Monitors for software development

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JJ Johnson, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. JJ Johnson

    JJ Johnson Gawd

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    I have two ancient Samsung 19" 1280x1024 monitors that are in need of updating. My primary use is software development.

    I'd like to move to a three monitor setup, so I don't want either huge nor ultrawide monitors. Somehow, I don't think a display setup that's something like 8 or 9 feet wide would be beneficial.

    What would be some recommended monitors in the under $300 ea. price range?
     
  2. deruberhanyok

    deruberhanyok [H]ard|Gawd

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    Aside from not wanting ultrawide, What do you consider huge?

    Your current screens are 86ppi and you’ve got a 10:4 aspect ratio for your setup. A pair of widescreens would be 32:9, about 40% more usable space. Three would be more than double your current workspace, and that’s before you even take into account higher resolutions.

    Three widescreens horizontally lined up can be a strain on your neck, though, so you may want to consider running them turned vertically (27:16 aspect ratio) to save on muscle wear and tear.

    I’d also go as high ppi as your budget would allow. With scaling this just allows you to have clearer text or more space to view UI design elements.

    Handy dpi calc:


    https://www.sven.de/dpi/
     
  3. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    I've been using a 27" 1440p monitor for about 9-10 years. I mainly do software development with Microsoft Visual studio IDE. I find that I keep running out of screen real estate with the 27" therefore I'm going with a 43" 4K monitor. The 43" should allow me to have IDE, documentation and program all in one screen. I'm waiting for the 43" to be delivered this week.
     
  4. deruberhanyok

    deruberhanyok [H]ard|Gawd

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    FYI it’s just the resolution / aspect ratio that gives you more workspace. The screen size will affect ppi which will affect clarity of text and such.

    So a 32” 4K will get you the same increased workspace, but it will (obviously) be smaller text and such.

    Depending on what kind of magnification settings you use and how far you are from the display you may find a 43” doesn’t provide any improvement. For instance, I’ve been running a 43” 4K TV as my monitor for about a month now. it’s a little over 2.5 feet from where I sit, and I’ve settled on a 150% scaling setting to be able to use the screen without straining my eyes.

    This makes the effective resolution of the display 2560x1440, which is more than my previous setup gave me, but I’m not using a full 4K workspace. I’ve also found that it would be easier to take in the whole screen if I could push it back another 6” or so but I don’t have the room for that.

    Anyways, ymmv, maybe you’ve got eagle eyes and won’t need any scaling, but I wanted to caution against expecting a big improvement in usable space with that upgrade.
     
  5. kasakka

    kasakka Gawd

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    I think ultrawides are actually fantastic for software development. I don't like them for gaming but the wide screen is great for putting side by side for example an IDE and a browser.

    Your budget is the biggest issue.
     
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  6. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    I'm planning to run 100% scaling with the 43" 4K. I have a custom workbench which is 1.2m (4 feet) deep so no issue with moving the monitor back. I'll post some pictures once this is setup.
     
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  7. JJ Johnson

    JJ Johnson Gawd

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    $900 budget is an issue? Doesn't take two ultrawide monitors to display an IDE and a browser unless you're 85 years old or 3/4 blind.
     
  8. JJ Johnson

    JJ Johnson Gawd

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    Maybe my thinking is a little behind the times. I've always coveted a bigass multi-monitor setup.

    Seems nobody can get past the general setup, which isn't unexpected. I was looking for actual model recommendations, but maybe I need to rethink the setup.
     
  9. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    Triple screen is nice for work. I had 3x 27" 1440p monitors for a while, and they were great for development.

    Now I'm on a single 34" ultrawide, which is nice for gaming but not for productivity (due to the lower resolution I picked). I'm making it work, but I wouldn't recommend it. Probably 1440p UW would be better.

    One thing to keep in mind is that triple screen takes a lot of desk space, more than a standard computer desk will handle. So you'll need monitor arms (which can be $100 each) so take that into account.

    I think dual screen is bothersome due to the bezel in the middle. So I would say either do the triple screen thing, or get 1 big monitor. 2 is just a pain.

    Have you considered getting a 4K monitor rather than multi-mon? Something like a 32" 4K would be a nice upgrade.

    https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-U32J590-32-Inch-LED-Lit-Monitor/dp/B07CS3JGPC/
     
  10. deruberhanyok

    deruberhanyok [H]ard|Gawd

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    JJ Johnson am confused. Your initial post said you didn’t want huge or ultrawide monitors, but you gave no indication as to what you consider huge. Some people think 24” screens are too big. So if you want a “big add multi monitor setup” but don’t want “huge” monitors... ?

    I think a triple screen setup can work, but having used one before I think it’s important not to underestimate the amount of neck strain it can cause. For gaming your left and right screens become peripheral vision, you don’t directly use them much.

    For productivity work you end up turning your head and holding it still a lot. Even if you have a setup where you are standing or can easily move your mouse and keyboard this is an enormous amount of muscle strain, and it only takes a few days to throw everything all of of whack, 85 or not. :) this is why I suggested vertical orientation for the screens instead of horizontal.

    That said, if you want specific model recommendations, it would help to know what you consider “huge” and if you’d even want a regular widescreen, let alone an Ultrawide. There are a lot of 24” models in that price range and maybe some 27” as well. All 16:9 though.

    Also if it’s just two windows you are displaying (ide and browser, as you say) then what’s the third monitor for anyways?
     
  11. JJ Johnson

    JJ Johnson Gawd

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    Like you say, too big and you're just looking at neck strain in a three monitor setup. Honestly, I don't know what's too big or too small in that setup. I just figured someone would have a similar setup for a similar use case and could recommend monitors that work well.
     
  12. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    You can always do 2x2 setup especially if you are doing software dev, it will eliminate the problem of needing to look side to side on wide screen. You can also do portrait view instead of landscape on wide screen monitors that way you can get tons of vertical space rather than horizontal space. 2 27" screens in portrait view is probably what the doctor would prescribe in your situation.
     
  13. cybereality

    cybereality 2[H]4U

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    I think 27" is a nice size if you want multi-mon. Also, try to find one that can do portrait, that is a good setup for coding IDE.
     
  14. deruberhanyok

    deruberhanyok [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'll be the voice of dissent and suggest going to a 24" 2560x1440 model actually. If you don't use scaling it might be a little hard to read, depending on how far back they are from where you sit / how good your eyes are, but three of them at 125% scaling, aligned vertically, would be a really nice setup and wouldn't be overly huge in your physical workspace.

    Something like the Dell P2418D, currently around $250 direct from Dell. There's also the U2518D, an inch larger, supports "HDR" content, and $50 more. They fit right into your budget. I don't think an extra inch is worth $50, but maybe that plus "HDR" is to you?
     
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  15. kasakka

    kasakka Gawd

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    My bad, I just saw the $300 number and thought that was the whole budget.

    In any case, I would just pick a single ultrawide 1440p monitor first, see how you get along with that and then maybe add either another one or a smaller second monitor to that. Ultrawide because less gaps from bezels is nicer than having several smaller monitors side by side. You could even try one of the curved models, had one of those at the office and I felt on an ultrawide the slight curvature was useful.
     
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  16. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    This is my new setup. 43" Viewsonic 4380-4k 100% text scaling. I can have quite a bit of information on the screen at anyone time, plus it only cost me $500.00 USD for the screen. I'm currently calibrating the screen on the cheap. I'm sitting about 85cm (approx 34inches) away from the screen.

    Still getting used to the size of the screen, I don't need to turn my neck that much, but my eye balls gets a nice workout!!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  17. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    I'm using a 34" WQHD monitor for development the extra screen space is bloody brilliant!
     
  18. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    With the 20% coupon, I picked the Viewsonic monitor up for a little over $700 AUD or about $500.00 USD. There is no funky viewing angle issues that the LG 43" reviewers keeps mentioning. I don't play games etc just mainly coding and development so the extra screen space is always needed.

    You do need a deep desk thou for a 43" monitor. the 27" 1440p looks tiny now compared to the 43".

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Vie...rentrq:c5d38efe1670add8e7b45eb9fffc817a|iid:1
     
  19. rtangwai

    rtangwai [H]ard|Gawd

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    What kind of software development do you do?

    If you use VMs a lot you might want more than 3x monitors so you can dedicate monitors to virtual desktops.

    If you do a lot of web portal programming then you want 3x monitors for browsers (to compare appearances) and at least 1x monitor for Android VMs like Bluestacks.

    This is what I use at home:

    35719706393_da4f364580_b.jpg
     
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  20. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    HAHA you want to play wargames or something? The OP has a $300.00 budget.
     
  21. rtangwai

    rtangwai [H]ard|Gawd

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    OP has a $900 budget, read his first post.

    I didn't say buy my rig ($1500), I just gave an example of what is used when VMs/portals are involved. Because I have 4K, 1600p, and 1200p monitors I can review very quickly what a web portal/interface will look like at most modern resolutions. Comes in handy as I still occasionally QA websites, I can review what they look like in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE, and Safari (I spin up a VM for the last one) and compare in real time. I still have enough real estate left over to open editors and such to do live editing and see how (in)consistent the changes are across browsers.

    Depending on what he programs he might be better off with 3x or 4x 24" 1080p and 1x 27" 1440p/43" ultrawide. If the OP is strictly a server-side developer eg. database programmer then 3x monitors are enough. I don't advocate even number of monitors because then there is a bezel in the middle of your field of view.
     
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  22. bonushaker

    bonushaker n00bie

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    haha my bad. I better stop drinking the free beers and go back to work.
     
  23. Luke M

    Luke M Limp Gawd

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    I'd say either 3 1920x1200 monitors in portrait orientation, or one 43" 4K. I like vertical space so "ultrawides" don't appeal to me.
     
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  24. bigbluefe

    bigbluefe Limp Gawd

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    If you can find it for $900, it's the best productivity monitor in the world still.

     
  25. JJ Johnson

    JJ Johnson Gawd

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    I don't see the advantage to that at all. It only makes me think that several 4:3 aspect ratio monitors may be the ideal. I imagine, though, that these days the choices among such monitors are slim.

    Thanks for the ideas, all. Now I just need to figure out how many monitors I'd want, what size and which models.