New Monitors!

o I finally got out of the dark age and bought some flatscreen LCD monitors and got rid of my old CRTs. I figured it was time since I grew a third nipple and I glow in the dark now.

I found a great deal at Buy.com for ViewSonic VA2026w 20" Widescreen monitors with $30 mail in rebate AND free shipping. So I ordered myself two of those bad boys. I received them today, and for some reason, thought I should read the instructions. It pointed out that the resolution should be set at 1680x1050. Hmmm. I have a pretty crappy, but reliable video card, and my gut said this ain't going to happen by default. Sure enough, checking the resolution settings, my card doesn't support it. Maybe a driver update will help.

My card is a PowerColor 9250 ATI Radion, so found the latest driver release (bundeled into a new suite called Catalyst by ATI/AMD). I downloaded that, restarted my XP (I live in Linux, except when it comes to my dev environment, where I use Windows for Photoshop and my code editors, etc).

After restart, I still don't get the option of 1680x1050, even via catalyst control panel. This sucks. Googling around, I found a couple of options that helped me out. Below is what is needed to get the resolution in your option:

1. Click on Catalyst Control Center
2. Set View to be Advanced
3. Click Monitor Properties 0
4. Select HDTV Support
5. Check 'Add 720p60 in the Display Manager' AND 'Add 1080i30 in the Display Manager'
6. Do this for Monitor Properties 1 or Digital Panel Properties 3 (depending on your set up)
7. Go to Displays Manager
8. Set Refresh rate to 60Hz
9. Select 1680x1050 from Desktop Areas

You should be good to go. I had some issues with the my DVI to VGA converter. My second monitor had some ghosting, and the text was slightly messed up. I was also getting prompts saying that my resolution should be set to 1680x1050 (which it was). I ditched the converter and went with straight DVI cable, and everything was happy. Weird that the monitors did not come with DVI though.

The monitors rock though. Super crisp and bright.. I can't believe I delt with CRTs for so long.