Widescreen monitor woes. Please help.
September 12, 2010 7:37 AM   Subscribe

My laptop computer won't play nice with my new widescreen LCD monitor. Would an external graphics card or ExpressCard help?

I have a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. I just bought an ASUS VW246H 24-inch widescreen LCD monitor. I hooked it up to my laptop using anHDMI cable, and while the monitor works, the image doesn't fill the monitor's screen. I think it also worked with the VGA cable. There's also a big white cable that came with the monitor but won't fit into any of my computer's ports.

I'm thinking that my laptop's graphics card--Mobile Intel 965 Chipset Family--may not be compatible with the new large monitor. I'd really like to use the big monitor, and I'm wondering how I can make it work with my current laptop.

Is there such thing as an external graphics card that I can connect to my computer. BTW, my laptop has an ExpressCard 54 slot. Does that make a difference? I'm not going to be gaming, if that makes a difference.
posted by WyoWhy to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Just checking the obvious first... are you using the latest drivers for the Intel graphics chip? These kinds of issues are exactly why driver updates are issued.
posted by Biru at 7:46 AM on September 12, 2010

My Xps m1330 with NVidia graphics has no problem driving a widescreen monitor ... and is doing so right now.
posted by jannw at 8:08 AM on September 12, 2010

You need to set your display settings to the native resolution of the display (1920 x 1080).
posted by Rhomboid at 8:24 AM on September 12, 2010

And googling suggests that the notebook supports up to 1920 x 1200 so this should be no problem.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:25 AM on September 12, 2010

My Xps m1330 with NVidia graphics has no problem driving a widescreen monitor ... and is doing so right now.

The OP mentioned an Intel graphics chip. Am I missing something?
posted by Biru at 8:44 AM on September 12, 2010

Changing your screen resolution

The chunky white cable is probably DVI.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:51 AM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: OP here: I'll check to see if the driver needs to be updated. I hate to be stupid, but how do I do that? The monitor is not where I am right now. I'll check changing the native resolution when I get back home.
posted by WyoWhy at 9:03 AM on September 12, 2010

Assuming you're running some flavor of Windows, go into device manager and look at the property page of the display device. It should show the driver version there. Then go to the Dell support site and see what version they have for download there. For 32 bit Vista it looks like is the latest offered; I didn't check the other versions.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2010

Use a VGA cable (I assume that your laptop has a VGA/D-sub out, like all laptops I've seen for many years). The HDMI wants to show a picture that's 1080 and the monitor wants to show a picture that's 1200.
posted by dozo at 9:29 AM on September 12, 2010

That's nonsense. Why would the monitor 'want to show' a picture that's 1200 lines when its native resolution is 1920x1080? It can't even physically display 1200 lines; this is a 16:9 AR display not a 16:10 AR so 1200 lines wouldn't even make any sense because that would mean non-square pixels. Moreover, using the VGA connector means using an analog signal which means a pointless quality loss -- the only reason laptops have VGA ports is so that you can connect them to projectors that don't have digital inputs. HDMI is the right choice when dealing with a digital display.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:01 AM on September 12, 2010

It is probably some kind of disconnect between the notebook's native screen size and the new monitor's screen size, and how the Intel driver is set up to handle dual displays. Fiddle with the Dual View settings.

Also check and make sure the external monitor is being recognized as a widescreen monitor. Might have to check the instructions for how to install the right drivers.
posted by gjc at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: OP again: Thanks for all the help! I googled "ASUS VW246H" drivers and found this site that says it has the driver. Is this okay to download.

If so, I'll hook up my computer and the monitor and give it a try. I'll use the HDMI cable. I've already tried a lot of fooling around with the Dual View settings and didn't get anywhere. Doesn't mean I did it right. I looked at the Device Manager, but didn't see anything to update.

So ... Is it okay to download this driver from this site? I'm running Windows XP. I don't know if its 16 or 32 bits.
posted by WyoWhy at 2:56 PM on September 12, 2010

I would not download that "driver" from that site... First off, the site looks totally sketchy, second, you don't need a driver for a monitor. You need a driver for your video card...

This is the manufacturer's site, take a minute and poke around it to find the driver for your video card. You should make it a general rule for yourself that you only download drivers from the manufacturer's sites, to protect your computer! I'm not saying that's true for everyone, but if you don't have a ton of computer knowledge, it's best to be on the safe side...
posted by Glendale at 5:33 PM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks Glendale et al. Updating the driver worked beautifully.
posted by WyoWhy at 1:00 PM on September 25, 2010

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