Monitor Resolution

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

Threaded View
Can I ask someone to clear up something I am puzzled by.

Does a graphics card (in this case a Gainward GeForce 4 Power Pack model
Pro/600-8X XP 64MB) provide a set range of resolutions (e.g. 800x600,
1024x768 etc) or does it provide the resolutions that the monitor is able to
use.   I ask because I have noticed that widescreen, 19 inch TFT monitors
seem to require 1440x900 and whilst in Settings I have resolutions either
side of that, up to 1600x1200 I do not have that particular one.

Keith Willcocks

Re: Monitor Resolution

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The graphics card can only go up to a certain amount, based on the amount of
memory it has and the speed the RAMDAC can run. Any reasonably current video
card should be able to run higher than monitor limitations these days.

Looking at what you have, you should be able to get 1440x900. Have you
downloaded the latest driver from

You might need to get a monitor inf file from your monitor manufacturer so
Windows knows what sizes your monitor can do.

Re: Monitor Resolution

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Graphics cards are fully programmable. Res, front porch, back porch,
sync signals, it is all programmable. You can even have weird
resolutions. In fact, all this stuff was programmable when I
built my own frame buffer over 20 years ago.

Video card manufacturers are deathly afraid of damaging customer
monitors. Their asses would be sued off if they made even one
tiny mistake. The old, non-multisync monitors, could be
damaged by using an inappropriate resolution. Thus the software
writers are historically pretty conservative, about the resolutions
they  offer, and the ability for customers to get themselves in
trouble. That is why they hesitate to fully open up all
the possibilities.

The software driver for the graphics cards, knows about standards.
The old 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio settings are "standard".
The 16:9 type stuff is newer, and it could require some
fiddling around, to get those resolutions to show up.

In an Nvidia display control panel, there is some kinda
screen used to set custom resolutions. Downloading an Nvidia
manual for their display software would show the details.
With ATI, things are a bit harder to do. A program
called Powerstrip ( is able to work
with both ATI and Nvidia drivers, and set up custom
resolutions. (Powerstrip is shareware.)

So there are a few ways to get set up. And as display
software (Forceware, ATI CCC) keeps changing, the ability
to set this up may become easier as time passes.

Refs for future reference (for ATI CCC and Nvidia Forceware):
You can trawl around the Nvidia site, and find newer versions.
Try page 145 on the sample Nvidia link below, for an example dialog.


Re: Monitor Resolution

Keith Willcocks wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The geforce 4, with the proper drivers, should be able to push any
resolution or clock you desire. The monitor only supports certain ones.
PnP monitors actually tell the PC what resolutions are supported.

If you're looking at flatscreens, you'll be fine. Just set your
Computer to the lowest resolution before making the switch. Then set
the proper resolution once the new monitor is installed.

Re: Monitor Resolution

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Many thanks for the responses as a result of which I am now fairly confident
that I can upgrade to a 19 inch widescreen monitor without having to commit
to a new graphics card.   Thanks again.
Keith Willcocks
(If you can't laugh at life, it ain't worth living!)

Site Timeline