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Ranimi23's avatar

Is it better to work with two computer screens simultaneously or only one screen of 30 inches?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1911points) May 6th, 2010

I am web programing a lot on my in my spare time and I love to work with two windows open: one with my code and the other with the result (web page). It is making the work much more faster and
fewer flickers in the eyes of the crossings between the windows.

I can buy now a new 27’ or 30’ computer screen, or I can keep my 22’ I have, which I like, and add another computer screen next to him and work with them both.

Do you have experience working with two screens? Is that really better? Or is it better to have one huge screen with high resolution so you can open two windows simultaneously, side by side.

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16 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Both screens will probably have the same(or simmilar) resolution regardless of size so with a bigger screen you won’t actually get that much more viewing space it wll just mean everything is bigger.

I would have two screens (well actually I’d have six screen eyefinity set up if I could afford it).

lilikoi's avatar

I am going to assume that by ’ you meant inches. I have had a 24” screen for maybe a year or two now and I already want a bigger one. I used a 17” screen for maybe 6 years before that and can’t imagine having to go back – it’s kinda like dial-up vs cable/dsl. I’d go with two screens as @Lightlyseared suggested for the same screen area reason. I don’t think one 30” would be better. I thought I’d use the addl area I got when I upgraded for viewing two windows side by side, but usually I just maximize one window and toggle. I kinda wish I bought two.

grumpyfish's avatar

I have two screens, and I like it a lot more than I would simply like a larger screen.

I have two 20” screens—3.5MP combined resolution.

A 30” Dell widescreen has about 4MP resolution, so you do get more that way.

However, being able to organize into left screen/right screen and maximizing within a single screen are good reasons to go with two.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Old research, but useful and interesting nonetheless.

Ranimi23's avatar

Hi, Thanks a lot for your opinion all. Should the two screen be at the same size? Or one can be a widescreen 22” and another regular and maybe only 17” ?

grumpyfish's avatar

@Ranimi23 Works so much better with two identical screens if you can swing it.

richardhenry's avatar

As someone who went from two 20” displays to one 30” display; it makes your workflow so much smoother. You don’t realize how awkward dragging between two screens is until you don’t have to do it anymore.

It’s also so much less strain not having to turn your head between two monitors all the time; so when you’re using things like CSSEdit and you have two windows open (typing in one and previewing in the other), you’re not constantly turning back and forth—they’re just side-by-side.

I would vote a 30” display, no doubt.

the100thmonkey's avatar

For me, it’s important that when I launch Thunderbird, for example, it doesn’t occupy my primary display – I want it to launch in my second monitor and it does. No alt+tab, no messing about. Furthermore, turning your neck isn’t really a strain, now, is it? With two displays, your OS/desktop environment remembers which screen the app last used and (generally) defaults to the last configuration. I wouldn’t recommend that you put a significant space between the monitors, but I’d definitely recommend a dual-head setup over a single display, just for the avoidance of headaches when you maximise apps.

DarkScribe's avatar

I use two 22” screens in preference to a single 30/46”. I have both options and far prefer two. It will depend very much on the type of work. When I am writing I will use a single screen, but when involved in layout or editing much prefer two. Adobe CS4/5 is optimised for dual screen. For instance, I have a Fluther window and a both AP and Reuters open in one, plus one showing final layout, while in my main window I have InDesign or Photoshop with the page I am working on. A single screen, no matter how large – doesn’t offer the same convenience.

zophu's avatar

I have no experience with this, but I would assume that a bigger screen is better than having two monitors as long as there’s enough room to work. The only time I would want more than one screen is if the others would only have to be checked only every once in a while. Constant cross-referencing between two or more monitors seems like it would be annoying over time.

YARNLADY's avatar

Hubby currently uses three monitors on his wrap around desks, but he would rather have two or more giant screens to put his work on, like the ones you see on the CSI type shows on TV

Response moderated
Ranimi23's avatar

I have checked in 27” computer screen ( 1920×1080 dpi ) if two web pages can be one next to another, but I saw that wide page like Fluther.com pages, both will be with a bottom scroll bar. It means not enough space to display two web pages side by side wide.

In one window I’m writting code, the other window is a web explorer like Firefox to see the result. On my 22” it is not possible to have two windows side by side, very small and uncomfortable and as I mentioned the bottom scroll bar disturbing.

@the100thmonkey I read the research, very interesting!

Probably as you all said, two screen is better, it is also cheaper to buy two screens of 22” than one screen of 30”.

downtide's avatar

I use twin screens at work and I absolutely love it. I think two would be better than one large screen.

richardhenry's avatar

Here’s two Fluthers open side-by-side on my 30” 2560×1600 display, if that helps give you an idea of what you can get done with the space: http://i.imgur.com/QcXzR.jpg

Remember that it’s not just a case of screen size, but also monitor resolution.

richardhenry's avatar

Oh; If you are going to use two displays side-by-side, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want identical displays. The slight difference between colour profiles (or worse; resolution, if they aren’t the same resolution) will bug the hell out of you.

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