Thursday, August 30, 2007

A stone age NVidia card and a modern TFT

After some years, I decided to replace my 17'' CRT with a modern 19/20'' TFT. First, had some looks on the internet for good choices, and some in a computer store. Left me with about 4 different Samsung models to choose from. Luckily, I went to the computer store of my confidence ... The guy asked me about my graphics card, I had not thought about. GeForce 2 MX 200/ELSA Gladiac 311 (32MB, AGP, several years old). "Oh, I'd recommend one of the 16:10 widescreen ones for what you do, yet, your graphics card won't do it ... 1280x1024, the default modes from that time, up to 2048x1536, but no 1400x1050 nor 1680x1050 ... Maybe you should just get a new computer ;-)" Well, I had a check at home ... officially, neither mode is supported (1400x1050 aka SXGA+, 1680x1050 aka WSXGA+), some sites say at least SXGA+ is supported (mainly ebay sellers ...), manuals are not really available as ELSA busted twice since. So I just decided to try it out.

Setting resolution in Xorg

Linux, opensuse 10.2, yast2, sax2: Just set 1400x1050 and it worked. My eyes started running, was hard to read anything, yet it worked. Had to adjust the size and position, of course. Set 1680x1050 and it seemed to work ... yet the Xorg log told me it was using 1600x1024 or instead. One can't have everything.

Rotating the screen

Next question ... if I get a pivotable TFT, can I do this in Linux? No problem ... Alexander Koenig "told" me
Section "ServerFlags"
  Option "RandR" "on"

Section "Device"
  Option "RandRRotation" "on"
  Option "RenderAccel" "On"
xrandr -o [left|normal|right]
It just worked.

Setting resolution in windows

Every few weeks or months, I need to boot into my windows system ... there are just a few things which don't really work on wine or vmware player. Found a nice tool EnTech Taiwan PowerStrip that should be able to set manual timings ... didn't need it, though, as the NVidia detonator control centre(1) already has an item "manual timings". Set it to 1400x1050, and got a virtual screen of 1400x1050, and a physical of ... no idea, a bit less. Tried again with 84Hz instead of 85Hz ... and it just works. Seems nvidia tries to use one of the existing modes if the image(?) frequency is already known ... Did the same with 60Hz, and with 1600x1050 ... same results, 84, 80, 60 Hz no problem, 85Hz - virtual screen as wanted, physical smaller. Seems I can buy the Samsung 203B (2) after all ;-) (1) center ;-) (2) Sorry, German page

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