For a long time I came up with a convenient, multi-monitor workstation. In life, you have to solve problems, programming related, testing, virtual machines and processing of rarely changed dynamic information.
After the allocation of a separate apartment for a laboratory, decided to build a 10-monitor desktop, where all monitors are connected to one system unit and organize one single workspace.
Bought in different places:
1) Plain spacious office desk;
2) Case for the system unit (need a big and quiet, under a large number of hard);
3) Modern components: motherboard under 2011 socket, with the support 64 GB of RAM (4-x channel mode) and with the ability to connect up to 12 hard drives, video cards, with the ability to connect up to 4 monitors to each (in total, without risers, three modern video cards fit into one system unit). Video cards must be passively cooled, silent power supply, modern processor, etc..
4) Monitors (Total 10 things): in the middle - 2 monitor size 27 inches, lower (main workspace) high resolution and top, which will act as a control panel, directory listing, auxiliary working environment in graphical and video editors;
5) UPS (2 pieces) - one for the system unit and the second for monitors;
6) Wooden beam, to create a table frame, roof board, lighting, fasteners, wires and stuff.
1. Preparing the table
At first there was an idea to fix the side monitors on brackets for two monitors, which are attached to the edge of the table. The inconvenience was revealed in the form of the difficulty of orienting the monitors in space and the system was responsive to any movements:
Therefore, I had to abandon this idea and make a bracket for each monitor separately.. Bars are used to attach each bracket, which, when assembled, form a frame above the table. The use of wood made it possible to build the frame in a very short time.. Mounts to the table are carried out with bolted connections, which will ensure the possibility of disassembly at the next move:
I decided to use Kromax brackets as the main brackets., model Techno-1. I find them to be excellent universal brackets., and at a very affordable cost:
After marking the holes for the brackets and final fitting, wood treated with wood stain, which made it possible to protect and create a shade suitable for the table:
Sawed the lid out of a furniture board. Subsequently, I attached a lamp to the lid.
2. Assembling the structure
After completing all the preparatory activities, we proceed to hanging the monitors in their places.:
For a neat cable management, we screw the cable channel to the inner back of the table cover. Construction hooks are great - they fit cables perfectly, and for secure fixation we tighten with plastic ties.
For a comfortable and productive work, you need powerful iron. The original idea was about 12 monitors, two panels on 42 in. was going to hang on the side walls, but for the money and so already went beyond 150 т.р., therefore, we will wait until autumn with the latter.
For the reason that, that the system will be located in one system unit, then the use of standard video cards, whose output to three monitors was not acceptable for me. I didn't want to "collective farm" with risers, and the two-row system unit resembled my crypto farms from a distant 2011 of the year:
There were models of video cards from ATI with the ability to connect to 6 monitors simultaneously, but special adapters were required, to connect so many auxiliary monitors, equipped with DVI and VGA connectors.
The situation was saved by Nvidia Gt640 video cards, who have immediately 4 ports for connecting monitors. The scheme is as follows: "Powerful" 27 "monitors are connected via HDMI, the rest via DVI and VGA. Thus, it becomes possible to connect to 12 monitors to one system unit without alterations! On top of that, they are passively cooled!
So I had to take the spacious Corsair Obsidian Black case 900. This, without exaggeration a monster, easily accommodates not only video cards, but also 9 hard drives + remains 3 free slots in 5.25 "bays, in which you can install a sled with hard drives. Total in the case can fit 12 hard drives. Also, a huge plus is the ability to install two power supplies and ready-made places for planting an SVO radiator (everything is in stock, I will install in autumn).
Accordingly, the case needs a productive motherboard with the ability to connect 12 hard drives. Why 12? I have to keep several virtual machines constantly running (from 4th to 10th), and better, when on each of its dedicated ssd disk, for the other two - the system and high-speed file storage for video processing. Raid array for storing files and backup copies of virtual machines is located on a separate server. So, motherboard ASUS X79-Deluxe for 2011 socket.
So as not to be boring, accelerating: Corsair TX850M power supply, the peculiarity of which is, that while the load is low - the cooling fan is not used, which provides complete silence. Further, ssd Samsung 256 Gb for the system, BlueRay drive and 4 pairs of ram, total volume 64 GB - expanse for virtual machines.
Now let's move on to the issue of uninterruptible power supply.: we separate flies from cutlets and connect monitors to one UPS, and the system unit to another. This separation will reduce the load and increase the battery life..
Also, comfortable mouse - Logitech G600, Convenient to record your most frequent action sequences and Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350.
4. Operating system
First I wanted to install a Linux system, but a number of tasks did not even allow the use of virtual machines, so the scales tilted towards Windows. When comparing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 a few little things came to light, which make work easier. So, eg, in the eight, the system for working with the multi-monitor system has been improved, namely, each desktop is now equipped with its own individual add-on and has a common panel. In the seven, I had to move the mouse to the main monitor window and make a choice there.
But a flaw came to light, with which I have not yet dealt with much: in both systems, the sequence of windows is completely lost, if you use "Alt" + "Tab"! Fortunately, the number of working screens allows you to place most of the open working windows on your own monitor, but at first I caught myself for automatic window switching.
At first there were worries about excessive eye strain, as well as the inconvenience of being surrounded by so many monitors. Two weeks have passed since the launch and now I can formulate my feelings: extremely convenient, but there is a limitation of human perception (although, possibly, not fully adapted yet). The essence is as follows: when posting so many windows, when mentally switching between tasks, for a while you think about, where lately you left the necessary window. At first, I had to click on the icons of running applications several times, but where they appeared - did not reach immediately. I plan to win by clearly assigning a specific task to each monitor: main bottom - work area, top file managers, three, shortcuts and directories. Side left are reserved for graphical viewing (Acdsee) and information source tab (browser, document). Side right under general information tabs (reference books). Also nearby side monitors are used for virtual machines. It would be nice to use the stereo effect - display an audio notification of an application in that speaker, in the side of which the application is located, which, thanks to hearing, will speed up the process of determining the party, in which you need to turn. I think, that clearly spaced signals in the system 5.1 (or 7.1) will contribute to an even more accurate determination of the source - this is the task for the laboratory for the fall!
Far side monitors are only suitable for infrequently changing information. Multiple skype windows are great here, mail program, Task Manager, information sensors of the system and signaling devices for automatic tracking of changes on sites. On 11 and 12 monitors were planned to start displaying TV / media content and displaying video from surveillance cameras for the staircase and car parking.
Generally, I managed to organize such a workplace for a vacation. It is still necessary to finish the side shelves for the printer., scanner. Also, made a table for photo and video reviews using a similar frame scheme, where the main role is given to lighting and a bracket for attaching a camera and a camera. So far I like everything, I plan to collect a second similar place for an assistant in half a year (there is a need to process an increasing flow of information), so I will be happy to hear criticism / suggestions!
Original post of habrahabr.ru