When it comes to desktop PC setups, you’ll typically see two types of monitor configuration. Either the user has one big ultra-wide monitor on their work or gaming station, or they’ll have two monitors placed together. But, which is better? Is one preferable for work or playing video games? What’s the scoop, Betty Boop? Well, sit back and let me dip my toe into the big debate, as I look at the question: Two big monitors or one really big monitor?

Why do you want more screen real estate?

Considering we spend our lives staring blankly at little itty bitty smartphone screens most of the day, you’d almost think people prefer to see and do things on a small screen. However, when it comes to our desktops, everyone always seems to agree that “bigger is better.”

Why? Well, more space equals more productivity. You don’t need to squish browser windows and Word docs so you can look at one while working on the other. With more screen space, you can have all sorts of things open on your desktop simultaneously. Or, forget about work, because more screen real estate also equals more fun. Have your Twitter open and Netflix together, and you can be live tweeting about your favourite show or movie. And every gamer knows if you are going to be streaming your gameplay live, then you need some extra screen space for your subscribers’ chat, and to monitor your stream.

Regardless of what you’re doing with all that extra space, you know it makes all the difference. But, which should you choose?

Why choose a two-monitor setup?

A two-monitor setup is really good for work-based applications and uses. The secondary monitor can be used for displaying complimentary info, such as graphs or research, while the main monitor is utilized for your primary work. And, as I mentioned earlier, when you are streaming games live, you need one monitor for your game, and the other to monitor your stream and interact with your subscribers.

Of course, you’ll need a graphic card that has two monitor outputs, and can handle a two-monitor setup, but most new cards should be able to do the job. You’ll also need to afford two monitors, as well. Identical monitors work best, so you have bezels (the black frame of the monitor) that aren’t mismatched. Identical monitors will also have the same colour and contrast ratio, so you will have nice, uniform graphics.

Why choose one big monitor?

As with a two-monitor setup, one big ultra-wide monitor (say 34” or more) gives you the extra screen real estate you need. You’ll have enough space to open up multiple browsers while working on documents, or run applications side-by-side. For gamers, you can still use more than half the screen for a game, while the rest of the space can be for your streaming app and chats.

Now, while a two-monitor setup could give you (marginally) more space, the one big monitor doesn’t have a bezel running down the middle of your work or play space, which often ruins the immersion. Additionally, with the one monitor, you don’t need two graphics cards or multiple connectors, etc. As well, it is a lot easier to put one monitor on a desk than it is two have to work out how you will fit two big monitors on your work station.

The final word

I think it is obvious I am partial to the one big monitor setup. I play a lot of games, and I like my immersion. When I had a two-monitor setup, it took some time to set up and get working correctly. And when it was set up, I found that I was always losing track of where my mouse cursor was, plus the bezels right down the middle just ruined the nice view. The same goes for movies. Nobody wants a big split down the middle of your screen.

Although, if you are a live streamer, there are certainly advantages to having two monitors, especially if you want to play your game in full screen mode. And, you can likely pick up two identical 27-inch monitors for a bit cheaper than one big ultra-wide monitor, so your budget is also something to think about before making a decision.

In the end, it really is a personal preference thing. Which do you prefer in your own setup? Let me know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to check out what monitors are available online at Best Buy.

Steven Hill
I am an award-winning writer, freelance journalist and blogger who is a self-confessed geek and tech lover. When not playing the latest video games or salivating over the newest gadgets, I enjoy cooking for my family, mountain biking or snowboarding the deep powder on Whistler Mountain.