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Thread: Best combination of monitor size and resolution for a developer?

  1. #1

    Best combination of monitor size and resolution for a developer?

    I use Visual Studio and SQL Server Management Studio most of the time. I’ve been using a 24" monitor with a strange 2048x1152 resolution. I’d like to get a larger monitor since in the afternoons, my eyes start getting tired in the afternoons.
    I've been seeing a few deals on 27" 1920x1080 monitors for less than $200. I assume the larger size will make the text larger and easier to read, but I don’t like that i’ll be losing resolution going down to 1080p, especially on the vertical. Would going up to a 2560x1440 resolution negate the increase of screen size to 27" and make fonts too small again?
    There’s also the consideration of a widescreen 27" monitor with 2560x1080 resolution. I like that I’d be able to put two windows side by side.
    I’ve read that 32" monitors are too large to sit right in front of plus $300 is the top end of my budget, so that rules out most of these anyway.
    What do you all think?

  2. #2
    For that budget, I’d recommend a pair of 24" 1080p monitors. Most text editors let you adjust the text size so resolution is fairly irrelevant in your case IMO. Even with a fairly large text size I find vertical space to not be that much of an issue on 24"s, and the benefit of dual monitor multitasking is enormous.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the suggestion. I prefer to maximize the vertical real estate so I can see more lines of code. As much as we try, we end up with some involved if statements that can span a couple of printed pages. But that’s another discussion. When my eyes do get tired, sometimes I do increase the font size. I guess I might have to get used to that.

  4. #4
    I have used several monitors in portrait mode for that exact reason. It works dandily for code. One in landscape, one in portrait works very well.

    The only (admittedly small, but annoying to me) downside is if you like to use desktop backgrounds that span all of your monitors… it’s difficult to make one background work when you rotate monitors.

  5. #5
    Personally I’m using 2x 1920◊1200 24"s and a single 1440◊900 19" off to the side. Works okay for me but I really miss the 27" 4Ks I have at home (I’m not sure SSMS and VisualStudio scale properly though so maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have hidpi at work)
    Don’t go down to 1080p if you can help it – the extra vertical space you get from 1920◊1200 is well worth the modest extra cost

  6. #6
    If you’re doing database development then having the native res for content is irrelevant.
    1920◊1200 hits all your other points (it’ll even work over single link DVI) and gives you usefully more vertical space.

  7. #7
    If youíre doing database development then having the native res for content is irrelevant.
    1920◊1200 hits all your other points (itíll even work over single link DVI) and gives you usefully more vertical space.

  8. #8
    I know there’s gonna be a lot of people who say that developing on 1080p is a little low for modern devices, but 1080p’s got a lot of advantages over slightly larger resolutions like 1920◊1200 and even ones like QHD and 4K:

    • 1080p is probably the most common screen/market size for all people on all types of devices
    • 1080p has, by far, the most content that is native to the resolution
    • There’s tons of programs out there already that were developed for and support 1080p
    • Any half-way decent computer can support multiple 1080p displays without too much stress
    • Because 1080p is so common, data standards in ports like Mini DP and HDMI are often built so that you can use multiple 1080p displays but not multiple displays of higher resolution
    • You said it yourself – you can get ’em real cheap these days

    I think multiple 1080p displays are more useful than higher-resoluyion displas – even UltraWides. I use a pair of HP 27es that are always $189.99, but go on sale all the time. I love ’em, but the choice is yours.

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