Poll: How many displays are hooked up to your main PC?

In the wake of our detailed look at AMD’s Eyefinity multi-display technology, we’re wondering just how many of our readers use more than one monitor on their PC. After all, 1080p displays with cheap TN panels can be had for 150 bucks or so these days, and we’re even starting to see high-quality IPS monitors with sub-$300 price tags. With almost all half-way decent graphics cards toting at least a couple of DVI ports, the temptation to chuck in an extra LCD must be strong for many folks.

So, we’ve thrown a new poll together to find out. Our question is as you’d expect: how many displays are hooked up to your main PC? You may cast your vote either below or on our front page.

Our last poll was actually a little similar, although that time, we inquired about speaker setups. A clear majority (60%) of our respondents use stereo speakers or headphones, interestingly enough. The next most popular option was 5.1-speaker configs, which garnered 26% of the vote, followed by—get this—5.1 or 7.1 headhphones with 4% of the total. Stereo may be king, but more folks buy those multi-channel headphones than one might think.

Comments closed
    • blubje
    • 9 years ago

    2 b/c nVidia’s linux twinview only supports 2… may have to jump ship sometime…

    • packfan_dave
    • 9 years ago

    Just one. When I get around to moving my ‘main’ system to my new laptop, I guess it’ll technically be two (though one inactive). But except in that brief period where we had inexpensive 4:3 LCDs, I just didn’t really get the appeal of multiple monitors. Multiple CRTs and multiple widescreen LCDs just take up too much space. I mean, I guess a pair of 20-24″ widescreens rotated 90 degrees wouldn’t get too silly, but you can’t use cheap panels rotated 90 degrees and at that point why not just get a single big honking monitor.

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    Just one, but I’m seriously considering buying another. I borrowed my brother’s monitor when he was away for a couple weeks and having a 2nd monitor was very convenient. The only thing holding me back is desk space. A 16:9 monitor already takes up a lot of space.

    Eyefinity looks cool, but it’s not mature enough yet. I don’t want to have to mess around with settings, config files, etc just to get a game working. If popular titles sometimes have trouble with it, I imagine more obscure games would take a lot of tinkering to get them working right. I’m not sure 3 monitors would even fit on my desk either. The monitor stands would for sure, but having them hanging off the edge isn’t ideal.

    • deinabog
    • 9 years ago

    Two (one for each box). Both are 23-inch Samsungs.

    • nagashi
    • 9 years ago

    Two, but that’s because I have a laptop right now. When I used a desktop for 8 some years, I had 3. Two ran off a matrox p650, and 1 more off a matrox millenium.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    I think this poll jinxed me. One of my monitors (incidentally, my newest one) up-and-died last night.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    I used to use a 19″ 1280×1024 Dell Ultrasharp through college. Then my family donated unto me a 20″ 1600×1200 Ultrasharp and a 24″ 1080P Acer monitor.

    I tried using all 3 but its a funky set up and I had to disable SLI if i remember correctly. The main problem was that I can’t possibly keep track of that much screen space and I would end up ignoring one screen for long periods of time. So I switched back to 2 screens and everything works great. Thank you NVIDIA for enabling SLI with dual monitors, even if the drivers are a bit buggy.

    • Skids
    • 9 years ago

    2 – 42 Inch 1080P TVs (1 Olivia and 1 Dynex)

    • stdRaichu
    • 9 years ago

    Voted for two, since I have 2x 1680×1050 on my home workstation. But I’m lucky enough to have four (2x 1680×1050 and 2x 1280×1024) at work. Generally I’ll take as much screen real estate as possible, as doing Real Work [TM] on less than two monitors seems nearly impossible.

    • thermistor
    • 9 years ago

    I voted for 1, but have 2 out of 3 ready to go for Eyefinity…still need to buy active adapter cable and a 5xxx card. 22″ 1680×1050 Samsungs…to keep it in budget, I figured out how to fix broken CCFL’s and inverter boards (thanks, Internets!) from clunkers bought online.

    And I am finishing a special basement man-cave room, with enough room for a largish desk to have enough room for the 1×3 display. No kids or spouses allowed!

    • clhensle
    • 9 years ago

    One:
    32inchs of awesomeness
    ยง[< http://splak.net/computer/obsidian/desk1.JPG<]ยง

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      What resolution and dot pitchg{

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    “None.”

    Oh VERY funny.

      • Scrotos
      • 9 years ago

      Windows Home Server? Linux box? Ever heard of headless media servers? Maybe someone just ssh’s in to their main machine via a laptop or from their work computer.

        • dpaus
        • 9 years ago

        If they never work “at it”, then in what sense would it be their “main PC”??

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          A home server is very much main.

            • clone
            • 9 years ago

            if the main pc is a laptop is the display hooked to it or a part of it?

            point to ponder.

            • travbrad
            • 9 years ago

            I would say the monitor is “hooked up” yes. It has cables going to it and is hooked on to the laptop by a hinge. Or are you saying if I duct tape my monitor to my desktop case it’s no longer “hooked up” to my computer?

            In any case I think the spirit of the question is what’s important, not the specific wording used in the question.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    We’ve been delivering three-screen systems to customers since 1990, so anything less at home just seemed, so, you know.. /[<80s<]/ Whoda thunk I was in the 6% bleeding edge?

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t like the way you wrote “just one” as a selection. Just one? Makes it sound like I’m handicapped here, while two or three screens is “where it’s at”.

    I know you guys entertain your children with 6 screens of awesomesauceness at home, but you’re making the majority feel puny here with that wording. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • CheetoPet
    • 9 years ago

    2 – Dell 3008 & my old 21″ Samsung 213T rotated 90 degrees next to it. I was considering scaring up another identical Samsung for the other side to do an eyefinity setup until I read the last article & learned it can’t handle individual monitor rotations. Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to buy a couple more 3008’s…

    • KinCT
    • 9 years ago

    3 (NEC EA231WMI – IPS panels) – in Eyefinity setup off of an ATI 5870. I have toyed a bit with both portrait & landscape, have not permanently settled on one yet.

    Pretty damned impressive. My boys are rather taken with it. The wife was even impressed (though she said watching a game on it would make her sick). I have a very tolerant wife. This was an expensive build (AMD 1090t w 16 GB RAM – I run a lot of server VMs for work, so this is actually very useful for me – 8 GB was painfully too small).

    Get some wierd flicker on the one using an 8′ Displayport cable when playing Dragon Age Origins (4″ orange or yellow bar flickers across one entire screen). When I get some spare time I want to swap cables to assure it is not the monitor (99+% certain it is not). I have heard Displayport cables work better when short (e.g. not 8 feet). Might also just be a game issue.

    Fallout 3, Dirt 2, look pretty good. Bioshock 2 made me sick playing it (though it could have been a function of the hour I was playing it and lack of sleep).

    Need some more spare time to tinker with this.

    • mnecaise
    • 9 years ago

    Basically, the same setup at home and work: a 1680×1050 and a 1280×1024 side-by-side. I’m happy with this setup using inexpensive monitors in the 20″ws to 22″ws range.

      • Veerappan
      • 9 years ago

      Same here, but just at home.

      23″ 1680×1050 as main monitor (viewsonic TN something)
      19″ 1280×1024 next to it (Dell 1905FP)

      Hopefully in about a year I’ll be moving and then I’ll probably go for matching 23-24″ IPS panels (or maybe 1 IPS +1 TN).

      At work, it’s just a single 19″ 1280×1024 on each computer (one in front of me, one on the desk behind me).

    • continuum
    • 9 years ago

    Two. Dual 22″ 1920×1200.

    Work is almost the same, only they’re 24″ displays.

    Tempted to switch to two Dell U2711 2560×1440’s as I get killer pricing, but it seemed excessive. =P

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    I have three on my “primary” work machine (though it depends what you call “primary”). No gaming on that system though. Two Dell 24″ monitors, but the third one is a 37″ Samsung HDTV hooked up via a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro card, so it isn’t really a “monitor” (I use it for video editing).

    My “other” workstation machine in the workshop has a two monitor set (though one of the two is still an old Samsung CRT), and then there’s the HTPC with only one. I’d really like to put two more Dell 24″ LCDs in the workshop and get rid of that CRT and be able to get some Eyefinity-action going. Saving my pennies but there are just too many toys to want…

    • Fighterpilot
    • 9 years ago

    Just one good one…Dell Ultrasharp U2410 DP.

    • Machupo
    • 9 years ago

    Running 3x VW266H’s in landscape eyefinity right now, probably going to pick up a stand and switch them to portrait in the near future.

    • leor
    • 9 years ago

    I’m your huckleberry.

    das right it’s a full 6 ova here

    Dell 3008 flanked by a pair of 2410s turned vertical

    40 inch 1080p sony bravia mounted up above.

    23 inch 720p tv turned into the kitchen

    and a cute little 15 that i use to remote into my server

    all run on a pair of 5850s, lovin that 3 displays per card deal.

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t think my brain could handle that many displays. I might get confused with what I’m doing. ๐Ÿ˜

      • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
      • 9 years ago

      Post a picture if you don’t mind.

      I want to see this.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    I had minimum 2 for the longest time back when typical resolutions were lower; my desk didn’t get any bigger, but I find a single 23-24 inch display with a 1080+ resolution to be enough for home needs nowadays (please don’t make me get a new desk, that’s such a nightmare).

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Two

    Samsung 2233 RZ 22″ (1680×1050) @ 120HZ and Viewsonic VP930b 19″ (1280×1024)

    • C-A_99
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t have anything that really matches up to my 1680×1050 22″ very well, though I might grab a 19″ 1280×1024 that’s sitting around the house sometime if I really need to muititask, though I’d more likely just use the 18″ (screen) CRT sitting around if I need a second monitor. I’d prefer the LCD since it has the same pixel pitch and is, well, the only other LCD available.

    It’s very unlikely that I’ll even have a dual monitor setup of similar monitors anytime soon. If I can even get a new monitor, I’d rather get a 1920×1080 or x1200 first, which would cause the old monitor not to match up so I can’t use it for Eyefinity anyway. (Plus I’d need a third monitor.)

    So, I usually have one display hooked up, though I sometimes use two if I need to muititask.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    Two, a 24″ 1920×1200 and a 19″ 1280×1024.

    • RickyTick
    • 9 years ago

    Two.
    22″ Samsung Syncmaster 226BW and 22″ Asus VW224U
    Identical resolution and dot pitch.
    Nice inexpensive setup with plenty of room. Really helps with productivity. Can’t imagine going back to a single monitor.

    • jackbomb
    • 9 years ago

    Main PC has a single 24″ 1920×1200.

    The HTPC has two displays: a 23″ monitor and a 63″ plasma, both at 1080p (cloned). Yeah, I included the HTPC so that I could mention the plasma.

    • grantmeaname
    • 9 years ago

    1600*1200 CRT from the 1990s and 1920*1200 LCD. Alright! (If only my laptop could handle displaying something on its own screen as well… I’d be at 6 megapixels…)

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      Curious, which displays better the CRT or LCD?

        • grantmeaname
        • 9 years ago

        My CRT is really old but really quite nice. It’s significantly brighter and its image is way more customizable (I even got the image to stretch almost all the way to the edges of the screen), and it’ll do 72Hz without overclocking (because technically it’s specced at 1732*1366 or somesuch odd resolution). My LCD is quite the opposite, with only a few hundred thousand more pixels but a 28″ diagonal instead of a 21″ diagonal. It’s color isn’t quite as vibrant, but I downloaded the ICC color profile for it online so it looks really good too.

    • roc1
    • 9 years ago

    I am either on my laptop or on my 37″ LG LCD at home. I strongly believe more than 2 monitors are needed only by some specialty occupations.

      • d2brothe
      • 9 years ago

      When you have a 37 inch LCD you probably only need one monitor, some of us only have 22 inch monitors, then we may want 2.

    • eitje
    • 9 years ago

    two monitors attached, only one turned on.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 9 years ago

    voted two (19″ 1440×900 lcd and a 19″ 1280×1024 sony trinitron i got for free), even though i typically only use the lcd. i generally don’t have need for so much space.

    • Scorpiuscat
    • 9 years ago

    I have 3 monitors, none of them match ๐Ÿ™

    But it works great, I love all the extra room when editing web files

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    Used to have 2 matching 1680×1050 but I moved to a single 1920×1200 about a year ago. I’d like to get a second monitor again but it’s more of a convenience thing and an IPS 1600×1200 to perfectly match my current monitor would be pricey, it’s mainly about the desk space

    • kureshii
    • 9 years ago

    Just two for me at the moment, both 24″ IPS Ultrasharps. There are future plans for a third, and perhaps even a fourth, depending on the graphics card market at that time; I am not too fond of having to buy an extra graphics card for more displays.

    • nightmorph
    • 9 years ago

    Just one. A 19″ widescreen Acer 1440×900 from 2006. It’s about the only piece of my original rig that still works.

    Now I’m torn between getting a second 19″ (desk space permitting) or just getting a larger display, like 24″, and hope that’s good. Plus it’d avoid potential headaches caused by multi-monitors and xf86-video-ati.

    Downside of getting a second 19″ screen: 900px really isn’t enough vertical space.

    • Hurst
    • 9 years ago

    I voted 1,.. but I also have a cable running out to the TV in the family room for when friends come over I can easily set up movies, show new vacation pics or anything else of interest. I’m using a Samsun 32″ 1920×1080 LCD TV as my main monitor and we have a 60″ LG 1920×1080 plasma in the family room. Both screens are on at the same time,.. but can only see one at a time. So is that 1,.. or technically 2?

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Two. One 20″ 1200×1600 in portrait for docs, rdp, telnet, cli, email, and one 24″ 1920×1200 in landscape for games/browser/generic.

    I actually got another 23″ @ 1920×1200 to replace the 20″ but it was /[

    • CampinCarl
    • 9 years ago

    One 1680×1050 22″ Acer as my main display, and I’m using my 32″ LG (1080p) as my alternate. Though there’s a weird artifact on the LG when I run it at 60Hz…huge black border. Dropping it down to 30Hz removes it at 1920×1080. Don’t get that at all.

    • just brew it!
    • 9 years ago

    When I upgraded to a 1680×1050 monitor from my old 1280×1024 I set them up in dual-head. The old monitor is very handy for displaying documentation, keeping an eye on downloads, running VirtualBox VMs, etc., without cluttering up the primary display.

    I kind of regret not going for a higher resolution on the primary display, but cost was a major consideration and 1680x1050s were getting really cheap last summer.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 9 years ago

    I previously had 2 lcd’s at home but one of them was sold off. The one I currently have refuses to die off so that I can replace it with one of those 23inch ips lcd’s. While 23 inch ips panel isn’t ideal (16:9) it’ll still be better than my 21 inch 1680×1050. It’s starting to pink on boot up so the time is coming soon.

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    One at home, two at work.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      same, but since I consider my home PC my “main” I’ve voted 1.

    • Cova
    • 9 years ago

    I voted ‘4’, though technically its more of a 2+2. As soon as I can get my hands on a Radeon 5000-series thats cheap (read – looking for low or mid-range card) and supports driving 4 displays at once I’m gonna get one and simplify this setup. It’s my work setup, so games/3D doesn’t matter to me at all beyond the ability to run desktop effects. Right now my setup is my main work-rig running a pair of 20″ LCD’s, and a second system I built from spare parts running another pair of 19″ LCD’s, with the 19’s placed above the 20’s. And then I setup Synergy (http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/) to make it act like a single quad-display desktop – my mouse flows across all 4 seamlessly, keyboard types into what I want it to, clipboard contents get sync’d, etc. Due to a variety of other restrictions (some hardware, some soft) additional vid-cards is not an option for me, I need a quad-output eyefinity setup.

    And every once in a while I happen to have my tablet at work, and its also got the synergy client on it. So I occasionally have a 5-display “workspace” with 2×20’s, 2×19’s, and 1×12″ 1280×800 multi-touch display on the left.

      • MixedPower
      • 9 years ago

      I may be mistaken, but I don’t think any of the Radeons with four+ display outputs (bar the Eyefinity6 cards) are capable of sending a signal to more than three monitors simultaneously.

        • Cova
        • 9 years ago

        There is a technical restriction on all of the 5000-series GPU’s related to how many monitors you can drive simultaneously. Specifically, the GPU can only drive 2 non-displayport outputs at once (there are only 2 clock-generator chips for outputting which is required for VGA/DVI/HDMI – displayport does not require one) therefore all of the cards out on the market right now with a single displayport (or mini-displayport) connector and a variety of other DVI/HDMI/VGA connectors can only drive 3 monitors at once. Obviously an Eyefinity6 card with 6 mini-displayport connectors gets around that issue – but there is also nothing stopping one of the card makers from building a 5750-based card with 2x DVI and 2x displayport to drive 4 monitors. (unconfirmable that the agreement between ati and the card vendors when they buy chips saying that ati won’t let them make a 6-output card except with the top-end GPU – but that still theoretically allows a 4-output low-end card targetted at business productivity use like I want)

    • SNM
    • 9 years ago

    My Mac at work has 2 1600*1200 displays. I actually only run one 1920*1080 monitor at home, but since I work on it rarely if ever that’s plenty for websurfing or playing a game.

    • not@home
    • 9 years ago

    I used to have 2 but one died out of warranty and I have not had the $ to replace it. I dearly miss a dual monitor setup.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t even have the room on my desk for three large displays.

    I’ve been a two display guy for about a year now. I can’t imagine going back.

    • LawrenceofArabia
    • 9 years ago

    Im still running one of those terrible 1280×1024 5:4, square as hell, displays. Im looking at upgrading to either the U2410 or HP’s ZR24w, but thats not happening until after summer either way.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      Same here. Used to have 2 before the kids grew up and stole my babies! Boo hoo! Kids are happy, so it is worth it.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Me too, and mine’s even got a big scratch on it.

      • Cova
      • 9 years ago

      The two 19’s I talk about in my post #12 are both 5:4 1280×1024 squares too.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    Single 1920×1200 or 1920×1080 depending on where I’m sitting.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Just the 1 here. 27″ to compensate for my small manhood though.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      Maybe a woman would fix that? They are a little bit bigger and can make your manhood bigger.

        • Kulith
        • 9 years ago

        But those are way more expensive and they lose appeal over time.

          • henfactor
          • 9 years ago

          ZINGGG!

            • Scrotos
            • 9 years ago

            That’s why you have to keep upgrading to the newer models!

    • mmp121
    • 9 years ago

    Just one for now, planning on getting a second one for when I build a new system this summer. I’ve been single heading it with my Dell 2405 for nearly 4 years now. I’ve been working with dual-head / triple head @ work for the better part of 3 years now.

    • khands
    • 9 years ago

    Eyefinity, etc. is far to new to be seeing a lot of 3+ votes I think.

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      I doubt it will help it much.

      • TheEmrys
      • 9 years ago

      Matrox’s old Triplehead may be out in the wild still.

      • jackaroon
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t think its a technology availability issue . . . well, not for “a lot” of people anyway. I wouldn’t go more than 2, regardless, unless someone invents some killer app for some kind of tiny monitor or one that is tethered to the desk floating on a hydrogen balloon, or sitting across the room, taking its signal wirelessly.

      For pretty much everybody, practical constraints like size of desks, where people like to sit, etc. are going to rule that discussion. It’s the same family of reasons that laptops are more popular than desktops, even though they are less powerful, cost more, and a single component failure can force you to buy a new one (warranty repairs notwithstanding).

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