I am thinking to buy 4k monitor for programming. A lot of windows have to be opened and full hd monitor is not enough But I am in doubts whether 4k monitor with 24'' diagonal is good a solution. Are pixels too small or not? May be someone have experience with using 4k for developing with Intellij Idea? It would be especially greate if somebody post several screenshots with several areas opens together like code editor, version control, project structure, build tool (maven for example) and database console for example.
My personal approach to organising my desktop tools when developing is completely different to what you describe here. I find that you can really only concentrate effectively on one thing at a time so I deliberately have only one thing at a time on my screen. If I'm writing code then it's IntelliJ full screen, terminal work then terminal full screen, db stuff then SQL Developer full screen, email then email client full screen. With just a single thing on the screen at once the size of the screen becomes largely irrelevant. At work I develop on a 15" laptop, personal projects an 11" laptop. I'm perfectly effective on both.
But you might say "how can you see all the code on an 11" screen?". If the complaint is that you need a 24" high resolution monitor to fit all the related code onto a single screen then I propose that's a code smell which stinks like you've got too much code doing too much work all intertwined. A well structured program is made up of lots of small self contained pieces, one of which can easily fit into my 11" display.
This isn't exactly what you asked, but I propose you're asking the wrong question. Instead of asking "What bigger screen would be good for development?, why not ask "How can I be more productive with the screen size and hardware that I have?".
A little more on topic. I've seen a colleague using a 4k monitor and the text size is ridiculously small although the colleague in question seems to quite like it. My optician tells me I have near 20/20 vision but I think I'd struggle with everything being so small.
You and I Bear are a good example of 'it depends'. It depends on what type of development you're doing.
Bear is a UI Developer who I imagine spends a good deal of his time working with page layouts, graphics, and all that other artsy stuff for which I can see multiple large good resolution screens would be pretty useful.
I on the other hand work on an application with no UI element to it at all for which a glorified text editor, like IntelliJ, is where I spend the majority of my time. No need for fancy shmancy screens for me.
Tim Cooke wrote:Bear is a UI Developer who I imagine spends a good deal of his time working with page layouts, graphics, and all that other artsy stuff for which I can see multiple large good resolution screens would be pretty useful.
Yup, one screen holds the browser with the running application, one screen the code, one screen the server log, and one screen documentation and other references.
Bear Bibeault wrote:an iPad running a program that lets it act like a 4th screen
I have never realised that's possible. Right after you said that, I ordered a stand for it, and here it is, today arrived and all set. When I bought a second screen, I thought it was my best decision to get one, now I'm sure I'll love ipad's extra space too.
Nikita Sheremet wrote:Are pixels too small or not? May be someone have experience with using 4k for developing with Intellij Idea?
That middle screen is 27" 4K (edit: removed, bad quality). The main reason I bought that, is because MacBook Pro has Retina screen, that means non 4K monitors are too weak for it to use as an external monitor, because problems arise with fonts rendering, hence everything looks fuzzy (at least it was for me, I've create post about that some time ago in OS X forum, go and search).
How 4K would behave on Windows system and some good graphic card I don't know. I don't have knowledge on that. What I do have is experience at work with few Full HD 24" screens and along with Windows 10, don't know, but the quality is far worse - and I don't know if the problem is with PC/graphic card or monitors or Windows - maybe it just what full-hd offers.
Now what's regarding 4K and MacBook with Retina in particular, supported native non-scaled resolutions (1920x1080 which is full-hd and 3840x2160) aren't enough if you want to get all best out of it, because best quality you get is on pixels doubling on particular native resolution (1920x1080) and if you'd want a bit more optimum case, you'd need 5K monitor with one of lower natives of 2560x1600 for that (I was researching quite a lot about that, and this was the conclusion I came up with).
If you'd look to image (edit: removed, bad quality), you'd see that from the start of code till the vertical line, there are 120 characters limit set, so you can get an idea how much space it takes.
If I use max resolution (3840x2160) on current 4K, it is quite hard to read, still very very sharp, but because everything is so so tiny, so I'm not using it on max, but rather lower native, which doubles pixels and makes look everything very sharp (near Reatina screen quality).
After all, if your goal is space - probably is better to get 2 x 24" 4K, rather than 1 x 27" 5K or even 29". Check prices. When I looked a year ago, 5K monitors were way more expensive than 4K. If you'd compare 4K 24" or 27" there is no much difference.