Old PC compatible with widescreen LCD?
July 9, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Will one of the newer widescreen LCD monitors work with my 2 year old PC?

I have a 2 year old eMachines T6522 with an integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 video card. My 2 year old 19" LCD (non-widescreen 4:3 ratio) monitor is crapping out on me and I need to replace it.

Looking at monitors at CC/Bestbuy, etc., I see the widescreen ones are most common and it's hard to find the older ones anymore. The widescreens I'm looking at run at a native resolution of 1680x1050 which is not an option in the display properties control panel. Will this combo work? Do the monitors come with special drivers for this resolution? I will be connecting the monitor via the VGA connector (don't have DVI out) if that matters.

Any info you can provide before I plunk down cash for a 22" widescreen that won't work with my PC will be greatly appreciated.

As a side note, this PC has a TV tuner card and Windows XP Media Center edition so I use it as a TV/DVR occasionally, so the widescreen would be nice.
posted by AstroGuy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
If the native resolution of the display is not one that the display card can produce, then at best they won't work very well together. You may need to buy a new display card at the same time as you buy a new monitor.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:17 AM on July 9, 2007

This page says the max resolution for that card is 1600X1200 so you should be OK.

You won't see that listed in the display properties now since your current monitor won't support that resolution.
posted by sanko at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2007

Acording to ATI, that chip should support that resolution and higher. You might have to manually set it use more RAM as these things are usually implemented using shared ram. This can be done in the BIOS. Also, just because it supports it doesnt mean you'll get the performance you want. I wouldnt worry about DVDs and most downloadable divx files, but I'd worry about high-def stuff and video games. I wouldnt dismiss it out of hand. Its a budget chip, but for 90% of the uses out there it should work just fine.

The monitor tells the card what display resolutions it can handle, that's why you don't see that in your options.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2007

Thanks you damn dirty ape. I just installed my new LG 22" WS monitor. After I rebooted, the 1680x1050 option appeared.

Damn this thing is big. I'm going to get whiplash turning my head back and forth to see the whole thing.
posted by AstroGuy at 4:05 PM on July 9, 2007

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