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My Displays, including my New 30" Dell 3007WFP-HC

Pete Brown - 04 May 2010

Primary PC

Over the next month or three, I'll be building a new ultimate developer PC, with some pretty hefty specs. One thing I managed to do before that, however, was snag a great used Dell 30" display on eBay.

I was pretty nervous about buying used, but lucked out in the end. Not a dead pixel as far as I can tell, and the display is in great shape. Considering the 3007 WFP-HC goes for $1399 retail, sometimes on sale for $1199, the $625 I paid for it was quite a bargain. Heck, my hp 2335 that used to be my primary display ran me over $1000 when I bought it new, and it's only 23". Like the Dell, it's an IPS panel.

I now have four displays on my desk:


Three of them are attached to the main PC, which now has a second video card installed. The PC itself is behind the 30" dell. It looks pretty ugly, having grown ad-hoc over the years.

The display in the center is the 30" dell 3007 running at 2560x1600. The portrait display on the right is my trusty HP 2335 display running at 1920x1600 (or 1600x1920 since it's rotated). The one on top is a crummy bargain basement display I had layout around - a 20" optiquest Q20wb running at 1680x1050. It's a terrible display, but works well enough for its use.


As I've mentioned before, I wish the pixel densities were higher (that 30 with 4x the pixels would be amazing when run with higher DPI settings in Windows)

I love that 30 so much I'd gladly take two more to flank it. I'd probably end up with a suntan, but the surface area for working is just amazing in a game-changing kind of way. Like I can have Visual Studio open but larger vertically rather than horizontally so I can see tons more code, while still having plenty of room for a webcast or reference material on the same display.

The rotated display on the right is awesome for viewing web pages. The one on top is used for notes when recording a video, or twitter when not.

What about that fourth one? It doesn't show up here. The fourth is attached to my Microsoft PC (bought by Microsoft) domain-joined and usually connected to Redmond. I share the keyboard and mouse from my main PC with that PC.

Keyboard and Mouse Sharing

I mentioned that I share the keyboard and mouse with my Redmond PC. That's pretty essential, as picking up a separate keyboard or mouse to work on it, or having to remote desktop in, would mean I'd be far less likely to use it.

The software I use is Input Director, a software KVM.


Input Director does a great job of sharing keyboard and mouse. The only time I need the keyboard under my desk is during login. Unfortunately, Input Director can't help in that locked-down screen.

If you need to share with non-Windows machines, there are other applications, but I found them to be far less stable and more limited than Input Director.

I have Input Director set up so when I move off the left of my main screen, the mouse keeps on going right over to the Redmond machine. It's pretty seamless.

That's a Lot of Pixels

I can't say that I don't revel in the geek factor of so many pixels surrounding me, baking my brain, but it's also a huge productivity boost too. The fewer times I need to alt-tab to see other apps (or switch to other virtual desktops if you use that type of solution) the better. Only my eyes need to move; I don't need a complete rescan/reset to context switch.

It's also a huge help when recording videos. I keep my notes in Word or Notepad+ in another display, and then do the recording full-screen on the main display (with the res cranked down to 1280x720 or whatever the recording resolution needs to be).

Have you ever needed more than one instance of Visual Studio open? I do it all the time. I might have one sample or reference or open source project open in one instance, and then the app I'm working on open in another. Alt-tab can get you confused (or at least can slow you down). Now, I can either drag the code I want to another display using VS2010's tear-off windows, or I can host the entire IDE in a separate window.

Plus, I use twitter a ton too, and it helps to have it up top where it's not stealing my attention, but is available when I want to look, without me losing context in what I'm working on.

So yes, a lot of pixels (over 8 million). I'll always want more, but I think I'll hold the last port on the video cards for a multi-touch screen :)

posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, May 4, 2010
filed under:      

8 comments for “My Displays, including my New 30" Dell 3007WFP-HC”

  1. Petesays:
    Looking at that picture, I have to say that photos do not come close to accurately representing the massiveness of the 30" display. You have to go sit in front of one and try it out.
  2. Nikita Polyakovsays:
    What I find hard is when ones' work gives one a great laptop and it only have 1-2 outputs max.

    For example - I can use VGA and DisplayPort on my new DELL Laptop.

    The older IPS pro DELL that I have takes either VGA or DVI, but I don't own a monitor that supports DisplayPort, yet. So no luck to use more then one screen when I am in the home office.

    PS: My real DPI on a 15' screen at 1920x1200 is insane. I love it.
  3. Ben McCormacksays:
    That 30" monitor is disgustingly large. I'm jealous.

    I just switched to two wide-screen monitors for the first time on my work PC. I really appreciate the extra horizontal real estate while coding, but sometimes window management can be a little tough. I found a great little application called GridMove (http://jgpaiva.dcmembers.com/gridmove.html) that helps me snap windows to portions of my monitors using hot keys. It's highly customizable so you can set it up to your liking. My work PC using Win XP, so I'm not sure how Win 7 would hold up.
  4. David Martinsays:
    Not sure if it would help in the situation where some monitors are side-by-side and others are on top, but I find a little tool named UltraMon to be of great help. My setup is just 2 monitors side-by-side. This tool allows for my task bar to extend across both, and which ever monitor a window is currently living on will show it in that task bar.
  5. Jeffsays:
    Pete, I'm in awe of your number of displays - though I will say, if you think one 30" is massive, you might have to say "wow" to dual 30" Samsung 305T's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffwilcox/4569198843/sizes/l/

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