Single or Multiple Monitors?

I currently have two monitors on my gaming rig - one 24" and one 21". I don’t split my games across the two - I always use the larger monitor as my primary gaming monitor - but it’s nice to have that extra desktop for TS3, manuals or checklists or other references, etc.

In building my new gaming rig, I’m wondering if I should invest the time/money into multiple monitors (2? or 3?), or just go for one big monitor (27") and forgo the heartache of lost mouse cursors.

  • Single monitors rule! Multiple monitors drool!
  • Multiple monitors is the way to go, but two should be enough.
  • The more the merrier. If you can see desk or wall, you don’t have enough monitors.

0 voters

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Oooh. Good question.

I see it a bit like SLI, as in when there weren’t single powerful cards then getting a couple to play together seemed to make sense. But now, like huge monitors with 4k resolutions, the need isn’t there so much. Get the best single thing you can afford!

I personally at the moment run 3 monitors wide but I probably wouldn’t go that way again from scratch. I tend to just use the middle one for gaming as I can’t often be bothered to change resolution/set-up for each game (the struggle is real).

Plus we can’t talk about hardware without arbitrarily saying ‘VR’. So ‘VR’. :vr: (A good time to introduce our new :vr emoticon).

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Two monitors but single screen gaming. That’s it for me.

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2 PCs. Each have one monitor.
My main gaming pc has a 32" tv via HDMI. I am thinking of going up to a 42" UHD TV. One big monitor baby.
My second pc is a HP workstation class with Xeon processor and is a server for whatever needs a server or playing games that don’t require a hefty video card like wargames and such. It has a 24" monitor.

It works well, the only down side is I can’t move files between desktops and see Teamspeak. But I can play DCS and CMANO at the same time.

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This is what I am doin’. I like having teamspeak up on the second monitor … which is a bit of a waste :slight_smile:

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I use the second for chrome for either looking up info or charts and the like depending in what I’m playing.

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This intrigues me. There are some amazing deals on very large TVs - while I can’t imagine how a 65" TV will work on my computer desk, a 32" would do fine - and actually costs less than a similar sized computer monitor.

Anybody else use TVs for their gaming machines?

edit: relevant link: http://lifehacker.com/5884040/is-it-okay-to-use-an-hdtv-as-a-computer-monitor

I think @klarsnow does.

Indeed I do, using a 39 inch Coby TV, nothing special, but it does make picking up the tally in DCS quite easy :wink: (much to NB’s ire)

Refresh rate is important. The physical driver for an LED panel can be quite low on a TV. If you get a deal on a TV then make sure the HDMI input has a refresh rate that can be looked up. Some panels are actually shared between monitors and TV’s, so it’s how they hold their image and how often is important for gaming.

Although this would be pretty cool on a desk…

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I have been using 3 monitors (3x1080p) for the last 5 years but really the only games I play using all 3 are ones that have specific support to handle the stretched fisheye effect of the side monitors, which really only driving sims like iRacing handle well. In flight sims the side monitors show this stretched effect that is pretty annoying to me.

So mostly I game on a single center monitor while using the side monitors for pdf docs, web surfing or teamspeak or even to watch tv via Tivo mini.

I would only recommend going to 3 monitors if you think that the side stretch graphics won’t annoy you.

I’ll probably be sticking with the 3 monitors for convenience with pdfs and web browsing but hope to move most of my simming to VR once the 2nd gen or 3rd gen VR devices can handle 1080p resolution.

I only use one big monitor, but with the space available to me even 2 smaller ones isn’t an option.

I’ve been considering the UHD tv’s as well, but mainly because they seem to be a whole lot cheaper than 4k monitors. Heck at walmart I just saw a 50" 4k vizio tv for $330, don’t know what the refresh rate was or anything but I couldn’t buy a 4k monitor half that size for 2x the price, possibly 3x. TV sort of seems like the way to go to me right now.

Plus if you buy a 4k TV with the intention of using it as a monitor and it doesn’t work out, it is still a TV so it’s not like it’s useless :slight_smile: They just have more utility than monitors (usually)

*edit, ok just looked and it seems 4k monitors have finally come down in price as well

So I don’t have issues with refresh rate - I picked an LG LED TV that does 120MHZ. The problem I run into is that the pixels can be large at that size and that close on the desk. At 1920x1080 32" is the max size I would recommend. I find I have to crank up the AA in some games so that the jaggies aren’t too bad at arms length at that size. That’s why if I go to 43" it will have to be a 4k TV, in which case I will need a better video card, and so it goes…

But let me tell you - the Kurfurst cockpit 2 feet from you on a 32" screen is just fantastic.

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Yea @Mudcat I’ll never go back to a regular monitor

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I had one and thought I was fine.

Until at work I had to start using two.

I had to have two at home and thought I was fine.

Until at work I had to plug in temporarily a third monitor- my mind was blown.

I now have three monitors at home and I’m afraid to think I’m doing fine…

I see where I’m going with this…

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I use two monitors at work, and have been using two monitors for gaming for a long time now.
My main screen is a 27" 1920x1080 and my second one is my old 1280x1024

A few years ago I also bought two 8" touchscreens to use with Helios for the A-10C MFCDs. So I am using four monitors now. Which is alse VERY cool when doing stuff like coding or Photoshop.

In FSX I have the FSX window on the main screen and a map on the second one. The touchscreens are used for whatever I like, such as watching videos or Mudspike.com.

In DCS I use the main screen for the main viewport, and I have the kneeboard on the second one. Also the crew and autopilot stuff in the Huey for example. I only really use the touchscreens in the A-10C, but once the Hornet is there I’ll make a Helios profile for that, too.

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Samsung JS9000 48" 4K TV, the second monitor is for TS, browsing…


The screen is about 45" from my eyes. I like it, but things are BIG, and head and mouse have more to traverse. It’s great for my primary flying/gaming, however, for programming I’d want two 24-27" monitors.

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Same here. Single screen for gaming…second one for looking up stuff…

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Yep, the ‘cast off’ or legacy (i.e. my kids don’t want this crappy monitor) screens for browsing and stuff make sense as most video cards have at least four outputs of some kind (although the days of DVD-D and HDMI are diminishing).

The GPU vendors sort of pushed a high end ‘Buy three good monitors at once for Eyefinity/Surround AMAZING GAMING!?!#!’ while I think most people ended up with a ‘good one’ in the middle and then bits and bobs around the edges that aren’t used for primary gaming so much.