Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please refer to the product documentation or check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

21:9 Monitor Good Idea?


I am running KE9NS on a Lenovo 530 laptop, it works, but I am wanting more screen real estate,

In looking at monitors, I ran across 21:9 monitors. The thinking is to use a 21:9 monitor for primary logging display and PowerSDR. I use ACLog for general purpose and N1MM for contests.

Is this a worthwhile method, or would I be better served with a pair of 16:9 displays?



  • Dudley  WA5QPZ
    Dudley WA5QPZ Member ✭✭✭


    Do you have the video ports to drive two monitors? Depending on your video setting you may get two normal screens on the single wide (most likely a curved screen? ) screen. Most laptops now adays have one video port , vga, digital or display port (basically a FireWire port) , now on my Lenovo T450, with the docking station , I have digital, VGA , and still have the display port on the side of the laptop itself.. Something else to consider is the processor speed, as the GPU, (Graphics Processing Unit ) is built into the Intel CPU , will take more CPU clocks to display more video over your screens.. You may run out of CPU power to run all the video and applications too, SmartSDR, N1MM, CW skimmer, to name a few..

    Just some things to consider..

    Dudley, WA5QPZ

  • Jim K
    Jim K Member
    Fortunately, my 530 has an i7 and two display ports on the docking station.

    I will do a little borrowing before buying.

    Jim KF9VV
  • Does SmartSDR V1 run and look OK on a 21:9 monitor?
  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don Member ✭✭✭

    Hi Jon... it really depends also on what your 21:9 monitor is actually doing. i.e. What is the display resolution of the screen? (i.e. is it simply extending the normal HD or UHD over a wider physical space) or is it actually providing pixels of horizontal resolution?

    I don't believe there is any difference in display capability between the various versions of SmartSDR -- only radio-specific features. (i.e. it's not that SmartSDR v1 is necessarily 'old', it just has less features than v2 and v3)

    I'm running SmartSDR (Windows) on two screens -- one is a 4K and the other is a 1920 x 1080. It works just fine on both, properly scaling depending upon the resolution. The main reason I went to 4k was to maximize the amount of radio spectrum shown!

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭

    My response to the original question from @Jim K is to choose one (21:9) or two (16:9) based on what works for you, from a holistic perspective. These days, I'm preferring larger, single monitors, whereas in the past I've has as many as 6 (back in the 19" = Large days!).

    Now, when Jon and Don talk about scaling, maximizing SmartSDR and how well that works... I think differently :-) And it sounds like you also have multiple windows open, so your PowerSDR / SmartSDR won't completely fill the screen. For me, I only give SmartSDR about 1/4 of my 4k 30" screen, allowing enough space for my logging, for FLDigi, FRStack, network-stats, etc. And even then, I use a couple of virtual desktops, so I can also use a browser, LatencyMON or other diagnostics, etc. In contrast to Don's love of Spectrum, I only need to see a modest range (perhaps 50kHz) around my usual "watering holes", and about 1/2 the time the displayed spectrum is secondary to my actual operating (simple listening, and Spots that interest me form the other 1/2).

    So this is a long-winded way to say: choose what you like and will work for you and your space. Since you'll be placing multiple windows on the desktop, the unusual aspect-ratio won't matter. Personally, I would choose a "standard" aspect-ratio, make sure the pixels are square (not stretched/rectangular), and then enjoy!

    Good luck! It is a nice problem to have :-)

  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2023

    Hi Gord... actually, on my 4k monitor, SmartSDR only takes the top 1/2 of the screen :-) The bottom half is for Log4OM and the OTHER screen is where I do QRZ, POTA, etc. lookups -- so a very similar concept to you!

    Lots of options for Jon to consider, based on the modes he is using....

  • Geoff AB6BT
    Geoff AB6BT Member ✭✭✭

    This may be helpful:

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.