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Pros And Cons Of Having Multiple Monitors Setup

A single monitor is more than enough for an average PC user who concentrates on hanging out with friends on social media sites, watching movies, listening to songs and playing games. Such users can easily choose one monitor for their needs from Dell and other companies that create monitors. But when it comes to a professional computer user whose entire work depends on the computers and each new hardware or technology can increase their productivity, then multiple monitors become necessary. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of having multiple monitors setup.

Why You Need Multiple Monitors For Your Work

Just like efficient and faster processors can increase your productivity, multiple monitors can also help you in quickly getting your work done. Modern operating systems like Windows 7, Ubuntu 12 and Mac OS X come with the support for multiple monitors because of the rising trend and need of multiple monitors at workstations.


Reply To Emails And Skype Conversations Without Minimizing Windows:

It is very useful to have two available monitors if you have to deal a lot with clients, customers, team members, colleagues, employees or employers online. You can use one monitor to work on Gmail or Skype and use the other monitor to access the applications or programs you need. This feature can help freelancers so they can work on one monitor while the other monitor can be used to check emails and instant messages from clients. Whenever the user gets a new email or a message, they won’t have to disturb the current work environment by minimizing windows. They can easily switch to the other monitor by simply glancing over and then they’ll get involved in a conversation with the client. This will help the freelancer to quickly get back to the work environment without forgetting what tasks they were working on.

Quickly Browse Search Engines Without Losing Concentration:

Almost every user that works on a computer needs to browse search engines for one reason or another. Search engines have become a necessity. They help us in finding answers to our queries and reaching the most appropriate website according to our search terms. From a freelance software developer working at home to a software developer working at a software house, they all need search engines to quickly get things done. Search engines are used multiple times a day. Using a second monitor to access search engines can be very productive. Just quickly move to the second monitor, search what it is you’re looking for and get back to work on the first monitor.

Increased Productivity For Users Working With Multiple Applications:

Users who have to deal with multiple applications at a time can make perfect use of multiple monitors. With multiple applications running at a time, users can run each application on a different monitor. In this way they can get out of the hassle of maximizing and minimizing applications. An example of such a setup is that of a software developer. A software developer works on an Integrated Development Environment, so multiple monitors helps them to open the input files or log files on another monitor so they can quickly modify the input for the software testing purpose.

Easily Keep An Eye On Highly Dynamic Websites (Twitter Search) And Dynamic Files (Log Files):

For a news blogger, highly dynamic websites like Twitter search and certain news websites provide the opportunity to break news into the blogosphere. Using multiple monitors can allow bloggers to watch the most recent news right on their monitor. Some highly dynamic files in a server, like log files, server must be monitored continuously so as to keep check of the modifications in the websites and server files. Multiple monitors help system administrators to keep check of multiple log files at a time.


Too Much Desk Space Is Required:

While there are so many advantages of having multiple monitors setup, there are disadvantages too, and these disadvantages can’t be ignored. One of the disadvantages of having multiple monitors setup is that we need a lot of space for them. Not every desk is made for multiple monitors. It can be a tight fit to set up a monitor and other office items on a normal office desk. This multiple monitor setup is quite space hungry and requires a larger than normal size desk.

Compatibility Issues May Arise:

Despite the inbuilt support for multiple monitors in the latest operating systems, compatibility issues may arise if the monitors are not similar. You need to have similar monitor models in order to have a smooth experience. If you have a monitor with a wide-screen display and the other monitor with a regular display then you may have to sacrifice a considerable portion of the wide-screen display in order to make the display compatible.

Distraction From The Work:

In the pros section, two points explained the advantages of having Gmail or Skype opened in one monitor and dynamic websites opened in the other monitor. While they do make us efficient at replying to messages and finding out the recent news, these two can also be a big source of distraction. While we are working on the first monitor it is quite easy to get distracted by the updates coming on the second monitor. This can dramatically decrease our productivity.

Expensive To Setup:

Setting up multiple monitors has its own advantages but they it is quite more expensive to setup than a normal single monitor. To avoid any compatibility issues you may have, go with the same model you purchased earlier. Moreover, setting up multiple monitors requires a bigger desk. A larger desk will cost you more money than the smaller desk. So in a number of ways, multiple monitor setup is quite expensive.


In the article we discussed the pros and cons of multiple monitors. It can be noted that a simple single monitor setup is enough for a regular worker and also for most of the computer professionals. A multiple monitor setup is not a need but is an advantage. It can increase your productivity and can give you an edge over your competitors. Before you look forward to setting up a multiple monitor desk, make sure that you really need it.

Annie Zhang showed great interest in computers even during middle school, and she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Learning how to use new gadgets, software, monitors and apps, and sharing her newfound knowledge are the things she enjoys most in life. 

About the author


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  • Hi Annie,

    I found it very useful to have two monitors when I was doing a lot of web design work using Photoshop. I would place all the tool menus on one monitor so I could use the second monitor only for the design. Without the second monitor there was a lot of minimizing windows to bring up other tools and sliding tool menus from place to place to see every part of the design I was working on. I was definitely more productive by using the two-monitor set up.

  • It all boils down to disciplining oneself to achieving the goals for the day. IMO, having multiple monitors will increase my productivity as I can multi task. This of course is coupled with focus and determination to finish tasks.

    One thing that I love about multiple monitors is that I no longer have to minimize windows in order to work on other tasks.

  • Hi Annie,

    I would LOVE to have two monitors.. Several years ago when hurricane Ike came through I had to go to my brothers and stay because our electricity had been out for days. He has a home office and he has two monitors on his desk. He let me work on his programmers computer since he wasn’t going to be coming to work due to all the outages as well. I fell in love with having two monitors.

    My problem is that my computer isn’t big enough to add the hardware that needs to be added. I already looked into it although I have two monitors now. One just is sitting in the closet I’m afraid. Oh well, down the line I’ll get them. I was spoiled for those days I got to use them.


  • Thanks for making us think about some cons that come with dual monitors Annie, that makes so much sense. Although I am sure most computer users from work to gaming wouldn’t give up on that once they are hooked.

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