Ultrawide vs Dual Screen – what is the best setup for productivity?

Ultrawide vs Dual Screen – what is the best setup for productivity?

Hey guys David here and so I’ve had my new
Dell Ultrawide monitor for a month now and I love it. But I’ve been going back and forth on whether
for productivity was ultrawide the way to go? Or is a dual monitor ideal? Obviously for gaming and video, ultrawide
automatically wins out, but for purely productivity purposes which works better? First let’s quickly look at it from a resolution
standpoint. For roughly $900 Canadian dollars you could
buy a pair of 27” 1440P monitors or the same amount you could buy a single 34” 3440×1440
Ultrawide monitor. From a basic resolution stand point the dual
monitor setup has about 49% more screen real estate. So that’s a huge amount of extra space but
you’ll have to deal that bezel in the middle that can be a bit distracting.t
But screen real estate isn’t everything to consider when it comes to productivity. How you can manage your workspace makes a
big difference as well. Take the example that you’re running two
instances, on the dual monitor setup maximize on one, and maximize on the other and away
you go. But luckily thanks to the built in windows
10 snap feature you can pretty much do similar on a single ultrawide by dragging the window
to the left or right and they’ll automatically expand to half the screen. Or if you want you can also do this from the
keyboard by pressing the Windows key and the left or right arrow. You can also click and drag between the two
windows to automatically resize them both. Or you can drag the window to fill a corner. This window snap feature works whether you
have a single ultrawide or multiple displays so it’s really handy to use regardless of
your setup. There are also optional applications that
can come with your dell or lg monitor that will allow you to virtually divide your screen
into custom areas if you have a preferred screen layout for your windows but I find
these tools a little too cumbersome for my workflow so I just stick to the built in windows
10 snap feature instead. So far comparing the ultrawide and the dual
monitor setup they both work comparably well but one area where the dual monitor setup
stands out is if you want to multi task with an app that needs fullscreen mode. The example I have here is YouTube on one
half and another window on the other. I can’t maximize the Youtube video without
it taking over the entire widescreen. But with dual screens you can maximum the
video on one display and continue to do whatever you like on the other. This workflow can also apply to other applications
or games that need to be maximized on screen for full benefit. Something you won’t be able to do on a single
ultrawide monitor. (not entirely true there’s chrome plugin
to maximize youtube videos within a browser but I find it too cumbersome to use regularly,
and you could run dual inputs to the ultrawide and run it in picture by picture mode but
that also has its own limitations that isn’t worth it)
So it’s not a huge win but in my mind between a single ultrawide vs a dual monitor setup. I think the dual monitor setup wins slightly
in terms of just pure productivity for me. The Windows snap feature is a really big help
to manage multiple windows on a single ultrawide but it’s not perfect compared to having
two discrete displays. But even though I prefer dual monitor for
productivity a single ultrawide is almost just as good of an experience and you have
added benefit for games and video so I can see it winning over most people. Or if you can afford it an ultrawide pairs
very nicely with a second 2K display like I have right now, or any old spare monitor
you have should do just nicely. With this setup I typically just use the ultrawide
monitor by itself most of the time and the second monitor is just used as an accessory
monitor when I need just a little more space for reference material or to keep organized. So now I figured out my ideal monitor setup. It’s time to clean up and redesign desk
setup but until then, Hope you guys enjoyed this one. You know what to do. And I’ll see you in the next video.

100 thoughts to “Ultrawide vs Dual Screen – what is the best setup for productivity?”

  1. This one change makes a huge difference to my single Ultrawide monitor experience: https://youtu.be/CvXtcB2mYPE

  2. 2:02 I swear to god the fact that you didn't show putting that last program into the gap made me so angry. Please make a video on you putting it into the gap to avoid being killed

  3. For me…I care nothing for productivity since I am retired. I use my machines for gaming alone. And I got it all, Ultrawides, different manufacturers, triple monitor systems, and not listed here but 2 other systems with 30 Inch monitors running at 2560 x 1600. My point is I have real world experience with a bunch of different set-ups…

    System #1

    – Alienware AW3418DW – 34 Inch Gaming Monitor.

    – ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5 X 2 SLI.

    System #2

    – ASUS ROG Swift Curved PG348Q – 34 Inch Gaming Monitor.

    – ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5.

    System #3

    – ASUS VP279H-P – 27 Inch Monitor x 3 in Surround Mode.

    – ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 970 x 2 SLI.

    System #4

    – Dell UltraSharp – U3415W – 34 Inch Monitor.

    – ASUS GeForce GTX 950 x 2 SLI.

    System #5

    – Dell UltraSharp – U3415W – 34 Inch Monitor.

    – ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5.

  4. Good video. I have two 27" 2K 16:9's. I'm thinking of doing a setup like yours with a 34" ultrawide 21:9 paired with one 27" 2K 16:9. I'm totally on board with your logic and rationale on why that works as the best setup.

  5. Many ultrawide (21:9) and almost every super ultrawide (32:9) monitors have the ability to connect two HDMI cables with it and your graphics card simulating a dual monitor setup. This gives the benefit of the fullscreen function you mentioned while still being able to play games or run other things in a "dual monitor" resolution without an annoying gap in the middle.

  6. What tasks does a dual monitor make better vs alt tabbing? I switched from 2×22 to 1 24 at work and don't feel any slower.

  7. I am going to buy three 20 inch monitor as they are cheaper and better for productivity. On one screen we can play YouTube video tutorial, on other we have notes/documentation open and on third screen we can have our code editor open. That will prevent this back and forth switching between different windows while doing computer programming.

    The only problem however is to arrange them in such away which doesn't give me neck pain

  8. I'm running a triple monitor setup in PLP (portrait + landscape + portrait) with the centre 30" in 16:10 and the sides rotated vertically to match. It's great for productivity and the centre screen is great for games. It also gives additional height not available in 16:9 and ultrawide. Total area is 4960 x 1600.

  9. Hey David, it's been a while since you've done anything on monitor setups. What's your thought on one 34" curved ultrawide and one curved 27" monitor? It would be very unique if you can do a video on that.

  10. In most content creation tasks it is also extremely useful to have one monitor not running non-standard resolutions, scaling, or aspect ratios. While your video editor, code editor, web designer, etc. might love an ultra-wide high-resolution screen… often you need to just see your video, site, program, etc. running on a standard 1920×1080 screen at 100%. I've seen a lot of developers working at some odd resolution only to find the image/form/screen/etc. is clipped or has scrollbars to 90% of people looking at it or things look odd because the screen is scaled to 125% or something.

    Advantage of the dual monitor is you can put a standard 1080p monitor their, scale it to 100%, and quickly see what your work looks like to most people. Further, you can change the scaling to quickly see what it looks like for other DPI settings without affecting your "working area".

  11. you will need two thin border monitors though, or else it would look like shit if using two ACER in the video.

  12. Great video David, I can tell a lot of thought was put into making this video and you really do hit most the big points for one versus the other. Very informative for anyone trying to figure out what kind of setup they want to build.

  13. I have a set up similar to yours – i find it works well. For gaming and video i use the ultrawide, for working i use the ultrawide and then use the second (16:9) for secondary apps and toolbars.

  14. Here's my setup https://i.imgur.com/DrCHSv0.jpg
    Explanation bellow.

    I use an ultra wide, and a regular monitor in portrait mode.
    My ultrawide is on the right side, with the regular on the left.
    On the right side of the ultra wide, I usually have YouTube
    Left side has what I'm working on.
    Regular monitor top half has Tweetdeck
    bottom half has Discord.
    Sometimes I have YouTube on the top half of the secondary screen when I'm in need of the full ultrawide.

  15. I currently own an LG 34" Ultra Wide 34UM88C-P monitor. I'm looking to purchase a secondary screen to add side by side to this screen which has the same physical height and the same height in resolution (1440) so they will match.
    I'm assuming that a 27" 2560×1440 would be the right size? Anyone has any suggestions?

  16. this video was interesting, im on the "buying monitor" phase and i'm thinking in getting a ultrawide monitor, however i'm a Linux user and i won't be using a standard desktop environment either, will be using a tiled window manager.

  17. I found the same kind of software and share to you.
    Shutter Split Screen software helps you split the screen and improve your operation quickly. It's windows application software that lets you fast and view multiple windows side-by-side.
    I hope this is helpful, enjoy it.

  18. me gusto mucho el video donde presentaste el setup con monitores Dell , voy a comprarme 2 monitores dell de 27 pulgadas

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  20. I love this kind of „screen wall“ very cool!
    I need it for my office. I have an Acer laptop plus a curved screen from SAMSUNG. If I get a second one I have an awesome ultra wide screen for maximum productivity.

  21. Question for you: How DEEP is a dual ultrawide setup? My desk is plenty wide, but if you butt the two together, what is the distance that the OUTER EDGES of the screen come out (measured perpendicular from center)?

  22. I like to record my screen on one monitor and have the software on the other monitor. But I am thinking of getting an ultrawide monitor. With this in mind, will it be best to stick to dual monitors? I just want a single monitor in the middle of my desk.

  23. one full screen for game/movie, and the other one for work. That's the real show stopper for me to go with single ultrawide.

  24. I hate the window snap feature when it makes you decide if you want to have another application run along side it, some apps i use dont show up and sometimes i just want to have that one application go to the left to the point where i would just be waiting to press esc when i snap a window…

    Luckily windows allows you to turn of the thing where it asks you to pick another application

  25. The Equal Dual-Monitor is dumb for most people. Why? because you have those bezels right in front of you. The Optimal Setup in my opinion is one Premium Ultrawide 34-35" front and center and then either one or two smaller screens flanking it for productivity. For most purposes those don't even need to be that expensive. e.g. mine is just a budget model (benq 24", 1080p, 60hz) for about 120$. That's good enough for a second monitor. You could easily add a second 24" on the other side but frankly i don't have any use for it.

  26. As a software engineer, i tried using an ultra-wide, didn't work out that well. Having dual just partitions my workflow nicely.

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