I am not a big time gamer, in fact I NEVER play games on my computer. However, I DO use it all the time for other reasons such as net surfing, shopping and MAINLY playing movies. I have a built in 500 gig HD but to keep my computer fast I have a 320 gig outboard drive I keep all my favorite movies on, about 350 movies.
I LOVE to have a movie going and then surf the net at the same time.
I will say this to all those out there with a single monitor: ONCE YOU GO TO TWO MONITORS YOU WILL WONDER HOW YOU GOT ALONG WITHOUT THEM!!!!!!!
It is BY FAR the single biggest technology improvement that has increased my enjoyment of my computer. Sure, my wireless headphones and mouse are nice. Win 7 is LIGHTNING FAST (Microsoft finally hit the jackpot with this OS) AND STABLE, MUCH MORE stable than XP. There are wonderful background apps built in to Win 7 designed to keep your machine running at peak speed. I have been using it for many months and have yet to EVER have it freeze up on me. This seemed to happen at least once or twice a week with XP. And on at least 6 occasions in 5 years I was forced to use that feature that returns you computer to like new condition, wiping out ANYTHING you have downloaded, erased or changed. This happened when I could not even get into windows or was not able to return the computer to an earlier date, that feature I seemed to use ALL the time.
Anyway, back to monitors. I would invite anyone to consider going with multiple monitors as I simply LOVE this ability. I also have my computer tied to our HD TV and can use my wireless mouse as the "remote control"......SWEET!!!!
My mouse simply tracks from one monitor to the next as if it were one large screen. I have my most frequently used desktop icons on both screens. I have a 24" as my main monitor and a 22" as my secondary monitor. It is A LOT of computer screen real-estate. It required the addition of a 512meg ATI video driver as my Compaq Presario 64 bit X2 came with only one video output. Windows 7 smartly recognizes it and adds the 256meg built in video card to this as well as added "virtual video memory", and I use a 4 gig memory stick dedicated to Ready-Boost. My computer came with 3 gig of RAM but I do notice a slight improvement in speed. For instance, when I watch a movie, it used to stutter a slight bit when I opened a new application on my other monitor. It does not do that ever since I dedicated this 4 gig stick to ReadyBoost which does not exactly give you more RAM, but does in a sense increase your cache, useful for keeping movies ready to watch. Also, I am only using 49 gig of my 500 gig C drive to help improve speed. EVERYTHING is on this 320 gig outboard drive, as well as an additional old outboard 80 gig drive I use for back-up only of my music collection, about 1,500 songs, music video collection, about 200 videos, and about 3,000 photos. Of course I also back up on disc as my photos ESPECIALLY are priceless and irretreivable.
Anyway, like I said, once you go to two monitors you WILL love it and wonder how you ever got along without them. I would NOT go with an incredibly pricy 27" or 30" monitor and divide that up into two or four windows. First, good 22" monitors can be had very cheaply these days. 30" monitors CANNOT!!! If you do not have a souped up gaming computer you will likely have to also buy an additional video card for access to multiple monitors. Like I said, Win 7 is very smart. I have my built in included 256 meg Nvidea "card" driving my 22", and my aftermarket 512 ATI card driving my 24" AND my HDTV with a VERY long cable. Win 7 seemed to practically read my mind when I set this up and seemed to know EXACTLY what I wanted to do immediately. When I first went to duel monitors several years ago with my old XP machine, though I had already bought that 512 meg ATI (the funny thing is I bought it NOT for duel monitor ability, but to tie our HDTV to our computer for movie viewing, the dual monitor thing was just something I tried on a whim and loved!) card, it still was tricky to configure AND when using the HDTV, I could NOT use my second monitor at the same time for some reason. NOW I can actually (I tried it) run three different movies on three different screens all at the same time. 64 bit processing really is something!!!! Also, Win 7 ROCKS!!!! KUDOS to Microsoft for finally GETTING IT RIGHT!!!!!!
Anyway, that's my $.02. Like I said, it's one of those things you didn't even know you needed until you try it!! But now I could NEVER imagine going back to a single monitor.