Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

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asandl
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Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by asandl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:18 am

Hi all -- I have a question about your preference for multiple monitors vs. just *one* large monitor that's capable of displaying multiple windows. I am almost reading some PDF or Calibre e-reader document but also doing browsing and maybe text files and Libre files -- lots of stuff. :)

Do any of you have any preference one way or the other? I was looking at docking stations that would give me multi-monitor capability (i.e. more than the two that I currently have) but I noted that many are not compatible (or only partially compatible) with Linux.

Thanks very much for any input you may have!

-Allen

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by ralplpcr » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:41 am

I typically prefer a multi-monitor setup myself, but like you, I've found that it's not always as seamless as it appears in Windows. I have been able to make it work, but it does occasionally require some tweaking with xrandr to get the settings just right. Generally speaking, it seems to work best with a desktop with 2 ports out on the same video card and similarly sized monitors.

This is based on my experience with Cinnamon 17.3, mostly. I haven't played much with a multi-monitor setup using the 18.x or 19.x version, so it may well have improved since then.

srq2625
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by srq2625 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:33 am

I have two identical monitors (Samsung SyncMaster 204T) and a single video card

Code: Select all

Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GF106 [GeForce GTS 450] driver: nvidia v: 384.130 bus ID: 07:00.0 chip ID: 10de:0dc4 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: nvidia unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau,vesa alternate: nv 
           resolution: 1600x1200~60Hz, 1600x1200~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce GTS 450/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 384.130 direct render: Yes 
running DVi to the monitors.

With this set up, I've never had any problems configuring a dual-monitor installation. It works right out of the box.

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Joss
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by Joss » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:45 am

I prefer a large monitor where I can put two windows side by side, but this is one of those "personal preferences"; there's no right solution here, no one size fits all.
Advantages of my choice: less clutter on the desk, less cables.

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:04 am

I have single monitor systems at home because I just don't need two. However, I have a dual monitor setup at work. I need multiple monitors due to the nature of my work. Though I would prefer one large monitor for ease of use, I also need glasses. A single monitor would mean a curved monitor and probably a special prescription for my glasses. With two monitors, I have a dual arm setup so I can move each monitor independently to fit my current prescription.

I do recommend an aspect ratio of 16x10 (8x5) and not the standard HD 16x9. The 16x10 monitors are easier on the eyes and do give you more screen space. After using 16x10 monitors I have a real difficulty staring at 16x9 monitors for more than just a few minutes.

With all that said, determine why you need the multiple monitors and take everything (like eye glasses!) into account.

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by AndyMH » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:30 am

Half way house - one monitor but it's ultrawide (2560x1080).
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19.0, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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asandl
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by asandl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:24 pm

Thanks to each of you who answered my question:

ralplpcr
srq2625
Joss
CaptainKirksChair
AndyMH

After reading about the issues with getting it to work, and due to the fact that I have an older model laptop -- I am leaning towards going with single / large monitor. If I were using a desktop I would buy a graphics card with dual monitor capability but having a laptop gives me an additional monitor that the desktop can't provide. So it's cheaper that way. Plus, as Joss mentioned there's less clutter. I've got too many cords already! Also, thanks CaptainKirksChair for reminding about eyeglasses. For the reasons you state, I would probably not go with a curved monitor.

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by AndyMH » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm

I can recommend ultra-wide, the extra real estate is useful. Mine's an LG 25UM58, a 25" model, there is a 29" one.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19.0, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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asandl
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by asandl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:37 pm

Thanks AndyMH -- that's a nice looking monitor.

-Allen

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by Dot_mdb » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:02 am

I've used two monitors for many years. From time to time I've considered one larger monitor but decided against it. What you do and the way you work will enter into the decision. The way I work is to sit directly in front of the left monitor and keep the right monitor at a slight angle. I consider the right monitor to be an auxiliary monitor. I have a number of work stations set up. The one that is the best uses two 24" monitors. If you sit at a normal distance from a monitor you will see that a 24" monitor is about the largest that you can use without having to move your head or eyes very much. So most work gets done on that monitor. If necessary you can even split the screen for two windows very fast and the second stays in front of you. Of course the auxiliary monitor is useful for storing windows and doing comparisons.

One larger monitor is more useful for very large spreadsheets and is nice for movies.

You can buy two pretty nice 24" monitors for a relatively low price today. You'll get more screen real estate than on one larger monitor.

I also use a laptop with another monitor. If you do that setup, remember that you can make the add on monitor the primary monitor and you sit in front of that one with the laptop angled towards you. Works great except with two different resolutions and screen sizes you have to be careful how you move the mouse pointer or windows when going from one monitor to the other. Something you get used to.

Once you go to a dual monitor set up you will not want to work with only one monitor again. Sometimes when I have to go to meetings I take a laptop and a small second monitor. A very efficient way to work when you have a spreadsheet open on one monitor and documents open on the other.

I grab all the old 15" -19" monitors that people are throwing out because I find them useful.

I've never had a problem setting up dual monitors in Linux Mint but none of my computers have fancy video cards.

Bill

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asandl
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by asandl » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:04 am

Thanks Dot_mdb -- I currently use the laptop with another monitor setup that you talk about. My add-on is the primary monitor and the laptop is on my right and angled slightly towards me. I am used to using Super+Shift+(left or right arrow) key to move the windows back and forth between the monitors. Works well but would like a little more real estate if possible.

Good suggestion about 24" being the largest monitor. I will shop for that size. Thanks!

Where do you find 15-19" used monitors? I go to thrift stores and sometimes find them -- but rarely. They seem to get grabbed up pretty fast.

-Allen

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Joss
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by Joss » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:59 am

asandl wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:04 am
Good suggestion about 24" being the largest monitor
I also find 24" to be a sweet spot, particularly on 16:10 aspect ratio, which unfortunately is becoming rare :(

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by hcentaur13 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:38 am

I use only one 32" UHD monitor with font size of 10pt after my eyes are repaired (green star). I use up to 4 virtual screens in parallel:
screen 1 - work in general
screen 2 - special solutions
screen 3 - kodi
screen 4 - some virtual mashines in parallel

On screen 1 is seti@home manager wwith 9 active threads listed in a small corner,
firefox
thunderbird
in parallel listed
and something else ever needed.

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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by Dot_mdb » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:21 pm

>>Where do you find 15-19" used monitors? I go to thrift stores and sometimes find them -- but rarely. They seem to get grabbed up pretty fast.<<

Yes, they are getting hard to find and some are the 4:3 which is OK for my purposes. I am well known in my community and also known as a computer person. I also run a small ad in our monthly newspaper asking for "old junky" computer stuff. The equipment that gets offered is generally not junk.

Bill

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asandl
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Re: Question about multiple monitors vs one larger display size monitor

Post by asandl » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:36 pm

Thanks Joss, hcentaur13, and Dot_mdb!

Joss -- I will go with 24 inch monitor -- don't want to suffer dizzy spells from looking at a giant screen! :)
hcentaur13 -- I too enjoy using virtual desktops / workspaces -- had four at one time but am down to 2 now. Handy to help keep your projects separated.
Dot_mdb -- Great idea to run an ad. I'm always amazed at how well Linux runs on older computers. I think lots of thrift stores don't even take computers anymore because there's almost always something wrong with a donated machine and the customers get irritated by purchasing machines that don't run. Plus they take a while to evaluate -- as opposed to other electronics that don't have the complexity a computer has.

-Allen

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