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To widescreen or not?


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Hello,

Just wanting some advice if I should buy widescreen or not for a new 19" LCD that I am looking to replace my 17" LCD. I do not plan to watch movies, videos or TV on my PC, but use it almost strictly for gaming and business programs. So I am wondering if I should get a 19" non-widescreen LCD with a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 or a 19" widescreen LCD with a resolution of 1440x900? My rig includes a 7900GS PCI-E with a Athlon 64 3700+ CPU.

I bought my 17" LCD just about two years ago, but now that I play almost all of my games in 1280x1024 resolution, the text is a bit too small and I would like a bigger monitor.

To widescreen or not?

Many thanks to any and all replies.

[ March 06, 2007, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Wally's World ]

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It's pretty much user preference. There'll be quality differences between the two displays and I would go for the one that looks better rather than which resolution it supports.

If you were to watch DVDs on your PC, then the choice would weigh in favor of the widescreen (all other things being equal). But since you don't do that, then a widescreen may offer very little for you in terms of gaming, productivity apps, etc. There's no absolute information as to which specific resolutions that CMSF/CMx2 will support, but there is a good chance that a number of widescreen resolutions may see support.

I'd say go for the 1280x1024 capable display. Some games may not support the widescreen resolution and you may see either stretching of the pixels to fill out the screen (which may not look too good) or you will get the 'vertical black bars' on both sides of the screen in order to display 4:3 aspect ratio game titles (CMx1, etc.).

Again, I'd pay closer attention to which display has a better warranty, looks better and (if you can find out) has a better track record of reliability. Of course price will also play a factor, but I assume that you may have narrowed your choice down to two (or more) equivalently priced models. Try to view 'dark' scenes to see if there is enough contrast between dark-lit elements and if the brightness level will work for you without 'washing out' the screen into a dark grey (instead of something closer to black).

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Just be careful that some of the newer widescreen 22" and thereabout are very cheap and might not look good.

Personally, for work I use a 1200x1600 (a 1600x1200 90 degrees turned), so that I can have xterms/emacsens below a full-size web browser.

I don't think I would use any display with less that 1024 pixels in whatever is the lower resolution.

My widescreen is 1920x1200.

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Just one more question which some of you will probably laugh at. I've always used 16-bit color with all of my video cards, but now with the new LCD I just bought, I've been fooling around with setting my video card (7900GS) to 32-bit color instead of 16-bit. I always thought that I would get a performance hit by using 32-bit, but after doing some tests in the game "Distant Guns!" I think I see a small performance gain. A very small gain, but still a gain to my surprise.

Is it worth it going to 32-bit or 16-bit color for gaming? What about a performance decrease with the higher setting? My eyes can't really tell the difference between 16-bit and 32-bit color, but from what I've read on the web other people claim that 32-bit is way better.

Many thanks!

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Originally posted by Wally's World:

Interesting. So even though I set the desktop to 32-bit, a game like CMBB will only play at 16-bit? Is there any type of performance hit for having a desktop color setting different than what a game plays at? I read on another forum that there is a small performance hit.

For a fullscreen game, there shouldn't. But given the general mess that both NVidia and ATI have going on in the drivers I wouldn't be too surprised to see an effect.

That bitness in 3D is a little more complicated anyway, what people usually mean is that 16 or 32 bit textures are being used. An OpenGL or Direct3D doesn't really have control over the final color merging that the hardware performs.

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what is the best setting CM preference for CMAK or CMBB at 1680x1050?

I don't remember what I have it set out, but sometimes the units look longer when I view them close from the side, might just be the game, but I want to be sure.

Oh, and check out the "Sceptre gamer" wide screen lcd.

That's what I splurged on.

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1280 x 1024 is probably the maximum resolution that can be supported by CM on your display. That should almost max out the vertical resolution, but your horizontal will still either be 'stretched' or it will be 'letterboxed' (with the black bars to the left and right). I'm not sure what your display supports in this regard, so you may need to look through your documentation. Some displays will support both modes ('stretching' or 'centering' though they'll go by different names) which can be changed with the onscreen menus.

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Just another word of warning: a lot of display vendors put out their new models with good panels (S-IPS in almost all cases), then after good reviews they switch to random panels in the same model, without any way to tell in the product designation.

The other panel technologies like P-MVA don't have to be much worse, in particular for gaming, but just as a word of warning. If you need good color reproduction (e.g. artist work), then you need S-IPS.

If this bothers you you should stick with vendors like Viewsonic, Benq or Apple and forget about HP, Gateway, Dell. Or buy a 30" display, there are only S-IPS 30" panels smile.gif

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Cabe - I own the same LCD monitor, and like it alot for native widescreen games. It does make me miss my NEC 21" CRT for CM, though, as the monitor must (as previously mentioned) force a stretched image or use black area for pixel for pixel representation. Also, be advised about the sceptre models inputs bombing out - usually the DVI and/or HDMI fail - this is my second one so far. Read the user reviews at Newegg for the skinny.

Schrullenhaft - no widescreen hack from you for CMX1? What do we pay you for! ;)

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Just to clarify - I'm using a X-22WG Gamer. After 4 weeks of use, the DVI input at native resolution (1680x1050) began to artifact severely. Used the VGA port for a day, but not nearly as crisp. Unfortunately, I was just outside Newegg's 30 day refund policy, so they simply sent me another one. This unit seems to be factory packaged (i.e., not been worked on/repaired,) so I'm expecting another failure, to be honest. Did not use/try the HDMI port (though many report this failing at the same time the DVI does.) Sure, try another cable if you have one around, try the VGA port (though you won't be happy w/it.)

I know this LCD has great specs, Cabe, but I suspect it's a bad production run. My advice - return it for a refund (where did you buy it?) and get a different brand.

Let us know what happens.

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Yeah, it's deceptive, because the LCD looks great (zero dead pixels for both) and offers HDMI for XBox'ers (or DVD, or whatever.) Enjoyed widescreen F.E.A.R when it arrived, etc. They just ain't built to last, or so it seems.

Check w/micro center, you may have to RMA it through Sceptre...

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