video for NEC 4100

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Just came into possession of a NEC 4100 monitor. The monitor was
purchased as part of a project for group training and the project has
come to a conclusion.  I set the monitor up and attached it to a PC
via the DVI, the best card I had laying around was a Radeon ATI (3-4
years old). It shows up as G400/G450 in windows device manager.  But
even at its best resolution 1500 by xxx, it still does not do the
monitor justice.  The plan is to use the monitor to monitor critical
applications that have webpages that show there status.

Now, what would be a good video card that I can purchase that would
push the monitor ?

Re: video for NEC 4100

sid wrote:
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There some odd bits about your message that makes it hard to answer:

1) NEC 4100?  That doesn't do much to identify the actual monitor.  Is  
it LCD or CRT?  Look on the back and provided the *exact* model number.

2) The same goes for your graphics card.  ATI Radeon can describe more  
than a hundred different cards, especially if you're just referring to  
the GPU.

3) It's likely you're using the wrong driver.  The G400/G450s were made  
by Matrox, and does not use any Radeon GPU.  Also, those Matrox cards  
are like 8-9 years old, not 3-4.

Suggestions based on limited information:

1) Get the right video driver.

2) Set your screen depth to 24-bit or 32-bit color, and an appropriate  
resolution.  If your monitor is an LCD, that resolution would be its  
/native resolution,/ which can be found in the monitor's user manual.

Nearly any reputable card manufactured in the last 4-5 years is going to  
be able to produce acceptable output on your screen.  Swankier cards can  
give you better performance (particularily in 3d applications,) but  
quality will be comparable.  DVI will give better quality than CRT for  
higher resolutions, but it looks like you're already set on that.

Re: video for NEC 4100

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Correct, the video card is a Matrox, but you don't see that in the
config. I didn't realize it was that old !
The monitor is LCD, I will be able to get exact model in the morning.
I am looking for an adequate card, just not looking for a high-end
game card.

Re: video for NEC 4100

sid wrote:
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Do note rely on Windows XP properly identifying your card.  Physically  
inspect it to determine manufacturer and model number.  If it is in fact  
a Matrox G400/G450, I'm surprised that you're using DVI.  As far as I  
can see those cards game with dual-VGA output only.

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You can get a good AGP 4x/8x card for about $35.  I'm presuming your  
card is AGP, but you can post what motherboard you're using to make me  

Re: video for NEC 4100

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Back of Screen:  Model LCD4010-BK(A)
I posted an inquiry on NECs customer support site asking for specs, I
will let you know what I get back. The specs were no longer listed.

Dual head VGA: Now that you said that I remember ordering those cards
about 5 years ago and I placed the order because we needed inexpensive
dual-head VGA cards, and that?s what the picture in catalog showed.
But when the cards arrived, they were dual-head (1 VGA and 1 DVI), so
we had the vendor comp us the DVI to VGA converter/coupler(s).  The
vendor explained the cards had been updated.

The PC we are using is a Compaq "small form factor", and probably 7+
years old.  I would prefer using VESA cards as opposed to AGP because
I believe the AGP cards that fit in SFF are a special size. (At least
face plate)    I probably need to think about upgrading the PC, but
the new PC would be HP/Compaq SFF as well.
The OS is W2K, upgrading would make it XP w/sp2.

Re: video for NEC 4100

sid wrote:
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There are some specs here.

It is a 40" LCD, with VGA and DVI input. 1366 x 768 native resolution.

Single link DVI can handle the resolution, in terms of bulk transfer
of bits. But there are other details as well.

I see in this document, that the actual input accepted is 1360 x 768,
and that is a resolution that more video cards can produce (1360 is
divisible by 8).

In the release notes for an Nvidia driver, you can see which
cards have 1360x768 as a standard resolution. (Try PDF page 32
for example, and some 6200 family cards are listed.)

Some examples of 6200 AGP cards here.

Now, throwing low profile into the mix, is just cruel :-)

This XFX card has a low profile PCB section. But the faceplate
metal is full height. What some of these cards have, is a
removable VGA connector, and then what you need, is a low
profile faceplate, to go with the card. (Good luck with that -
maybe on one try in ten, I can find a grab bag of those.)

Why am I going for the 6200 ? Because it is keyed "universal AGP"
on the AGP slot connector. There are other products, which are low
profile, but the connector is 1.5V only. And on an old computer, it
is possible the AGP is 3.3V only.

For more info on keying for AGP, use the following.

The second link, is to a program that displays some info about
the computer hardware. You use the "mainboard" tab, and look
at the "chipset" field on CPUZ, to figure out what chipset
the old computer uses. Then, using the tables on the Playtool
site, you can figure out whether the AGP slot would be a 3.3V
only or not. A universal card will work in that case, but any
card which is 1.5V only, won't.

There are still some PCI graphics cards around, but those will
be slower with respect to the bus connection. Your old Compaq
may have some PCI slots. Newegg has some low profile ones listed.
This is an example, and at least the X1550 (X1300) chip is more
recent than some of the ones offered.

There is also this PCI card, a Visiontek, that is low profile.
It uses a DMS-59 connector and "hydra" cable, to do output.
That is how they can squeeze a bit more capability into a low
profile faceplate. This one only takes one PCI slot space.

For PCI Express (your proposed replacement computer), there
will be more small formfactor options. Of course, you
can also get a decent graphics card put in the thing by the

As an example, this is another low profile Visiontek card. Notice
that it is very similar to the N82E16814129069 one previously
mentioned, and uses the DMS-59 connector and cable. The
difference is, the slot connector is PCI Express x16, which
has more than 30x the slot bandwidth. So no excuses for slow
screen updates, like you might get on the previous PCI one.


Re: video for NEC 4100

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s can


Lots of info !
The Compaq and HP SFF have a riser card for the PCI slots, so the PCI
cards sit parallel to the main board and don't have to be short.  Only
the AGP card has a slot that makes it sit perpendicular to the main
board and so it has to be short.

The Radeon card that I have supports: DVI 1376x768  and  VGA 1600x1200
I was just wondering why the VGA supported higher resolution than the
And if a new card could push the resolution even higher ?
What looks nice on a 20" looks pretty grainy on that system.

Also, Any way to divide the screen up ?  Make the PC think that this
one screen is actually many screens ?


Re: video for NEC 4100

sid wrote:

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DVI digital has a thing called the "dot clock". By specification,
it maxes out at about 165MHz, while if you examine what is on the
cable with a scope, you see signals at 1650 megabaud. Which is damn
fast. The extremely high speed, is what helps limit the cable
lengths supported.

There are a few video cards, where the DVI output is not capable
of reaching full speed. The driver prevents the resolution
from going too high, in order to prevent the DVI output from
appearing "snowy" to the user. That could be a reason for
restricting the output.

When I was looking for cards, I read a comment about the 9250 chip,
which said that the second DVI connector would only do 1024x768.
And that is really restrictive, in terms of the 1920x1200 res that
DVI should be able to do.

The VGA is limited by the video DAC (digital to analog converter)
bandwidth. The bandwidth specification of the DAC, determines the
resolution and refresh rates that can be supported.

One reason for the grainy look, could be a resolution mismatch
and resampling happening on the monitor. That tells me you aren't
really running at 1360x768. The display should look better, if you
can manage to drive it at "native" resolution. And DVI should
look a bit better than VGA, because with VGA, any imperfections
in the cable (electrical reflections), are visible on the screen.
DVI is perfect, until bit corruption flips individual bits, and
then you see "snow" start to appear. If transmission is really
bad, maybe eventually you lose sync.

With the goofy 1366x768 thing, monitors have displayed a number
of strange looking symptoms. On some of them, it is virtually
impossible to strike a video output resolution, that the monitor
likes. I believe the more modern ones, are a bit more tolerant
of the 1360-1366-1368 variations. For example, if the monitor
is sent 1360 and is 1366 internally, it should just use black
bars for 3 pixels on either side of the picture. But some of the
old ones, would try to resample the image and scale it, which
looks stupid.

There are apparently some video cards that have resolution to
the nearest pixel (so you could dial up 1366 if you needed it),
but there is no way, using the available advertising material,
to find such cards. And since your monitor is supposed to accept
1360, an ordinary card (divisible by 8) should suffice anyway.


Re: video for NEC 4100

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Paul and Grinder,

I want to thank you for you responses.
=46rom all the I have read, my conclusion is that upgrading the card and
the PC would not show a significant benefit.  Right now we have the
monitor displaying some WebPages that monitor critical applications.
The pages only update every few moments and what we have does not even
seem to be taxed.
I will plan to upgrade in the next few months, but I don't see urgency
to rush an upgrade in the next day or so.



Re: video for NEC 4100

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If I install an AGP card, can I still enable the on-board graphics
adapter and run another monitor ?
I want to know the pro/con of using AGP vs PCI.

Re: video for NEC 4100

sid wrote:

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The average answer to that question, is "No". On some computers
(like some of the latest PCI Express motherboards), you can keep
the built-in graphics on the motherboard, enabled at the same
time as a card you've added. But the majority of computers don't
seem to allow it. So I wouldn't depend on that capability.

Remember, that the AGP card will be able to drive two monitors.
So, with the built-in disabled, you should still be able to
connect two monitors to the new AGP card.

One difference between the cards, is bandwidth available at the
connector. So this shows why some flavor of AGP will be a help.

PCI             -  133MB/sec
AGP             - 2133MB/sec for AGP 8X
                   1066MB/sec for AGP 4X
                    533MB/sec for AGP 2X
                    266MB/sec for AGP 1X
PCI Express x16 - 4000MB/sec bidirectional, total 8000MB/sec
                 - (Bidirectional, because PCI Express has two busses, TX and RX)

Say you wanted to update a 1280x1024 rectangle on the screen,
30 times a second. The color mode could be 32 bits per pixel,
meaning 4 bytes to color one dot. Think about how many megabytes
per second that would be. That is when you don't want the PCI card,
as you need plenty of bandwidth to do something like that. That
might represent some kind of movie playback.

For many purposes, the PCI card would be fine. But there will
be pathological cases I can suggest, where the PCI card will


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