Ultra wide monitors for gaming or productivity

Are you using an ultra wide monitor, is it working on Linux and worth it? Gaming or productivity? Which size do you recommend smaller, 34 or 38?

What else does one need to consider?

So many questions, so much to talk about. I know practically nothing but these seem to becoming hype (I don’t really care…). Also wondering how workflow would be with a wm like i3.

I use a 32 inch for productivity but almost feel too tall or big (though it’s pretty cool), perhaps an ultra wide in the future. Not sure I would be into a curved monitor.

Is there a way to assign zones to the screen using any DE or a WM? That would be important for the productivity part, the ability to open and move the programs to different zones

Something like this

Personally, I don’t see much point to flat ultra-wide monitors, especially if you’re at a desk, sitting. This is because, in order to see all of it comfortably, you either have to position it very far in the back (which requires you to have a very wide desk), or you have to have a pretty small monitor (in which case, you may as well have it taller).

Curved ultra-wide monitors make more sense to me, but are a bit weird, in my opinion (and they take up a lot of space in the front-back direction, a bit like the old CRT monitors). Also, they are quite expensive for what is an average or below average picture quality.

I prefer having two identical 32" monitors, normal 16:9 ratio. I have a pair of fairly cheap ones, which are quite nice. For me 2 times 2560×1440 is quite enough – I’m too blind to fully appreciate higher resolutions, and on Linux high DPI is often more trouble than it’s worth.

What I like about this setup is that I can position them at an angle. Depending on how far away from them I am sitting I can adjust that angle (so that my head is in the intersection of the two normals of the rectangles that the screens are): if I am sitting far away, I can increase the angle to be closer to 180°, and if I sit closer, I can make smaller. That way, the monitors can always be perpendicular to my line of sight, which is important, because the optimal viewing angle of these monitors is rather small. This is a bit like having a wide, curved monitor, except adjustable and without all the curved weirdness.

The big downside is that there is a seam between them of about 10 mm, so I use only one when I want to watch a film or play a video game. However, in my opinion, one 32" monitor is quite enough for games and other media. Having two is really nice for productivity.

I think the only situation where an ultra-wide monitor would be better than my setup is for watching films (but only the ones in that format!). When it comes to games and most other media, I think they look better in 16:9. And there is a lot of older games and TV shows that are in 4:3 (as well as some newer hipster films[YouTube]), so any ratio bigger than 16:9 just wastes a half of the screen.

Of course, it should go without saying (but it doesn’t), that this is all my personal preference. I’m quite happy with what I have, but it may not be the best for everyone. My hope is that my ramblings will inspire you to think about your own situation and preferences, it’s not an assertion that my preference is the only right way to do things.


Old news (if it’s single monitor at least)…KDE for example handles it just fine.

for games it’s hit or miss…
there are a lot of games (especially console ports) that only support 16:9
So you then have the choice of a stretched image, or black borders…

There are sites like Widescreen Gaming Forum that have patched exe files for some games, or provide guides on how to patch the executables yourself with a hex editor… but it’s far from ideal. Cutscenes usually remain 16:9, and the UI elements like health bars etc often remain at the same place as they were on 16:9.

There’s also a tool called Flawless Widescreen that has patches built-in for some games that only support 16:9, but again hit or miss, and it means running an external tool.

Now this is only from a gaming perspective…
When doing actual work, I prefer it to 2 separate screens… especially since my desk space is limited


If you have newer information, please solve this old issue of mine:

I find it problematic on 1440p, it would be impossible on 4K.


Well i meant for productivity - for old games it’s hit or miss of course, some allow tweak config / engine directly, some @Krimkerre mentioned great resources for…

2560x1440 is not exactly high dpi.

Using KDE zoom is :crazy_face: :laughing:

P.S. There is no universal solution, but I have few ideas.

Aah yes… I am one of those nutjobs that still keeps a CRT-tv around for watching the old stuff on it’s proper aspect ratio…
As for the newer hipster films, I still have this one on my watch list… Kinda forgot about it until I saw your post :slight_smile:


It’s four times as many pixels as 720p, so it’s high, unless you’re happy with using only a quarter of your screen.

Indeed. It’s an awful solution. But it is the best solution out of any other that I’ve tried (like modding the game, for example, which just broke it). We can continue in that other thread, instead of hijacking this one.

Yeah, 4:3 does look nice, I agree with that video. It’s weird, and could justifiably be called a nutcase problem, but I see nothing fundamentally wrong with it. Some films do look really nice in 4:3, there’s no denying that.

That would probably be a good compromise resolution for me for single or dual monitors because I have a laptop with similar resolution.

@keybreak my main problem with high dpi has been scaling between laptop and monitor, at home I still run a 1080 dpi monitor and connecting the high resolution laptop is still a hassle except gnome Wayland or cinnamon that scale screens differently and easily, which limits a bit things for me.

Another important thing for me is either the possibility to move up or down or a back bracket compatible with four screw I think it’s called Vesa to connect a desk mount. I actually just got a desk mount from amazon for 30 bucks but dummy me I didn’t realize that my cheap 27" doesn’t have a mount in the back.

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Now that is a real problem, indeed, that’s why i’ve said single monitor :slight_smile:

btw, on KDE this year Nate mentioned they’ll focus on that multi-dpi monitor issues and Wayland, i believe he mentioned it somewhere here

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Actually, XFCE isn’t too bad at hi-dpi now too especially with different monitors with different settings. I run a 3840x2160 straight up, and a 1200x1600 at 1800x2400 at the moment (for apparent size reasons when things span the 2 monitors). They define things backwards, but it works well!

Looking forward to that!



I bought my 34" ultrawide for one very specific purpose: a wider FOV for driving sims. For everything else, two smaller (e.g. 24") standard displays is just fine, and you can switch one off when not in use. As Kresimir said above, the other issue ultrawides have is that most video media is 16:9 so you end up with vertical black bars. One advantage compared to dual monitors, though, is that it only needs a single display and power cable; one ultrawide might be more power-efficient compared to always running two displays.

OT about driving

Turns out that VR is even better for driving, so now my ultrawide doesn’t even get used for that… :rofl:


I feel sick just thinking about VR + driving games … :face_vomiting:

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It turns out it’s mostly in the IPD. If you get the HMD lenses to the correct distance it completely gets rid of that motion nausea (or at least, it does for seated stuff like driving; in other games, moving around without walking is very weird).


I am thinking about replacing an old monitor via iPhone trade-in. For sure I like something larger like 32. I never tried curved ultrawide so difficult to judge if I would tolerate it. I mostly use for productivity, sometimes but more rarely games like civilization.

Looking at these currently:

34 ultra wide curved (great quality and high res but very expensive)

32 ips display (good quality lower price):

Ultra wide 34 non-curved (only 1080 but lower price)

Still doing the research. Strangely some sites distinguish IPS and led and some indicate the monitors are led and IPS which seems strange. Maybe I misunderstood the meaning of these.

As long as it says IPS you’re fine; VA is the cheaper option.

Watch out for the Iiyama GB3461WQSU; it’s a very competitive price for a 34" IPS but earlier production runs have firmware issues (lose signal, green flickering, lines on the screen, half-blank panels) so might need returning until you get one from an updated/fixed run; working examples are very good for the price.

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That’s pretty much what I am looking for!

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Well (to feedback myself) I tried it and didn’t like it, curved screen went back to the shop. For one I didn’t like curved, for two I am spoiled using IPS displays in the past, the curved screens are more expensive for lower screen quality. I really do not recommend the Samsung linked above, very underwhelming quality. Was quite disappointed.

Replaced now with ultrawide IPS display from HP, non curved. Hope it will be better.

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