Over the years I’ve gradually moved from one monitor to 2 and finally 3. Because of what I do, I’ve always felt like I can’t have enough programs open at the same time. And even with incremental upgrades, I just wanted more (shocker). There are times when I have Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and several browsers open and I hate having to minimize one program to see another to test something.
Although I’ll primarily be doing design and photo and video editing on horizontal monitors when I’m writing code or reading something, vertical orientation is great.
I tend to do a lot of research before making a purchase decision, so after weeks of reading reviews and checking prices, I compiled this list:
I’m really happy with it and I don’t think I’d do anything differently if I had to do it again.
The graphics card I chose is a VisionTek Radeon 7750 2GB GDDR5 6M (6x MiniDP). It is DirectX 11-supporting graphics, has 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and 9th generation programmable hardware tessellation units, implemented accelerated multi-threading and image quality improvement technology. And most importantly, it can control up to six monitors simultaneously using 6 active mini DisplayPort outputs. Although not important in my case, it would allow each monitor to use a different resolution, refresh rate, color control, etc.
DVI TO MINIPORT ADAPTERS
I used the 2 mini-displayport to DVI adapters that came with the graphics card, plus 4 of these HIS HMDPSDVIEYE Mini-DisplayPort to DVI AMD Eyefinity-ready adapters. They don’t seem to be available at the moment, so if I were building a setup now, I’d use Active Mini DisplayPort to DVI Male to Female Cable Matters – Eyefinity Compatible. If you plan to set up a multi-monitor system, it is important that you purchase ACTIVE mini-displayport to DVI adapters.
I use 6 Dell UltraSharp U2412M monitors. A newer model is now available which is the Dell Ultrasharp U2415.
STANDS FOR MONITORS
When researching monitor symbols for my 6-monitor system, robustness was the most important factor for me. This is a big setup and I just couldn’t afford to use flimsy monitor stands to take care of all the time. Please note that bracket names are confusing.
For the 4 horizontally mounted monitors I used the Atdec VFS-DV Visidec Dual Vertical Freestanding Desk Mount.
For the 2 vertically mounted monitors I used the Atdec VFS-DV Visidec Dual Horizontal Freestanding Desk Mount.
I HAVE USED Dells for years and still continue to do so. I’m using a Dell XPS at the moment. Here is the latest model that has just been launched, it is the Dell XPS8910-7020BLK desktop computer
Setup was so easy. I literally set up the monitors with the orientation I wanted and then plugged them in. Windows immediately booted up and all I had to do was go to the Windows Display Settings screen, drag and drop the monitors until the screen layout was exactly what I had on my desk. You may need to flip vertical monitors (in orientation settings) if you didn’t mount them the same way. Although you could duplicate the image from one monitor to another, I of course chose to expand the desktop so that I could have multiple programs maximized at the same time.
This new 6 monitor setup has greatly improved my workflow and productivity. I’m so happy I went ahead and put it together. If it’s within your budget and you think you could benefit from additional displays, I highly recommend it. The only downside is that now when I have to use a regular 1 or even 2 monitor setup I get frustrated.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this 6 monitor setup or if you have any suggestions on how to make it better.