Choosing a new monitor for my 8500

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Choosing a new monitor for my 8500

OK, I have a G3 upgraded 8500 with 128MB RAM (VRAM unknown).

My current monitor is a simple Appl Color Plus 14" display - meaning I am stuck with 640x480 resolution. I want to go up to an LCD with a better resolution. I am wanting to stay under $200 USD. What will my Mac support? Can I use one of those 16x9 aspect montiors or must I stay with a 4x3 layout?

Any shopping advice in choosing my new monitor is greatly appreciated.

TIA
--DDTM

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I don't think 16:9 displays e

I don't think 16:9 displays even existed back when the 8500 was engineered, so you're likely going to need to stick with 4:3. Dell makes very good LCD monitors; I'm sure one of their low-end, analog-only 17" models would be under $200.

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I don't know the how or why,

I don't know the how or why, but my DA G4 had no trouble adapting to 1440 x 900 widescreen under OS 9. The monitor's native resolution was just...there.

Depending on your vram, your bit-depth is going to suffer at a native resolution like that...if it's reachable.

I know from when I was looking at extending the external monitor range of the 1st gen. LCD iMacs that there's a shareware program out there for creating custom video modes under OS 9.

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Re: I don't know the how or why,

eeun wrote:
I don't know the how or why, but my DA G4 had no trouble adapting to 1440 x 900 widescreen under OS 9. The monitor's native resolution was just...there.

The more modern Macs with VGA-ported video cards use the VESA DDC information to list the available video modes. Machines with the old Apple 15 pin video port don't. They simply support either a hard-coded mode determined by physical sense lines or an essentially unlocked "Multisync" setting in which the machine offers a choice of preset 4x3 modes at different refresh rates. Getting a 16x9 video mode is likely "nontrivial".

If you're running with the onboard video or anything less then a VGA-ported Rage 128 video card in a PCI slot I'd strongly recommend sticking with a 4x3 aspect ratio of "modest" proportions. (A 17" 1280x1024 is about as high as you can reasonably go.) If you watch sales/closeouts you should be able to snag a new one in the $100 ballpark.

--Peace

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highest rez = 1280 x 1024 @ thousands (= ugly)

Using the 8500's onboard video with 4MB VRAM installed you can run 1152x870 at millions and 1280x1024 at thousands of colors (ugly, that last.) With only 2MB VRAM, you get millions only up to 832x624 (which no modern LCD panel supports AFAIK.) 2MB will still get you 1280x1024, but at a horrid 256 colors. Blum 3

As Eudi mentions, you are essentially limited by the hard-coded GPU drivers, so forget fancy non-Apple-standard resolutions. If t'was me, if the display under consideration isn't natively that 1152x870 rez I'd look at something else. Or at a Rage128 or better PCI card (as Eudi also mentioned.)

dan k

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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extended desktop?

I have just gotten some offers for more VRAM and for a secondary video card (pulled from a B&W G3).

With upgraded VRAM and a secondary video card, can I do extended desktop (not mirrored, but extended). This is kinda where I was going with this thread, so there 'ya have it.

I want two of the largest LCD displays I can support (and afford) attached to my Mac.

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Re: extended desktop?

doug-doug the mighty wrote:
I have just gotten some offers for more VRAM and for a secondary video card (pulled from a B&W G3).

With upgraded VRAM and a secondary video card, can I do extended desktop (not mirrored, but extended). This is kinda where I was going with this thread, so there 'ya have it.

I want two of the largest LCD displays I can support (and afford) attached to my Mac.

A B&W G3 pull is probably going to be a Rage 128 VGA port. It should support just about any analog-interface monitor you care to throw at it. That being the case my advice would be to forget about the onboard video and just buy a 19" or 20" monitor to hang off the PCI card. (I've seen 1680x1050 widescreen 20" monitors in the low $200 range.)

If you simply *have* to have two monitors, well, here's your choices:

A: Get a big monitor for the PCI card and a little 1024x768 14" for the onboard video, or:

B: Get two VGA-port video cards, or

C: Experiment with flashing a dual-head radeon or GeForce PCI card and hook both monitors up to one card.

--Peace

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