One Large Monitor vs Multiple Monitors

The age-old debate of one large monitor vs multiple monitors can never be answered, as this is truly a preference thing, and each person will have their own needs when setting up their home computers or office area. There are certainly benefits to both. As more video cards ship with extra video-out ports, it becomes more convenient to install a second or third monitor and completely immerse yourself in radioactive multi-monitor bliss. But there is also a certain allure to sitting in front on a single, massive monitor that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, this article will help you choose which option is right for you.

monitor size comparison

Benefits Of Multiple Monitors

There are definite benefits of running more than one monitor. The following are some reasons for choosing a mulit-monitor setup over a single larger monitor rig:

  • No Added Expense–Chances are, you already have two or more monitors and a graphics card capable of running them.
  • Ease of Multitasking–Keep your spreadsheet open on one monitor while you video conference on the other. Keeping applications separate while you work on both is very productive.
  • Configuration–Depending on your space, you can put the second monitor above or below the first.

The main benefit is the cost, as stated in the first bullet point. You could buy a 22-inch LCD monitor for less than $200.

Benefits Of A Single Large Monitor

Sure, running multiple monitors is great but there are a lot of reasons to run a larger single monitor:

  • Awesomeness–Sitting a couple feet away from a 27-inch monitor is breathtaking. You will be immersed in whatever you do, as it takes up your entire field of vision.
  • Less space required–Yes, one 27-inch monitor will take up less real estate on your desk than two or more smaller monitors. Never mind fewer cables and other added chaos multiple monitors bring.
  • Quality–In general, a larger monitor will be better quality than smaller and cheaper monitors produced by the billions.
  • Resolution–Try getting a 2560 x 1440 resolution on a small 20-inch monitor. Larger monitors = larger resolution.
  • Multimedia–If you’ll be watching movies or Internet TV, a lager monitor is a must have.

The main benefit is the first bullet point–awesomeness. Having run multiple monitor setups and a single 27-inch monitor, I can say I prefer the single large monitor setup. I have more than enough screen real estate to do whatever I need to do. Multitasking is a breeze, as I can move Windows and applications to one side of the screen while I work on something else. Besides, how often are you truly performing multiple tasks? I often found I never turned on the second monitor when working. At least with the single large monitor, I always have a big screen–even when I don’t need it.

The con, of course, is the cost. Expect to pay upwards of $1000 for a Dell 27-inch monitor. But you can also find other brands of 27-inch LCD monitors for less than $500.

You need to sit down and evaluate your current setup. Check your video card to make sure it supports multiple monitors; some PCs will have onboard graphics, which support only one video display. You may find you need to purchase a new video card and a new monitor. Also, think about the types of work you do on your computer. How often will you need the second monitor on? Lastly, if you’ll be viewing Internet TV on your computer, you really must have a single, large monitor to get the TV-like effect.

Let us know what your setup is or add to our pros and cons list.