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Who would ever use 1680x1050 resolution on a monitor and what would they use it for?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by NRA_guy, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Unreconstructed

    Jun 20, 2004
    Mississippi, CSA
    What am I missing?

    I just replaced an old 20-inch CRT monitor with a wide screen 20-inch Dell flat screen monitor.

    I have been running a Nvidia GEforce MX400 video board for a few years and it works just fine.

    With the old CRT monitor I had set the resolution to 800x600 and it looked good, and I could read words just fine, but I sometimes had to drag the bottom scroll button to see the right side of screens.

    The new Dell says that I should set the resolution to 1680x1050 for optimum viewing and I can. But the image is so small I cannot read things. The whole Windows desktop only fills about 1/4 of the desktop screen at 1680x1050.

    None of the other resolutions fill the screen and look good, either.

    Here is the weird thing: the old CRT monitor had the capability to zoom the screen up and down (change width and height) to fill the screen with an image independent of the resolution.

    But this new gee-whiz flat screen does not have any setting (other than resolution) for adjusting the screen image size. It has brightness and contrast, and horizontal position but not size.

    So, I seem to have a choice:

    a. I can use 1680x1050 and get round circles and square squares, but can't see anything, or

    b. I can use 800x600 and get things I can see but the circles are ovals and the squares are rectangles.

    I must be missing something.

    Anybody got an idea what I'm missing?
  2. LCD monitors display best at their native (highest) resolution. I prefer CRT monitors and for an LCD I wouldn't get a super high resolution one. There may be some adjustments you can make to make things large enough to read but less than the highest resolution will usually have some distortion. Maybe a setting somewhere in between will be enough to read without too much distortion. There may be other settings but I haven't fooled with them enough to know.

  3. RandomBrownGuy

    RandomBrownGuy Gun n00b

    Jun 12, 2008
    Winter Springs, FL
    I have a 22" LCD and run it at 1680x1050 resolution and it's just fine. My desktop fills up the screen and I can read everything no problem. :dunno:

    If I lower the resolution on my screen the desktop still fills the screen, just changes the size of everything.
  4. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan
    What model number is the monitor? Oh, and my desktop is 8320x1600. :) No, that's not a typo.
  5. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    I love my Samsung SyncMaster 226BW.
  6. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    NE Arkansas
    May be time to upgrade the video card. It may not handle the higher resolution. The monitor looks it's best at the native res. and in your case that would be 1680X1050.
  7. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Unreconstructed

    Jun 20, 2004
    Mississippi, CSA
    My monitor is a Dell E207WFP. I have the latest drivers (downloaded) and am running Windows 2000 (with the latest updates that are still available).

    The specs on my Nvidia GEforce400 card say:

    But after I install the Dell monitor software, I get 1680x1050 as a choice. It just looks terrible---icons on the desktop are about the size of a pencil eraser at that resolution and the words are on a font so small you cannot read them.
  8. TACHop&Pop


    Jan 24, 2007
    When you goto higher resolutions fonts and icons usually don't scale up, so you end up with itty bitty icons and text. An easy fix is to just make the icons handicapp sized and adjust your fonts DPI. While one on lower resolutions this would make everything look enormous on the higher resolutions they look just about right. I run my Laptops 17inch LCD at about 1920x1200 which is its max resolution, just so you guys don't think I'm crazy.
  9. Some of the older Gforce cards shouldn't use the latest drivers, despite what Nvidia says. Go to Nvidia's website and download the "archived" drivers series 4x.xx. I don't think the MX400 cards like the 5x.xx and newer drivers.
  10. Hauptmann6


    May 22, 2002
    Portage, MI
    It's time to upgrade your video card. I had the same card, in 2000. It can push that resolution, but it won't do it well. You can pick up a newer card for under 100 at that will do what you need to other than run newer games.
  11. The Geforce mx 400 isn't quite that old but it is a few years old. Nvidia says the newest driver it can use is 93.71. The driver update from Windows update is a 5x.xx series driver that causes many problem with this card. the newest driver I've found that works best is 45.23 but it may not offer all resolutions and 44.03 or 43.45 may offer higher resolution and more resolution choices. Try each one to see what works best. DO NOT USE THE 5x.xx series drivers !! Even if prompted by Windows update.




  12. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
    Right click on the desktop for properties, settings, advanced and then set your DPI settings to large fonts.
  13. Spoke with a friend that has that exact video card and a similar LCD monitor. He tried all of the drivers and thinks he ended up with latest 4x.xx series which would be the 45.23. The others didn't give him as many options and the newer ones didn't work well.
  14. Orkinman


    Jan 10, 2008
    Northern VA
    NRA Guy, your running into a problem called Interpolation. CRT screens are able to change their resolution using all the hardware in the back of the monitor and project a different number of pixels on the screen. LCDs however have an exact unchanging number of pixels. Your new Dell widescreen has 1,764,000 pixels. When you want to display a lower resolution on an LCD, the video hardware has to do some math and stretch some pixels. For instance, if you had 4 pixels in a row and now you want to put a lower resolution in that same space, it has to make 3 pixels fit in the space for 4. So one pixel is stretched across two. This leaves you with odd looking resolutions. The only resolution that's going to look perfect is the native one.

    You have several choices.
    A) sdsnet already mentioned this one, increase the DPI setting from 96(Normal) to 120(Large). Everything will look bigger and it might make the difference for you. This setting is found under Display Properties>>Settings>>Advanced. It should be the first screen when you hit the advanced button.
    B) You can choose what I like to call a harmonic resolution. Of all the resolutions your video card can render there are a few that are almost exactly the same aspect ratio as the native resolution. Choosing one of these reduces interpolation. For instance, if you had a screen with 1920x1200 native resolution, 1680x1050 would be a harmonic resolution. I believe, 1400x900 is a lower harmonic of your current monitor. Try that resolution and see if it improves. It may not have this resolution by default and you may have to go into the advanced settings and define a custom resolution.
    C) Buy a new LCD monitor. Take this one back and pick up a new one. You can either pick up a non-wide screen monitor with a lower native resolution (These are getting harder and harder to find) Or pickup a larger monitor with the same native resolution. I'm currently using a 22" Dell with the same resolution as yours. But that extra 2" makes the same resolution seem bigger.

    I'm all for updating video drivers and buying new video cards, but that's probably not going to solve your problem here.
  15. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Unreconstructed

    Jun 20, 2004
    Mississippi, CSA
    Thanks all for the feedback! It's more than I hoped for.

    I will give those adjustments and settings and other cheap things a try, but I have pretty much concluded that I bought the wrong type of monitor. Should have avoided the "wide screen" type.

    But wide screen was the only type monitor my local Walmart store had on the shelf. I thought everything was going to that, but I have since been told that is not the case. Apparently wide screen monitors are primarily intended for folks who watch movies on their PC??? I never do.

    And as Orkinman advised, I will most likely just take this wide screen back and get one that is more nearly square.

    Thanks again folks. You're great!