On 09/12/2012 00:23, Gary Kline wrote:

>       one of the remaining problems --hopefuully the Last-- with my 
>       Dell 3010 quad i5 is that the resolution stops at 5:4.  it's
>       something like 1280x1014 whereas my widescreen Dell needs
>       1920x1280 or close to that.  do I need to go out and find a
>       videocard?  or is there a way of taking my 6GB of RAM and giving 
>       it to the video?

Do you have a DVI connector on your current graphics card, or just the
old style VGA connector?  Pretty much all modern widescreen monitors
will have a DVI connector as well as the legacy VGA.

If you don't know what those are, see this page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DVI_Connector_Types.svg

Most DVI monitor cables have a DVI-D dual link plug on them, but
anything matching those patterns is proof positive of DVI.

VGA connectors looks like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vga-cable.jpg

Anyhow, the point is if you're using a DVI connector, X will be able to
query the monitor and find out its preferred resolution etc.
automatically.  Whereas with a VGA connector, it will default to using
one of the standard VGA series of resolutions.  All monitors will
support some sort of VGA resolution for backwards compatibility --
typically 1024x768@60Hz -- and many will support higher, but all of the
VGA series resolutions are 4:3 aspect ratio which doesn't look very nice
on a widescreen monitor.

There's two ways to fix the problem.

  1) Get a video card with a DVI connector, or at least a DVI-to-DVI
     monitor cable if your card already has that.  Apart from the
     hassle of getting a new video card that will work happily with X,
     this should be pretty painfree.

  2) Edit your Xorg.conf to add a custom mode that matches what your
     monitor expects.  Back in the days of CRTs this was a potentially
     risky thing to do, as configuring the video mode wrongly could
     phsically damage your monitor.  Modern flatscreens however will
     just put up a message saying the input is incompatible.

Working out what the right parameters are to put in the mode definition
is the tricky bit.  You may be able to use xrandr to pull them out (but
if xrandr could do it, then X would do it automatically too...) There
should be documentation that comes with the monitor, or you may find a
kind soul online with the same make and model of monitor who will send
you some xrandr output.

        Cheers,

        Matthew

-- 
Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey


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