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Under $375 24"-27" Monitor (Programming/VMs, occasional Movie/LoL Game)

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September 1, 2013 4:00:01 PM

I am currently in need of two monitors for a dual-monitor setup.
-One monitor (Main) will be used for programming/app development (Virtual Machines), and heavy internet browsing.
-The second monitor will be used for stock trading/emails, and outside of that, for watching a DVD/Blu-Ray once a month and an occasional League of Legends game.

I would prefer if each monitor is under $300-$375, I'm willing to be a bit flexible on that budget provided there's a good reason to spend more. I will be using my main monitor very heavily (16hrs daily, 6 days a week) so reliability would be ideal, I'd like it to last me at least 5 years and not have dead pixels if at all possible.

Here are the current monitors I've found positive reviews/feedback on, I would greatly appreciate any input as I have no expertise/knowledge in the monitor field and consequently am overwhelmed with the selections/choices available.
-HP ZR440w, Dell U2412M, Asus PA248Q, Asus VE278Q, Asus VS238H-P, Asus VG248QE, BenQ XL2420T.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

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a b L Programming
September 2, 2013 9:01:53 AM

I have to say I just love my Dell U2412M, the extra "vertical" pixels (1920 x 1200, not 1920 x 1080) can make quite a difference when you program and even when you browse the web as they are mostly vertical-oriented. That monitor can even be flipped vertically if it can help some of your tasks.

On a related note, if you are having trouble finding a good multi-monitor manager, I would suggest you take a look at DisplayFusion, I use it at home and at work and just love it.
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September 2, 2013 10:47:52 AM

Zenthar said:
I have to say I just love my Dell U2412M, the extra "vertical" pixels (1920 x 1200, not 1920 x 1080) can make quite a difference when you program and even when you browse the web as they are mostly vertical-oriented. That monitor can even be flipped vertically if it can help some of your tasks.

On a related note, if you are having trouble finding a good multi-monitor manager, I would suggest you take a look at DisplayFusion, I use it at home and at work and just love it.


Makes perfect sense to me, so you'd go with 1920x1200 for programming/work (Specifically the Dell U2412M as opposed to the HP Zr440w/Asus PA248Q). And yeah, I saw that flipped vertical feature on them and thought it would be really neat myself.

Now, I have a question/doubt, does the same logic apply for the second monitor (the one used to occasionally watch a movie, or play League of Legends). My reason for asking this, or concern rather, is that movies are 1920x1080 (or so I assume, haven't had the chance to rent a movie in a bit over a year). So if I have 1920x1200 and only use 1920x1080, wouldn't I get those black lines at the top/bottom? Sorry for the ignorance on something so basic.

Lastly, if not, would 24" be better than 27" for 1920x1080 resolution? (More PPI and better quality?)
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a b L Programming
September 2, 2013 12:10:44 PM

For games and movies, I would say a regular 1080p would be fine (and lesser resolution makes it lighter on the graphic card) if "uniformity" of your computer setup isn't something that will make you twitch. By that I mean two things, some people simply won't like having different monitors and, also, since they are different monitors, colors might not be exactly the same unless you spend the time calibrating them.

For the movies, even at 1080p you might still get black bars as many movies are in 21:9 ratio, not 16:9, if you want to get closer to that ratio, you need something like the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM, but it will tax the graphic card a bit more in games ... and some games might not support it either.

If the 2nd monitor is really only used for "off-hand stuff", you could even just consider using a tablet (just mentioning it since some people would simply not think about that option which has it's pros and cons).
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September 2, 2013 6:38:57 PM

Zenthar said:
For games and movies, I would say a regular 1080p would be fine (and lesser resolution makes it lighter on the graphic card) if "uniformity" of your computer setup isn't something that will make you twitch. By that I mean two things, some people simply won't like having different monitors and, also, since they are different monitors, colors might not be exactly the same unless you spend the time calibrating them.

For the movies, even at 1080p you might still get black bars as many movies are in 21:9 ratio, not 16:9, if you want to get closer to that ratio, you need something like the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM, but it will tax the graphic card a bit more in games ... and some games might not support it either.

If the 2nd monitor is really only used for "off-hand stuff", you could even just consider using a tablet (just mentioning it since some people would simply not think about that option which has it's pros and cons).


I didn't even think of going the tablet route, but it's not nearly enough screen real estate for my purposes (and they're about the same price range as the monitors I've been looking at). I was also not aware that movies were made in 21:9 format, that would explain the high cost of 21:9 ratio monitors on PcPartPicker. I did some more looking around for monitors, and iteratively edited my list accordingly, these are the current 3 options I've narrowed it down to:
HP ZR440w ($350), Dell U2412M ($260), Asus MX239H ($220).

I really like the vertical option the HP and Dell have, and they're both 1920x1200 providing me with plenty of real estate. The HP received the highest positive feedback (84/9% 5/4 star), Dell coming in second at (74/16% 5/4 star) and in last place, with the least functionality (no vertical orientation), but slimmest design and lowest cost was the Asus (65/30% 5/4 star). That being said, what would you recommend? Going 2 Dells, HP/Dell, HP/Asus or Dell/Asus? You did mention uniformity, but I've never owned/used more than one monitor before, so I'm not sure what my preference is on that yet. The monitors won't be side by side however, if that's what you meant (There'll be a slight amount of separation)

Thanks again for all the help/support!
Edit: I forgot to mention, graphics card/hardware will be a nonissue since this is a machine I'm using for high-end processing/VMs and also using it as a server (With a GTX 770)
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