Multiple Monitors and Productivity
Preach on brother. I started using multiple monitors a few years back when the ATI video card on my Compaq Laptop supported using both the LCD Panel and the external monitor together. I blogged on a bit on it earlier this year as did John Lam.
I spent some time looking for the perfect dual-head video card. Although you can certainly line up PCI Video Cards from more than one manufacturer, you’re better of with IMHO with a dual-head card. Personally, the best drivers for multiple monitors are NVidia’s, and a MUST HAVE piece of software for anyone with >1 monitor is UltraMon, if only for it’s second “Smart Taskbar.” It sports tools for systems with even as many as 10 or more monitors and supports stuff as advanced (and useful) as scripting your many monitors.
I’m currently running an NVidia Dual Head Card with a ViewSonic 17” LCD at 1280x1024 and a 17” Joe-Monitor at 1152x864 and believe me, I will take the Pepsi Challenge against anyone with a single monitor at 1024x768 is more productive. :) I really would LOVE to have more monitors although I’d suspect 3 is the ideal number.
"A systematic study conducted by NEC-Mitsubishi, ATI Technologies and the University of Utah has concluded that the use of multiple monitors in the workplace increases productivity. The study is discussed on Tom's Hardware, EE Times, and there's a detailed press release on NEC-Mitsubishi. For those of us who use multi-monitors, this is not shocking. But maybe now that it's official, IT managers will view it as a good investment and not just for gamers."
These articles all showed and discussed productivity while using flat-screen panels. It makes sense that NEC and ATI would. With a setup like the picture below, couldn’t you be more productive? At the client site that I’m currently working, the customer provided a monitor for my usage. So, combined with my DELL notebook which has multi-monitor support, I’m doing multi-monitor development. I can run my mail client or Query Analyzer on one screen and VS.NET on the other doing debugging. So, there is a benefit without dual flat displays. But don’t they look good? So, forward the article to your management and get more work done while your surfing.