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Need new monitor help (switching from CRT to LCD)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by animal28, May 1, 2006.

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  1. animal28

    animal28 Thread Starter

    May 31, 2005
    Hi there

    I wanted to get a new monitor as my CRT is acting up (goes into a hourglass shape on occasion) and is a bit hard on the eyes
    I want to get a 19" LCD but I am worried about if my graphics card would be good enough? the Pc is about 4 years old...its a P4 1.5 GHZ running XP my graphics card is below

    ATI Rage128 Pro AGP 4x Video Adapter

    I am not playing any demanding games (the odd Quake 3 on occasion) mainly just surfing the net ,watching the occasional movie

    Is it a case of plugging in the LCD and then installing drivers? What is the minimu refresh rate?
    I see there are some 19" ones for around $400 Australian new...I don't want to pay to much as it is an old pc anyway

    And one last question...is there any Y adaptors for monitors so I could plug in a laptop from time to time and use the LCD as its screen , but the Y lead would save unplugging the cable from my desktop all the time?
    thanks! :)
  2. jcanada


    May 1, 2006
    Sorry animal, but you're best bet is to upgrade your video card. ATI is great, but you're going to notice the lack of performance with the 4x. You're going to want at least 8x or 16x. Take a look at www.newegg.com or www.tigerdirect.com for prices. If you're a gamer, definately upgrade the card. Have fun!
  3. loserOlimbs


    Jun 19, 2004
    The only thing you should worry is resolution.

    Most LCDs have a native resolution of around 1028 x 784.
    You CANNOT use anything but the native resolution on an LCD.

    Higher resolutions will hurt gaming performance.
  4. erick295


    Mar 27, 2005
    Wrong on both counts... almost all 17-19" LCD's are 1280x1024 (15" models are usually 1024x768), and you CAN use lower resolutions, although the quality isn't as good because the screen ends up interpolating the image. However, in games, the interpolation doesn't show up as much. It's BEST to use the native resolution, but you don't HAVE to.

    animal, that video card will be more than sufficient for watching movies or surfing the net. It doesn't matter what kind of monitor you're using - whether it's an LCD or a CRT, your video card will give you the same performance. In games, a better video card will help, but if you're happy with the way yours is running now, stick with it. Changing the monitor won't affect it.

    You shouldn't have to install drivers. The refresh rate will depend on the monitor. The computer should detect the monitor and use the apporpriate refresh rate - just to be safe, though, you might want to change it to 60Hz before connecting the new monitor. And yes, there are Y-adapters... look at Radio Shack.

    You mentioned not wanting to spend too much on this machine... well, you can always buy a good LCD and use it on a newer computer in the future ;)
  5. Moby


    Mar 18, 2002
    I agree with erick295. Your monitor will work fine with your graphics card. I changed to a 19" LCD (1280x1024 native resolution) with no problems and my card was a lightning fast ;) AGP 2x 32mb 5 year old thing. Just unplug your old monitor, plug in the new one and windows makes it work. You will probably get a CD with drivers on with the screen so you may as well use the correct drivers for the screen, but they are not essential.
    When playing games, if you use the same resolution as your old monitor then it will be the same. You will now maybe want to try the games at a higher resolution though on your new screen. It's then you may see a difference, but if you're happy with the way your games are at the current resolution then no change really.
  6. animal28

    animal28 Thread Starter

    May 31, 2005
    Thanks guys!

    My 19" CRT is 1024x768 so that wouldn't matter would it?
    I was looking at a Samsung 904B or 904N ...there doesn't really seem to be much difference between either? In fact aside from the price I am trying to work out what the difference is!?!??

    Do any of you know if there is a cable that has two inputs that go to the monitor?
    I need some sort of switching system between my desktop and laptop if i start recording music again
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    I've stuck my LCD screens on positively ancient video adapters, there is no issue there. As far as the 19" screen resolution, all of the current models I'm aware of, including the two I'm looking at here, run at 1280x1024, it's by far the most common resolution for 17" and 19" screens produced today. I would not consider one of the "widescreen" models, because it's quite possible your video card would not support the correct resolution.

    The "cable" that goes between two systems is called a KVM switch, they're very common and can be had for $15-20 to start.
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