Should I get 2nd Monitor for 27" iMac

John Costanzo on February 25, 2019

I am wonder that if at this time if more people are going back to single monitor. I have the nice iMac display then I have a 30: monitor. The hei... [Read Full]
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At office I just have my 27'' iMac and I'd say it's enough. I like having a second display when I work with a laptop as its display it too small to fit many windows, especially when I debug stuff with the iOS simulator or the web inspector. But I usually use my laptop in clamshell mode, so I only use the external display. I find having two separate display to be distracting.


Do you just app switch? Do you use spaces? Do you just tile the windows?


I have to admit my windows are quite messy on the iMac. When I work on the MBP I tend to use fullscreen apps and spaces, but most of the time I'm on the desktop and I have tons of windows floating around, in particular terminal and finder windows. I know where to look for a particular terminal or finder folder so I'm still quick and productive, but I'm not particularly proud of the way I organise my Mac


Is it a retina (4/5k) display you have? I'm using 13" MacBook pro which is nowadays almost always closed and have a 27" 4k display connected. I'm using BetterTouchTools for configuring window snap areas. If I'm doing web dev work, I have my browser at 1/3 width, and editor at 2/3.

MacOS caps the max resolutions in the display settings when it can push higher resolutions without any issues. try this: You might find you can ditch the second monitor.


What worked well for me was to remove as many distractions as possible, and keep focus on one thing only. That meant always quitting Mail, Chat etc. when not actively used. Also learning to switch between apps with Cmd+Tab, rather than placing them next to each other. This also removed the need for more screen-space.
The only times I could use a second monitor is while doing video-courses.


This is completely a preferential thing. Looking in office where everyone is provided extra monitors if they ever want it.

It ranges from single large screen, to four screens... to as many screens as the table can fit (more!)

Personally on the web development side for frontend - I find having additional screens to do the browsersync render of the page im working on in the various major resolution, especially the mobile resolutions (abit zoomed out to fit it all) across additional screens a huge help. Especially at times there seems to be never enough (uggh that damn X*Y resolution where the layout bugs out)

For API work, i do notice the tendency to keep everything towards 1 screen. With a secondary screen for communication.

If you are unsure, you probably may not need a "good" secondary screen yet - and it is understandably a big purchase to buy a good one - instead, go find a cheap second hand one (or even a free one) and use it for secondary task (like slack) where colour accuracy is not as important. And see if it helps. If it does, then consider the upgrade.


Thanks for this. I do have a crappy one. I like some of the ideas of having a 2nd one though

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