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PC Illuminate Display 101: Desktop Real-Estate

Desktop real-estate is one of the most important things to consider when selecting your next multi-monitor display solution. Purchasing a multi-monitor display solution can be directly compared to buying a new home or land. Just as you would carefully consider the amount of square footage of your potential new home or the acreage of the lot, you should also take into consideration the desktop real-estate of your next multi-monitor display. Obviously, if you are even considering purchasing a multi-monitor display solution, you have realized the positive impact it can have on your productivity to have more than one display to work with. While the number of displays is quite important with a multi-monitor display solution, the desktop real-estate is actually more relevant to just how much room you will have to work with after you get it all setup with your computer. As explained in further detail in our article on size vs. resolution, each monitor or panel in a multi-monitor display solution is broken down into tiny dynamic parts or pixels. You might compare a pixel to one piece of a complex puzzle that your computer will put together to display the images we see on our displays. All displays, including televisions, projectors, and computer monitors utilize the pixel as a basic building block for the interactive images you see displayed on the screen. The pixels are in a fixed position so they do not move; however, they do change color and brightness very quickly and efficiently in order to produce different images on the display. As outlined in our article on response time, the response time of each panel in a multi-monitor display solution identifies just how quickly a pixel can be changed and the impact it will have on performance. Adjustments to each pixel can be a slight adjustment or a dramatic change based on the signal content and image your display is reproducing on the screen. The amazing thing about all of this is that each individual pixel can be manipulated and changed independently from the next providing everything your display needs to produce vibrant and complex images. The more pixels available in a multi-monitor display solution, the greater the detail that can be displayed on the screens.

How To Calculate Desktop Real-Estate:

Desktop real-estate is actually just another term for the total available pixels in a multi-monitor display solution. It can be easily calculated as long as you know the resolution of each individual panel. For example, in our Hex-21 display solution each panel has an individual resolution of 1920 x 1080 meaning the monitor has 1920 columns of 1080 pixels each lined up in a rectangular array of pixels. To find the desktop real-estate you would calculate the total pixels per display, or in this case 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels, and multiply this times the number of panels in the multi-monitor display solution, or in this case 6, and we find that 2,073,600 x 6 = 12,441,600 total pixels or a desktop resolution of approximately 12.4 million pixels. If a multi-monitor display had panels of different resolutions, you would simply find the total pixels per display and add them all together to find the desktop real-estate.

Desktop real-estate is so important because it is directly linked to the amount of information or windows you can have displayed simultaneously on your multi-monitor solution. Some vendors will use older panels with lower resolutions such as 1280x1024 or 1680x1050 and although they might have a solution with more panels, the amount of desktop real-estate is actually less than a comparable solution from PC Illuminate since all our panels are 1920x1080 or higher. Because a 1280x1024 panel has only about 1.3 million pixels, a 1920x1080 panel would be able to display almost twice the detail, thus allowing for more windows or applications to be utilized on the higher resolution panel. When considering your next multi-monitor display, you really can't go wrong with more desktop real-estate as it will give you more flexibility and greater control over your applications. Of course it would also be wise to consider the "Bang For Your Buck" of a multi-monitor solution. Some might even calculate the cost per pixel based on dividing the total desktop real estate or total pixels by the total cost of a multi-monitor display solution. Of course lower cost per pixel is better, but you also want to consider the warranty coverage, contrast ratio, response time, and other technical features of the multi-monitor display solution you are considering to make the most informed decision.
PC Illuminate Display 101: Choosing A Multi-Monitor Display

There are a number of things to take into consideration as you decide on your next multi-monitor display. We want to help make it as easy as possible to find a display solution that is a perfect match for your needs which is why we put together a few key things to think about as you decide.

Set Your Budget:
Budget plays an important part and can also help narrow things down quite a bit in selecting your next multi-monitor solution. We don't want you to break the bank when purchasing a multi-monitor display solution, so it is important to set a budget for your next display solution and also to take into consideration any adapters, video cards, or workstations you will need to get your new display up and running. If you aren't going to have enough money left over for food and other bills after purchasing a multi-monitor solution, it's probably best to wait or to select a more affordable model!

Decide How Much Desktop Real-Estate You Need
Once you have set a budget, it’s a good idea to think about the applications you plan on running or just in general about how much space you would like to work with. Our article on desktop real-estate goes over the importance of the total number of pixels a multi-monitor display solution has and we would highly recommend reviewing this article prior to purchasing your next display. It is always nice to have extra room to play with your new display and you never know just how many applications or windows you will want to have opened at once, so obviously it is good to pick a solution with a little room to grow in terms of desktop real-estate if you can afford it.

Make Sure It Will Fit On Your Desk
You will also want to consider the physical dimensions, in particular the width, of your future multi-monitor display solution, as not everyone can fit a 12 panel array on their desk and we don't want you to find out that you don't have enough room after unpacking it at your place. Remember that the angles of each panel in our displays can all be adjusted individually to give you the best viewing angle and comfort level possible so you won't have to worry too much about the position of the display as you will be able to adjust each panel after you get setup to fine-tune your viewing experience. When considering the width of a multi-monitor display solution, you want to think about the position of the base and the outermost flanking panels. It's OK if the outside panels hang off your desk a little bit as long as the base is in a good position.

Make An Informed Decision
We would also recommend reviewing the other articles in our multi-monitor resource center including the technical articles prior to making your decision in order to give you a broader understanding of the technical specifications and the technology behind a multi-monitor display solution. It is important to consider the response time, contrast ratio, backlight technology, and other technical features of a multi-monitor display solution in order to find the best match for your needs.

The warranty coverage of a multi-monitor solution is another important thing to consider especially since each multi-monitor display is made up of multiple individual panels. Although it is rare, you never know when a problem might arise with one of those panels, and it is better to be protected just in case. You want to have good warranty coverage to ensure that you can be up and running as quickly as possible should any problems arise. Many PC Illuminate panels feature our rapid advance replacement warranty coverage allowing a replacement panel to be expedited to you prior to us receiving back a faulty panel should any issues arise within the warranty period. This is most certainly a nice feature to have with your next multi-monitor display solution. You also want to review the dead-pixel policy when comparing our display solutions to others since many multi-monitor providers will not cover a panel with fewer than 5 dead pixels. PC Illuminate offers an industry leading zero dead pixel policy, so you will know your multi-monitor solution will be operating at its full capacity.
PC Illuminate Display 101: Why Multi-Monitor?

Don't Cramp Your Style!
As human beings, we all need a little room to fully express ourselves. Sometimes, that means getting a bigger desk in your office, using a larger canvas for your next masterpiece, or using a larger memory card to fit a few more pictures of that beautiful sunset. For a lot of us, we spend quite a bit of time on the computer, and whether it be for work or for play, the computer has become central to our culture today. We strongly believe in the power of being able to fully express yourself on the computer just like in any other part of our lives, which is why a multi-monitor display solution is a great option for many. Have you ever felt held back from reaching your full potential with only a single monitor? Well the truth is that you are missing out on a lot of creative potential if you are using a single monitor! The number one reason to upgrade to a multi-monitor solution is to unlock your full potential on the computer (and to look good doing it).

Increased Productivity
If you are considering a multi-monitor solution, it must have occurred to you that you might be able to reach higher productivity with more than one monitor. This is absolutely true! There are just too many applications to name where multi-monitor deployments have yielded increased productivity and work outputs from just about anyone utilizing them. Imagine the ability to drag and drop your windows to separate monitors for easy organization and collaboration of different applications, documents, and internet all on a single creative platform. Many have never even considered the prospect of more than one display or the concrete benefits of doing so, but we can guarantee that once you go multi-screen you will not want to go back!

Upgrading to Multi-Monitor Is Easy As Ready, Set, Go!
It might seem like you need a lot of technical know-how or expensive hardware to handle a multi-monitor display solution, but the fact is that anyone can get a multi-monitor display solution installed and running in minutes and for a minimal investment. By utilizing one of our easy to use adapters or plug and play multi-monitor video cards, you will be up and running in no time at all. We cannot stress enough that anyone can easily setup one of our display solutions and greatly benefit from a multi-monitor installation. Basically, you will need to plug the monitors into a capable video card or adapter, turn the power on, and adjust your display settings. You are now ready to enjoy all the benefits of multi-tasking over multiple displays!

Bill Gates Does It
Well, we know that this might not be the number one deciding factor for you, but it couldn't hurt that multi-monitor display solutions have Mr. Gates endorsement! Talking about his work environment, Gates states, "If you look at this office, there isn't much paper in it. On my desk I have three screens, synchronized to form a single desktop. I can drag items from one screen to the next. Once you have that large display area, you'll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity. The screen on the left has my list of e-mails. On the center screen is usually the specific e-mail I'm reading and responding to. And my browser is on the right-hand screen. This setup gives me the ability to glance and see what new has come in while I'm working on something, and to bring up a link that's related to an e-mail and look at it while the e-mail is still in front of me." Just one question, Bill - why only three screens?! Oh, by the way, I just saved a little time utilizing multiple displays -- I have the article on how Bill Gates works open on another panel making it a cinch to copy and paste the article into our website design platform. See, we really aren't making this stuff up -- multi-monitor setups really do rock!

Light Up The Possiblities...
Just take a moment to think about your usual activity on the computer. Now think about that same activity with the ability to have more windows open, more information, and more room in general to operate more efficiently by utilizing a multi-monitor display solution. To sum up some of the benefits: Multi-Monitor solutions offer increased productivity, higher efficiency, better work output, freedom to let your creative juices flow, they make Bill Gates a lot of money, they make it easier for us to develop this website, they are easy to setup and install, oh, and did we mention that they are really cool looking and will impress your friends! Yea we know that really doesn't matter, but it doesn't hurt! We think you get the picture by now.