Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

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Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 04:56

Hi all!

I'd like to have a thread that allows everyone who uses a widescreen monitor for their retro PC (be it DOS or Windows) to let us know if there are any issues with 4:3 aspect ratio support.

I did try to test for smooth scrolling because of 60 Hz / 70 Hz, but all the demos and pinball games I tried look just as smooth via DVI with no parent stuttering happening.

This is about VGA input only!

I've attached a game and PCPBENCH for convenience.

Monitor is an AOC 23.6" 16:9 1920 x 1080 monitor model e2450Swd

Feel free to reply / copy paste below as a template:

BIOS: Image gets stretched

DOS Command prompt: Image gets stretched. Left part cut off.

DOS 320 x 200 game: Image gets stretched. Left part cut off.

DOS 640 x 480 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 101)

DOS 800 x 600 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 103)

DOS 1024 x 786 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 105)

DOS 1280 x 1024 game: 5:4 (PCPBENCH 107)

DOS 1600 x 200 game: Not supported (PCPBENCH 145)

Windows 640 x 480: 4:3

Windows 800 x 600: 4:3

Windows 1024 x 768: 4:3

Windows 1280 x 1024: 5:4

Windows: 1600 x 1200: Not supported

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image



ISO image to burn a test CD

Quickly a little test image. Just burn this ISO onto a CD. Boot from it. It's automatic and all you need to do is press ESCAPE after each resolution. After the resolution test it will do a scrolling test. Report if you see any stuttering.

Then report back here :)
Attachments
AR-TEST-V11.zip
(838.43 KiB) Downloaded 64 times
PCPBENCH.zip
(301.25 KiB) Downloaded 56 times
epicpn21.zip
(843.38 KiB) Downloaded 53 times
Last edited by Mau1wurf1977 on 2014-4-26 @ 01:37, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 05:22

Monitor is a Philips 18.5" 1366 x 768 model 196V4L

Feel free to reply / copy paste below as a template:

BIOS: 4:3

DOS Command prompt: 4:3

DOS 320 x 200 game: 4:3

DOS 640 x 480 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 101)

DOS 800 x 600 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 103)

DOS 1024 x 786 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 105)

DOS 1280 x 1024 game: Not supported (PCPBENCH 107)

DOS 1600 x 200 game: Not supported (PCPBENCH 145)

Windows 640 x 480: 4:3

Windows 800 x 600: 4:3

Windows 1024 x 768: 4:3

Windows 1280 x 1024: Not supported

Windows: 1600 x 1200: Not supported

Image

Image

Image

Image

Aspect ratio button on the front!

Image
Last edited by Mau1wurf1977 on 2014-4-25 @ 06:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 05:23

And one more:

No pictures for this one. It's the Acer X193HQ

This one stretches everything. BIOS, DOS Command promt, DOS games, VGA or higher, Windows...
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 05:35

And this is my last, my best monitor I got. I don't use it for retro gaming, it's in my home office.

It's a Samsung 27" 1920 x 1080 S27B350

Feel free to reply / copy paste below as a template:

BIOS: 4:3

DOS Command prompt: 4:3

DOS 320 x 200 game: 4:3

DOS 640 x 480 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 101)

DOS 800 x 600 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 103)

DOS 1024 x 786 game: 4:3 (PCPBENCH 105)

DOS 1280 x 1024 game: 5:4 (PCPBENCH 107)

DOS 1600 x 200 game: Not supported (PCPBENCH 145)

Windows 640 x 480: 4:3

Windows 800 x 600: 4:3

Windows 1024 x 768: 4:3

Windows 1280 x 1024: 5:4

Windows: 1600 x 1200: Not supported

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by Mau1wurf1977 on 2014-4-25 @ 06:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby keropi » 2014-4-24 @ 07:22

regarding the "parts that cut off" , this is easily fixed with the "auto adjust" function , it's a classic vga input problem
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 07:52

keropi wrote:regarding the "parts that cut off" , this is easily fixed with the "auto adjust" function , it's a classic vga input problem


Ah of course :blush:

PLE, my favourite computer shop in Western Australia, has two 1920 x 1200 24" monitors from Samsung. I checked the manual and both have 4:3 aspect ratio options in the menu.

But will it work in MS-DOS? I'm confident because my current Samsung does.

http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?Inv ... goryID=296

http://www.ple.com.au/ViewItem.aspx?Inv ... goryID=296

The cheaper one is TN, the other one AD-PLS.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby keropi » 2014-4-24 @ 08:05

I don't see why DOS (or any other OS) matters with a screen ... maybe some crazy vga resolutions won't work but this could happen on crts as well.
I have a LG 24" 1920x1200 as my main monitor and it works very well with VGA and 4:3 aspect , either Samsung will be fine
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 08:41

Because DOS games show up as 720 x 400 @ 70 Hz and some monitors / manufacturers do not implement this resolution. The AOC is an example. And monitors aren't cheap and nobody tests for this stuff. If people knew exactly what model can do all resolutions they could buy with confidence.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby keropi » 2014-4-24 @ 08:44

never had this problem on my samsung and lg screens ... do you remember a title so I can test?
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 09:00

ISO image to burn a test CD

Quickly a little test image. Just burn this ISO onto a CD. Boot from it. It's automatic and all you need to do is press ESCAPE after each resolution. After the last resolution test (1600 x 1200) it will test for smooth scrolling. Just look out for any stutter.

Then report back here :)

Resolutions tested are:

320 x 200
640 x 400
640 x 480
800 x 600
1024 x 768
1280 x 1024
1600 x 1200
Attachments
AR-TEST-V11.zip
(838.43 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
Last edited by Mau1wurf1977 on 2014-4-26 @ 01:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby keropi » 2014-4-24 @ 10:20

allright, made it usb-boot with XBoot (https://sites.google.com/site/shamurxboot/download) so I could test in the modern computers without moving screens/units:

- Samsung SyncMaster T200 1680x1050
- LG M2362D 1920x1080
- LG M208WA 1680x1050

all worked except the mode between 320x200 and 640x480 and mode 145 that were not supported from the intel onboard gpu , don't have any more modern-ish screens at my office... will check back home with another LG and a HP screen but I am pretty sure they'll just work as well
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 10:50

Awesome!

So 640 x 400 displayed stretched? The AOC does the same thing.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby keropi » 2014-4-24 @ 10:55

is 640x400 between 320x200 and 640x480? it did not work at all, I got the PCPBENCH error that it's not supported but I could not see the mode # (like the mode145 error that is last) screen changed too quick to the next test :D
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-24 @ 11:03

PCPBENCH 100 is for that mode. Possible that the GPU doesn't support. Not a big deal.

320 x 200 (first one) is the most important one.

I appreciate the effort.

Hopefully more will chip and test their widescreen monitors!

Remember guys, this works on modern PCs as well. Just make sure you use VGA not DVI.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby 5u3 » 2014-4-24 @ 22:27

Here are the two LCDs I have at home:

Samsung SyncMaster 2443 (1920x1200, TN panel, 2009)
I've been using it with my retro rigs for quite some time and since I run a lot of demo scene prods and other weird stuff, I can attest that this one can do 4:3 properly in any resolution. The onscreen menu offers only two settings: "Auto" and "Wide", but the automatic setting has never got the aspect ratio wrong (Edit: when confronted with native 4:3 resolutions). Plus, it doesn't judder in 70 Hz VGA modes.

Asus ProArt PA248Q (1920x1200, IPS panel, 2012)
This is a sneaky one. It offers widescreen, 4:3 and 1:1 options in the menu, but the 4:3 setting is not available in 350- and 400-line modes. Which means that 320x200, 640x350, 640x400 and text modes can not be displayed with the correct aspect ratio. And since it has an IPS panel, it stutters when scrolling in VGA.
Last edited by 5u3 on 2014-4-25 @ 00:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2014-4-24 @ 22:38

1280x1024 is not 4:3 (1.33:1); it's 5:4 (1.25:1). Displaying it on 4:3 without pillar-boxing will result in stretching. :happy:

Haven't burned/tested the CD, but I can tell you from general usage that Gateway XHD3000 will have no problems preserving input AR from a variety of inputs (VGA, CVBS, YPbPr, etc), and scales very well. Hannspree Xm-S 19" (identifies via EDID as "Hannspree LM05") will stretch anything that isn't 16:10 to fit, regardless of resolution or AR, and Samsung 2343BW (and perhaps BWX; I understand them to be quite similar) will either stretch or preserve AR depending on menu options.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby JayCeeBee64 » 2014-4-25 @ 03:10

Here are the results for my Acer S202HL widescreen 20" LED monitor (max resolution 1600x900 @60Hz):

BIOS, DOS prompt, 320x200 & 640x400 screens - all stretched

640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 - all 4:3 in DOS and Windows

1280x1024, 1600x1200 - not supported (obviously)

I used my Socket 7 Pentium 166MMX rig for this test run. Will try to test my Socket 478 Pentium 4 Northwood rig when I have more time (my Core i5 rig is DVI only ._. ).

Finally, some pics:

Image Image Image Image

EDIT: Ran the test on my Pentium 4 rig; results were almost identical, only difference was in the initial boot screen - Socket 7 is stretched, Pentium 4 is 4:3. Scrolling test was smooth on both as well.

Image Image Image Image Image
Last edited by JayCeeBee64 on 2014-4-28 @ 02:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-25 @ 06:40

obobskivich wrote:1280x1024 is not 4:3 (1.33:1); it's 5:4 (1.25:1). Displaying it on 4:3 without pillar-boxing will result in stretching. :happy:


Fixed!

Thanks everyone for contributing.

So with IPS panels, they only work at 60 Hz and therefore can't do the 70 Hz for DOS games. Interesting.

Maybe video cards do a conversion when using DVI? Because I could not find something that doesn't scroll smooth via DVI on a FX5200. The scrolling in Epic Pinball when you exit the game for example.

How are IPS panels for retro gaming? Better viewing angles, colours and blacks?

I'm wondering if ALL IPS panels will stutter in scrolling or if there are exceptions.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby 5u3 » 2014-4-25 @ 09:24

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:So with IPS panels, they only work at 60 Hz and therefore can't do the 70 Hz for DOS games. Interesting.

They will display 70 Hz modes, but they seem to run at 60 Hz internally, so they will drop frames when confronted with higher refresh rates. I reckon most people don't notice or care about this, since most DOS VGA games have jerky animations/scrolling by default. But there are some gems featuring really smooth VGA graphics, where the programmers went out of their way to achieve these effects, and it would be a pity having it ruined by the LCD monitor.

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Maybe video cards do a conversion when using DVI? Because I could not find something that doesn't scroll smooth via DVI on a FX5200. The scrolling in Epic Pinball when you exit the game for example.

Apparently video cards behave differently when using DVI and the EDID/DDC data provided by the monitor may play a role as well. I've only tested my Geforce4 Ti 4600 and Quadro4 900XGL cards in DOS and the results in 70 Hz modes were catastrophic: The cards forced the refresh rate to 60 Hz when connected via DVI, some games ran too slowly, many just crashed.

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:How are IPS panels for retro gaming? Better viewing angles, colours and blacks? I'm wondering if ALL IPS panels will stutter in scrolling or if there are exceptions.

The pros are better colours and viewing angles, and IPS monitors often are generally nicer, because they are more expensive. The cons are slower response times and the 70 Hz stutter problem. AFAIK all IPS panels are limited to 60 Hz (I've learned the hard way after buying two different 1600x1200 and one 1920x1200 IPS monitors). Apparently there are overclockable IPS monitors (usually grey imports from Korea), but those don't even have a VGA input any more.

I've been looking for a replacement for my SyncMaster 2443 for some time (it is the best I've seen for DOS games, yet it has some annoying flaws), but I'm afraid new LCD models will only get worse for retro gaming.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-25 @ 09:34

Thanks for the answers!

I'm really tempted to get that Samsung 16:10 screen from PLE. Might stick to the TN panel though.

Seems that Samsung are pretty Retro friendly. So far three Samsung screens and they all work very well with aspect ratios.
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