If you are shopping around for a new display setup, you may wonder about the difference between 2 monitors vs 3. Is a dual-monitor setup best, or should you go for a tri-monitor setup? The best computer monitors, after all, typically allow for either of these configurations. Keep reading to learn all about the best use case scenarios for each type of display setup.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Two monitors will constitute a cheaper initial investment than three monitors, and the latter will also draw more electricity.
  • Three monitors, however, allow for increased immersion and the ability to multitask, particularly when compared to a single screen.
  • Setting up three monitors may be significantly more complex than setting up a dual monitor and, of course, a single monitor.

Differences Between Dual Monitors and Three Monitors

The obvious difference is, well, the number of monitors available to look at. Either setup will provide an increased field of view and the capacity for a higher pixel count, which can be important if you are wondering what is a full HD computer monitor.

Here are more differences between two monitors and three monitors.

Insider Tip

Make sure your monitors are of the same type and size for maximum integration.

Cost

Of course, adding an extra monitor means an additional cost. Computer monitors may be cheaper nowadays, but three will still cost more than two. This price will be compounded if you are using UHD displays, in case you are comparing 1080p monitors vs 4K monitors. You can save some money by creating a hodgepodge of monitors you already have laying around, but they will likely not be the same size and may not integrate correctly. Additionally, three monitors will draw more electricity than two monitors.

Immersion

Three monitors will provide a more immersive experience over a dual monitor setup, though the latter is no slouch in that department either. This increased immersion can be helpful while playing computer games, editing videos, or even watching movies or TV shows.

Multitasking

The increased screen real estate will also help when it comes to multitasking. If you are editing videos, for instance, you can allow each monitor to be devoted to various preview screens and one to the timeline. A dual monitor setup is good for this too, but an extra monitor means extra screen real estate. There is a reason, after all, why triple monitors are extremely popular in some professions, such as day trading and for video editors.

Setup Complexity

It will be tougher to set up three monitors than it will be to move up to a dual monitor installation. You will need extra cables, a hub or two, and some time for general troubleshooting. Whereas with two monitors, it can very often be plug-and-play.

F.A.Q.S

Dual monitors vs. ultrawide monitors: what’s best for your home office?

Dual monitors or even a triple monitor setup can be better for a home office when compared to an ultrawide gaming monitor, as the ultrawide monitors, even a curved monitor, tend to be on the smaller side.


How to increase your work productivity when working on a designer monitor?

If you are a designer of any kind, consider a dual monitor setup over a single screen, and you may want to opt for triple monitors. A triple monitor setup and a monitor arm will allow for a real boost.


Do more monitors increase productivity?

In some cases, a triple monitor setup can increase productivity, though you should make sure your computer can handle the visual needs. So make sure your graphics card is up to snuff.



STAT: A University of Utah study showed that using 2 x 20” monitors improved productivity by 40% vs using a single 18” screen. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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