So I got a new LCD monitor as a second display for my VGA-outputting laptop, but I want to use the DVI-D in on the monitor, because the analog VGA-in flickers. Technical details inside.
I have an HP ZD7000
laptop with a VGA output to connect an external display. I do a lot of design work and needed a very large second screen for palettes, etc., so I got a 21" widescreen LCD, the Samsung 215TW
When I connect the VGA out from the laptop to the VGA in on the LCD, I get a really annoying constant and random flicker on the LCD, particularly when there is nothing being displayed and the screen is black. I've taken to keeping my e-mail open on the second screen just so I'm not distracted by the flicker, but even that is distracting in a different way because it's so bright all the time.
The laptop runs at a native res of 1440x900 and the LCD's native res is 1680x1050. The video card in the laptop is an NVidia GoForce FX Go5600 with 128MB of RAM. Both the video card and display are set at the default 60hz, so I don't think that's the issue.
But even though the laptop can drive the displays at those resolutions, I can only guess that it just doesn't have enough juice to send a solid enough analog signal to the large LCD (the connection is fairly short, otherwise, so I don't think it's picking up interference along the way (I tried attaching some ferrite cores to the VGA cable with no effect.)
(feel free to offer alternative suggestions to this problem, as it's the fundamental issue at hand).
So, because the LCD also supports a DVI digital connection, I wanted to try using that, since perhaps a digital connection will not suffer from the same flicker as the analog -- digital should either be there or not, right? No flicker?
Therein lies the problem. I can find any number of cheap (< $10> VGA->DVI adapters. But, in my research I learned that there are actually several flavors
of DVI (thanks, IEEE) and the particular flavor on the back of the Samsung is DVI-D Dual Link.
Of course, there are no cheap adapters for that, I imagine because it's not possible to just magically change an analog signal to digital with a $7 adapter.
I'm guessing at this point that I would need a ~$300-$400 VGA/DVI signal converter
to use the DVI input on my LCD, which is of course not feasible since that's almost the cost of the monitor itself. Even if I did
decide that it was worth it, I'd be buying it under the assumption that a digital connector would even solve the flicker in the first place, and likely have to return it (to an online retailer, no less) if it doesn't.
Is that the boat I'm stuck in?
I really like the resolution and form factor of the LCD, but I'm still within the return window at Best Buy. Should I just get a really large analog CRT instead, or will I get flicker on that analog connection too? Perhaps try a different make/brand of LCD that has a "regular" DVI connector?>