Help with widescreen monitor decision

By JohnK93
Jun 27, 2006
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  1. Hello,
    I believe I'm in need of a new monitor...my current 17" CRT is pretty much useless. I'm not sure how to describe the problem, but the text upon startup is a mess, displaying what seems to be random numbers and symbols. It often is misaligned and rotated as well, and sometimes goes black then comes back a few times. It's been doing this intermittantly for a few weeks, but usually works after I restart the computer a few times...however, yesterday it wouldn't display correctly at all. The monitor is over 7 years old, and the rest of the PC is new, so it looks like I need a new monitor.

    I'm thinking about getting a 20.1" widescreen. I'd like to have a little more desktop real estate, especially for editing videos with premiere and pics with photoshop. I also play some games...HL2, Quake4, civ IV, and oblivion.

    My GPU is an EVGA 7800GT (N516), which supports 1600x1024 and 1600x1200. The monitors I'm looking at:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824014105
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824116381
    have a native resolution of 1680x1050. (I will use the DVI input)

    Will these monitors work well with the graphics card? How will the display look, given the difference in resolutions? What will happen to applications that are not programmed for widescreen....will they be horribly stretched or can I just view them in 4:3 apsect? Reviews for both monitors are good, but I have no experience with widescreen, so any additional feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    John
  2. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    I'd suggest firsthand to check and eliminate that you dont have a video or pc problem.. its no use if its a new monitor and you cant use it if you know what i mean. Easiest way to test is to plug in another monitor, any monitor that you know works..

    the 7800gt should be able to handle any monitor, as long as you leave it on its recomended resolution for the monitor, and have correct drivers if any needed...
  3. JohnK93

    JohnK93 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for the suggesting...I would try another monitor, but unfortunately I just don't have access to another one to check with. As I said, the problem started a few weeks ago, and I've been able to get it going without any noticible problems after a few restarts. Once started, everything works fine...games, video capture, etc are all ok. Now all I see upon startup is random characters, diagonal "bars" across the screen, and a lot of noise. I've tried using the second DVI port on my GPU, but the problem persists. My best guess is that the monitor, or the power supply in the monitor, is on the fritz. The fact that the text is often misaligned/rotated seems to confirm that something in the monitor is suspect.

    At any rate, I've been looking to get a new monitor soon anyway...this 17" CRT is old and big. This is a good reason to upgrade!

    John
  4. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    try this:
    -unplug your pc from the power outlet
    -open up your pc case, destatic yourself.
    -locate your video card, if there is any locking mechanismes unlock it, then pull it out gently and put it back in securely. Lock it if there is a locking thing on it.
    -boot up and see if its all good.

    you may also want to check in bios that you dont have the onboard vga card turned on..

    but yeh.. 17"crt is a shocker.. although as a secondary (extended desktop) monitor crt's plays videos beautifuly...

    The benq one you mentioned looks and sounds good :D. Hope you have the desk space for it lol..
  5. JohnK93

    JohnK93 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I was able to plug my monitor into my girlfriends laptop, and sure enough it works fine....so the monotir is not the problem (too bad I already orderd the new monitor...oh well!)

    I then removed the video card, blew it out, and plugged it back in. It worked fine upon the first startup, but then began showing glitches and artifacts, and this is before I even get to the BIOS screen. If I wiggle the card a little while the computer is on (not a good idea, I know), the artifacts and glitches come and go. It seems like the card is not making a good connection or has some other problem. I also tried the card in the second PCI-E slot and had the same problem. At this point, it looks like the video card is the problem. I believe I can still RMA it to newegg, it's only been 6 months.

    My mobo does not have any onboard graphics, so I know this isn't the problem, but thanks for the suggestion.

    John
  6. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    I don't think the problems is your monitor.
    Try unistalling the video driver and installing the newest one.

    With a wide screen displaying 4:3 resolutions the picture is short and fat, or may have black side bars. Most newer games will display wide screen resolutions, and many others that don't have patches and hacks you can find. It is nice at 1680x1050, I don't have to maximize windows and I can really use more than one window at a time. Going back to 1280x1024 is like tunnel vision.
  7. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    Its ok if you already ordered it.. you can run dual screen :D

    and like having widescreen, with dual you can never turn back lol..

    i'd agree, maybe you should RMA the card, but before you do that, get a pencil eraser and rub the gold contacts on your card (taking care not to have any shavings drop in your pc), try another power supply lead if it uses that to power your card and like mirob advice, update your video card drivers and also your motherboard chipset drivers..
  8. JohnK93

    JohnK93 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 70

    My desk will look a but silly with a shiney new 20" widescreen sitting next to a 17" 10-year-old CRT :)

    I didn't think to try rubbing the contacts with an eraser, although I did make sure they looked clean, which they did. Plus, I don't think it is the mobo contacts, since the problem is there when I tried the card in the second PCI-E slot.

    Also, since the problem occurs even before I get to BIOS, I don't think it could be driver related...right? The problem comes up as soon as the ASUS boot screen loads, and remains in both windows and linux. I did try the second 6 pin cable off my power supply, but this didn't make a difference. Even without an additional power supply to the card the problem remained.

    So, my card is on it's way back to newegg and my monitor is out for delivery. This is the second EVGA card I've returned...they're supposed to be good cards, but I'm having bad luck with them. Hopefully the RMA goes smooth, and I'll be looking for a new card since I'm sure the 7800GT is no longer stocked. Stick with EVGA or look elsewhere?

    Thanks,
    John
  9. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    you could be right there..

    from what you describe, and if its the second EVGA then maybe try a different brand, there could be a slight incompatibility with your motherboard.. i've heard rumours that things like that could happen.. something to do with how each brand overclocks or produces their cards..

    so does my 19" Samsung LCD with a old 17" phillips CRT.. if i had that extra few $$ and a bigger desk i would've got the widescreen version :D

    but still, even without dual screen that widescreen is a nice step up from the crt...
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