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Workstation Desk Setup

phaedarus
polycounter lvl 9
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phaedarus polycounter lvl 9
Due to recent gear acquisition, I am now at a deficit where table space is concerned for my PC game dev workstation.

Specifically, I have two PCs, two 32 inch monitors, a 24 inch Cintiq tablet, an iPad and iPhone stand, a Razor Tartarus, a backup tape drive, and other standard peripherals such as an extended keyboard, headphones and mouse.

As of now the two monitors barely fit side by side but I am most concerned about having easy access to both the mouse/keyboard and the Cintiq tablet at the same time. Right now I have to swap them if I want to use either and the Wacom stand is heavy AF.

I have looked at various tables specific for gaming but am unsure if they are the best option for workstation use. I may need something like a table with a corner unit.

What table setups are you all using? What would be your dream setup?

Thanks.

Replies

  • sacboi
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    sacboi quad damage
    May find inspiration / additional info, how other people configure their personal workspace:

    p.s.
    My setup is cramped and normally looks like a tip so the *dream* is a portable solution in the foreseeable future.
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    The best desk I ever used: two IKEA trestles and one 250cm x 80cm raw wood counter on top. Super cheap (50$), extremely stable (can take theoretically 100kg). Version 2 is replacing one trestle with the ALEX shelf unit which has the same height.

    Not my pic:
  • phaedarus
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    phaedarus polycounter lvl 9
    That looks like a great table. I will certainly give that a look. Thanks.
  • Darth_Grogu
    Get something akin to a basic rectangular dining table. You should be able to support both monitors side by side. Mount the Cintiq on a VESA swing arm so that it can go under, to the side, or floating at some other comfort point. Avoid L-shaped tables or workstations. They're great to use, but terrible to move or relocate elsewhere since they're generally built on-site. As for the PCs, if you've got a strong enough table, mount some cages so that they can hang underneath the desk - provided that you want them off of the floor.

    I'd be wary of that IKEA table. It looks great. Don't get me wrong. It's just that it's not built to handle a centralize load. There's no crossbar support between legs. That center is a weak spot since the wood strut is easier to compromise. I haven't had this specific table, but I've had similar conference room sized tables that have failed for that exact reason. The strut weakens or warps and the center suddenly dips. They're good if you keep a 50kg-75kg weight on top of them, but usually don't perform as rated. 200kg?  Yes.... Maybe... As a distributed load across the entirety. Centralized? I wouldn't risk it.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp ngon master
    Those trestles as pictured above are annoying in daily use IMO. They may be sturdy but get in the way of the (my) legs all the time. I'd go with an L-shaped desk personally. Rounded corner, single piece. Sturdy and perfect to lean into and you have two machines accessible with just a little swivel of the office chair.

    And yes, these can be a problem to move. Got a really nice one for next to nothing from a coworker because it simply did not fit into his new house.


  • jordank95
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    jordank95 polycounter lvl 5
    Whatever desk you decide on, consider getting a standing/sitting desk conversion kit. I have one from Autonomous that I won't ever live without. I bought the DIY Kit from here: https://www.autonomous.ai/standing-desks

    Allows you to sit/stand whenever needed by push of a button. I just mounted a nice big Ikea desk top to it and it works great.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    @Zack Maxwell
     I gotta admit, the look of this is just badass.


  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    @Zack Maxwell
    Wait, what's the iPad for then?
  • sacboi
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    sacboi quad damage
    I see an opportunity to show off.

    Arm mounts clear up any desk space concerns.
    Indeed :)

    (blue light filter? just thinking of your eyes)
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    Mine at the moment. Maxed out screen space already with my one GPU.

    Hoping the Thunderbolt expansion card I'm getting allows for my Rift to be perpetually connected.

    +1 to computer arms.  I've got Amazon ones, and they're working.  The price differential isn't a sign of bad build quality this far in.

    My approach was mostly to maximize flexible desk space, so I use either side for papers/books/etc.  Left side usually holds my food/drinks.  I have items like those scissors, calculator, and the like stuffed underneath the Cintiq, behind the Cintiq, etc.  

  • Zack Maxwell
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    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    @Zack Maxwell
    Wait, what's the iPad for then?
    Sometimes I use it to browse Pinterest for inspiration, but I mostly use it to play music or use social media.
    Also, the Amazon Basics arms are the ones I use as well. I've owned the name-brand arm they're copied from, and there really is no difference in quality, while the Amazon ones cost significantly less.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Yo dawg I heard you like monitors...

    Are they all hooked up to one PC? Multiple GPUs maybe?
  • Zack Maxwell
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    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    Yo dawg I heard you like monitors...

    Are they all hooked up to one PC? Multiple GPUs maybe?
    Mine? All except for the upper left monitor are hooked into my PC, with a single GPU. The upper left one is hooked up to both my Mac Mini, which is mounted to the arm just behind the iPad, and my Switch. I use it to handle OBS and upload my stream, so that the burden is taken off my PC which I'm actually working on. Otherwise CPU intense processes like baking would cause the stream to drop.
    I originally got it to upload iOS apps, since you need a Mac for that. But I no longer work on iOS stuff. Or at least I haven't in years.
    The Cintiq also just mirrors the bottom right screen. I tried giving it it's own display, but it wrecks everything every time it gets powered off like that, because the GPU completely loses connection to it.
    I usually play videos on the bottom left monitor, and display my PureRef reference sheets on the upper right monitor.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    A surprising amount of decentralized and unextended connections.
  • Zack Maxwell
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    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    A surprising amount of decentralized and unextended connections.
    Are you talking about how the Mac is on the opposite side from the PC at the end of an arm mount? That's just a relic from when I originally only had 3 displays, and used the iPad as the display for the Mac by using Duet. Having it mounted directly behind the iPad made it convenient for connecting them.
    The connection is still convenient now, because I can feed the display from the iPad into OBS when streaming from the Mac. A useful way to show off whatever reference I might be working from. Also I think USB is supposed to share power and data more effectively the shorter it is, and the cable connecting them this way is like 4 inches.
  • Justo
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    Justo interpolator
    I think I'm in the minority, but I'm hard against setups like that. Too many screens and strain for the eyes, and no space to rest the elbow for moving the mouse or typing with both hands. I'm sure you set it up this way because you enjoy it, and that's great! Just voicing a contrarian opinion.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter
    I only have 1 monitor, suits me fine. I actually have  spare one but don't really use them .I like my reference right next to my line of sight
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    I've stopped using my second monitor as well. I don't like having to dart my eyes around like a monkey in the jungle. If I am working from reference I try to get it right inside the app I am using. Everything I am doing towards workspace ergonomics mostly consist of eliminating reaching with hands and eyes. Keep everything to one central location - reduce fine motor control and replace with quick gestures or hotkeys that don't require moving the hand. I have a big desk that is mostly empty except for moldy or soon to be moldy food.

    In the future people will make art with their minds and fuss about having to access the frontal lobe too often.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter
    yeah I have my ref either in blender or in zbrush with spotlight whilst sculpting. image is right next to the head.
    so much more convenient
  • Eric Chadwick
    I have four screens, but actively use three, shuffling things around all the time.

    Especially helpful during Zoom calls, participants grid on one, presentation on another, browser/etc. on a third.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycount lvl 666
    I got pissed off with the amount of space my work gear was taking up at home so I've sent the extra 28"4k screen back and got a desktop replacement type laptop to replace the workstation .  There was a couple of weeks before xmas where I had 5 functional PCs and 4 monitors in the room which is a bit much for even the most artdent technophile

    Mid work day so it's a mess but it's honest



    * just realised - theres 26 physical cores and 52 threads on the desk.  times have changed...
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