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Pros of using a Two Display setup

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I work as an in house graphic designer for a family run, toy company. We will soon be looking to upgrade the two macs we use in our department from our G4's (which still work pretty good by the way) to whatever is the latest and greatest when we decide to purchase. We're hoping to wait until CS3 comes out, so we can do the whole switch over new computer thing all at once.

Anyways, I threw out the idea yesterday that we should have a two monitor setup. You know for more effective work and what not. Do you guys have suggestions on things to say to the bill-payers, who will most certainly ask why we want two monitors before they pay for them, lol.

What are some reasons why they are more effective?

Thanks guys
 
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I've spent most of my career in investment systems, and the argument we always presented was that the extra "real estate" allowed our people to view more of what the markets are doing at a single time. In other words, it helped them to do their job more efficiently.

I imagine you would be able to make a similar case for your designers. You'll just have to be more explicit about the gain in productivity, beyond "whatnot." :)

Good luck!
 
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While I'm not on the visual arts side of things, I work as an analyst and software developer. The real work is done almost exclusively under Linux, though that's starting to change to the Mac for me.

At work I use one monitor and eight virtual desktops. Actually I could have many more than that, but eight works well. Typically I'll run a browser on one desktop, a development project across two desktops, and mail on another. I'll use other desktops as needed.

What does that mean to you?

For the future, "Spaces" in Leopard should do that very thing, allow you to run many virtual desktops at the same time. Apple shows four desktops, but I hope it will allow for more.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/spaces.html

For today, there are people running virtual desktop s/w in Tiger with outside software.

http://www.yousoftware.com/desktops/desktops.php
http://virtuedesktops.info/

http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54890&highlight=virtuedesktops

My guess is that YouControl: Desktops is probably better than VirtuDesktops. I've not run either of them; I'm waiting for Leopard.

In any case, assuming you're running OS X at work, you might try YouControl: Desktops to see if that type of functionality works for you. Personally I prefer having the one physical monitor with the multiple virtual desktops. I have all of the real estate I need, and can move things across them with ease.

You might also see if you can created a multihead system with what you already have. Try it and see how it works. If it really makes a positive difference, then you can demonstrate it to the right people. Rather than saying, "We should be able to ____," you can say, "Look at what we can do!"

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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I used to have twin monitors on my Windows system.. For doing Photoshop/Flash/Maya work, it was amazing.. If you're into any kind of design trade, I'd high recommend dual-displays.

Not to mention the boat-loads of suh-weet wallpapers you can get.
 
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There are surveys, though i cant remember where, which said that productivity can increase loads with the more real estate you have. the cheaper way to get more real estate is to get two monitors.
 
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Thanks for the tips guys!

What is needed/how do i go about setting up this test system that mathogre suggested. I presume I would need some cables and what not. I wouldnt mind setting something up and showing off what can be done!

thanks again
 
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for example, if you are in photoshop you can have all of your brushes tools and other windows in one monitor, and your image in the main window....allows you better use of your monitor and you can have your picture in a larger size. this will increase productivity.

you can also multitask better with two monitors. i know that when i was doing papers in college i used to have to flip from the article on the webpage i was using to word and then type for two seconds and then go back and forth repeatedly. instead with the second monitor i could put someonthing on one screen and word on the other and just look at the monitor and type. you can adapt this situation as a cause for getting a second monitor.

also simply the increase of productivity will pay for the extra monitors in no time....plus maybe they already have a spare monitor hanging around so the cost may be free

-chris
 
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Thanks for the tips guys!

What is needed/how do i go about setting up this test system that mathogre suggested. I presume I would need some cables and what not. I wouldnt mind setting something up and showing off what can be done!

thanks again
Here are a few starters. My guess is that you would probably use one of your two machines and both monitors. You might even use the video card from the other machine, as I believe you'll need to use a second video card to drive the second monitor.

Search these forums to see if anyone here has done it.

Post your request in the hardware section of these forums, and provide the specifics of your hardware. Explain what you want to do. Even if no one has posted of such things, there's a pretty good chance it's been done by someone here.

Search Google. Use any information specific to your machines, video cards, and monitors. Someone has done it I'm sure, so see what they did and how they did it.

Your profile doesn't say anything about where you are. If you live near an Apple store, see if you can ask an Apple Genius. It's a good question for them, I think. Even if the person doesn't know specifically how to do it, he/she might be able to help you find someone who does.

Look for MUGs - Mac User Groups - in your area or at least online. This could be a good source of expertise.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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for example, if you are in photoshop you can have all of your brushes tools and other windows in one monitor, and your image in the main window....
That is exactly what I do with all of my Adobe apps. Keeping the palettes and tools on one screen while working on the other allows me to see more of my workspace, without having to keep zooming in and out and scrolling all around by artboard.
 
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Simple, more desktop space = less minimizing, moving windows you need, i would say it DEF improves work efficiency.
 
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I use dual-displays, usually watching a movie on the secondary display along with messenger, thus freeing my primary display for whatever I'm focused on.
 

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