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Dual Monitors, work by day, game by night

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Relentless81, May 26, 2020.

  1. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    Hi,

    So its looking like I'm going to be working from home a lot more and if thats the case I cant keep on with my current setup, I'm using my personal 1440P Dell Freesync monitor with my work laptop monitor wedged underneath it so I can access the laptop keyboard and I'm constantly looking down at the laptop monitor and over time its killing my neck to the point where its giving me a lot of agro even after work. My dell monitor is plugged into the laptop HDMI out every morning so I have a make shift dual monitor setup.

    After work I pack my laptop away and my desktop which is on the same desk is used for gaming most nights.

    I was wondering if anyone else has adjusted to this situation more comfortably than I have and if so what did you do? I was thinking maybe sell my current monitor, buy a dual monitor arm and downgrade unwillingly to dual 1080P gaming monitors, I suppose another benefit of that is I can shrink my PC to a smaller case and take advantage of smaller GPUs in the future giving me more desk space (my desk is tiny)

    That would sort the comfort out but then how would I share the monitors between my desktop and laptop, also if I'm currently using the laptops keyboard for work and I then use the laptop via a docking station to the two monitors I'll end up with two keyboards, one for gaming PC and one for work (I cant use my Ducky One2 Mini for work)

    Another issue is my current single monitor stand has a removable C clamp as my desk is fixed to the wall with a gap for cable management so I would need to find a dual monitor stand with a removable C clamp and there wasnt much choice when looking for a single stand.

    Sorry I feel like I just blurted all of that out, hopefully it makes sense!

    Cheers
     
  2. thenewoc

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2012

    Posts: 5,874

    Location: West Sussex, England

    49" ultrawide 5120 x 1440 @ 144Hz or more with decent ports such as USB C that you can connect the laptop to and charge it and send video signal over. The downside is there isn't much in the way of IPS models or they aren't 144Hz. The new Samsung Odyssey G9 C49G95TSSU might be a possible contender but it's a VA panel, due out soon (next couple of weeks).
     
  3. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    Sorry I don't understand I don't think my post is very clear, I want to try and use two monitors for both work and gaming as I need a dual monitor setup for work, I've been looking into it more tonight and my only option is keep current monitor for gaming and stack another cheap 1080p monitor above it but I think it will be too high, I failed to mention my desk is only 118cm wide so it's really small

    Another option is to lift my current monitor up more and continue using the laptop on the desk but my current monitor arm is already holding the monitor at max height
     
  4. thenewoc

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2012

    Posts: 5,874

    Location: West Sussex, England

    The 49" monitor is like 2 27" monitors except you don't have a center bezel like you would with separate monitors. They usually have picture in picture modes so you can connect your desktop and laptop at the same time and either use the whole screen e.g. equivalent of 2 27" monitors for either the desktop or the laptop and optionally display one of those devices through picture in picture. Alternatively use the source selection on the monitor to switch between the desktop and the laptop. Ideally put the monitor on a proper mount rather than the supplied stand and then you can easily adjust the height, I'd recommend something like the ergotron hx. Buy a separate stand for the laptop and that would raise that up a little so you could use that as a third monitor when using the laptop. Some of the 49" monitors allow you to connect your keyboard and mouse so you can use these with either computer.
     
  5. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    Ah I see, I didn't know picture in picture even existed so thanks for that, I can hear my Vega 56 crying at the though of powering it when gaming though!

    I'll read into this some more

    Thanks
     
  6. thenewoc

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2012

    Posts: 5,874

    Location: West Sussex, England

    Depending on the model you can probably still game at 2560 x 1440 but using the supplied monitor app which allows you to subdivide the screen up into different portions, probably one that is centered which would leave black bars at the sides or maybe just setting that resolution in game would force it to just display in the center. If you're playing fps intense games competitively then yes a stronger gfx card would help make the most of screen refresh rate. You could consider a 49" with 3840 x 1080 res which would be less demanding on gfx and still provide the productivity enhancement of multi monitor res but it would be a bit of a compromise on vertical res if you've been used to 1440.
     
  7. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 24,236

    Location: Surrey

    I am about to get a laptop which I would use for work and hobby programming. That would leave my desktop for mostly gaming. My intention is to set it up as follows:

    34" gaming monitor in the centre connected to the desktop via displayport

    Laptop to one side raised up so the screen is in line with the monitor, connected by HDMI

    A single keyboard and mouse connected via a USB switcher (also Logitech make devices which can connect to multiple computers wirelessly)

    So when using it for work the laptop screen would act as a second monitor. Because th laptop will be raised and because of the separate keyboard it means not looking down at the laptop. When gaming the 34" is in the centre. The 34" will be swappable between devices.
     
  8. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    @Hades

    Sounds good, I looked into the exact same setup but with my desk being 118cm wide and 200mm of that being consumed by my desktop I am somewhat limited on desk width so the laptop won't go side by side with the monitor and I'll need to use two keyboards because I have a ducky one2 mini which I now regret buying I wish I bought something a bit more work based that I could also use for gaming so I could split the connection like you are going to do

    My current plan is to remove the monitor stand and go back to standard, by a monitor riser that will house the laptop when not in use and slide it in and out of the riser to use it during the day

    This still means I'll have to put the ducky keyboard away and use the laptop keyboard which I dislike but it's about the only setup that'll work for me with the desk space and the cheapest
     
  9. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 24,236

    Location: Surrey

    OK a couple more suggestions then. If you are getting neck or back pain looking down at the laptop then it's important you stop doing it. It will probably get worse over time u till you struggle to get work done.

    Can you get your gaming PC on to the floor to free up space on the desk? Maybe next to the desk on the floor? Or mounted hanging under the desk even if overhanging a little.

    Could you get a wider desk if there is room?

    Maybe consider an adjustable laptop stand which mounts to the side of the desk and overhangs it if there is room to the side.

    Could the laptop sot on top of your gaming PC?

    Would a vertical laptop stand help so you can mount the laptop while it is closed and maybe slide it behind the monitor?

    Would one super wide monitor help so you have enough space not to need dual monitors?

    If no other option could the laptop be placed on the floor, turned on but not looking at it, with a long monitor cable and separate wireless keyboard?

    Would a wall mounted monitor stand help at all?

    Could a wall mounted laptop holder help at all?. Either with the laptop open and using the screen or even turned on but closed and in clamshell mode and slotted into the holder like and envelope?

    Would down sizing your gaming PC to ITX help?

    Would mounting a second monitor above the main one, instead of to the side, help?

    Consider changing your keyboard if it is one of the problems?



    EDIT: Maybe take a look through the workspaces subreddit for ideas similar to your setup (https://www.reddit.com/r/Workspaces/) and "desk setup" on youtube.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  10. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    Appreciate this, helps me think it through as I dont want to make more mistakes like buying an expensive small keyboard to free up space and then regretting it! Yes I definitely need to stop hunching over my laptop its killing me and I'm not feeling as productive at all, its fine when gaming as I'm looking forward but with work when looking down at the laptop thats where its getting uncomfortable.

    Definitely cant put the PC on the floor, there is no room in the chair space

    My desk is custom made into an old old wardrobe space, see pics below so no chance of changing the desk unfortunately

    There isnt any room to the side for a laptop stand, it will clash with my main monitor and cover it up

    The top of my PC is too high to sit the laptop on, I would be looking up and to the right all the time

    RE Vertical laptop stand, that would work to the side of me a there is just enough room but I need the laptop screen for my second screen and I use the laptop keyboard currently

    RE Super Wide, do you mean with Picture in Picture as described above by thenewoc? If so its kind of expensive but its possible however it involves getting a super wide monitor which cost big money at the moment, playing the panel lottery, buying a new monitor arm as current one wont support the weight and then the Picture in Picture thing actually working well. Kind of risky as I see it at the moment. Also selling my current monitor to get some of the funds back isnt ideal with Covid

    Laptop on the floor, back to needing the screen again

    Not sure about wall mounting the monitor, behind my monitor the wall is MDF (See pics) I'm not sure it will support it

    Laptop wall mounted while closed/docked back to needing the screen again

    I will be downsizing my PC definitely I am waiting for B550 ITX boards but to be honest I have a Meshify C and most ITX cases that house decent GPUs are not that much smaller!

    I have considered a double mounting pole with a cheap 1080P 60hz screen mounted above my current one but this in itself sounds good at first then I realise I'll be looking up at that screen all the time rather than down as I am currently and I dont know where I would put the laptop, I imagine I would need to dock it somewhere permanently and cable it in, there iss an issue an issue with mounting poles as my desk is fixed so I need to find one with a removable C clamp and it was quite the challenge to find my current one which doe have a removable C clamp

    RE keyboard, if I settle on a permanently docked laptop and another screen then yes I'll have to begrudgingly sell the Ducky and buy something that cater for office and gaming that wont need moving around so much

    So many different ways of doing it, none of them ideal!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the below image the keyboard is now a Ducky and the headset is hanging under the desk so make more room on the desk, everything else is the same

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 24,236

    Location: Surrey

    I see what you mean. I guess you need to look at what space is not currently being used - the area above your desktop and monitor. If it were me then I would do one of the following options:

    Option 1
    * Super wide (flat) monitor mounted on the wall. Hopefully this would be wide enough not to need two monitors.
    * Laptop (mounted flat and closed) above the monitor or on the side above the headphones or above the gaming PC.
    * Keyboard and mouse into a USB KVM so that it can be switched between laptop or gaming PC at the press of a button.

    Option 2
    * Second monitor above the first on a dual vertical monitor arm or mounted on the wall.
    * Laptop mounted flat and closed above the monitor or on the side above the headphones or above the gaming PC.
    * Keyboard and mouse into a USB KVM so that it can be switched between laptop or gaming PC at the press of a button.

    Option 3
    * Gaming PC moved upwards onto a new shelf placed top right (above where it is now) to get it off the desk. Consider downsizing to MATX or ITX.
    * Laptop on a monitor stand where the gaming PC currently is, on a stand to raise the screen in line with the current monitor.
    * Keyboard and mouse into a USB KVM so that it can be switched between laptop or gaming PC at the press of a button.

    Option 3 seems the cheapest option because you don't need any change or additional monitor. You just need a cheapo USB switch and to make a shelf top right (cheap and eay with a few brackets into the back wall and side wall). The shelf doesn't need to run the whole legth. It just needs to be wide enough to get the gaming PC off the desk.
     
  12. Bug One

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,184

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    I've been working from home for a while. I use an ultrawide monitor now.

    I have my work laptop standing vertically out of the way and RDP onto it from my PC. All my work is contained within that laptop, but things like skype, teams and web based project management access is done via my PC.

    You could even stand it on top of your PC.
     
  13. thenewoc

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 9, 2012

    Posts: 5,874

    Location: West Sussex, England

    If it were me I would put a shelf on the back wall under the desk and put the PC case on that side ways on with the windowed side facing forward. Test out the idea first to ensure there's enough leg room to sit comfortably at the desk e.g. knee room.
     
  14. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,486

    @Hades

    Thanks for the options it really helps me break it down, I'm leaning toward stacked monitor setup with a cheap 1080P monitor above my main monitor although I am concerned about the weight, the desk is only 15mm thick. The cupboard above has power and a switch in there so the laptop could live in their and I could get a dock for the laptop, sell my Ducky and get a keyboard for both work and play. The issue with this is that I cant seem to figure out is how to cable the monitors. The main monitor isnt a problem as it uses Display Port from my desktop and I can use HDMI out from the laptop, down the cable run you can see in the left of the pics and up the monitor pole to the main monitor but how do I connect the second monitor via HDMI? I cant use a HDMI splitter because I need to extend the desktop to the second monitor and there is only one HDMI out. The docks dont cater for this at work, you have to have one VGA and one HDMI so I'm a bit stumped on setting up an extended image from the laptop if its housed in the cupboard.

    @Bug One

    Thats a pretty good way of doing it, are you using two separate images on the same ultra wide monitor with Picture in Picture?

    @thenewoc

    What you cant see in the image is the cable tidy tray thats built into desk/wall my feet and legs would definitely hit my PC if it was down there
     
  15. 413x

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 13, 2010

    Posts: 18,812

    Location: Cardiff

    I'm going to end up with

    Gaming - Ultrawide 3440*1440p 100hz 35 inch (got)
    Photos - 4k 60hz 32 inch photography grade monitor

    Haven't worked out how I'm gonna work the two monitors in. Probably side by side. Not sure yet. Both on arms

    Surface book & surface dock
    Desktop
    Work laptop

    Kvm for all peripherals (keyboard, mouse)
    Kvm for laptop/surface book to both monitors (where lag isn't important important)
    Desktop a direct dp-dp link


    Just want to add,
    Couldn't get a setup to do both photography and games on same panel without blowing the budget.

    Uwa aren't great for. Photography. Lots of wasted space
    4k is too hard to drive for games
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  16. LiE

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 2, 2005

    Posts: 20,075

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Are you planning to use scaling on the 32? I've heard using mixed scaling doesn't work well in Windows.

    I'm considering 2 x 27" 1440p (1 high refresh rate) for my setup that I do some photo edits on.
     
  17. 413x

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 13, 2010

    Posts: 18,812

    Location: Cardiff

    Hadnt thought about it.
    Don't recall being a problem on my 1440p (16:10) and 1440p (21:9)

    But I think scaling was 100 for both

    I will probs be ok on a 32 at 100
     
  18. Bug One

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,184

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    Just using a Remote Desktop session to my laptop running at 1920x1200. My main desktop is running at 3440x1440, so the RDP takes up just over half of the screen.

    Using RDP, I can copy and past in and out of the session, so it all feels like I'm just using one PC, but means I can keep a clear separation between my work and my gaming PC.