Does the size of the monitor Matter

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I have a old computer, and I want to buy a big LCD. The best I've found so far is Viewsonic's 24" LCD TFT monitor.

So will it run without any problems, or do I need to upgrade the video cards or something as well?

The computer is not too old: it has P4 board and celeron processor, with 128 graphics memory.

And in display properties, it says that the maxium that I can use is 1280 x 1024 resolution.

I am noob hardware-wise, so need help on this stuff.


Best Answer

The trick here is whether your video card can handle the monitor. LCD monitors have a particular resolution they look best at. With a 24", you're probably looking at 1920x1200. There are five things you need to look at:

  • Is there enough memory to build your desktop image? That's 1920 * 1200 pixels * 32bits per pixel / 8 bits per byte / 1024 bytes per KB / 1024 KB / MB = 8.79MB per frame. 128MB of video memory should be enough to handle that.
  • Is the memory bus fast enough to deliver each frame to the display? That's 60hz (cycles/frames per second) * 8.79MB per frame = 527MB / second through that card. You need to make sure you card's memory bus will do that.
  • Is your card built to handle this resoultion? The card may be fast enough, but a lot of those older cards were built before wide screen displays were popular and just don't have support for them built in.
  • Do you have the right kind of display port? Your current card almost certainly has a VGA port, but many newer monitors expect a DVI connection, as VGA can start to see distortion at higher resolutions.
  • Is the card fast enough for 3D rendering? If you want to also do things like gaming or Windows Aero, you need enough additional performance in the card to handle it.

You can get cheap (<$50) video cards that would easily drive this monitor. I would be tempted to look at one of those, but that brings up the whole new issue of what kind of video port your computer has (probably just AGP).