Which monitor configuration is more productive: 2x24" screens or 1x30"?

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  11 November 2012
You would just need to counter weight the small one. It says your stand can hold 28 pounds of monitor, and even with 4-6 pounds of counter weights, that's still under the maximum.

That LG monitor looks pretty cool though.

  11 November 2012
Alright, I have a few models in mind now. One last thing before I start placing orders. How picky should I be about color uniformity, and what should I expect with the backlights?

Realistically how much backlight bleed should I expect? What's 'normal' with IPS screens? I've juggled screens with Dell before sending them all back, this is my review, with pictures included.


Was I being too harsh? Are any of you able to post backlight bleed pictures of good monitors for me to see so I know what to expect?

Thanks, this thread has been illuminating!
  11 November 2012
All LCD monitors are unable to display true black. If your just doing CAD and programming, its really not that big of a deal.

The LED backlit displays give a more even back light across the monitor. If your obessed with back lighting, have a look at those.

And yes, I think your review was a little harsh.

  11 November 2012
I didn't expect to see the uniformity issues on blacks/dark colors so I let them have it, but I'm still uncertain of what's acceptable on these.
  11 November 2012
Also check the Samsung SyncMaster LS27A850DS 27IN PLS LCD Monitor (2560X1440) - new technology, and quite affordable. I just purchased a second one (on sale $699 NCIX) since I am very happy with the first one, and finally getting rid of my last LACIE CRT.

My work consists of (web)coding, 3d work, painting, image editing, reading/research and a spot of gaming as well ;-) This screen is the best I have had so far: anti-glare (without the sandy look like other ips screens), full sRGB, very sharp. It is a great multi-purpose screen.

As with all lcd screens, and depending on the tech used, there is always a trade off: in this case the black is quite shallow. Still, the quality of the image is excellent overall. Mind, some owners have complained about backlight uniformity on some of these, and had to exchange them for a replacement.

Check the reviews on the net.
  11 November 2012
On my LG, there is a tiny amount of backlight on the right-hand and lower corner, but it's hardly noticeable in normal production. And again, for the price/quality this thing is hard to beat. That bezel with new LG was quite a scam I guess! I don't game, and response time is overall a non-issue for me.

I suggest, since you want a monitor for many years, to go a shop and check different models yourself. That is what I did and in my case the LG came out on top after many visits and looking at reviews.
  11 November 2012
It does look like I need to put eyes on these before committing to one long term. I would really love to get this from a B&M retailer, but all that I have in my area are national chains. I'm in Northeastern Oklahoma (Tulsa county). Are there any retailers you'd suggest going to to look at IPS screens?

I'm seeing these $280 Dell U2412s. The anti-glare coating sounds like it'd be infuriating. I'm looking at this thread: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1674033 and wondering if it's the right time to buy a monitor, because I'm having to look at modding it right out of the box. All of the cheaper IPS panels have these coatings..

Hmmm. This is a tough choice. How often are these monitors dipping down into this price range?
  11 November 2012
When you taste the 30inch love, there's just no coming back.
So long and thanks for all the fish
  11 November 2012
I haven't read all the other replies but at work I've recently gone from 2x24" Samsung TN panel monitors to 1x30" Dell IPS monitor. In my opinion, go for the 30"! I've become quite reliant on two monitors both at work and at home but using the 30" on it's own is actually extremely comfortable and I don't miss the 2nd monitor at all. There's always enough space for whatever I need and the ability to fit an HD comp window on the screen and still have space for timeline and other panels is really helpful.

Plus in my case it's going from a TN to an IPS which makes an incredible difference. 30" also just feels... impressive, somehow.
Steven Olver - 3D and motion graphics artist in the UK
  11 November 2012
That was EXACTLY the experience I was looking for!

How many documents can you have on your screen simultaneously? I can get 4 up side by side currently, which is really useful when I'm working on papers or following tutorials.

About how far away from your screen do you sit?

  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by Wolvenmoon: I can get 4 up side by side currently, which is really useful when I'm working on papers or following tutorials.

A 30" would display four documents at a time but in a top to bottom and side to side layout (one in each corner). If you had four documents open side by side on a 30" it would be about 640 pixels of width per document which isn't much. With two 24" monitors and two documents per monitor there would be 960 pixels of width per document.
  11 November 2012
Everybody has a different perception and feeling off this kind of choices.
There are accredited studies showing that there is such a thing as too much (for some people).

I would take two 24s over a single 30 any day of the year, and for me the sweet spot is two IPS XD 27" (which Dell has a relatively solid and affordable offer for).

It's hard to distance a 30" enough from your eyes to have a clear best-window of viewing AND still retain ideal real-estate text and icon sizes, and ultra high res is still problematic at times with some apps and environments that won't resize properly.

A dual 24" monitor at 1920 res (16/9 or 16/10) with a slightly biased setup (one monitor almost frontal one on the side) at 60-80cm from your focal plane is the absolute best you can get for your eyes for the widest range of eyesights, from the hyperfocal using relaxing glasses (like me, 22.50/20 and 21.75/20 sight) to the slightly myopic using non bifocal.

Your neck, eyesight, and brain are also very well suited to moving side by side fast and interpolating correctly, but not particularly good at vertical angles, which makes overly tall monitors like 30 not good for eyestrain.

There are many reasons to not go with a 30" over a dual 24", physiological and neurological before we even consider UIs and all, and very, very few examples of a 30" being better than dual 24s.
Most of the people who dig one work on selected and rare subsets of tasks that take advantage of it, or are simply giving in to a mix of placebo effect and hardware fetish.

Also worth considering that a dual 24 means one monitor can be rotated vertically, most 27s due to size can't be rotated, and a single monitor, even if it could, is simply impractical to.
Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles

Last edited by ThE_JacO : 11 November 2012 at 01:35 AM.
  11 November 2012
I concur with the previous poster - it depends on your own experience. For example. I have been working on three screens these last couple of months:
1) Synchmaster 27" SA850ds @ 2560*1440 (which *does* have a pivot option, btw)
2) HP w2408H 1920*1200 in portrait mode
3) Electron22Blue CRT 1280*1024

A 30" will give you the same or almost the same screen resolution as my 27" - it just feels bigger, and will have slightly lower ppi.

And I can tell you: I need more space for the daily work I do. It's insufficient. The 24" HP works absolutely awesome in portrait mode, and is brilliant for web and documents - it takes that part to a whole new level. Web pages and documents fit exactly on that resolution in height quite perfectly - much more efficient.

But I expected that a single 2560px wide screen would suffice - and it does not. The old CRT is too low resolution due to a converter to make it sort of compatible with my current video card, and I need more space for all the work I do! Looking at your work it seems quite similar to mine, and I would say: get either two 24" at 1920*1200 or two 27" at 2560*1440/1600. I have tried working on one 30" before, and I always miss that option to move stuff out of the way for a while. Often I have my 3d app open on the main screen, and other apps on the other - a single 30" will not make you as productive as dual 24" or 27" - this has been researched and "proven". My personal experience tells me the same. And, as JacO was saying: two 27" in portrait mode could also be an option.

Btw, reading on the SA850 is awesome - text quality is impressive thanks to its high resolution and anti-glare screen without the negative IPS grainy look.

Tomorrow afternoon the second SA850 arrives, and I can't wait to be working on two 27" at 5120px res and a portrait 1200*1920.

Just hooked up the second SA850 - I can only recommend two 27" - they take up less space, provide for a ridiculously sharp looking image, and offer twice the desktop space compared to a single 30" - that, and with the portrait 24" for full height documents and web: sheer heaven! My opinion: why would you get one 30" if you can get two 27" screen for double the screen estate and slightly more money?

Last edited by hvanderwegen : 11 November 2012 at 07:22 AM.
  11 November 2012
The first thing you need to think about is what is going to work well for you. Would you prefer the larger real estate of one large screen to help with looking at fine detail, or would it be better to have 2 screens so that you can have something running on one screen that you can be keeping an eye on, while you're happily working away on the other.

At work we tend to recommend 2 smaller screens because that tends to fit most people's needs better, and has the added benefit of being cheaper than a single large screen.
  11 November 2012
Ya'll are up selling me!

I like it. I am definitely a hardware tinkerer and this is my year to upgrade come hell or high water. Looking at the cheap 27 inch IPS screens that are around is making me look at my Workfit and go "Hmmmm..."

My little brother just got one, actually. I'm going to end up having to test it for him tomorrow to make certain there aren't any defects. Sigh.

Anyway. I'm very fond of my Ergotron Workfit, which maxes out at 2x24 inch screens. Getting a 30 inch screen on one means a whole lot of extra legwork on my part (if it's worth it, I'm fine doing this, though I did have the thought that vertical motion would be bad for me), and getting 2x27 inch screens would mean I didn't have the stand anymore, which would be bad for me because I have chronic back and neck problems - and the Workfit helps a lot!

Currently the surface of my desk is 16.5" from the bottom bezel of my monitor while I'm sitting in a knee chair. My eye level is center with my screens, so when I work things on the center of my screen my head is at a neutral position - though turned a few degrees right or left.
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