choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
A user has a HP xw 4600 workstation with a 17inch monitor. He needs a
larger monitor due to the work he is doing. I glanced at the HP site and
see some different sizes of monitors
which are 21.5, 23, 25 and 27 which range from 149 to 399.

1. Do we have to be aware of any compatibility issues when getting a
monitor for the HP xw 4600 workstation? I mean is it required(or
advisable) we get a 21.5, 23, 25 and 27" monitor from HP only or we
can get a lower priced monitor from elsewhere.

2. Would a LCD monitor be a better choice due to the lower cost compared
to LED monitor? I understand the dynamic contrast ratio is less than
LED, but would that actually make a difference?

3. Any other factors I need to be aware of when purchasing a new wide
screen monitor?

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

g wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Quoted text here. Click to load it

First of all, there are apparently more HP monitors, than are listed
on the above web page on the HP site. Newegg carries come. I expect
the one I'm looking at, is in the business section of HP, rather
than the consumer section.

This one, for example, is 24", 1920x1200 resolution, S-IPS panel.
This would be suited to someone, for whom color was important. If
the user was a Photoshop user, they'd want this one (IPS panel).
Ideally, you'd want to go into the OSD and turn off Dynamic Contrast
in that case, as Photoshop users like non-changing color
characteristics. So before buying, you'd download the
manual and see what OSD options it has (like the ability
to turn off Dynamic Contrast). This is $499

You also have to consider the connector types and the standards number
they follow, on the video card. That monitor shows

    DisplayPort, D-Sub, DVI-D

DVI-D can be single link (one set of pins) or dual link (two sets of pins).
The change-over point, for DVI resolution, is listed here.

    WUXGA (1,920 1,200) @ 60 Hz with CVT-RB blanking (154 MHz)

So you can stay under 165 MHz and do 1920x1200 with a single link
DVI port. You would check the video card specs, to verify that
as a double check. The appearance of the various kinds of DVI
connectors is shown here. The dual-link one has the most occupied
pins. (DVI-D is digital only, DVI-I supports both digital and
analog signals, with the analog signals on the left hand end.)
Note that many video cards may appear to have a dual link
connector, but inside the card, only drive the single link pins -
I'm showing you the appearance here, to get across the concept
there are two sets of pins on the connector, for double the

Large monitors, also need to support a protected video path, in order
that there be no issues with the OS. That is to protect the user, from
a bad decision the OS or an application might make. An HDMI connected
monitor, encrypts the data stream, and uses HDCP as part of the protected
path. When the OS detects that an encrypted stream is being used,
it won't attempt to "de-res" the screen by making it fuzzy on
purpose (to prevent pirates from copying Hollywood movies).

On DisplayPort, they have a method as well.

    DisplayPort 1.0 includes optional DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection)
    from Philips, which uses 128-bit AES encryption.

    DisplayPort 1.1 added support for industry-standard 56-bit HDCP revision 1.3

DVI can also use HDCP as part of the encryption scheme.

The spec sheet for the monitor lists some of the necessary info.

    "Input Connectors 1 DisplayPort connector,
                      1 DVI-D connector,
                      1 VGA connector,

                      HDCP support on DisplayPort and DVI."

So it uses HDCP over DisplayPort to control link encryption, and thus,
a Windows OS won't attempt to "make the display fuzzy" if it can't set up
a protected video path. The video card has to have HDCP keys stored on it,
as its contribution. (Some "HDCP ready" video cards, way back when,
didn't actually do HDCP because they were missing keys. If a video card has
an HDMI output now, it's virtually guaranteed to have working HDCP.)

I expect the DVI-D interface on that monitor, is actually single link, but
they don't state in the spec sheet one way or another. You wouldn't want
to drive the  monitor with a really old video card (like an FX5200),
because some of those had substandard DVI ports (achieved 135MHz instead of
going all the way to 165MHz). The frequency determines the max resolution
and refresh rate that can be pushed down the cable. The early cards
sometimes had issues with the TMDS transmitters operating all the
way out to 165MHz.


The next monitor up from that, is 2560 x 1600 pixels, which is the same
as an Apple 30" Cinema display, and some of the Dell 30" displays.

That one is similarly weak on connectors, and has DisplayPort and
DVI-D. The DVI-D in that case, would be dual link - I don't think
you can use a single-link video card, to drive the display at
native resolution. The panel in that one is also IPS based,
178 degree viewing angle and so on. HDCP support is stated
in the advert, so we don't need to check.

Your workstation, has many different shipping options for
video, and I'm not going to try and trace down whether any of them
is dual-link DVI or not. (Dual-link does not mean two DVI connectors,
it means that a particular DVI connector is fully populated with
pins, for a total of two digital interfaces on one connector.)
I also doubt any of these have DisplayPort, as that standard
might come after these cards shipped. ATI may have been the first to come
out with DisplayPort on a card (middle of 2007). It took some
time, before more of the cards had that connector.

Graphics Professional 2D: NVIDIA Quadro NVS290 (256 MB)
                           NVIDIA Quadro NVS440 (256 MB)
Entry 3D: NVIDIA Quadro FX370 (256 MB)
           NVIDIA Quadro FX570 (256 MB)
Mid-range 3D: ATI FireGL V5600 (512 MB)
               NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 (512 MB)
High-end 3D: NVIDIA Quadro FX3500 (256 MB),
              NVIDIA Quadro FX4600 (768 MB)

So if you want the 30" panel, at 2560x1600, you have to be
*very* careful with the video card selection. The 1920x1200
display could still cause you grief, depending on whether
the setup will support reduced blanking or not. Reduced
blanking is an information format change, with smaller
area allocated for retrace. (CRTs wasted perhaps 30% of their
time, driving the scanning beam back to the left edge of the
screen. LCD monitors don't need that time. The display link
also doesn't need to waste that time, and reduced blanking
might reduce the blanking interval on the link to 5% or so.)

In some experiments I did in Linux, I had trouble getting
a video card using a VESA driver, to accept reduced blanking
modelines. Once I used the card-specific driver, then it would
accept a reduced blanking modeline. Windows would likely make
this easier, although in balance, Linux can give you settings
Windows won't do. Window can put up a fight too, but I don't have
the experience there, to say what will happen when you get
your new 1920x1200 monitor.


LCD monitors come with two kinds of backlights. The majority of
monitors on the market today, use CCFL (cold cathode fluorscent
tubes). A large monitor can use up to a couple hundred watts of power,
driving a multitude of those kinds of tubes. A CCFL might draw
around 3W or so, and runs at 700-1000V AC - a high voltage. The
main benefit of a CCFL, is a nice white output color spectrum.
The tube may last for 25000 hours, but in a lot of cases with
cheap monitors, the inverter creating the 1000V AC to drive the
tube, dies before the tube does. If the tube is dying, the color
of the monitor starts to turn brown.

CCFLs can be modulated over a fairly wide range, and you always
need to turn down the intensity when a new monitor arrives, as
it is set way too high by default (you'll "sun bake" the user).
In fact, some users suffer headaches, when staring into several
feet of "sun lamp".

LED based LCD monitors use light emitting diodes, instead of CCFL
tubes. There are a couple ways to do the LEDs. A "white" LED uses
a phosphor to make a white color (with a blue spike in the spectrum).
Or, you could also mix red/green/blue LEDs together, and get an
approximation to white. I haven't a clue what is the current method
used, the physical appearance of the LED array, and so on. LEDs
can support dynamic contrast, as the light output can vary quite
widely (while maintaining the same color). Dynamic contrast is good
for movie playback, in an effort to fool the user into thinking LCD
panels make good "black" colors for movies. LCDs aren't the best
at making a good "black".

While in theory, a LED based monitor should last longer than a
CCFL, the companies who make them can "cheap out" to any extent
they want. Some LEDs do have a limited lifetime, such as the phosphor
based ones. So in some ways, LEDs may echo the reliability
characteristics of CCFLs - only time will tell. A LED can give
a larger color gamut, but again, there seems to be wide variation
in how much larger the color gamut gets with LEDs. Some LED lit
panels, actually have worse color gamut than a CCFL. So "cheapness"
is definitely an issue in this area - the LED method used can make
a big difference to the results. All LED based LCDs are "not
created equal". Some are actually pretty crappy from a technical
viewpoint. That's cost reduction for you.


In terms of display technology, sites like Xbitlabs have had a few nice
articles describing this stuff.

If all you're doing, is buying a run of the mill TFT TN panel for
the user, then have a look at the Newegg reviews, and see if the
reviewers are happy with the color and appearance of the monitor.
But if you want something a little better, then look for a different
type of base panel in the monitor, to get into the right territory.

To give an example, I bought a basic TN panel monitor for $100
at Christmas. It was a clearance item, and I needed a backup
monitor for setting up things like servers (i.e. I won't be
looking at the screen very much). I'm getting as much value
for my $100, as a person spending $300 on some larger piece of
junk. (Mine is definitely in the junk category, and arrived
with one "bright" pixel.)  But if you want a wide viewing angle
(178 degrees), which gives the ability to move your head around,
without the colors on the screen changing, then you'll want
something a little better than a TN panel for that.

The monitor I'm typing this on (my first LCD monitor), has a
viewing angle of 178 degrees, and while you can see some color
shift when moving off axis about 45 degrees, it isn't bad in
that respect. The monitor I got, had a glossy rather than a
matte finish, and the reason I picked it, is it avoided parallax
effects on text display better. People have mixed opinions now,
on which they like better. In an industrial setting, with
fluorescent overhead lights, the reflection off a glossy finish monitor
could be a deal breaker. In my home setting, I have enough
control over the lighting, that reflections off the glossy
finish aren't an issue. And the worst part of my setup, is
my own, decaying state of vision :-(

One reason for buying the glossy finish, is I can use
ordinary window cleaners on my screen. It has a real sheet
of glass on the outside. The matte finish monitor I bought
at Christmas, I haven't tried to clean it yet, and I don't
know what I'll use when the need arises. I won't really know
whether it's safe to clean with ammonia.

I think I'd rather have a 1920x1200 display than a 1920x1080.
I have a laptop with the "wide" aspect ratio, and find it doesn't
have enough vertical to work with. I'd rather select a
1920x1200, while you can still get them.

If you want anything bigger than 1920x1200, then you have to
study the video card a lot more. A dual link DVI will drive
the larger monitors. Wikipedia can give you some info on
resolution options, which you can study while reading up
on the video card.


Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 1/29/2011 11:03 PM, Paul wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the suggestion, the user is not a avid Photoshop user.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The user has NVIDIA Quadro FX 370 and the link at
mentions resolutions upto 1920 X 1200 @60 Hz and single link DVI output.

I did not get the 165MHz part?

The appearance of the various kinds of DVI
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Do I need to find out if the NVIDIA Quadro FX 370 video card has HDCP
keys in it?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Can I overlook this since the user has NVIDIA Quadro FX 370 it can drive
most monitors?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think the graphic card has a single link DVI-I

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think this video card cannot support 2560x1600

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks, will inform the user of that.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

What is a "bright" pixel?

But if you want a wide viewing angle
Quoted text here. Click to load it

No, I think we will get something 1920X1200 or lesser than that.

  A dual link DVI will drive
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks a lot for the detailed response, suggestions and time.

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

g wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

When you display 1920x1200 60 times a second, it causes the
display cable to run at a high frequency. The frequency limit
is 165MHz for DVI. DVI has a clock signal, and a signal for
R, G, and B. One "clock" period, allows an 8 bit digital value
to be sent for each of the colors. In fact, when we speak of
a 165MHz setting, the data rate on each color signal is
1650Mbits/sec. The data is encoded, for easy recovery later.
The 165MHz then, is the "pixel rate". And the sent signal,
defines non-visible parts of the display (retrace interval),
which is why the product of 1920x1200x60 doesn't equal out
exactly, to the MHz thing. Since 1920x1200 @ 60Hz, is close
to the limit for single link DVI, you'd guess you were getting
pretty close to that clock rate limit mentioned in the standards.

    <----- one clock perios ----->   clock signal
           10 bits Red               decodes to 8 bits Red onscreen
           10 bits Green             decodes to 8 bits Green onscreen
           10 bits Blue              decodes to 8 bits Blue onscreen
                                     <- enough for one 24 bit pixel ->

If you use a "modeline" calculator (popular in Linux), the
operating frequency is stated in the modeline that results.
You might also see some level of detail like that, if you
use Powerstrip from (a Windows program),
a popular program for correcting video card resolution settings,
used to create custom resolutions.

Normally, in Windows, you wouldn't get that tidbit of info
(the frequency). In Windows, you just see the resolution
and refresh rate. But when you use a tool like Powerstrip,
it deals closer to the hardware level, and then, you might
get some info about how close to a hardware limit it is.

A visual portrait of what a modeline is specifying.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think you'd better look up the details for your *exact*
model of card. I had a lot of trouble even finding the
word "HDCP" when the FX 370 is discussed.

    two DVI-I connectors (one dual-link, one single-link)
    2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz   [i.e. *only* on the dual-link connector]
    No mention of HDCP!

There is also a low profile version, with a DMS-59 connector, and
apparently it yields two DVI single link connectors, when you use
the Y cable.

I finally found one document, with a summary of some PNY brand cards. And
you can see here, not all the cards have HDCP. You'd really need to
trace down the particulars of the card, to be absolutely sure.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The reason I deliver these warnings, so you're aware there can be
issues. Once the resolution gets over 1280x1024 or so, the video
drivers get a lot more cranky. While I don't expect you'll have
any trouble at all, I wouldn't have to say these things, if in fact
all video cards were trouble free. Some video cards *stink* when
it comes to high resolution requests. I have a card here, the
driver won't even let it do 1440, let alone 1600 or 1920. Or
take a laptop with an Intel graphics chipset inside, the driver
for those may refuse just about *any* wide-screen monitor you
connect up as a second display (you may be limited to 4:3 aspect
ratios, so a circle looks like an ellipse on the second monitor).
In some cases, it's purely a driver issue. In a small percentage
of cases, it's actually bad hardware design.

In this article, they tested some early DVI cards, and found a few
didn't meet spec (and hence, would be poor candidates to try to do
1920x1200 @ 60Hz with). Anything you buy today, would pass this test.

(Using a Tek scope, to check for hardware compliance.),931-18.html

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It could be the low-profile card.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The full height version of the FX 370 video card does.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Various kinds of faults are described here. LCD panels are
graded, and cheap monitors can be built from the "rejects".

This is what mine looks like, on the $100 monitor I got.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'm picky about the displays I sit in front of, for hours
on end, which is why I wrote this. On occasion, I've spent
more for the display, than for the computer. The $100 monitor
is a departure from that :-) But it's only for emergencies
and is turned off right now.


Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 1/30/2011 6:59 PM, Paul wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for clarifying that part.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well, my question was do I need to worry about if the video card has
HDCP keys or not? I realize the datasheet at
does not mention it.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I get it, thanks for the tips.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think this low profile card does not.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, most people are picky about it. Thanks very much for your advice
and time. You must have worked in the computer hardware field for 30+
years to have this kind of intricate knowledge. Thanks for sharing it
and helping all posters like me.

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

g wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The Windows OS knows when an encrypted link is set up to the video
card. If you were to play a movie, protected by some kind of DRM,
it is possible the response to using an unencrypted connection to
the monitor, will lead to a fuzzy or reduced resolution image. A
monitor at 1920x1080 is "HD ready", and at that resolution, the
movie companies expect the computer industry, to protect their
products. (I'm not a great believer in this kinda crap, because
it distorts the opportunities for hardware developers. You can't
build certain kinds of hardware, for fear of violating the DMCA.
And that sucks.)

I don't have any gear here to test that sort of thing, as my best
monitor only does 1280x1024, and it doesn't have DVI. So I have
nothing to test with.

Part of the fun with Windows, is not every aspect of hardware
state, is available for immediate readout. So when something
funny is happening, it may not be that easy to figure out.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The low profile card could have a DMS-59 connector on it, and the
purpose of that, is to squeeze enough signals on the connector, to
run two monitors. And that doesn't leave a lot of room left over.
I get the impression a DMS-59 has enough room for a couple DVI
single link interfaces.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

No, I'm just bored. And look stuff up, when people ask.


Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 1/30/2011 8:39 PM, Paul wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for clarifying.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well, I also look up things, but cannot find them in as much detail as
you do. You must have a knack for such matters along with experience.

Anyway, thanks a lot.

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 30/01/2011 2:21 p.m., g wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Quoted text here. Click to load it

All you have to look at is if the Graphics card in your users XW4600 can
output the 'native' resolution of the Monitor you wish to use.
eg 1366 x768 or 1920 x 4080 or 1440 x 900 ...
The XW4600 looks like a fairly recent PC so it will 'probably' drive any
of today's LCD screens.

The specification sheet at HP
( )
shows several graphics cards are optional for this model. Just determine
which one your users XW4600 has, what resolutions it is capable of and
that it has the right connection type (VGA/DVI/HDMI)

The maker/model of the LCD is of no consequence other than for personal
quality / support / brand reasons.
Likewise the size of screen you get 21.5" ... 27" (or 50 inch for that
matter) is also purely down to personal preference and work requirement.

Note a LED screen is merely a LCD screen with Light Emitting Diodes as
the backlight instead of the older CCD (flourescent tube) technology.

Because LED backlight screens are the newest technology they carry a
price premium while manufacturers & retailers work LCD's with CCD's out
of the supply chain.


Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 1/30/2011 2:03 AM, PeeCee wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think the user has NVIDIA Quadro FX 370

Just determine
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The link at
mentions resolutions upto 1920 X 1200 and single link DVI output so I
estimate any of the 21.5" to 27" inch would work.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for your suggestions and time.

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

g wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Should be no compatibility issues. I got this as a gift, it was
$120.00, wa the for a short time for a 23 inch. I love it. =
You can look to the left for price ranges, when searching monitors on
the site for monitors.

Should not be any compatibility issues. You can likely look to
microsoftupdate and under hardware see a current update to your
monitor, without having to install any drivers from a cd.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

We all want to save money

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Buy one, plug it in, should be happy. Don't ger Sceptre, I have found
they buzz like crazy, had poor screen quality,
and mine went out after warranty.

If you have a MicroCenter in your area, check them out or buy online.

Or buy from wherever. Don't just look to hp just because you have an HP

Re: choosing a wider computer monitor for a HP xw 4600 workstation

On 2/2/2011 2:36 AM, squirl47 wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for the advice. I don't know if this graphic card can support
dual monitors. If so, we can use a spare existing monitor in our office
as a second monitor and most cost effective.

Site Timeline