Dual 23" or single 30"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JasO, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. JasO macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi guys,
    I'll cut right to the chase. Next year i'll be buying a Mac Pro, whenever the new i7's are released.

    Also the work i do is all advertising/graphic work, mostly print and web. A tiny bit of video but not much at all.

    So now the question comes to monitors, who has worked with dual 23"s (or thereabouts) and moved to a 30"er or visa-versa? What are you opinions?

    I have used the 30"ers in the apple stores, and they seem great but i'm just wondering if duals would be better for me?

    Thanks guys!
  2. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    I currently have just 1 x 23" ACD but in the past I have used a 23" ACD and a secondary display, and I am currently in the market for a 2nd display again.

    I, personally would go with 2 displays over 1 30". You get far more screen real estate for your money and I like the ability to have 1 app fullscreen on the 2nd display (usually my email or something) and use the main one for everything else.

    It's really down to how you use the space on offer really. As I said, I like having my mail visible most of the time and I also use some software that requires a dual setup (song projection software for church) and to make sure videos, etc work through the software, it's handy to have the 2nd display.
  3. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    My preferred settup is to have one big display with one small display in portrait so it's the same height. I find I never use the second display for near as much as the first so it makes financial sense.
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Get a Dell display - not only are they much better value for money, but the power brick is integrated and they have a LOT more inputs.
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Power brick intergration can actually be a negative as you can get the hum of the power supply directly infront of you.
  6. JasO thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm actually thinking how much use the second display will even get? I mean if it's just going to be my tools palette and a folder or two, i may as well get a single 30" and have a cleaner/horizontally smaller set up...

    not an easy choice...

    Yeah I was thinking on the second display i would have my palette and my folder with original images open so i can always see it, and maybe itunes or something since i always have music playing =D

    Only thing is I guess i don't think I need them displaying, it's a cool thing to have but i've lived with expose for a long enough time to get used to it!

    I have seen this before, it looked alright, but still seemed a bit weird for me. If i'm going duals i'll just get dual 23" ACD or whatever is out when i plan to buy them.

    I have heard people say that the colour quality management isn't as good on the Dells as the ACDs, and the review of the newest 30" Dells has actually deterred me even further from going down that route. I do like all the other ports, but i can live without them, and i'd rather keep my computer display to just stick with the computer =D

    Yeah that would be very annoying, but i do listen to music most of the time so i could probably live with it.
  7. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    I think if you'd like your image folder open all the time, the 2 displays would be a better option because it wouldn't get in the way if you know what I mean?

    I find having my mail open on a single display quite annoying sometimes because I like to see when I get a new email...just my preference I guess.

    Yeah I agree that you may not need them displaying but as you say, it's nice if you can. I find that it actually makes a difference and I struggle now with just one display.
  8. Roadking macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2008
    Just get two 30" monitors and be done with it :D
  9. Puzz macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2006
    Just one opinion... do the single-30.

    I've always found one larger monitor a -lot- more convenient than two smaller ones.

    Moving from my home-base single-30 to any dual-screen setup is jarring and irritating every time. Suddenly mundane mechanics (where's the mouse? where's the menu bar?) become things you have to notice. Distracting.
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I think that it depends on how you work.

    If you want to have a lot open and readable at all times, then go for dual 23 inch monitors. On the other hand, a 30 inch would be like a large desk and very useful.

    Of course you could always get dual 30 inch monitors. :D
  11. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I do both for my paper.

    When I cut video I cut with a 30" and a 20" or a 23" and a 20" (depending on workstation). I actually prefer the 23" and 20" and would like them to get another 23" so they can be the same size and quality.

    When I tone images I use one 30" monitor. I would probably go with the single 30" if I were you simply because you won't benefit from the dual monitors 100% if you are using a lot of Adobe apps.

    If you were using Lightroom, Aperture, FCS2, and a host of other dual display ready apps then I would say go for two 23" ACDs or 24" (anything higher than ACDs).

    As for the Dell issue, don't bother with them unless you are springing for the high end 30" display that costs more than the ACD and is the only one that will give you a better quality panel. Otherwise grab a NEC Multisync which are the pros choice right now or an EIZO which comes second place in my book.

    There are some new LaCie's that use PVA panels to help keep their cost down, but either way you'll be spending $1200-$1400 for those top notch panels. The ACDs weren't bad then, and aren't bad now and now that you can have the 23" for $600 or so it's easy to get two of them.
  12. ACiB708 macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2008
    I have no experience whatsoever in dual displays, but if I were you I'd go with 2 23s instead of one 30. You get more space and you get two full workspaces. Good luck!
  13. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    My display has an integrated power brick ( I think ... ). It's a 24" Samsung which would pale in front of the mighty color accuracy of the ACDs and Dell US. The hum is quite annoying and I'd rather spend a little bit more for quality and superior customer support.

    I would go with the dual displays, two 30" would be the best set up. When doing graphic work, dual is the way to go. Put all the junk ( like Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc ) on one display. And the serious stuff ( like PS, Illustrator, InDesign, whatever apps you use for graphic design ) on the other.
  14. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    Why not a top of the line iMac and another display?
  15. six.four macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2008
    +1 - Get a Dell Ultrasharp (not the cheap non-ultrasharps) with non-TN panels.

    As for the humming - that's not normal. Although I've never owned a 30" dell, I have owned several 24" ultrasharps and none of them "buzz". I have heard of some that have experienced that issue, but easily returned the monitor to dell for a replacement.

    As for the 2x 23" vs single 30" - like some others have said - it really depends on what you do. I personally prefer two monitors over a single large one as I always have alot of windows open and can appreciate the separation.
  16. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    I use dual 20" displays at work, and a 30" at home. I prefer the 30" because everything is in front of you. Spaces and Expose help alot. The inner geek in me is lusting for a second 30" display for my home setup, but what i've found in my user experience is that the second display more often than not doesn't get used as much except for dumping stuff like itunes, palettes. etc on it. Therefore, I would recommend spending the extra money on a single 30" which you'll use to its full extent.

    just my 2 cents
  17. tompon1923 macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2008
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
  18. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    at work I use dual monitors (one 23 and my laptop's 14 incher for e-mail and some comparison work for spreadsheets

    personally I have always preferred dual displays, even if they are of different sizes, and am aiming to get either a second display for home or stick with my MBP and ACD and run those as dual displays

    to cut a long story short I really think that the breaking up of displays can help in 99% of situations and forces you to organise your work space around it

    either way you're going to have a blast with it


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