Upgrade time - 1x30" or 2x24"?

Jan 30, 2003
Hi all,
Have been contemplating an upgrade for a bit now - currently using a 5yr old setup of 2x24" LCDs (1920*1200 MVA panels). Looking to upgrade because the existing setup is starting to show some issues (random blinking on/off, HDMI ports on both busted so using VGA), and well... I guess because I have the itch. :p I'm driving these with a Dell Latitude laptop in a dock - not really a PC gamer, mainly use for net / office / some media.

Was hoping to get a bit of feedback from you guys since I have a couple options -
- 1x30" to replace both. If I miss the 2nd display, I can hook up one of the old puppies or use my laptop's screen. Got a line on a Dell U3011 for $715 w/ ~2.75yrs of warranty left.

- 2x23" or 24" to replace both. Have been looking at Dell displays again - slickdeal on the IPS U2312HM (1080p) from Amazon for $190/each right now, and the IPS U2412HM (1200p) hits $240-250 pretty regularly, so however you cut it, this would be slightly cheaper than the 30". I could maybe be persuaded to make this a 3x setup, but that would take away the U2312HM as an option since it lacks HDMI input (and that is how I'd need to drive it w/ my laptop). Also not sure I would use 3 monitors very effectively 95% of the time.

-Don't upgrade and keep using the existing 24" monitors until they die. Broken HDMI ports have been the case for the last 3 years and never really an issue. Blinking slightly annoying, but only does it for a second or two and only happens ~1x a week.

Well... what do you think? :D



Supreme [H]ardness
Jul 27, 2003
For the money (and if you feel a bit like gambling) you could pick up 2X 27" 2560X1440p monitors off one of the popular korean sellers. I paid $350 for a 27in "pixel perfect" model with a 3 year Ebay SquareTrade warranty (good for repair/replace/reimbursement. Only downside is that it only has one input (DVI-D)

Yes, they are Korean "knock off brand" but they use Samsung panels. I got the QNIX brand through a seller named "Dream-Seller". It's actually on the FedEx truck as I type this awaiting delivery (ordered Sunday evening from Korea to my doorstep by Friday morning -- not bad)

I was originally wanting to do a top brand/badass big screen monitor (27-30") had a dell ultrasharp in teh past and loved it. Problem with the Dell 27 and 30" models now are MANY, screen issues, electronics issues, people going through 4 or 5 refurbs before they get a model with tolerable amount of defects. (not to mention the Dell antiglare coating is about 300% more than it should be)

After 5 years your LCD's will be fading pretty good, I had a 24" Dell Ultrasharp -- amazing monitor, but you could tell it was reaching old age.

For the price vs. screen real estate -- the 27" korean brand would be your best bet. If you like the quality/performance you can add another for cheap. Bonus is that most of the panels overclock easily to 96Hz and a good portion are hitting 120Hz.


Limp Gawd
Dec 9, 2007
I decided to put off any more monitor or desktop computer purchases until the 4K monitors and HDMI 2.0 are available. My 2560x1600 monitor paid for itself several times over but I'm ready for higher resolution. If you do any engineering drawings or graphic design, waiting for 4K looks like a good plan.


Oct 6, 2004
You need to check what resolutions the laptop will output. I'd stick with two 1200p monitors if you're not gaming/CAD/etc.


Supreme [H]ardness
Nov 9, 2006
Really depends on your work style and needs. I've always prefered larger monitors. I have one 30" monitor at home, not because I could afford more smaller ones, but because it was what I wanted. Of course I know other people who will go for 3 or even more fairly small monitors, because that's what they like better.

So what you need to ask yourself is how you like to work, what you'd rather have. Either way gives you roughly the same amount of pixels. 4.1M for the 30", 4.15M for 2x23", 4.6M for 2x24". It is in how they are arranged and how programs will react. It is easier to have something very large on a single monitor, many things don't span displays all that well. However multiple programs can be easier on multiple displays since you can snap them to a given screen.

Really it is all about your preferences. There's no right answer, just what works for you.

Do check and make sure your system can drive what you want though. For a 30" monitor, you need dual link DVI or DisplayPort. Plenty of laptops can handle either these days, just check before you leap.