I'm using "normal" figures here so your mileage may vary. I did this analysis for my own purchasing decision a couple of months ago and will pass it along here.
2 monitors (regardless of size) @ 1920x1080 (the usual resolution) => 4.147M pixels (1920x1200 is 4.6M pixels)
1 monitor @ 2560x1600 (typically the native resolution) => 4.096M pixels
So on the first hand, you actually get more usable screen real estate with two monitors. But then there's this to consider:
My 24" monitor is 20.375x12.75 in size, so in my case I have 260 in^2 of area, yielding about 8871 pixels per inch.
A 30" monitor of similar proportions (approx 25.47 x 15.93) will have 405 in^2 of area, yielding about 10096 pixels per inch.
So, while you will get a sharper image as you have more pixels per inch, that means that your charts, at the same resolution, will appear smaller on the 30" monitor. In the case of charts, sharp is good, but you may also have to have them take up more pixels on the screen to make them more readable. To view a 100x100 image, for example, at the above native resolutions, and have them appear the same physical size, the 30" would need to be a 34". As we're dealing with charts here, not super super high res photos, I would expect that the 24" would be at an advantage here.
The benefit of having one 30" monitor is of course that it has a smaller footprint on your desk, and as mentioned it may appear sharper.
But IMHO the benefits of (1) more actual screen area, (2) a higher number of pixels and thus total resolution, and (3) the cost being substantially less for two good 24" monitors outweighs the benefits of one larger one.
As a side note, note that with a 1920x1200 monitor, you get 11% more real estate than a 1920x1080 monitor, and it's all on the X axis, which is often the place we want more space for charting (to put an indicator window, volume, or whatever, along the bottom of the chart). For example, I can put 4 charts (in a grid of 2x2) at a comfortable zoom level, plus a full length DOM on one monitor, and I could also put a T&S window but I happen to have it on the other monitor. Stacking two charts vertically is pretty comfortable viewing as long as it's not stretched too wide.
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You're welcome Tony and I hope it can be helpful. Remember in the end that you simply must like what you see in front of you, and whatever looks best to your eyes is probably what you should get, regardless of size and resolution and so on.
One final note is that I have considered this before and maybe others have too--consider the purpose for the hardware or software you use. Perhaps the optimal layout for you personally is two charts and a DOM, trading on one instrument. If that's the case, then you may actually harm your trading by adding additional monitors, because then you will have to fill up that space with something, which can actually be a distraction. An earlier poster alluded to this as well. If you NEED space, then buy it. But there's no shame in having a 15" single monitor if it works for you. All that stuff is information, and it can harm as well as help.
I have considered this same phenomenon in software as well. As an example, pulled out of thin air with no reference to this company for any reason, if you think that bid/ask delta stuff is cool, and you subscribe to Market Delta and pay $130-$250 a month for the footprint charts, then it's possible that you may only harm yourself if you're not really effectively using the footprint charts. If you spend that much per month, then you'd better get some use out of it, right? So you continue using it for no good reason except you don't want to feel like you're wasting your money. I have personally seen and done this myself with things I've bought before--you buy it, find out it's not really that great or useful, but continue to rationalize by using or explaining its benefits, because you'd hate to have misspent money.
My point is simply that you should probably have a need for whatever you buy first, rather than first buying and then finding a use for it. My two 24"s work great for me. Al Brooks' single 15" laptop screen works for him. Those who have 4-8 monitors, I'm sure find that it works for them. It's gotta work for you.
Good luck with it and let us know if/when you make a purchase and how you like it!
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What you explain josh makes sense, very much so. I see and apply such in all that I do, at least I believe that to be the case. I find this different though.
At this stage, I don't know what works for me yet. And, I won't know until have several, if not more indicators in front of me to experiment with over time. I don't find that to be possible with just screen. I sense that I'll need a few to provide ample real estate. I see one screen dedicated to longer term views of the of the e-mini's as well as mkt internals. I think my iMac can serve that purpose well. I can add another monitor to the iMac too. It would be running TOS.
I currently don't have a PC at home, which I need, so I'm in the mkt for one, most likely an HP Z Series workstation. Then the monitors. Possibly two 24's would do the trick. These will be running MC, with a DOM, and both minute charts, and tick charts from which I will most likely trade from (OEC data).
Until I'm able to see what I've drawn on paper on screens in front of me, I won't know how it looks, but I have a good idea. And until I can start trading with VSA / VPA and MP / TPO (or Monkey Bars on TOS), I won't know exactly how helpful these will be for me. From what I've read, I really like what they characterize, and I'm already somewhat convinced that I'll want to incorporate them into my trading strategy. With MC, at least MCDT, I don't have these tools. I do on TOS though. I don't trade futures with TOS (stock & options only).
So, I can't at the moment play with the tools that I feel I'll want to use.
You've convinced me to start with two monitors at this time, not 3 or more. Along with the 24" iMac running TOS giving me broader view of things, these additional 24" monitors might be able to hold what I'll want.
It's 5:30 am here (India), and I need to get some rest. Given what you've shared with respect to real estate considerations, what would be your thoughts between these two:
1. Two 24" monitors at 1920x1200 resolution, no speakers or HDMI (HP, $304 total)
2. Two 27" monitors at 1920x1080 resolutions, speakers & HDMI (Viewsonic, $300-330 total)
Are you still at this? I think when you get back to state side go pick up the pc and 1 monitor and just get started. Why, because you can always expand later, and besides, the way you make a decision -- I have a funny feeling the trade will be over.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." --- "Therefore, I Believe it and I will see it. And every day and in every way, I am healthier, wealthier, and wiser."
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Man, I've hardly been home, lol!. I'm about to catch a flight to Mumbai now actually. Probably home in another week or two... Oh, and our 2nd baby was born last week! Don't ask... Otherwise, I hear ya. I have a large L-shaped desk at home, still in a box from last month! It sat outside my house for the longest time....
I think I have both of my 24" connected via DVI so HDMI is really only necessary I suppose if you need it for connectivity due to lack of another DVI port. So if you have an available HDMI port and that's your only choice for connecting the other monitor then I suppose you'd need it, otherwise I can't imagine why you'd need HDMI versus DVI for a monitor.
My preference would be the 24" as it will have 11% more pixels than the 27", but again you may not find much need for that. The 27" will make what you see on the 24" slightly larger, but I do not find a need for that as my eyes already have plenty of work to do scrolling across 41" of horizonal space.
Most important IMO is the quality of the picture. Before I found my 2nd 24" gateway, I bought a $170 or so 23" model new in the store, and next to my existing monitor I realized the moment I turned it on that I simply could not tolerate the difference in quality, so I took it back the next day. Could you give the actual model you're considering? With two costing $300 or so, even at a substantial discount, I'd be a bit wary of the quality, but anything is possible I suppose.
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I have a Logitech 5.1 speaker system in the office, I wouldn't want speakers on my monitor.
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