Need video card to use my Dell IN2030M LCD monitor

By chuck825
Aug 5, 2012
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  1. I just acquired a new Dell IN2030M monitor with a native resolution of 1600x900 for the display. My computer is a “vintage” custom-built unit from 2006, containing an ECS P4M800-M motherboard with VIA P4M600 Northbridge and VT8237 Southbridge chipsets. The CPU is an Intel P4 at 2.8 GHz. The board has a VIA/S3G UniChrome IGP integrated graphics and video controller. The board has one AGP 8x slot and 3 PCI slots, all empty.

    After I connected my new monitor (VGA connection) to the computer, I went to adjust the monitor resolution but could not match the monitor’s native res of 1600x900. I eventually found the latest UniChrome display adapter drivers, but they date from 2005 and are too old to accommodate my monitor’s resolution. Searching the internet, I found suggestions that the best thing to do is add an AGP video card with DVI capability, and use a DVI cable to connect the monitor to the card (after the appropriate drivers have been found and installed). It was implied in these suggestions that the card will probably accommodate the 1600x900 resolution I need. But upon searching further, I found quite a few cards that don’t list 1600x900 as one of their resolution modes, and none that DO list 1600x900.

    So here’s my question: what CHEAP video card should I try to get this system to work? I DO NOT play games on this computer. All I need is to connect to the internet and use the plain-vanilla MSOffice software that is already on my computer. I don’t want to spend big bucks on this, since the computer needs to be retired soon anyway (please don’t suggest that I retire it now!). So I’m looking for an Ebay-type purchase, the cheaper the better. Any help you can offer will be appreciated.
  2. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TechSpot Booster Posts: 887   +39

  3. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

  4. chuck825

    chuck825 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks to both Rabbit01 and Cinders for your replies. The suggestion from Cinders gives me a chance to be more explicit about what I'm looking for in terms of specific information on supported resolutions. The BFG video card he mentions is listed with the following specs:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Description
    Based on the same great architecture as the BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra OC, this card delivers overclocked, out-of-the-box performance and superior image quality.

    Product Identifiers
    Brand BFG Technologies
    Product Line BFG GeForce
    Model 6800 OC Overclocked
    MPN BFGR6800OC

    Main Specifications
    Type Graphics adapter
    Interface AGP 8x
    Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 6800
    API Supported DirectX 9.0, OpenGL
    Memory Size 128 MB
    Max Resolution 2048 x 1536
    Colors in Max Resolution 32-bit color
    Max Monitors Supported 2
    Compatibility PC

    Processor
    Graphics Processor Manufacturer NVIDIA

    Memory
    Memory Technology DDR SDRAM

    Expansion / Connectivity
    Compatible Slots AGP 8x

    Video Output
    Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI)

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Notice that the Max Resolution is listed as 2048 x 1536. This is an aspect ratio of 4:3, common to older TVs and CRTs. My interest is in a resolution of 1600 x 900 with an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is that of HDTV and one that apparently is becoming more common for LCD monitors. Now maybe this BFG video card can also handle 1600 x 900 -- but the specs don't say so explicitly.

    Below is another listing from Ebay, of a used and older but still contemporary video card:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sapphire-AT...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item4605e33597#ht_3783wt_932

    It has the following specs from the Ebay listing:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Description
    Encapsulating the unrestrained dreams of the avid gamer the RADEON 9600 ATLANTIS PRO's SMARTSHADER 2.1 and SMOOTHVISION 2.1 technologies construct detail rich worlds peppered with ill-intentioned villains brought to life by DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL 2.0.

    Product Identifiers
    Brand Sapphire Technology
    Product Line Sapphire RADEON
    Model 9600 Atlantis Pro
    MPN 100561

    Main Specifications
    Type Graphics adapter
    Interface AGP 8x
    Graphics Processor ATI Radeon 9600 PRO
    API Supported DirectX, OpenGL
    Memory Size 128 MB
    Max Resolution 2048 x 1536
    Colors in Max Resolution 32-bit color
    Max Monitors Supported 2
    Compatibility PC

    Processor
    Graphics Processor Manufacturer ATI

    Memory
    Memory Technology DDR SDRAM

    Expansion / Connectivity
    Compatible Slots AGP 8x

    Video Output
    Supported Display Graphics QXGA (2048x1536), SXGA (1280x1024), UXGA (1600x1200), XGA (1024x768)
    Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
    Analog Video Format NTSC, PAL

    Video Input
    Input Type Video capture adapter, Video capture adapter


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This one also has a Max Resolution of 2048 x 1536, but further down lists the specific supported display graphics as QXGA (2048x1536), SXGA (1280x1024), UXGA (1600x1200), XGA (1024x768). Of these, three are the aspect ratio of 4:3 while the other (SXGA) is at a ratio of 5:4. Nothing close to 16:9.

    So I can feel pretty sure that this particular card will NOT give me the 1600x900 resolution I need. But it also makes me question whether the BFG card that Cinders suggested can give me 1600x900 resolution.

    Is there something I'm missing here? Do I need to start buying cards and trying them one-by-one until I find the one that will support 1600x900? I hope not, since that would be time-consuming, expensive, and just not worth it.

    I hope my explanation above makes it clearer what I am searching for, and I appreciate any other guidance or suggestions that anyone might have. And again, thanks to Rabbit01 and Cinders for their responses.













  5. Code Butcher

    Code Butcher TechSpot Member Posts: 84

    I just retired a system with that same exact MB. I have an AGP Radeon card on it. I'll have to plug it in again to verify if that resolution is available. Let me get back to you later when I get home.
  6. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TechSpot Booster Posts: 887   +39

    The video card, either one, should be able to detect the display and what resolution it supports and output accordingly after driver install. I had a 19" CRT connected to a Radeon 9800 a while back. Think the resolution was 1024x768. Then I retired that and got a 22" LCD 1680x1050 (16:10). Didn't have a problem.
  7. Code Butcher

    Code Butcher TechSpot Member Posts: 84

    I have a Radeon 9600 on a ECS P4-800M MB, I hooked up an HP 2009m monitor with a native resolution of 1600x900 via VGA. (I did not have a spare DVI cable available). It works fine.
  8. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    I know you are concerned with the video card's ability to matched your screen's native resolution. It would be a real comfort to find those magic numbers in print before you buy, but it's difficult to find real detailed and specific info on older cards. When those cards were made a 4X3 screen aspect ratio was the norm, so the manufacture listed the most common aspect ratios in their advertising. I have very little doubt that the 8600 or the 9600 pro will not be able to display a 1600X900 pixel screen. A modern card can detect a wide screen display with the proper driver installed, but with an older video card in place you might have to tell the driver you have a wide screen display before you are given the opportunity to choose the correct screen resolution.

    I'd bypass ALL of the newegg cards simply because they are terribly old and are about the same as your UniChrome chip. The 8600 was a gaming card back in the day. I know because I have one. The 9600 was also a gaming card, so either would do. I'd pick the lowest cost card (9600) and not worry about it too much.
  9. chuck825

    chuck825 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks to all for your comments and advice. I bought a Radeon 9600 card and DVI cable, both on Ebay, and just finished installing them in my system. After a LONG wait for the drivers and ATI Catalyst Control Center to install, the card did indeed give me 1600x900 as a resolution selection for the monitor. So, for an investment of $18 total and a delivery wait of a week, I'm up again with a fully functioning monitor. Again, thanks for steering me along here!


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