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I can't afford to tear my hair out over this

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by hogglock, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. hogglock

    hogglock

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    ...because I don't have much left.
    I need a simple straightfoward answer if possible, PLEASE!
    For Christmass, I got an new Dell 2005 FPW monitor, a widescreen, which runs in 1680x1050 native resolution (oddball, I realize)
    I like the monitor.
    I have a Nvidia FX5500 video card running it in analog mode, works fine.
    I want to use the monitor in DVI, won't work.

    After trying many driver updates suggested by the folks here, the thing still wouldn't work in DVI. Emailed Nvidia, finally got an answer.
    Nvidia suppport says that this card will not run 16x10 in DVI, even though it works in analog.

    Although I'm not a gamer, I'm willing to upgrade the card if necessary. I know a 6600GT will drive the monitor in DVI, but in order to use the card, I'll have to upgrade my crummy 250W powersupply that came with the computer. A can of worms for an aging system. The system isn't THAT bad... Athlon 2800+, 1 gig of ram, not overclocked, stable, runs just fine for what I do.

    So I'm thinking, the 16x10 res is reasonably common on laptops...If any of you are running that res in DVI with a laptop using nvidia graphics, could you check and post what driver version you are using?

    Barring that, does anybody KNOW what the least expensive nvidia card I can use to run the thing using the 16x10 res in DVI is, WITHOUT having to upgrade my power supply?

    Again, I'm NOT a gamer.

    If you folks can't help, I guess I'll just have to find my can opener...
    Thanks in advance for any help...
     
  2. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    I have a 1680x1050 (WSXGA+) laptop on an nVidia GeForce FX Go5650 running with v78.11 drivers. Laptop drivers tend to lag far behind the regular drivers, as it's up to the laptop manufacturer to make sure they work. The laptop panel is obviously not connected to a DVI port though. I presume (but cannot confirm) that it's a digital connection to the panel. DAC and ADC hardware would seem excessive.

    I don't know why you'd be having this problem, or why there would be a limit on an FX 5500 card. There's apparently a limit in the DVI spec that keeps resolution down at 1920x1080, but since you aren't trying to exceed that in either dimension, that shouldn't be coming into play.

    But this is NOT the first time.... errr...

    I was gonna link to another thread on this issue, until I noticed that was you too... So what changed?

    Very few makers seem do differentiate between digital and analog resolutions. Since I don't know why the limitation exists, I can't give you any advice other than to say contact the manufacturers.
     

  3. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Ask most former users of NVidia's ghastly FX series of cards about their luck with them and you'll get very few favorable replies--and, most likely, quite a few dirty words, too.

    I had one of the best FX cards available and it was less than a quarter as powerful as my current 6800GT is. The 6800GT cost only $20 more ($300 shipped) two years later...

    Can I ask why using the digital input is so important? Do you do lots of CAM/CAD stuff with schematics?

    If you do, you really should update the graphics card to a GT6800, minimum. The extra $100 over the 6600 is definitely money well spent on futureproofing your machine so you don't spend $300 next year to get what you really needed....

    A faster GPU will help your PC in other ways, too, considering that the PC will use it as a secondary processor during intensive 3D rendering. Makes things go much faster in AutoCAD, let me tell you.

    That FX5500 is not an enthusiast's card by any stretch of the imagination, so if you need more performance an upgrade is called for.

    If not...is analog really that bad?

    One other thing: an OEM power supply will normally be barely adequate for the machine it is installed in. You'd need to get a different case to hold an actual ATX power supply--and if this is a Dell, you need a new MOBO as well, or a PSU adaptor to keep a real unit from destroying their version of a motherboard.

    These days, unless you are upgrading drives, RAM or the OS, you are better off just starting from scratch with a new machine rather than trying to 'frost a dog turd'. Those OEM's are non-upgradeable for a reason.

    And the few that ARE upgradeable cost 3X what they are worth.

    Best regards,

    Eric
     
  4. hogglock

    hogglock

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    Havoc,
    Thanks for your reply. Nothing has changed since that other thread, I tried every suggestion there, plus spent hours poking all over the net trying to find a solution. There was only one post I found where a fella was running the 6600GT, and it worked in DVI.

    Just for laughs, here's and exact quote from evga (in the subject line, all caps "PLEASE READ CAREFULLY")

    " The max digital resolution on that card is 1600x1200. That resolution is not supported by the DVI port on that card."

    That's it.

    It doesen't make any sense to me. Maybe the support tech was on crack?

    First he says max digital resolution is 19x12 (fewer total pixels than 16x10, no?)

    Then he says the digital resolution is not supported by DVI connector.

    I don't know, maybe it would be worthwile to telephone these guys and wait on hold for three weeks, If nothing else, I could let the guy's supervisor know that he has a support tech working there who would be better off working as a politican, sense he seems to be able to speak out of both sides of his mouth at the same time...

    Then again, I could just be supid, because I really don't understand. All I know is I'm really frustrated....Some folks say there is no visual difference between analog and digital, others say its night and day...I'd just like to see for myself, without having to rebuild a box that works well for me in every other respect.
     
  5. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    What I mean by what's changed is, why are you back in the hunt for DVI connectivity? You're still not going to be able to tell the difference onscreen between DVI and VGA. As I said before, it's a decent enough "upgrade" for free, but not really worth spending a dollar on for 99% of the population.
     
  6. hogglock

    hogglock

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    Havoc,
    With all the time you've put in helping me, you certianly deserve an honest answer..

    I want DVI connectivity because I paid for it. The card is advertised as supporting 1900x1200, the monitor supports digital. Why is everything moving to DVI if nobody can see the difference from VGA?

    I read again and again that its better to run an LCD in DVI. I believe you, you seem a very knowledgable person, not some script kiddie, I probably won't be able to tell the difference. I've been putting these boxes together for a long time, I remember when a 500 meg hard drive was huge.

    Got married a few years ago, and got out of building my own boxes, got this thing as more of an "appliance" than anything else.

    But now I'm retired (so not a lot of $$) I'm snowed in, and I WANT MY DVI! (he blubbered as he stomped his childish little foot)

    I really do want to get to the bottom of this nonsensical reply from the support guy. His name's listed as Everardo, maybe thats got something to do with it. Support my A**.

    Again, thanks for your time.
     
  7. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    Fair enough... If you want it, go for it, but there's no need to pull your hair out about it. You may jjst have to chalk it up as one of those things in life that annoy you, but you just can't do **** about.

    Everything is moving to DVI so they can sell you new stuff that costs them less.

    The reason it's theoretically better to run an LCD from digital is bacause it speaks digital natively. As does your video card. To output to the VGA port, the card has to have a RAMDAC (random access memory digital-audio converter); so now you have an analog signal. Now, since the LCD speaks digital and is now getting an analog signal, now it has to have an ADC in the circuit. It's two conversion that, strictly speaking, are totally superfluous, and DACs/ADCs cost money. So long as all the parts are of good quality, normal human vision can't tell the difference.

    In fact, it a lot of cases, digital color rendering accuracy is WORSE than analog.

    Best I can tell, it has some scan line issue that it doesn't like going wider than 1600. H and V are rendered in different steps, and it could the the encoding widget in the card is just incapable of handling higher horizontal resolution than 1600.

    Basically, the $100+ for a card just to get DVI at SXGA+ is wasted. If you're intent on making it happen, take it as sign you need to upgrade and pony op for the real PSU. 250W is pretty weedy. You could try the 6600 and see, I've run an Athlon 2400+, an ATi 9700 Pro and a GeForce FX 5200 from a 225W PSU (albeit a high quality 225W) with no issues before. Plug it in, see if it works, but plan on needing another PSU. It always a good idea to have a spare PSU around anyway...
     
  8. hogglock

    hogglock

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    Thanks guys. I know the 5500 is a turd.

    I just put in a new 7200rpm 120gig seagate, and am using the old 80 gig 5400 for backups (It still seems in good shape) I've actually got a little over 1 1/2 gigs of corsair ram, tests just fine...I want to run Vista eventually, so I've been upgrading a little at a time as the money comes in.

    I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and go for the 6600gt. I can get on for about $130, and a power supply for about $50.

    Fastvfr, I was unaware (as usual) with the possable new case requirement. The present box is an E machines, I thought it was a standard ATX? Is the issue here the physical size of the ATX power supply? If so, I think I've seen some power supplies that are a smaller form factor. Anything wrong with going that route if indeed it's just a physical size issue?

    Even if I have to switch to a different case, I assume (and we all know what that means) that my present mobo will fit in a standard ATX case? By standard I mean one without all the winkie lights and colored water pipes with bubbles in 'em. I don't care about the bling, the thing sits under my desk. Its a TOOL for cryin out loud.

    Any specific recommendations for PSU and case?
     
  9. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    I am running my Dell 2405 in DVI at 1920x1200 from my laptop, no problems at all. It's rock solid and sharp as razor.
     
  10. hogglock

    hogglock

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    Well, I'll be a blue nosed gopher! I just tried my 3,0009th driver, and I finally found one that works! Its a laptop beta.
    WOOHOO!
    I still might go for the 6800gt, though.
    Right now I'm gonna go watch Jack Bauer and his amazing cellphone...
    Thanks again, everybody
     
  11. hogglock

    hogglock

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    A little update.

    I just received an email from Evga support. He politely pointed out that I had misread their original email from tech support. Sure enough, I went back and checked, the original tech had clearly stated that the FX 5500 card would only support up to 1600x1200, NOT 1900x1200. I had misread the email, seeing what I wanted to see.
    My bad, I was an idiot.

    He then went on to emphasize that the max resolution was 1600x1200, and that in VGA only, no DVI. He further stated that there was NO POSSABILITY of my ever getting that card to work beyond 1600x1200 in DVI. The ony way I could get a card from Evga to work was to purchase a new card using PCI express interface. NO Evga AGP card would support the 1680x1050 DVI resolution. So for all intents and purposes, this guy was telling me I had to buy a whole new computer to use my monitor in DVI at 1680x1050. Obviously a crock.

    So it appears that there ARE two different resolution specs, at least for Evga branded cards; one for VGA and one for DVI. of course the only spec they publish is a single spec stating that the card supports resolutions to 1600x1200. Obviously marketing driven, and in my opinion, dishonest, as there are no published specific DVI specs that I could find, ANYWHERE. Nowhere could I find anything published that stated anything other than a single 16x12 spec. So apparently the lower DVI spec is a secret.

    It was sure nice to email the guy back, admitting my mistake, while at the end of my message letting him know that the laptop driver from NVIDIA was working beautifully as I typed my reply in the supposedly IMPOSSIBLE DVI resolution of 1680x1050.

    And I found all the help I needed from you guys right here on Glock Talk. The knowledge, patience, and willingness to help on this board are awesome!

    Sadly, I always thought Evga was a top tier vendor. I can see I'm gonna have to be a little more cautious when I finally break down and invest in a new card...although I made a reading mistake here, I probably won't buy a new card from Evga, unless there's no alternative. New computer indeed.

    I beleive I'm going to break down and get an Nvidia 6800gs AGP. Its been ported over from a PCI express. Gets good reviews, and should last until I DO have to break down and upgrade to a new box in the future.

    My Question is who should I get it from, other than Evga?

    Dave
     
  12. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    PNY and BFG market GS cards. You can get 6800GTs from BFG and Asus. eVGA isn't a top tier company, but they aren't crap. I don't even know who's making all these cards. There's probably only 3 or 4 different manufacturers making cards for everyone.

    Actually, eVGA is one of the few sites I've seen that even mention different resolutions for digital and analog.

    From eVGA's site:

    Resolution & Refresh
    240 Hz Max Refresh Rate
    2048 x 1536 x 32bit x 60 Hz Max Analog
    1600 x 1200 Max Digital

    But seriously... are you sure you wan't to spend $200+ for a card you won't be able to use when you get around to upgrading the whole system? Plus $80ish for a PSU... At least that should be usable in a new machine. That's a lot of cash for a dead end. Especially an eMachine dead end... they aren't known for their longevity...

    As to PSU compatibility, I don't THINK eMachine uses a custom pinout like Dell, but I can't swear to it either way. There's ATX and mATX frame sizes for normal PSUs, I assume that a regular ol PSU will be able to bolt in. Sometimes those little cases aren't deep enough for a regular PSU, but there are some shallow ones out there, too. Whether or not a compact PSU cn be had with real power... errr... honestly never looked.

    The board should (there's a word right up there with assume) fit into a garden variety ATX case.

    If you look to buy a case, and don't care how it looks... buy cheap, without a power supply. If looks don't matter, and you're coordinated enough not to lose a pint of blood to the sharp stamped sheet metal, there's no reason to spend a bunch of money. I've had pretty good luck with Evercase. Not the greatest ever, but inexpensive and not prone to a lot of blood letting. Decent enough layout, well designed drive racks. Kinda tweaky getting the somewhat flimsy door on straight, but if you aren't in it tweaking around every other day, it shouldn't be an issue.

    For PSUs I highly reccomend one with a big ol' 120mm fan on the inside surface of the case over the usual 80mm on the back. SOOOO much quieter. Something from Antec, Vantec, Enermax or Zalman should do.
     
  13. hogglock

    hogglock

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    You've got a point about the dead end. AGP is already history. What got my brain going in this direction was that my neighbor lost his PSU, and took out some expensive bits in the box in the process. I've become aware that probably the weakest part of an Emachines box is the PSU. So I thought if I'm gonna do the PSU, why not the GFX card also?

    In reality, the voice of reason is gonna win out, I think. Best move is for me to take my time, pick out a decent case and PSU, transfer my present guts and call it good.

    Then I'll take my time, research mobos, and this whiz-bang dual core processor thing, and aquire stuff one at a time, until I've got enough to build a box the proper way.

    From my viewpoint, none of this should be necessary. This constant bigger/faster upgrade thing I mean. I blame it on the software developers...constant ever expanding bloatware. Unfortunately, I've been spoiled rotten by plug n play windows.

    I've got an old dead box in the corner of my office. What I ought to do is get it running again, and learn myself some Linux. I'm gettin tired of running a hardware firewall, a software firewall, 2-3 species of anti spyware, and AV just so I can not worry too much about my wife running amok on the net.
    Know anything about Linux? Is it possable for an old coot to pick it up in a reasonable length of time?
     
  14. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    It depends on the age of the E-machine.The early E-machines used unique pin-outs and plugs.The later E-machines use standard ATX plugs.The early E-machines had a bunch of power supply problems and really thin wires coming out of the power supply.E-machines did switch to standard ATX power supplies before Gateway bought E-machines.Their quality control even inproved quite a bit.Gateway now owns E-machines and they both share a lot of production.
     
  15. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    So which driver ended up working?

    Looks like 81.97 beta by Dell and Asus has the 82.04 for notebooks.There is also now the 82.65.
     
  16. hogglock

    hogglock

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    I think its a pretty decent box for an Emachine. First International Computer AU31 mobo. Mobo specs inticate what appears to be a standard 20 pin connector to PSU. Its an Emachines C2684.

    Washington DC, you were the one that suggested 82.04, and that was the winner. Tried it first without using Driver Clean, wouldn't work. Downloaded driver clean, followed thier instructions to the letter, and bingo. Great little program. Ya saved me a lot of money and hair, Thanks!

    I'm looking at getting a Dynex ATX case and 500W power supply, model DX 500cc, from best buy for $114. Mostly because I've gotta drive down the mountain today and there's a best buy near where I'm going. Doesen't seem like too bad a deal to me. I checked out the power supply, and it alone goes for $60.
    If I order something online, by the time I have it shipped, lots of times shipping eats any savings.

    Do ya think that case and PSU are workable?
     
  17. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    I haven't used the Dynex parts but I have heard good things about some of their power supplies.That E-machine looks like a fairly fast one.Support page here


    http://usfr.emachines.com/support/previous.html


    * Microsoft® Windows® XP Home
    * AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+ Processor (2.133 GHz) with QuantiSpeed™ architecture
    * NVIDIA® nForce™2 Chipset
    * 7.25"w x 14.125"h x 16"d
    * 80 GB HDD
    * AOL 3 month membership included, click here for details
    * 256 MB DDR (PC 2700)
    * 56K* ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem
    * 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
    * 48x Max. CD-RW Drive; 16x Max. DVD Drive; 3.5" 1.44MB FDD
    * Premium Plus Multimedia Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse, Amplified Stereo Speakers
    * Microsoft Works 6.0, Microsoft Money 2003, Encarta Online, Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, Power DVD, Microsoft Media Player, Real Player, Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, MSN, CompuServe, AOL 3-Month Membership Included, Norton AntiVirus 2003 (90 days complimentary subscription)
    * nForce™ 6-channel Audio
    * NVIDIA® GeForce4™ MX graphics (1 AGP 8x slot available)
    * 5 USB 2.0 ports (4 in back; 1 in front), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel, 2 PS/2, Audio-In & Out

    Oops that's Canadian here's the US support

    http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html?cat=Desktops&subcat=C-Series&model=C2684



    CPU: AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+ Processor (2.133GHz) with QuantiSpeed™ architecture
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition
    Chipset: NVIDIA® nForce™2 chipset
    Memory: 256MB DDR (PC 2700)
    Hard Drive: 80GB HDD
    Optical Drive: 48x Max. CD-RW Drive; 16x Max. DVD Drive; 3.5" 1.44MB FDD
    Video: NVIDIA® GeForce4™ MX graphics (1 AGP 8x slot available)
    Sound: nForce™ 6-channel Audio
    Network: 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
    Modem: 56K ITU v.92-ready Fax/Modem
    Peripherals: Premium Plus Multimedia Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse, Amplified Stereo Speakers
    Ports/Other: 5 USB 2.0 ports (4 in back; 1 in front), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel, 2 PS/2, Audio-In & Out
    Dimensions: 7.25"W x 14.125"H x 16"D
     
  18. hogglock

    hogglock

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    The Emachine's not a bad little box, especially considering what I paid for it. The ram upgrade and new HD should keep me going until Vista settles out and dual processor prices calm down...don't do much gaming, but I am into image processing so those will be welcome upgrades once prices have dropped from insanity levels.

    Picked up the Dynex case w/500w PSU. Heavy little sucker, which I guess is what you want. Case is nicer than I was expecting. PSU has two fans, the exhaust being rehostat controlled from the rear. It has a swing open door in the front, with a metal mesh pannel, lockable, (nice for when the grandkids are around) which conceals all external drive bays, two usb 2.0 ports, and what looks like a knockout for firewire (which I have), looks like the power led and hdd led will be visable through the mesh. Case comes with a preinstalled case fan. Has a plexiglass side pannel, so I can see how much dog hair is inside without having to open the case. All said seems like an ok deal for $114, not a whole lot more than a PSU alone, by the time it was shipped. Turned out the Emachines 250w was pretty small, physically, so I'd really had to have searched to find one with more wattage that would fit in the original case anyway.

    It's gotta be an improvement over the Emachines case. That case was considerably smaller, and has the air intake on the bottom, in front, and as the thing sits on the floor under my desk, it would suck in dog hair by the pound, no matter how often we vacuumed in here. It also had no case fan, I know it ran hotter than necessary in the summer.

    It'll be interesting to see if I can switch the cd and dvd drives to the new case, as the fronts of them have plastic pieces which presently match the Emachines case. Worst case, I'll just buy new ones.

    I'm gonna get the screwdriver out tomorrow and tear into it, wish me luck.
     
  19. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    I'm not sure what the plastic pieces are on the E-machine drives but normally they are just trim pieces and when removed leave you with a standard CD/DVD drive.Let me know if you want to give Linux a try.Good luck.
     
  20. powasky

    powasky

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    If you're going to start upgrading, don't buy your stuff from Best Buy. Web sites such as newegg have crazy insane low prices on computer parts and whatnot.


    I just finished building a computer, with all the parts from newegg. There's no doubt in my mind that if I had gone to a retail store for the parts, I would've ended up spending 500+ more bucks for the same stuff.