Simple 3-Monitor Setup Maximizes Screen Real Estate

Simple 3-Monitor Setup Maximizes Screen Real Estate

Range Govindan
Jan 4, 2011

Setting up a multi-monitor computer can seem like a challenge, but once you've got the details down, it can be surprisingly easy. A powerful desktop with more than one graphics card usually does the job. While most people are content with one modest-sized screen, Flickr user Techie has got a total of 3 in his Mac setup.

Techie is a self-confessed gadget guy, hardware daydreamer, comprehensive geek. His setup is mostly used for photo editing and school work since he's a student. Although he even admits that it's a bit over the top, since he's got an 8-core Mac Pro running the show, he'll definitely be able to use this computer for years to come.

The Mac Pro allows him to use 3×30-inch monitors. Yes, that's three 30-inch monitors, from Dell, Samsung, and HP. The full resolution of these monitors is 7680×1600, but this is unfeasible for gaming unless you're using a flight simulator. Techie usually splits 10 to 15 apps over the panels, including stagnant apps that are placed on the far right or left. Some programs might use more than one monitor, but he tends to avoid this because of the strain that it can put on his graphics processor.

-3× 30" monitors (Dell, HP, and Samsung)
-8-core Mac Pro (8 GB RAM, 2x Intel X25-V stripe SSD, nVidia 8800GT & GT 120, 4 TB storage)
-Herman Miller Aeron chair
-Logitech and Dell sound systems arranged as single output

The Mac Pro is definitely built for multi-monitor usage. Out of the box, it can come ready to support two monitors and more. Techie has got two nVidia graphics cards to handle the workload for tasks. If you're looking for an easy way to do this, Mac Pros are a good option. It simply involves buying the hardware and plugging it in. As for PCs, the overall price will be less, but they can be finicky to setup if you haven't done so before. Possible improvements would include a cable management system for all those pesky wires, and maybe some nice lighting solutions that could be placed behind this monitor array. The lights could be LED or simply table lamps.

(Images: Flickr member Techie licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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