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I currently use 2 monitors. A 19" and an old 15". I love having dual output as I can use the 2nd one to show my emails or a web browser while I work on my main monitor.

I would like to upgrade, probably replacing the 15" with a 24" with a 2048 resolution so that I can fit 2 web browser windows side by side.

What else should take into consideration?

  • Optimal number of screens, sould I instead buy a 3rd monitor?
  • Standardise size/resoltuion rather than having ones that differ?
  • Makes/brands?
  • Dual monitor software to use?

What is the optimal setup in your opinion?

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5 Answers

Many consider a three monitor setup optimal.

See this:

It's best if all monitors have the same resolution, size and color settings, but even a setup with two highly different monitors can provide a huge productivity boost compared to a single-monitor setup.

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I personally like to make sure that my dual monitors are running the same resolution. Changing focus between monitors with different resolutions, particularly anything with text that then resizes, used to cause me headaches after extended periods of use.

In terms of software, I always go for UltraMon.

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I have 2 monitors, and I like to have one rotated 90 degrees so it's portrait shape. I get more lines of code on the screen that way, and most code is 80-100 columns wide anyway so it doesn't require the width.

(It's also nice to have one normally oriented though as web pages tend to be optimised for this aspect ratio)

If I could have anything, I would make my normally oriented one larger so it's height was the same as the smaller ones width, so when the smaller one was rotated 90 degrees the edges would match up.

I don't like wide screen monitors.

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This has been asked on SO before with regard to programming, and I think the answers to that question hold true generally.

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Personally I'd have monitors of the same make, size and resolution.

Multi monitor software is not essential on Windows as it has support built in, but software like DisplayFusion can make life easier.

The number 2, 3 or 6 is down to how much money you've got to spend on graphics cards and the monitors themselves.

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