Dual 24" vs 1 27" display

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MFDoom, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. MFDoom macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2009
    I've been following the very informative "Best Monitor" thread, but I am curious to know your opinions on dual 23 or 24 in displays vs a single 27" displays.

    Which setup would be optimal for hobbyist development and photography?
  2. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    I prefer a single 27-inch and I look forward to the new Apple LED Cinema Display. I think dual display is good for photo/video/graphic editing though because you get an additional screen to always display the final product in its full glory. That said, I personally feel like a single 27-inch is huge and offers plenty of room to display most stuff in full size but still have room for controls.

    I don't see many professionals using a single 27-inch though, most of them use the dual screen setup.
  3. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    I used a dual setup for years, but I'm sold on single screen now. I use Final Cut Pro and I find the layout feels much more efficient and natural on one big display instead of spread across two. But that's really my personal taste and suited to the kind of work I do. I use a 30" Dell, btw.

    But I've also come to love the single display b/c I really got sick of the whole head swiveling thing. I like to see everything at once. And I never feel squeezed for space, that's for sure.

    Again, it's just personal taste, I think. Whatever works best for the way you operate.
  4. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    This more than anything is the reason I prefer a single display. It is amazing how much desk space you end using with two displays, and I can never feel comfortable moving back and forth between them.
  5. GeneralAntilles macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I think what it really comes down to is what your workflow involves and what you're used to. Personally, multiple displays in the 20-23" range (4 at the moment) works much better for me than using one large display (27-30"). Of course this comes with the caveat that I've been using multiple displays for 9 years and my experience with larger monitors is limited (work-only for about 15-30 hours per week over the course of two Summers on a 30" ACD then a 27" Dell).
  6. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    depends ? editing images a 30 is nice since you gain vertical resolution so editing images is much nicer :)

    I guess if you are doing other things duals ? dont now I work in PS and LR for a living ?

    so to me 30s are the way to go and dual 30s are nice or a 30 and 24 in vert mode for email etc.. is nice
  7. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Although I'll likely never move to a single display setup, I'd much rather have 1 large screen (30") than 2 smaller ones. But 2x24"s is no slouch . . . the 27" isn't THAT much bigger. What worries me about the 27" displays is the rather small pixel pitch . . . the 30" is already small.
  8. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    Aspect ratio is also an important consideration. For photos I'd rather have more vertical real estate. A 4:3 20" monitor is almost as large for photos as a 24" 16:10. The newer 16:9 monitors are really short for photos. There's a lot of unused space on the screen when viewing a photo.

    For doing real work, at least for me, having width is nice. Being able to open multiple windows side by side is helpful.
  9. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Depends on what you're doing...

    Im running triple monitors - 2x23 + 22...

    Convenient as a developer (XCode) as i'll have code in the middle, and debugger/output on the right. Useful terminal windows on the left. Also using netbeans on the left.

    Not to mention I have other miscellaneous applications spread across all three monitors (Google Reader/Mail, Colloquy, etc)

    But hell.. why not go dual 27" :p
  10. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    Using dual 22" dells atm. It's okay, was a better setup with my old Windows PC since there are things like Ultramon to help with window management (no such thing on OSX).

    I can't help but think that dual displays really aren't all that necessary to me since OSX has spaces. Only thing I would miss it for would be watching video or surfing on one screen while I game on the other...but I could go with a single display and use the saved desk space for my MBP to do the same thing.
  11. cnstoll macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2010
    Dual monitors are great for photography. I use that with Aperture/Lightroom to have the thumbnails/main viewer/editing pallete on one monitor and then a full screen image on the second one. It's a pretty sweet setup. I'm assuming people do the same for video.

    It's also great for development, and really anything that involves writing. For development you usually have tons of windows that you're using at any given time, from multiple class files to terminal windows. For web development it can be even worse if you have to have FTP clients and web browsers open at the same time. I almost always find it easier to have two monitors for that stuff.
  12. typecase macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2005
    I used single displays for a long time (5+ years) and have recently switched to two 24 inch displays. The Difference is amazing. Yes, it takes getting used to initially but everything from the finder (copy one file to another window - no expose!) to Photoshop and design work is better. I park files in one window, edit a current one, compare, contrast. It's wonderful. I couldn't go back to single display easily now.

    My advice: go dual!
  13. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    Similar setup to yours here, for similar work. I usually have my code+anything I'm using for post-process or analysis running on my 24", mail+IM+itunes on one 19", and documentation on the other 19". I much prefer multiple displays to one, helps me get work done, I think, to segment my stuff across the screens.

    But yeah, screw it, hit up the dual 27"s :D
  14. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    My video always goes out to a broadcast monitor. I'd only use a computer monitor for video destined for the web. Even then, I'd check it all on a broadcast monitor first. Don't get me wrong, though, I totally see the value in dual monitors for dividing up the palettes. I'd just never use one for playing video.
  15. studiox macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2004
    Stockholm / Sweden
    Don't you have any opinion yourself?

    Its like if someone would ask "What would be the best girlfriend for me".....

    I would never go dual-tripple screen. I prefer to have my apps one one screen and don't have to drag them around. I prefer to keep my eyes on a single view to. My ACD 30" will not be replaced in the near future for sure.
  16. MFDoom thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2009
    A fair question. I am personally leaning towards one large display 27-30". However, I've only had the limited opportunity to work on two displays and they were never matching which annoyed me (i.e one laptop not on a stand and one monitor). Most programmers seem to swear by a dual setup so I wanted to get opinions.

    That being said the ultrasharp 23" from Dell has a nice price point.
  17. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia

    A somewhat interesting read... the owner of that blog has been an advocate of triple monitor usage (for programmers) since at least 2004, heh.
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I, for one, will never go back to a single display. I'm much more productive w/ two displays b/c it allows me to use the full screen for the main program I'm working in but keep other programs visible. If I was using a single display I'd either have to scale the screens or deal with them overlapping each other. Right now I'm using two 24" which to me is the perfect size. I considered one 24" and one 27" but the 27" is just too big considering how close I would need it to sit near me.
  19. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    A single display is and has always been a PITA.

    The days I got my first 30" I thought damn this thing is huge, two weeks later I added a second display because it was getting way to small.

    Currently I use a single 30" plus two 23" on the left and right. Suits me better than two 30"s since I don't like sitting directly in front of the bezels.
  20. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Although it sounds a bit too easy I have 2 x 19" screens. They work wonders.

    I read some research that compared 2 displays v one and productivity wise it came out fairly equal (although far superior to one small display).

    I'd like a 30 ACD or the 27" iMac just to compare.

    Two smaller TFTs is probably cheaper. And you can have different resolutions on each for example.
  21. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Dual 23s here and I wouldn't ever go back to a single one. Layout is great while using aperture, especially since they are mounted on VESA mounts. It's nice to have hulu or a movie running as well on one screen while working on the other.

    Also if one breaks I can continue working using the other one.

    I would go dual but only if same monitor. Having mis-matched screens was a little odd.
  22. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I had a two display set for a bit. I did not like it. I wasted so much time moving from one screen to another. Also OS X is not that muti screen friendly, unless you add buddy addons to get menu bars on each screen. I replaced the 2 displays with one big one and I am very happy.
  23. jedijoe macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2005
    Boulder, CO
    I'd used dual monitor for as long as I can remember, but after getting a 30-inch display, I love the larger single display. (I mostly do programming and some photography)

    The dual-way is usually the cheaper way to get more pixels, but sometimes programs aren't dual-friendly and that could get really annoying if its a program you use all the time. For example, programs that always open windows in the middle of the two screens, etc.
  24. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    You must have a heck of a tan! :eek:
  25. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Dual monitors provide more screen space (measuring by resolution, not just inches), so if you can use 2 monitors easily in your work flow, it isnt a bad option.

    The other thing is that if you go for a 27'' monitor, you're going to be paying around 1000 dollars, whereas you can get a good quality 23'' monitor and an adequate monitor to accompany it for less than half of that.

    I would love a 27'', but it's just not in my budget.

Share This Page