If you are in the habit of regularly doing some serious multitasking on your PC, one monitor may not just cut it. You could, while wearing down the ALT + TAB keys, put yourself through the somewhat annoying hassle of having to constantly switch screens to get from one window to the other.
Even two screens may not be enough, depending on the type of work you’re into. And that’s why we have triple-monitor setups.
A triple-monitor setup can help you keep your eyes on all parts of your work without missing out on anything important. You could, for example, keep your emails open on one screen, your messaging app on the other, and your text editor on the last one.
But, obviously, these setups can be utilized for much more than just this type of simple usage. Engineers, web developers, and industry professionals can employ a multi-screen setup to get their work done faster and to avoid being encumbered by the limitation of a single display.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks when it comes to the best monitors for a triple monitor setup in 2023!
What is a Triple-Monitor Setup?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like; three monitors connected to a single computer system. The system can be a desktop CPU or a laptop (the latter being a little less likely/common).
When connecting multiple monitors to a single PC, the user has the choice of either duplicating the displays or extending them. When the displays are duplicated, it means that they will all mirror the actions being performed by the user on the main monitor.
On the other hand, when the displays are extended, they all become separately controllable screens. The user can switch through them simply by taking the mouse cursor off the edge and into the next one.
This little snippet of wisdom will come in a little handy a little later on in this article.
What Do I Need to Set Up Three Monitors?
Here’s the thing, people. Setting up three monitors, while appealing and aesthetic, isn’t that easy. In theory, there’s no rocket science involved since all you have to do is plug in the cables in the ports and voila! You have three working screens.
Essentially, you need to have a sufficient number of ports/slots in your machine. And since the number of ports/slots is dependent on the GPU, we can simply say that you need to have the right graphics card in order to run three monitors at the same time. (Yep, I know. I used the words ‘GPU’ and ‘graphics card’ interchangeably. There is some difference between them, but it’s negligible in the context of our discussion.)
Is it Possible to Run Three Displays on a Laptop?
Yes, it is. Let’s split it up a little and look at how you can do it with different types of laptops.
– For Laptops With Less Than Three Ports
In most laptops, you will get only one or two slots for adding displays, viz. 1 x VGA and 1 x HDMI/DisplayPort. Since you cannot upgrade your laptop’s graphics card, there is nothing you can do to increase the existing number of slots.
However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot run three screens at once if your laptop only has two ports. There is a device called a ‘splitter’, or more specifically, a ‘VGA splitter’ or ‘HDMI splitter’ (it depends on the cable you’re using).
With a splitter, you can divide the outgoing signal into two identical ones. It basically allows you to use a single port on your computer to give out two undifferentiated display signals.
Hence, if you connect two monitors to your system using this contraption, you will be able to duplicate the displays, not extend them. Remember this discussion we had earlier?
Hence, while it is possible for you to run three monitors from a device that only has two display slots, you cannot make them into three separately controllable screens.
– For Laptops With Three or More Slots
This isn’t very commonly seen, but if your laptop does happen to have three or more slots that it can utilize for adding displays, then setting up three monitors is pretty much simple and straightforward.
Additionally, a point to note is that some monitors use the USB-Type C connection instead of the good ole HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort. So, if your laptop has two of the latter types of slots along with a USB-C, you can still snag a triple-monitor setup.
– Triple-Display Setups with Desktops
With desktops, the deal is a lot easier. Owing to the fact that you can change the graphics card any time you want, creating triple-monitor setups is less of a hassle with a desktop PC.
Should the need arise for you to set up three displays at once, you can upgrade your card and get one that has three or more video slots. Nowadays, some cards even go as far as including eight ports…. yep…eight.
Are Triple-Display Setups Worth it?
To be fair and unbiased in answering this question, it is important to look at both dimensions (the pros and cons) instead of ignoring the downsides like an ostrich with its head down the sand.
Advantages of Triple Monitor Setups
First things first, and that’s the ease and efficiency that you can incorporate in your daily work. You can increase your productivity, quicken the pace of your work, and get a general sense of comfort and convenience instead of feeling lost and muddled in the midst of multiple windows and applications.
This is especially very useful for web developers, programmers, and CAD engineers.
Secondly, you can keep your communications/messaging application open discreetly on one screen and rid yourself of the worry of having to constantly and consciously switch over every now and then.
And lastly, you can split your browser tabs into different windows and spread them out over different displays rather than keeping them all together. For people who have to do a lot of research during the course of their work, this can be a welcome perk.
Disadvantages of Triple Monitor Setups
Now, let’s come to the downsides.
The first thing that is a bit of a con in using three monitors at once is the power consumption. Those screens aren’t running on sunlight now, are they? They’re going to fatten up your next electricity bill depending on how long you keep ‘em on during the day.
That takes us to our next con, which isn’t a disadvantage per se, but it is still a factor that comes with setting up three monitors on a single computer. And that is the cost viz. the cost of acquiring the second and third screens. We can expand a little on this and count the potential maintenance costs that will be incurred with such a large setup.
Thirdly, three monitors will take up a lot more space than just one or two. If you have a desk that is purpose-made for such setups, like an L-shaped table or something, then this probably won’t be an issue for you. However, it can be a bit of an annoyance for people who are working out of compact and short spaces.
Here are our recommendations for some awesome monitors that you can buy in 2023 for a triple-monitor setup:
1. AOC 24B2XH 24” Full HD – Best Overall
Starting off our list, we have the AOC 24B2XH. This monitor is at the top of this list for one reason (amongst others; the exclusivity is for emphasis), and that is the affordability combined with the border design.
In a triple-monitor setup, having thin borders/bezels is highly desirable. The thinner the borders are, the more vividly will the unification of the displays appear. If you have, for example, placed all the monitors in a straight row, the thin borders could help you imagine as if there are no barriers in between the three and that they are all just one big display.
And thin borders are something of a novelty as far as monitors are concerned. They are something that you typically have to pay more money for. Two screens with the exact same sizes and specs will differ significantly in price if one of them happens to have a thinner frame than the other.
But with this AOC monitor, you only have to cough up ~$143. In return, you get a 24” beauty with a 1080p display topped with a slim and sleek border layout.
But let’s keep it fair and critical. We’re not exactly pitching this product.
The AOC 24BXH is a basic and simple choice that can be great for starters and beginners. There is no USB-C or DisplayPort slot, which is to be expected at this price, but still, it is something that you should bear in mind. If you are an industry professional, you should look for something with a higher resolution and a bigger screen size.
Here are some other features that the AOC 24BXH offers:
- 24-inch, 1080p LED-lit monitor
- 60 Hz refresh rate
- IPS panel with more than 100% in sRGB color gamut coverage
- Comes with 1 x HDMI and 1 x VGA ports
- Also comes with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack for directly plugging in an audio device
- Features blue-mode and flicker-free tech for a smooth viewing experience
- VESA compatible mounting points
Why is The AOC 24B2XH The Best Triple-Monitor Setup in 2023?
The AOC 24B2XH has a price tag of just ~$143. Normally, good monitors cost a lot more. For rookies who are looking to create their first triple-monitor setup, these AOC screens can be suitable since they are low priced and are sized at 24 inches, which won’t be overwhelmingly large for novices and beginners.
2. AcerK242YL 23.8” – Budget Pick
While we are discussing affordable choices, let’s go ahead and mention another one.
The Acer K242YL is a few bucks more expensive than the AOC discussed earlier. But, when comparing the specs, the former is far more generous than the latter.
Among the salient and awesome features that you can enjoy with this Acer monitor are the 75 Hz refresh rate and the 1 millisecond response time. 75 Hz isn’t something that you can find in budget products like this one, and you usually need to spend more than $200 before you get in that category. However, with the Acer K242YL, you can enjoy it for just $144.99. But, this refresh rate is only available if you are using the HDMI port.
The same goes for response time. As you will see a bit further on in this list, there are monitors much more expensive than this one, yet they come with times like 4ms and 8ms.
The borders on either side and at the top are slim and thin, which can help you create a smoother and more flowing setup with less noticeable shifts from one screen to the other.
- Screen size 23.8”
- 1980 * 1080 resolution
- Brightness 250 nits
- Tilt (-5° to 20°)
- AMD FreeSync Technology
3. Acer Nitro XV272U – High Refresh Rate
After looking at the specs on the Acer Nitro XV272U, it will appear as if Acer has a knack for giving excellent refresh rates at low prices. Don’t get me wrong; having a good refresh rate doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall viewing experience will be mind-blowing.
But still, 144 Hz in a monitor priced at $299.99 is one awesome deal. The other features aren’t half as bad either (actually, they’re pretty good), but we’ll look at those in the part dealing with the ‘Features’.
However, there is a downside that you should consider before trying this monitor out. According to quite a few reviews, the brightness of the display is not up to mark. That could be an issue if you are in the habit of using your PC in a brightly-lit area.
- 2560 * 1440 resolution
- 1ms response time
- 27” screen size
- 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0 and 3 x USB 3.0 slots
- In-built speakers x 2
- Supports 1.07 billion colors
4. Philips 276E8VJSB – Ultra-Narrow Borders
That monitor looks like something out of a spaceship, doesn’t it? The curved, futuristic stand along with the super-slim borders make the Philips 276E8VJSB (the name’s quite a mouthful too) extremely aesthetic, and it is these looks that bring it at number 4 on our list.
Everybody loves aesthetics. If that wasn’t the case, we’d still be fine using those gargantuan CRO monitors from the ’90s. This Philips monitor is a great choice for people who focus more on the appearance of their setup rather than the awesomeness of the specs.
Added to the looks is the utility that this screen comes with. The Multiview technology lets you connect multiple devices to a single screen. You could work with a laptop on one half of the screen while running a different PC on the other half.
On the downside, the Philips 276E8VJSB cannot be VESA mounted, nor does it come with a USB-C or VGA port.
- UHD 4K Display (3840 * 2160)
- 10-bit colors
- 60 Hz refresh rate
- 1.07 billion+ colors support
- 2 x HDMI and 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
- It also comes with an HDMI audio-out port
- Flicker-free tech and low-blue mode for adjusting the display
5. Philips 322E1C Super-Curved – Best Design
Considering the specs and features, the Philips 322E1C is quite affordable and reasonably priced.
On three sides of the frame, the bezels are remarkably thin, which make this monitor an excellent choice for frameless setup connoisseurs. The 32” display comes with a curve, making the viewing experience immersive and enveloping. Imagine having three of these in a row…
If you create a linear in-line triple-display setup with these Philips monitors, you will be able to add up all those curves and create a whole arc of screens on your desk.
- 32” monitor size
- 75 Hz refresh rate (thumbs up on this one)
- 4ms response time
- 1980 * 1080p display with 102% sRGB color reproduction
- 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI and 1 x DisplayPort
6. Philips 288E2E – Excellent Color Gamut Coverage
Here’s yet another one by Philips. The main highlight of this 27” monitor is the color gamut coverage. The products we have looked at so far in our list give out 98%, 99%, 102% and 104% at max; the latter two being quite vibrant.
The Philips 288E2E takes it up a notch and gives 120% sRGB color reproduction. If you are looking specifically for something color-friendly, give this monitor a try.
- 27” screen size
- 60 Hz refresh rate
- 4ms response time
- Tilt and height adjustment
- 1 x DisplayPort and 2 x HDMI
- Blue light filter, anti-flicker technology, built-in speakers, wall-mountable
- 120% sRGB color gamut coverage
7. Dell S2722QC 27-Inch – Best Aesthetics
Let’s end off with a bang, shall we?
In this article, our usual approach has been to mention the good points first and then come to the downsides. However, with the Dell S2722QC, let’s get rid of the cons first because the perks and awesome features are absolutely outstanding.
The first downside is the price. Yep, this thing right here comes with a price tag of $559. Frankly speaking, you could (by going a bit thrifty, of course) get a PC, a keyboard and mouse, and three monitors all together in less than $500. So, you should consider buying this Dell monitor only if you have the right amount of dough to spend.
The second downside is the response time. The gray-to-gray response time on the Dell S2722QC is 8ms.
Coming over to the awesome parts, you get to enjoy an excellent display with a 4K UHD resolution (3840 * 2160) and 60 Hz refresh rate. But, with the Dell S2722QC, the aesthetics are more appreciable on the body of the monitor rather than the display itself.
The borderless design, the sleek stand, contrasting black and white colors and the light grey textured back all make up an elegant and majestic exterior. The looks alone make this monitor worth buying.
- 27-Inch screen size
- 60 Hz refresh rate
- 3840 * 2160 resolution
- Height/tilt/pivot and swivel adjustment
- 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB-C (alternate mode with DisplayPort 1.4), 2 x USB Type-A (superspeed 5Gbps, 3.2 gen.) and 1 x audio output port
- 3W integrated speakers
How to Choose the Best Monitors for a Triple-Display Setup in 2023?
If you are not interested in any of the products mentioned above, you can try looking for something a bit more suitable yourself.
However, when looking to buy some monitors for a triple-display setup, you should know what features and qualities to look for in a product. If you don’t have a lot of experience in buying monitors and screens, you could get your hands on some third-class devices, which you could regret later.
You should look for a screen size that is fitting for your workstation/desk. If you are working out of a normal and simple computer desk, you should stick to smaller sizes like 24 and 23.8 inches. On the other hand, if you have an expansive, L-shaped desk, you can afford to go a bit bigger, like 27 or 32 inches.
The borders are especially important if you are looking to create a triple-monitor setup. You should look for a product that has super thin and sleek bezels on three sides, viz. the top, left and right. This helps in creating a more uniform display.
Display Resolution, Refresh Rate and Response Time
These features relate to the quality of the display itself.
- The display resolution should be decided according to the size of the screen. For 23.8- and 24-inch screens, the standard 1920 * 1080 display can be enough. This also depends on the level of detail you want in your viewing experience.
- The standard refresh rate is 60 Hz. Anything lower than that is bad, and anything higher than is a plus. Again, this matters on the level of smoothness you want when using your PC. Most people can be fine with just 60 Hz.
- A 4ms response time is usually good enough for a smooth display. The lower the number is, the better.
Slots and Ports
Remember, having modern and contemporary slots on a monitor is only useful if you have the same type of ports on your system. If you are currently running an old machine with just an HDMI and VGA port, don’t try getting a monitor that has a DisplayPort 1.4 or a USB-C. Stick to a configuration that suits your needs.
And lastly, you should see whether the price of the product is suitable for your budget or not. In the above list, we looked at some products that were a bit on the cheaper side, some that were moderate and some that were expensive.
And there you have it. A triple-monitor setup can be a great way to increase productivity and to get more eyes on your work. If you are not sure which screens to buy for the same, take a little gander at the list given above.