Ultrawide monitors vs Dual monitor setups — which one is the best option? If you are looking for a definite answer to this question, then you have come to the right place. Because in this post, we will be going over the differences between an ultrawide monitor vs a dual monitor setup.
But it is not that easy to pick out a winner here. Because there are various factors you have to take into account before you make the final decision. Thus we would have to go in-depth comparing both an ultrawide display and a dual monitor setup.
So, let’s proceed…
Ultrawide Monitor vs Dual Monitor Setup – Which to Choose
Introduction to UltraWide Monitors:
The most common aspect ratio of a monitor is 16:9 in these days. Even, you might be using a monitor with 16:9 aspect ratio at the moment. However, you might have seen that numerous smartphones and display panels are coming with a new aspect ratio. And, that is 21:9. In short, ultrawide monitors are those type of monitors that uses the 21:9 aspect ratio instead of the conventional 16:9.
You can distinguish an ultrawide monitor with ease from the look of it. It will have a wider screen than the traditional monitors. Typically, the screen will be wide horizontally. And, now you know from where this particular type of monitor got its name.
Introduction to a Dual Monitor Setup:
Dual monitors are not anything new. People are using dual monitor setups from back in the days. Matter of fact, if you have a couple of monitors, you can turn that into a new dual monitor setup right now. Thus, you should have already known that a dual monitor setup is when you set up 2 monitors side by side or stacked.
Normally, both of these monitors would be of the 16:9 aspect ratio. And, you can use different types of monitors as well. However, it is always better to use two exact same monitors for dual monitor setup.
Ultrawide Monitor vs Dual Monitors — if you are a Gamer:
Generally, gaming in multiple monitors is not ideal. Yes, there are few games from the sports and racing genre that you can play with a dual monitor setup without any issues. However, if you are playing a shooting game or a battle royale game, the dual-monitor might hamper your gameplay.
For instance, let’s say you are shooting your enemy and the crosshair is where the bezel gap is. So, it will be hard to shoot the enemy.
That means a dual monitor setup is not suitable for gaming unless the game is playable in multiple monitors. However, if you want to play a game on one monitor and want to use the other monitor for surfing the web or chatting etc. Then, a dual monitor setup would be perfect for you.
Now, if you are using an ultrawide monitor, you can enjoy uninterrupted gaming as there is no bezel in the middle of the monitor. If the game you want to play supports the 21:9 aspect ratio natively, an ultrawide monitor would be the best option for gaming.
Yes, you have guessed it right. There are lots of games that don’t support 21:9 aspect ratio natively. We will talk about it in detail in a minute.
Ultrawide Monitor vs Dual Monitors — In the case of Professional Use:
Two 24 inch monitors will have more screen space than a 32-inch ultra widescreen. So, if you need more screen space then a dual monitor setup is better. Again, if you are a writer or a professional graphics designer or a web designer, you might love to work on multiple windows.
Also, if you need to open multiple windows at the same time, a dual monitor set up can come in handy. For instance, you can write on one monitor and research on the other.
On the other hand, ultrawide monitors also can be a good choice for professionals. Especially, if you are a graphic designer or video editor, you would love to have the editing software open in a single monitor.
And, you will also want to access all the menus and options with ease. In that regard, you will be glad to use an ultrawide monitor. As a result, we can see that lots of designers and editors are using ultrawide monitors in recent days.
Ultrawide vs Dual Monitors — For Entertainment Purposes:
Now, if you need to watch movies or enjoying YouTube videos, then ultrawide monitors would always be the best option. Because you don’t have to face the bezel in the middle. Also, the wider screen and the 21:9 aspect ratio would be great for watching videos.
Another important fact is that most of the movies are produced with the 21:9 aspect ratio. So, when you are using an ultrawide monitor, you can play those movies in their native aspect ratio. This also helps to alleviate the letterboxing phenomenon. Letterboxing is the mode when you play a movie with a 21:9 aspect ratio in a monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
As a result, there will be black bars at the top and bottom of the display. And that is called ‘letterbox’ mode. If you want to cover the entire display with the image, you will have to play the movie on a monitor with its native aspect ratio.
As a result, ultrawide monitors are perfect for entertainment purposes. On the contrary, a dual monitor setup is not suitable for enjoying movies. You know the bezel would interfere in the process.
Ultrawide Monitor vs. Dual Monitors — For Productivity:
Back in 2000-2003, a lot of researches has shown that a dual monitor setup can increase your productivity by up to 20-28%. But there were no ultrawide monitors at that time. So people would use dual monitors in order to be productive. We have to admit that dual monitors can help you organize your PC in a better way.
However, when the ultrawide monitors hit the market, people started to ditch their dual monitors for the ultrawide ones. As one monitor was enough for doing multiple tasks at the same time without throttling your productivity.
So, in that sense, it will depend on the preference of the user whether they should go with the ultrawide or the dual monitor option.
Pros of a Dual Monitor Setup:
Let’s learn about the pros of using a dual monitor setup.
When you are buying an ultrawide monitor, you will need to opt for a monitor with a higher resolution. However, those high-resolution ultrawide monitors generally come with a hefty price tag.
Whereas, you can buy 2 monitors with more screen space by spending a lot less. Now, remember, it might not be always applicable. Because there are certain standard monitors that come with a higher price tag than an ultrawide one.
Better for Collaboration:
If you are in a profession that needs frequent collaborating, you will be a fan of dual monitor setups. For example, you can work on one monitor and leave the other one for your colleague or partner. Also, you can share and organize files and folders better in a dual monitor setup. Plus, it is up to you if you want to use both of the monitors at the same time. Or you could also turn off one.
If you are a Streamer:
Most of the streamers are fans of dual monitor setup. Having a dual monitor set up allows you to play the game in one monitor and manage the streaming/chatting software on the other monitor. In this way, the streaming will not hinder your gameplay as these are in separate displays.
Do you need to do multitasking a lot? Or do you need to open lots of tabs and windows at the same time? If that is the case, a single monitor can provide space for only a limited amount of windows; even if it’s an ultrawide monitor. Conversely, if you are using two monitors, you will have more space and it will be easier for you to multitask.
Cons of a Dual Monitor Setup:
Here are a few cons of a dual monitor setup.
Extra Wires, Extra Hassles:
When you are opting for two monitors instead of one, you will always have to handle extra wires and cords. So, it will always be a hassle to set up a dual monitor system. Your GPU also must come with multiple output ports to run dual monitors.
Not Suitable For Some Particular Games:
As mentioned previously, there are a lot so games that are not suitable for playing in a dual monitor system. It is particularly true for shooting games whether it is a first-person or a third-person shooter game. Also, if you want to mitigate that issue and play the games in only one monitor, then it would be futile to use a dual monitor system.
Might Need To Buy A Third Party Monitor Stand:
Typically, you can use the stock stands to set up a dual monitor system. But, most of the stock stands of monitors are big and can take lots of space on your desk. So, if you want to declutter your desk, you will have to buy third party dual monitor stands.
The Bezel Gap:
This is one of the worst things about a dual monitor setup. Every monitor comes with bezels. Even if the bezel is thin it will interfere with your viewing experience. So, when you set up 2 monitors side by side there will be 2 bezels in the middle of the monitors. And that is known as the bezel gap. And you know how annoying that can be.
No Two Monitors are Similar:
It is known that no 2 monitors in the world are the same even if these are the same model. Thus if you want consistency in your work, you will not find that while using 2 monitors. It will hamper the graphics designer or video editor the most. Because the same image will look distinct on two monitors.
Related read: Matte vs Glossy screen for games – Which is best
Resolution or Screen Size Mismatch:
If you have the same two monitors in your dual monitor setup, it will be ok. But, if you have two different monitors in your dual monitor setup, then you might face mismatch in the screen size, resolution and refresh rate, etc. And this is a huge issue. Here’s why.
Let’s say you have one monitor with a 1080p resolution and another one with 4K resolution. In that instance, you will have to downgrade the monitor with 4K resolutions to 1080p resolution to fix the mismatch issue.
Portability and Managing Settings:
Moving two monitors is always cumbersome. So, a dual monitor setup is not meant for portability. Also, when you have two monitors, you will have to match the color, brightness, contrast, etc. and other common settings of each of the monitors to each other. Otherwise, one monitor will produce a different color than the other. And managing and calibrating all the settings accurately is hard as well.
Pros of an Ultrawide Monitor:
All in One Screen:
An ultrawide monitor has got lots of screen space in a single monitor. As a result, you will have everything on one monitor. Thus it will make managing your workspace a lot smoother.
Easy Window Management:
You can take advantage of the Windows Snap Assist feature to manage multiple windows in an ultrawide monitor. However, it will be a lot difficult and time consuming to manage multiple windows in a dual monitor setup.
As an ultrawide monitor comes with the 21:9 aspect ratio, you will be able to get rid of the black bars at the top and the bottom of the screen while watching movies. So, if you want to watch movies, it will be the best way to go.
Uniform Color Reproduction:
Since the ultrawide monitor is a single display, you will have a uniform and consistent color reproduction all around the display. This is very good for video editors and graphic designers all alike. For a consistent and smooth experience, you will like the ultrawide monitors.
No Bezel Gap:
So, there will be no bezels in the middle of your monitor if you are using an ultrawide monitor. This is one of the best benefits of an ultrawide monitor. Also, once you have experienced a bezel-less ultrawide display, it will be very hard to go back to a dual monitor setup with the bezel gap.
Wider Field of View:
As you already know that the ultrawide monitors come with a wider screen. And, it helps you to get a wider field of view as well. This feature can come in handy while you are playing some games that are compatible with the 21:9 aspect ratio. That way, you will see more of the area on the game using an ultrawide monitor.
Cons of an Ultrawide monitor:
Some Games Don’t Support 21:9 Aspect Ratio:
Even though ultrawide monitors are best for gaming, there are a lot of games that are not compatible with the 21:9 aspect ratio yet. Because most of the games come with the support of up to 16:9 aspect ratio.
Thus, you will notice black bars all around the display or the image might stretch to fit the screen. Also as the 21:9 aspect ratio offers a wider field of view than the 16:9 aspect ratio; a lot of competitive games don’t have the 21:9 native support to keep the competition fair.
If you go for an ultrawide high resolution, low response time and high refresh rate display, you might have to pay a good amount of money. As ultrawide is a new technology, it is not yet that affordable for people of all budgets. Whereas you can setup a decent dual monitor system with a limited budget.
One thing from the above discussions is clear that it all boils down to the preference of the user. So, whether you would opt for an ultrawide monitor or a dual monitor setup, both of the options have their own pros and cons. And, we have tried to show you the bigger picture in detail. So that you can choose the best option between ultrawide vs. dual monitors on your own.
However, if we had to choose a winner here, in our opinion the crown would always go to the ultrawide monitor. It has lots of benefits and is easy to use and handle. On the other hand, dual monitor setups are not that bad as well. But, it lacks flexibility, seamless viewing experience, hassle to set up/manage the settings, and has a big bezel in the middle. So, the ultimate winner would be the ultrawide monitor in this case.
So, do you think ultrawide is better than dual monitors? You can share your opinions in the comment section down below!