Deciding between an ultrawide display or a dual monitor setup depends on your specific needs, whether it’s for gaming, professional use, or everyday tasks. This guide will provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision about your next display.

21:9 UltraWide vs. 16:9 Widescreen

When comparing the most popular widescreen and ultrawide screen size and resolution combinations, we’ll be using a 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide or a dual 27″ 1440p setup, and a 29″ 2560×1080 ultrawide or a dual 24″ 1080p setup.

21 9 UltraWide vs. 16 9 Widescreen
21 9 UltraWide vs. 16 9 Widescreen

A 27″ 2560×1440 monitor will provide you with roughly the same pixel density (pixel-per-inch ratio) as a 34″ 1440p ultrawide. Similarly, a 23″-24″ 1080p monitor offers roughly the same pixel density as a 29″ 2560×1080 ultrawide.

With ultrawide displays, you get ~33% of extra horizontal screen space in comparison to a single 16:9 display, meaning that dual monitors provide more workspace than an ultrawide. There are also 32:9 “super-wide” ultrawide monitors, which actually provide you with screen size and space equal to two 16:9 displays, though at a higher price.

Curved vs. Flat Screen

Curved vs. Flat Screen
Curved vs. Flat Screen

We recommend curved ultrawide monitors over flat ones, as the curvature provides a more immersive viewing experience with less distortion. For a dual or multiple monitor setup, we suggest curved monitors, as you’d need to have flat monitors aligned at an angle anyway.

UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For Professional Use

If you want to get as much screen space as you can, then a dual or multiple monitor setup is the way to go. However, make sure you’re getting a monitor with a high pixel density. For instance, a 27-inch monitor with a 1920×1080 resolution has a low pixel density of 81 PPI (pixels per inch), which results in smudgy text and details.

UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For offic Use
UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For offic Use

Here are the optimal screen size/resolution combinations:

  • 23″-25″: 1920×1080, 2560×1440, 3840×2160
  • 27″: 2560×1440, 3840×2160
  • 32″-43″: 3840×2160
  • 25″-29″ ultrawide: 2560×1080
  • 34″ ultrawide: 3440×1440, 5120×2160
  • 38″ ultrawide: 3840×1600
  • 40″ ultrawide: 5120×2160
  • 44″ super-ultrawide: 3840×1080, 3840×1200
  • 49″ super-ultrawide: 5120×1440
  • 57 super-ultrawide: 7680×2160
optimal screen size
optimal screen size

For professional use, we recommend ultrawide monitors with IPS panels, as they offer the widest viewing angles as well as the most accurate and consistent color reproduction.

UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For Gaming

Gaming on a dual monitor setup is not recommended because you’d have a crosshair or your character right where the monitor bezels meet, unless you plan on using one monitor for gaming and the other for web-surfing, chatting, etc. In the former case, a triple-monitor setup makes more sense since you can put one monitor on your left, one on your right, and one in the center, thus increasing your field of view, which is a particularly popular setup for racing games.

UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For Gaming
UltraWide vs. Dual Monitors For Gaming

On the other hand, an ultrawide gaming monitor will provide you with a more seamless and immersive gaming experience without any bezels and gaps; it’s also a cheaper and simpler option.

Compatibility

Not all games support the 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio, which results in either a stretched-out picture or black borders at the sides of the screen. You can check out a list of all games that support ultrawide resolutions here.

Other Features

AMD
AMD

For fast-paced gaming, we recommend IPS panel ultrawide displays, as they usually offer a faster response time than VA panel models. If you prefer more graphically-oriented games, VA panels will provide you with a higher contrast ratio, which results in deeper blacks and more vivid details in the shadows and highlights of the picture.

UltraWide Vs. Dual Monitors For Everyday Use

For everyday use and home entertainment, we recommend ultrawide displays with VA panels, as they are usually cheaper than the IPS models and offer a higher contrast ratio. Moreover, the 21:9 aspect ratio of an ultrawide monitor is close to the native aspect ratio (2.35:1) at which a lot of movies are recorded, making for a more cinematic and authentic viewing experience.

32:9 UltraWide Monitors

The 32:9 ultrawide monitors (also referred to as’super-ultrawide’) are equivalent to two 16:9 monitors side by side, just without the bezels in-between. For instance, a 49″ 5120×1440 ultrawide is basically equivalent to two 27″ 1440p monitors, a 44″ 3840×1080 display is similar to two 24″ 1080p screens, etc.

When it comes to gaming, most video games that support the 21:9 format also support the 32:9 resolutions, and you get an even wider field of view for a more immersive viewing experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the choice between an ultrawide display and a dual monitor setup largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Ultrawide monitors offer a more immersive and seamless viewing experience, making them ideal for gaming, video editing, and tasks that benefit from a broad, continuous workspace. They also provide a more organized and streamlined layout due to the reduction in cables and stands. On the other hand, dual monitors offer more screen real estate and are better suited for multitasking and switching between applications, making them a good choice for tasks like working with spreadsheets or market data. However, they may require more desk space and setup time. It’s important to consider factors such as your workspace, the tasks you’ll be performing, and your budget when deciding between these two options.

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