Weekend Question: Is life with multiple monitors actually better?


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May 3, 2022
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Today is Monday, aka a PCG weekend editor's Friday, which means it's time for another Weekend Question. I pose the same query to PCG's staff and forums for a regular feature on the site, usually published the following Saturday. If you'd like to have an answer considered for the piece, please reply to this thread!

This week's question is: Is life with multiple monitors actually better?

PCG executive editor Tyler Wilde has mentioned that he focuses better with one monitor instead of the requisite 21st century hacker cave panel of panels. I would quietly scoff at this - "I don't get distracted, I'm built different!" I may not actually be built different. While working off my laptop recently I found I was getting stuff done way faster limited to a single 1080p screen. Without an extra 2,160 pixels of real estate to my left, I had to stay on top of how many tabs I had open and take care of tasks one at a time. When gaming, I find I often just leave my second monitor on the desktop - you have to alt tab to do anything on it, and don't we all just Google search for guides on our phones anyway?
I'd say it is much better. I can have a spreadsheet open while playing ARPGs or multiple smaller windows while playing games where I don't need to be too focused. I actually won three PUBG matches while watching the Eurovision final, so I found that to be quite funny since I rarely don't win that much in the same timespan when I am just focused on one screen. I often watch streams/podcasts while I play semi-afk games, like Runescape, so having another screen with multiple windows open makes the entertainment value higher.
I've used a second monitor for over twenty years. Firstly when I did software development with a laptop. Having a larger second monitor then made coding and debugging a lot easier.

For gaming my second monitor is always smaller and usually has Opera open on it. Good for looking up hints for games if I get stuck, running the built in Spotify app or browsing the PC gamer forums :)

Recently I bought a 1440p 31.5 inch MSI 1:1000 curved monitor which is fantastic as a primary monitor as it's much more immersive.
Definitely better. I have two ultrawides. Depending on the game I play, and I play a few laid back games, like in example Football Manager, or Cities Skylines, and I can have a video playing on one monitor, and the game on the other. Sometimes I have a guide up on one screen if I am playing an RPG/open world game. I don't think I can ever go back to one monitor.


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I don't have a second monitor for gaming. Windows-right-arrow and another desktop shows up if I really need to look something up. If I need to continuously look at something, the new Steam beta has that pin-a-note thing.

A second monitor for work is pretty handy but, for gaming, I just want to play my game - nothing else.

P.S. Careful opening up multiple tabs on your browser! You know where that ends up!
Hugely better, similar to how color monitor is better than monochrome. I've had 2 for ~20 years, plus a brief spell with 3 which proved too much.

When gaming, I have mostly comms apps open on 2nd monitor so I'm aware if someone needs something. I work on the same PC, so of course for that 2 monitors is way more productive than just double one monitor.

I also like my little always-visible panel of gadgets on the 2nd monitor, like those we had on Windows 7—I'm on Win10. With main monitor on right, I have the Windows Taskbar vertical on its left side, so it's in between the 2 monitors. Little QoL things :)
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I don't have space for 2 monitors. It took me long enough to adjust from a 28inch to 32inch screen, for a while my top left corner was ignored... I still mostly use the right side of screen. Never run browsers in full screen. Unless watching a video.

Two would be nice but I don't have anywhere to put the second one... and would be invented reasons to use it.
Personally, I hardly use a second monitor if I have one. There are times where it's convenient, but those are pretty rare.

At work we have a wide, curved monitor that easily fits two windows next to each other if necessary, so I stopped using my laptop screen as a secondary screen. At home it's not worth the money to purchase a second monitor for the few times it would come in handy.
This is a "depends on what you do" situation for me. For streamer's and people who work at a PC? Absolutely it is, i see dual monitors being used by people who dont even know anything about computers because its easier to get work done.

As for me? No, 1 ultrawide (OLED) monitor is all i need for what i do, If i were to get into streaming i might run a second monitor, but right now my "second monitor" is my tv in which if i want to play from the couch, or watch a movie from the pc for family movie night etc. ill plug it in and use it, but other than that i have no need for a 2nd monitor.


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I used to be a two monitor guy for work, now I have an ultrawide and I'll never go back. As for at home, I've been using just my main 144hz monitor but there's been times when I've wanted a second screen for looking up stuff or messing around while waiting for something to load - I just don't have enough desk space to justify the convenience over the clutter at this point.
Oct 19, 2022
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When 2 monitors became possible it was a great step forward, and when I do some work (not often now) they really work. Gaming also, play on one with video or internet on the other and flick between them, unless I am really immersed in a game which does happen and I just ignore the other monitor.

Having said that, 2 is enough. I have room for a third but 2 cover what I can concentrate on at any one time (unless the wife is talking to me :ROFLMAO:)
I'm not much of a multitasker, tend to concentrate on one thing at a time. I've spoken to people who say they might have a TV series on while grinding a game and listening to an audiobook at the same time, that sort of thing would be too much for me. Sometime I might have a TV on for background noise if I'm on my own, doesnt happen much these days.

Currently I dont really have the room for a second screen, but it would be nice. Alt tab/Win key works well enough every so often for checking messages or whatever that its not the end of the world for me.
I've never used more than one monitor with my home PC, as I like a large, detailed screen, even if I have to sacrifice speed. My current monitor being 43", 4K, 60Hz takes up most of my desk; so even if I wanted to add a 2nd monitor, I just don't have the desk space. I've seen pictures of multiple monitor setups, and they look really impressive, but it's just not for me.

Productivity-wise, I can see the advantage in having a multiple monitor setup if you need to have several windows open at once, but I'm retired now so I'm not very productive. I do mod a lot of games, and often have a mod manager, various modding utilities, file explorer, and my browser open at once. In that situation I could see an advantage, but with a large screen I can maneuver around almost as well.

Gaming-wise, I think I would find it too distracting from my immersion in a game. I don't need to have any other app open and visible while I'm gaming. With a one big screen I'm in the game world, without twitching my eyes to another screen.


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I use two monitors regularly. Actually it's essential in my work. I'm a news writer and columnist on one of the technology sites in my country. It sometimes requires to have dozens of web browser tabs open simultaneously while writing a text. I can't imagine switching windows every time I need to check something. Having two monitors makes it possible to have text editor open on one screen and a web browser or something else on the second. It's pure convenience and I'm so used to it that it's almost impossible for me to work on a laptop with a single screen.

On the other hand, I rarely use second monitor outside work. When playing games, informally browsing internet or watching streams I don't even turn the second screen on. I don't need it in these cases. Sometimes it can get useful when I need to consult something with the internet while playing a game, but I usually check it on the phone or very rarely use Alt+Tab. So in work it's essential, for entertainment quite unnecessary, but in general... yeah, life is better with a second monitor.
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Jan 20, 2023
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Unfortunately I only have one but I can see two being helpful. For streaming it’d be nice to have chat open instead of opening it on my iPad or alt-tabbing (which turns my screen black for my viewers). It’d also be helpful for video editing when I’m taking clips from videos and searching for files.