Guide: Is A Dual Monitor Setup Worth It?

Posted on August 24, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Productivity

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Dual monitor computer setup has become increasingly popular over the past few years.

Many people swear that having an extra monitor has changed their work and gaming life for the better and I can personally attest to that. If you are wondering if you should spend a little more money to create a dual monitor setup, read our guide to learn the benefits and disadvantages.

So…is a dual monitor setup worth it? Let’s find out.

Benefits Of A Dual Monitor Setup

Saves Time

One of the best reasons that a dual monitor setup is great is because it saves time switching from different windows.

For writers, you can easily have your writing program open on one screen and your sources on the other screen. Making your second screen vertical instead of horizontal also lessens the time you need to scroll down.

Increases Productivity

Since a dual monitor setup can save you a lot of time, it is also known to increase productivity by an average of 42% . This is especially useful for people with careers in web designing, video editing, and programmers as they might need a second monitor to test out and edit their projects.

It is also far easier to multitask. For example, you can easily watch a tutorial video on one screen while you’re trying to learn programming on another screen.

Improves Concentration

Since your programs are displayed neatly in two monitors, including your email and social media, you can easily concentrate on the tasks you need without worrying if you missed an email or message from a client.

While it sounds counterintuitive to have your social media running while you are working, it actually improves focus as it limits the time you switch tabs and get lost in scrolling through the endless post from your friends. It eliminates the feeling of being left out or missing a message and can increase your focus in your work.

Great For Video Conferences

It can be a great thing to have a second screen where you can see your colleagues presenting their data while you take your notes on another screen. On the other hand, it is also easier to present your data and charts via share screen on one monitor while you can still have another monitor solely for your notes and other necessary information you need while presenting.

Disadvantages Of A Dual Monitor Setup

While the advantages of a dual monitor setup far outweigh the disadvantages, it’s still worth noting that there are a few.

Distractions Galore

A dual monitor setup can be considered a double-edged sword. While, theoretically, it can increase productivity, it also makes it easier for you to be distracted by a lot of programs running.

If you have an extremely busy social media or messaging apps running in one screen, it might easily entice you to stop working for a while to keep yourself updated with things that are happening.

It Might Slow Down Your Computer

Another disadvantage of having a dual monitor setup is that you have to have a more advanced video card as your current one might not be able to support the dual setup. Don’t get me wrong – most computers these days can handle two monitors just fine but it’s worth considering.

Takes Up More Desk Space

The most obvious disadvantage of a dual monitor setup is the need for a bigger desk that can fit two monitors. Your desk should also be sturdy enough to manage the weight of two monitors.

This can also be easily fixed by mounting your monitors on the wall instead of putting it in your desk. It is not a big deal and should not deter you from buying another monitor, but it is worth considering.

Budget Limitation

Since you might need to upgrade your video card, you have a lot of things to buy aside from the additional monitor itself.

If you do not know how to change these parts of your computer, you can ask an expert to help you. But that would be an additional cost. You can try to watch different tutorials that are available on the internet if you choose to upgrade your hard drives.

Aside from the video card, it would be best if you also optimize your computer to make sure that it can handle having many programs running simultaneously. You might need to increase the RAM to avoid lagging that can deter you from being productive.

You should also check if there are additional ports for video output so that you don’t need to buy an adapter that may cost you more money.

Gap Between Screens

One of the most annoying thing about the dual monitor setup is that between the screens, there is a gap that doesn’t create a seamless transition, especially if your programs are extended in different screens.

If you prefer a seamless display, you can opt for a widescreen instead. This offers the benefits of a dual monitor setup in terms of productivity and multitasking without the distracting gap in between your programs.

What Professions Benefit Most From a Dual Monitor Setup?

With all the advantages and disadvantages in mind, it is easy to see how the dual-monitor setup has extreme benefits. But it still depends on the people and their budget and usage if it is really worth it.

1. Programmers

If you are testing your programs, or checking your web designs, having a dual monitor setup limits the time you need to switch from different programs and tabs. You easily remove the time needed to click on different programs, and you can even check your program work live and check if the changes are indeed running.

2. Writers

Since writers do not necessarily need a dual monitor setup, the idea of having it might not appeal to a lot of writers. However, it can still increase your productivity as you can write in one screen while you have your sources open on another screen.

3. Students

It depends on what kind of student you are, to see if a dual monitor setup is good for you. If you are a student in programming, for example, it can be helpful to have a dual monitor set up so that you can easily watch and follow tutorial videos while programming.

On the other hand, if your career does not actually require you to have a dual monitor setup, then there might be no reason for you to have a dual monitor setup. But if you want to increase your productivity and you have the budget for it, there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t have a dual monitor setup.

4. Video Editors

It is no secret that video editors require a large screen or multiple displays while they are doing their projects. They need to be able to view their recordings on a wider screen so that they can optimize the video they are editing.

A lot of video editing programs are also best used with a bigger screen than the usual monitors available for casual use. Having a dual monitor setup can be extremely useful for video editors, but they can also get an ultrawide screen if they choose to.

5. Project Managers

There is a lot of tasks that are on a project manager’s hands, and having the advantage of easy multitasking can be helpful for you. A dual monitor setup can help you better manage your team while you focus on your own tasks. For one, you can host video conferences and present your screen and still have access to your data with an easy glance to your second monitor.

6. Gamers

Gamers love the dual monitor setup as they are not limited to their games when using the computer. They can easily switch to the other monitor if they need to do a quick search on Google.

It also allows them to have their Discord program running in one screen where they can easily keep in touch with their other gamer friends.

Dual Monitor Setup Alternatives

Ultrawide Monitors

For people who do not want to see the bezels of the screen that can be a bit distracting division between the two monitors, the ultrawide monitor setup might be a better choice.

Another benefit of the ultrawide setup has the option to go for curved monitors. While you can get two curved monitor setup for your dual monitor setup, the benefit of the curved monitors is still better with one single ultrawide monitor.

PC And Tablet Combo

If you are a student or a writer who wants to get a dual monitor set up so that you can write while your notes or sources are on one monitor, you also have the option to choose a PC and tablet combo instead.

This can be extremely helpful, especially if you want to save a few bucks and you already have a tablet handy.


A dual monitor setup has a lot of advantages, but for other people, it can be pricier than it is worth it. You can weigh the pros and cons yourself to see if you really need it and can help you become more productive.