficiency here. I personally use caffeine pills swallowed with any and/or all soft drinks (immediate bonus – no energy drink taste), 1 pill equals 125% the dosage of a Red Bull (or any other “standard” energy drink) and the price of 1 Red Bull buys me about 10-15 pills. In the end, a no-brainer, I’d say. Consult your pharmacist or check one of those large supermarkets, but I recommend pharmacy branded products (whether from a supermarket or not, just make sure it’s a pharmacy brand) because they get better quality control and you can be sure of the effect.

        Regarding your post, I don’t get the appeal of the mishmash design. I use 2 different screens at work myself (the second screen was a productivity “afterthought” quite recently by the administration) and no matter what you do, you can’t match them, the older one is yellower, the newer one is brighter, I tried everything on the monitor HUDs and in the ATI control panel back and forth, but all to no avail. The increased productivity is there, but I don’t know how you can put up with so much of [i<]the ugly[/i<].

          • David_Morgan
          • 9 years ago

          I’ve given the pills a whirl before, but I like the ability to ration my caffeine intake by chugging or sipping. I actually enjoy the taste of Red Bull and some other energy drinks as well. From a purely cost based perspective however, it is an expensive habit to maintain and you’ll find me switching over to coffee in a pinch.

          The screen color issue is something I regrettably neglected in my post. If the difference is bad enough it does drive me crazy as well. I used to have a second Dell 2001FP, but it had such a yellow tint to it that I ditched it for the HP I currently use as my primary monitor. Color temperature and brightness is an annoying issue when using non-matching monitors but can be dealt with to a degree by tweaking the color settings on each individual monitor. In everyday use, my monitors are close enough that it doesn’t bother me so long as a window doesn’t “ride the gap” and get split up between screens.

            • bhtooefr
            • 9 years ago

            Something else to try is cutting the pills. Then, if you want to regulate caffeine intake, just take a partial pill.

    • Evil_Sheep
    • 9 years ago

    I could see two panels but four?? I would think having so many things open at once would just distract focus and impede productivity (even if they’re all “work” windows.) But I’m a heavy “single-tasker.”

    I also find interlacing bezels very annoying. Why not just splurge on one or two 30-inchers?

    I read a recent study that found office productivity improved as workers were given larger monitors…up to 24″. After that productivity declined. You have almost 4X that area which means you’re some sort of whiz….but I think (obviously) this setup would not work for the average bear.

      • Cuhulin
      • 9 years ago

      Having the multiple monitors open is like having multiple items (a lamp, a pen jar, a calendar book e.g.,) on your desk. If things were moving, that might be seriously distracting. The key is limiting the changes and distractions, I think, but keeping things open and available, which is why these setups can be, for some at least, more convenient than alt-tabbing between windows.

    • grantmeaname
    • 9 years ago

    Using Windows at home, I used a 23″ 1600*1200*85Hz CRT as my secondary and my 28″ 1920*1200 Hanns-G LCD as the primary. Now that I use Linux full-time, I find that one display with four virtual desktops is plenty.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    I use a 30″ directly in front of my keyboard as my ‘alpha’ display, and a 24″ 1920×1200 in portrait mode (so, 1200×1920) immediately to it’s right, primarily for documents (WordPerfect X5 with Reveal Codes open = perfect Page display). The 30″ runs whatever software benefits most from maximum pixels: MySQL Workbench, Visio, CorelDraw, etc.

    Like Uber, I keep an ancient 17″ 1024×768 to the right of my portrait display; it is used solely to show my Palm Desktop software (which I still use with my Pre).

    My Dell laptop’s 15.6″ 1920×1080 panel sits sullenly black to the left of my 30″, because its ‘high-end’ Nvidia GPU can only drive 2 displays. The old 17″ is currently driven by a USB 2.0 video adaptor, and when USB 3.0 adaptors become available, the portrait display will join it, and my laptop screen can go back to its intended use: TR 🙂

    And Now For Something Completely Different: my even-more-ancient 22″ IBM CRT, which sits to the left of the Dell, and is driven by a second USB 2.0 adaptor. I do a lot of designing for mobile devices, including smartphones, and for flexibility, [i<]nothing[/i<] matches an old CRT for testing layouts from 640x480 up! Five displays on my desk. Oh, sorry, David, did I just make you feel inadequate?? I'll post a note to myself on display #5 to not do that again....

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 9 years ago

      3007WFP + 2001FP, sort of like this:
      [url<]http://www.ubergizmo.com/2006/02/dell-3007wfp-30-inch-lcd-monitor-review/[/url<]

      • CaptTomato
      • 9 years ago

      “””Oh, sorry, David, did I just make you feel inadequate?? I’ll post a note to myself on display #5 to not do that again…”””””.

      LOLOLOL.

    • Dually
    • 9 years ago

    1 Dell 2410 front and center and 2 Dell 23″ panels, 1 on either side. Panels aligned at the top.
    Email stays on right panel, web on left, Adobe CS apps in the middle. Works great for me.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    I enjoy running one panel in portrait and one in landscape. Portrait gets used for web viewing.

    Thankfully Win 7 gaming in Windowed mode no longer incurs a performance penalty (compared to XP) and allows for easier program switching as well. Gamers window RElocator and dxwnd make it so you can run any game borderless more or less, and games have better windowed mode support now too.

    I have a 3rd LCD I want to add to my setup but unfortunately space is a big cramped now :T

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    I like having one large (high-res) primary screen, but I also like having another smaller secondary screen — I don’t do the matched-screen massive-field-of-view thing. I find having separate screens useful as an organizing tool: my primary work sticks to the primary screen, but the other screen(s) act as assistants.

    I actually still use an old 1024×768 LCD that was a secondary and is now a tertiary display (it’s analog VGA-input only, though that doesn’t matter). It’s a hand-me-down that I originally started using because i was working on software that targeted that resolution specifically, and I still find it handy to check the odd web page for usability on low-res devices. But mostly it’s really handy for things like chat windows, media players, and random other background notifications. It’s also a useful place to stick all (or the less-used of) the palettes for apps that tend to litter your screen with them (Photoshop, sketchup, etc). I much prefer this to having my primary screen cluttered with that junk.

    • codedivine
    • 9 years ago

    I am the exact opposite of most people I think. I am a programmer, and I have found that I work best when I only have a single monitor and it has to not too wide. I simply cannot work very productively on monitors that are too wide (in terms of physical width). But other programmers that I know all seem to prefer large displays or even multiple displays so I guess I am just an odd-man-out here.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Most good IPS monitors work find in portrait orientation and have stands that easily allow for that (as long as you’re talking about 24″ and below). Have you tried that approach (perhaps as a primary screen, with a landscape-oriented secondary)? Maybe it’s because I’m not working on the same code day in and day out, but I find when coding that I tend to be consulting so many other windows — API references, other docs, other code, error and output windows, etc — that I need another screen just so that I can focus on what I’m writing.

        • codedivine
        • 9 years ago

        I have not tried portrait orientations. That is a good suggestion, I will try that sometime.

          • tay
          • 9 years ago

          I second UberGerbil’s suggestion. One landscape and one portrait is what I use as well.

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 9 years ago

            Thirded. I had a 1280×1024 for the application window and 1050×1680 for the code worked great.

      • CB5000
      • 9 years ago

      When I started using a multi-monitor setup I had a hard time getting used to using more than 1 monitor at a time. I had to keep remembering to move things around so that I use all the monitors that I have. It took at least a month before I got really used to using the multimonitor setup, and the increase in productivity didn’t happen til then.. I think at first productivity suffered a bit because I was trying to use a setup that I wasn’t used to. Now that I’m used to using a multi-monitor setup, I’ll never go back.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I like to have as few monitors as possible. To me, one 30″ display is much easier to use and more productive than say two 22″ monitors. I don’t like dealing with the caveats of multi-monitor setups either. I know that things aren’t that hard to setup and maintain now, but it’s still easier with one display. Bezels are no good either. If I can avoid having two bezels in between my work (or more), I’ll do it.

    Lastly, an intangible thing really. I feel like multi-display setups make me feel disconnected from things not on my primary screen. I think there will always been a primary display too. The start button, app launcher, or whatever you may use is always going to be on one of the displays. Makes me feel I should use things there. When I move things to another monitor I feel I’m displacing them for more important things.

    Right now I have a single U2410 @ 1920×1200. My next monitor will be bigger and higher resolution if I have anything to say about it.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      I like having as many pixels on a display as possible, but I also like having multiple displays — and for precisely the reasons you don’t like them, apparently, so it’s all a matter of perspective.

      Yes, you definitely have a primary and secondary monitors — but that’s exactly the point. Not everything is of primary importance. When I move things over to the secondary monitor, it’s [i<]because[/i<] they're of secondary importance. Chat windows go over there, and background other notifications, my media players, etc. When I move things over there I am definitely "displacing them for more important things" -- that's exactly why I'm doing it.

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    I have three monitors. A 42″ 1080 120Hz main display and two smaller 24″ LCD screens on each side. I also have a Digital DVI KVM because I have a mac that I connect to with the same keyboard. It work great.

    Also if you have multiple computers with their own monitor you should check out synergy. It works great moving my mouce from the edge of my PC monitors seamlessly to my mac desktop. And it keeps the clipboards in sync. It is awesome (Once you get it setup that is. It is strange to setup at first)

    [url<]http://synergy-foss.org/[/url<]

      • mac_h8r1
      • 9 years ago

      Synergy is a great tool; I couldn’t recommend it more for de-cluttering desktops.

      • Noigel
      • 9 years ago

      Did it take long for you to adjust to using a PC keyboard with a mac, or a mac keyboard with the PC? I use Remote Desktop and VMs across both systems and this is an annoyance sometimes.

    • bhtooefr
    • 9 years ago

    Higher resolution monitors can do the job without needing arrays.

    I rock a 2048×1536 panel in my laptop (annoyingly, it means I’m stuck on a 5 year old laptop for form factor reasons), and when that’s not enough, I dock, and the dock video card is driving a 3840×2400 panel.

    The 2048×1536 panel cost me $130, I was paid $200 to get the 3840×2400 panel. And, they’re not TN garbage, either, they’re IPS.

    (How was I paid $200 to get the 3840×2400 panel? I bought two from Japan, for $1300 to my door. I sold one for $1500.)

      • Spotpuff
      • 9 years ago

      Is that 3820×2400 panel a 22″ one?

      I would agree that having more pixel real estate is better than having more monitors if you can get the same pixel real estate and screen space with 1 monitor. But smaller monitors tend to be cheaper.

      If you were unable to sell the extra panel for money, you could have bought 4 of Dell’s 22″ 1920×1080 panels for <$800 and get the same number of pixels almost.

      Also, I find reading text on my 24″ can be trying at times, so trying to read text on a 22″ 4xHD resolution panel would be brutal.

        • bhtooefr
        • 9 years ago

        Yup, it’s 22.2″. And, I have vision quirks that cause me to need bifocals on top of a 20/20 left eye, but let’s just say that I saw three things get talked about on IBM_T2X_LCD: how to interface the monitors, what video cards worked properly, and where to get cheap computer glasses.

      • d0g_p00p
      • 9 years ago

      I have a couple of questions. 1. Where did you find a 2048×1536 IPS panel for $130 and what is the model. 2. How did you mange to sucker (rip off) someone to buy a $650 monitor for $1500? Also 2 1920×1200 displays side by side are does not give you a 2400 rez. it’s still 1200 vertical.

      anal mode off.

        • bhtooefr
        • 9 years ago

        1. eBay, IDTech IAQX10N. Other model numbers are IAQX10 and IAQX10S. Prices are higher now than when I did it, but still…
        2. Actually, it was a $400 monitor and about $250 of shipping to me. And, it’s simple – buying from the Japanese market is usually a complete pain in the ass, so it’s fairly well insulated from the North American and European market. So, a $300-$400 monitor in Japan goes for $1500 outside of Japan, due to that.

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