multi-monitor setup questions for those with experience of mix and matching

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mangaroo, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Mangaroo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    -i think this topic is better suited here.

    Hi there, please note that this is not an urget matter but for those of you who are willing to consider my purchasing predicament, it is much appreciated!

    Alright, here's the dili o:

    My current (home) workstation setup is a Macbook linked to 1 dell 2407wfp monitor.

    As soon as the Mac Pro Nehalem hits the online store, it will be ordered by yours truly. So this pickle is considering my future setup with the Mac Pro.

    I would like 1 30" screen. Currently, the Dell 30" is the best option, but since I will not be getting my Mac Pro for a good few months (most likely), I am in no hurry, and upon (very) recent rumours about new ACD monitors being revealed in January, I am all the more willing to be patient to consider the future 30" ACD with the Dell.
    Seeing as I do enjoy some computer games, the current ACD refresh rates are much too slow (especially considering the price) for my liking. I understand that they are in no way designed for that purpose, but I am especially keen on them for aesthetic reasons.

    So if the new ACDs have the same refresh rates, then they are out the shopping window, for me at least.

    This is still background info as this is not what I need help with, I am just explaining one of the likely displays I will have and why - to help you help me decide what is best!

    So in summary a Dell 30" or a new ACD 30" provided they have increased the refresh rates.

    Dell is situation X.
    Apple is situation Y.

    Now I wish that this was it, as it will be pretty obvious how to go about deciding. But the problem is that I know one monitor, no matter how large, is just not enough. I always want one monitor to display about 10 applications (including itunes/xpad/mail/ical/irc/skype/speed download etc) at any one time. Spaces just bugs the crap out of me but if i was to only get one monitor then this would have to do - that is solution 1. However, it is my least favourite.

    Info you need to know at this point is that my desk is 180cm wide. This handle a 30" and 2x24" in landscape mode, angled at the corners. However, I would be surrounded by monitors and I fear for my sanity ^_^.
    So ideally, extra monitors will be rotated vertically for to give my desk a spacious look.

    I already have a Dell 24". So if i were to keep this Dell monitor and go with situation X (Dell 30") then that would be enough for my needs but im afraid it just would not look as good as it could be - and as you may have noticed by now, I really do want it to look good. So i'm THINKING that 1x24 + 1x30" is out of the question from an aesthetic point of view (having looked at many, many desk setups) but I will call this solution 2 to reference it. I think a solution to this would be to purchase a second, cheap 2407wfp and rotate that vertically and place it on the opposite side of the desk. Now it will match (provided i go with the 30" dell (solution X). This is solution 3.

    Solution 1 - Apple 30"/Dell 30" - hate spaces, need a second monitor

    Solution 2 - Dell 30" + Dell 24" - doubt i would like the 24/30" setup due to looks and mirror'ness (forgot the word!)

    Solution 3 - Not really a problem, except the third monitor will be there mainly to balance out the setup, which is potentially overkill, but I am willing to consider it, quite strongly infact. I am quite worried that even with the 24s in portrait mode, it may still be a bit overwhelming - since a lot of my work is through reading books too.

    Here's what messes things up a bit more:

    Solution 2 with situation Y (an Apple 30") instead of the Dell 30" - i think this is just crossing the visually non-hideous line: Apple 30" monitor with a Dell 24" monitor (at the amount im spending, i don't want it to look like i vomited the setup.

    Easy - solution 2 + situation Y is out of the window.

    What's left is Solution 3 + situation Y.
    If I really wanted to get the new Apple over the Dell, I would have a problem in that my centre monitor would be apple with the two vertical monitors being dell. I am not considering purchasing 2x23" ACD as at the current prices, that is too expensive in comparison to the dell, where I would only have to buy another single 24".

    So it seems to have boiled down to 2x24" dells in vertical mode with either a dell in the middle (not much of a problem) or the apple in the middle (how much of a problem is it? - from your experience, if you have any).


    I think I've made a few points that i would like comments on too - about 3 monitors (even if 2 are in portrait mode) being too overpowering for just simple reading at the desk with no monitor work.

    I'm also im quite worried about the fact that the centre monitor will be about 4cm shorter then the two vertical monitors - which will be spaced about 15 cm apart, either end of the centre 30" monitor. How much of a problem will that be? - I do not want a metal stand which i just place the monitor ontop off because I have yet to find one that actually looks semi decent. The other solution is to get a monitor stand like ilift, except for the fact that my desk is made of glass and is quite thin (and sexy, mind :D) any ideas/opinions?

    --Sorry for the huge post, it helps me to just organise my thoughts about the matter and helps you to see the reasoning and the kind of things I want. Again, any help is much appreciated (if any of you actually managed to get through all of that - sorry for the ruthless bolding and needless complications in advanced!)

    I guess the reason i wanted you to know this is that i am pretty open to anyone's points they may have about any part of the whole thought process!

    If it helps, here is the desk:

  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Wow... this really seems like an overkill. But I've just looked over at Flikr and many people there have a huge display in the middle (30") and a secondary monitor, such as a 20" up to 24". That would be my recommendation, but you seem to have shot it down... :D One 30" ACD plus maybe two 24" on the side would be good. Good luck, I am too looking forward to hopefully purchase a Nehalem MBP.
  3. Mangaroo thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    Thanks, just taken a look at flickr and seen some nice setups, i guess it would be silly to plunge straight away into buying another 24" i can always try out the 30" with my current 24" (and without actually) and if im still not happy, possibly find a cheap second 24"...maybe checking my electricity costs might deter me!

    Thanks, I really can't wait ive been a laptop user for far too long! Hopefully not too long to wait for us :)
  4. KDCubic macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2009
    One thing to be wary of is the viewing angle when using an LCD in portrait mode. If it's not directly in front of you, the colors and contrast will shift when you turn to look at it. Might take some getting used to, to say the least.

    One thing I've noticed using a 30" in landscape and a 22" in portrait is that, although the resolutions nearly match up, the 22" display is a few inches taller than the 30". This means that the cursor shifts between displays, and windows grow or shrink depending on which way they're turned. This was definitely not an issue when I used dual 22" displays, and I might prefer a 19" or 20" to the 22" for the sake of alignment.

    On thing is, brand-wise, I have been very happy with the Samsung SyncMaster 305T Plus I purchased along with my Mac Pro. Considering the $1000 price point, two of those would break the bank about as much as one Apple display. Something to consider. The color is a lot more accurate than the previous Samsung I owned, and it's not hideous, either.

    One of the huge pros of the Samsung is the lack of glare. With other displays, I've had to concern myself with the location of my desk compared to light sources, but with this display that's not an issue. After seeing some of the Apple glossy displays, especially the new glass ones, I'm quite happy not to have taken that route. If you insist on buying a glossy display, you should look into some of the anti-glare scree-protectors available. The only reason my girlfriend's MacBook is bearable is that it appears to have a matte display, thanks to a thin film she installed immediately upon purchase.

    Out of curiosity, what do you intend to use your setup for?

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