Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2015-5-01 @ 04:36

Thought I'd reply after a few months living with my new BenQ XL2430T (it's a 144Hz 1080p 24" monitor). It has a number of scaling options built-in - it can do 1:1 mapping, full-screen stretch, or Aspect preservation, but it also has a variety of preset "sizes" that it can scale images to (e.g. "17" 4:3" where it tries to emulate a 17" monitor) - from what I've seen all of those options more or less come available as long as you aren't driving native 1080p into it. It will let you create incorrect AR images too - for example you can send it a 5:4 image and pick a 4:3 output setting, or vice versa. For inputs it has VGA, 2x HDMI (can take DVI via adapters no problem), 1x DVI Dual-Link, and 1x DisplayPort inputs. I've thus far hooked it up with DVI, DP, and HDMI/DVI connections. It doesn't seem to care how it's hooked up in terms of scaling options being available, the only thing I think that changes is the high refresh rates are only available via DVI and DP (via HDMI on my FX 5800 it will enable 75 Hz settings, but 144 is not available). I haven't run the DOS demo posted here, but I've tried various settings from my PCs (in games and Windows) - the DVI and DP inputs have been tested with a Radeon R9 290X, and the HDMI and DVI with FX 5800. I've not tried/tested any resolutions lower than 640x480 either, but everything from that thru 1280x960/1600x1024 (it won't do 1600x1200) is available 1:1, Native AR but scaled to height, stretched, or manipulated thru one of the other scaling options. It's also clever enough to detect if it's getting a 16:9 image, for example if you have a game that will do 1600x900, it will default to "Full" and just scale the image up to panel size correctly.

Refresh options are not a universal 144Hz at all settings - 144Hz is available at 1080p and I think 1680x1050 (it does have a 16:10 mode for this too), but otherwise it usually caps at 75 Hz (it will do 1280x1024 75Hz just like a conventional 5:4 17" LCD for example). It will also accept 24/30Hz Interlaced input (from the modelists available on both the 290X and 5800 Ultra, it will do at least 720i and 1080i, and may support others (it's hard to tell because both drivers separate "HDTV" and "PC Monitor" resolutions because they see it as a digital display and assume its a TV, so there might be some interlaced "PC Monitor" resolutions buried in there that I haven't found :blah: )).

Hopefully once my second Voodoo2 arrives, I'll have a machine to hook up via VGA and can report back on that if anyone is interested, but given that neither the manual nor the menus seem to really make any serious distinction between input types, I don't expect it to behave differently.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2015-5-01 @ 04:49

Thank you!

It really seems that Benq has the image scaling sorted out :)

A shame that 144 Hz, or higher than 75 Hz modes aren't available through VGA. But 75 Hz is already an improvement.

Please let me know how you go with your V2, but it shouldn't cause any issues. At least with my LCD monitors, Voodoo cards were fine. Only issues was at 512 x 386 in SLI, for some reason in SLI it can't do 60 Hz anymore and the lowest refresh rate is 70 or 72 if I recall correctly. But who games at that resolution?

Looks like my next screen will be a Benq :)
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby alexanrs » 2015-5-01 @ 11:51

I have a system with a Voodoo2. The desktop looks fine at 800x600 (max. resolution my 1MB Trio64 will do in high color) and, when I tried it on a newer system, it looked a bit fuzzy at 1080p, but it wasn't unuseable.
It didn't recognize 512x386 when I tried it on the Voodoo (it displays fine, but I can't access the full menu, only the part where it allows me to change the active input). I did not notice any stuttering at any time, but I will run the demo in the first post to correctly test it.

Also, I have the older (120Hz) version. Glad to see they did not screw anything up on the newer one.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2015-5-02 @ 12:42

philscomputerlab wrote:Thank you!

It really seems that Benq has the image scaling sorted out :)

A shame that 144 Hz, or higher than 75 Hz modes aren't available through VGA. But 75 Hz is already an improvement.


I actually can't say it doesn't support 144Hz via VGA - via HDMI it seems to be limited at 75Hz, but this may be the FX 5800 and not the monitor itself. Once I get the time, I'm hoping to hook up something like 6800 Ultra/X850XT/Wildcat 800/etc (some card that can do 2048x1536 @ 85Hz or better via VGA) and seeing exactly what I can get out of it. Another side note on this: the 5800 has had no problems setting 1080p @ 60Hz via HDMI, and I would assume this same functionality exists on the 5900-series cards (like 5950 Ultra), so that might be something for folks wanting an old-ish card to plug into an HDTV to consider.

Just to get more info, I looked at what the 290X can enable in terms of "PC resolutions" - it's hooked up via DL-DVI. It offers me 640x480 thru 1920x1080 at 25Hz, 29Hz, 30Hz, and 50Hz (I assume these are all interlace modes), 60 Hz, 75Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz (I assume these are all progressive scan modes). Just to test, I tried 640x480 @ 144Hz, and it does enable (it's *awful* in Windows 7, but it does enable). :happy:


Please let me know how you go with your V2, but it shouldn't cause any issues. At least with my LCD monitors, Voodoo cards were fine. Only issues was at 512 x 386 in SLI, for some reason in SLI it can't do 60 Hz anymore and the lowest refresh rate is 70 or 72 if I recall correctly. But who games at that resolution?


The 5800 has offered me some odd 70-72Hz modes with the BenQ, but the 290X doesn't show them. I've always thought it was the 5800 hitting the bandwidth limit for its single-link DVI output, but perhaps it's from a more legacy-oriented feature, similar to what the V2s are doing.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2015-5-02 @ 13:51

Oh. Well it's really the VGA connection that interests me. Through DVI, even older cards, have display scaling options in the driver, which allows you to do all sorts of things.

If you get around to testing this sometimes (just use a DVI to VGA dongle), that would be awesome!
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2015-5-02 @ 14:38

philscomputerlab wrote:Oh. Well it's really the VGA connection that interests me. Through DVI, even older cards, have display scaling options in the driver, which allows you to do all sorts of things.

If you get around to testing this sometimes (just use a DVI to VGA dongle), that would be awesome!


290X does not support analog outputs of any kind (and I did ensure that GPU-assisted scaling was not enabled for testing at 640x480). The 5800 has analog output capabilities, but 2D/desktop performance at 2K/60Hz was not great (and it's not like it can run many games at such high resolutions), so I doubt it'd be a good test of the higher-redraw rates on the monitor. I'll update once I get around to trying a newer card with analog outputs (and/or the Voodoo2).
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby kanecvr » 2015-5-03 @ 22:16

On the 27" AOC, image is very clear @ 1024x768 on my V2 SLI rig (933MHZ P3 / Via appolo ECS board / GF 4 Ti 4200) . It gets a little fuzzy in the top right corner when using 1280x1024 (windows desktop).
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby GeorgeMan » 2015-5-04 @ 08:39

On my HP w2448hc 24" 1920x1200 monitor, I have the aspect ratio and 1:1 options available.
It can even do 1600x1200 4:3 for best high-end non-wide gaming.

They work everywhere. In DOS, BIOS, old Windows etc.
It even has a built-in light sensor which is very well calibrated and auto-adjusts the brightness in par with my specific needs.

I bought this monitor on 2008, it already has 13100 backlight hours and I'm not goint to toss it unless it breaks.
One of the best buys I ever made. :D
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby TandySensation » 2015-5-04 @ 21:01

Asus VH238

Has a 4:3 option but after running your bootable CD I discovered the 4:3 only works on 640x480 and up.

The lower resolutions, even 640x400, were stretched to fill the screen despite 4:3 being enabled. The resolutions above 1024x768 had a band of snowy looking static at the bottom of the screen where the progress indicator is. Good news is text scroll was smooth.

I wonder what the best wide screen LCD on the market is for DOS gaming. I have a smaller 5:4 screen but it's just easier/cleaner desk area to have a do everything monitor.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2015-5-04 @ 21:15

TandySensation wrote:I wonder what the best wide screen LCD on the market is for DOS gaming.


Reliability and availability problems aside, something like the Gateway XHD3000 is likely a contender for that category. I'm sure there are other displays out there with dedicated built-in video processors too. :blush:
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2015-5-04 @ 22:53

Samsung LCDs do aspect ratio correction at any resolution. Philips and LG, I have 18.5" models, also do all resolutions. AOC behaves like other screens, works correctly at 640 x 480 and higher, but not for DOS resolutions. Benq seems to have scaling sorted out well as well.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby alexanrs » 2015-5-05 @ 01:45

Here you go, phil! Please excuse my phone's camera, the images do look sharp live.

BIOS Setup (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
ImageImageImage

PINBALL/Mode 13h (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
ImageImageImage

Windows - 640x480 @ 120Hz (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
ImageImageImage

Windows - 800x600 @ 120Hz (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
ImageImageImage

Windows - 1024x768 @ 120Hz (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
ImageImageImage

Windows - 1280x1024 @ 60Hz (1x1, 19" 4:3 and Keep Aspect Ratio):
* The signal quality of this MX4000 in 1280x1024 @100Hz is crap, so I lowered the refresh rate
ImageImageImage

Aparently, this monitor also downscales big resolutions:
Image

A couple more PCPBENCH shots:
ImageImage
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2015-5-05 @ 02:58

Awesome alexanrs, thank you very much!

I really like the look of 1280 x 1024 in 1:1 mode :)
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Evert » 2015-5-26 @ 20:09

I played around with my *new* Dell P190S today and I can confirm that it displays Mode 13h (320x200x8) games at 720x400 and upscales it to 1280x1024. Now it surprisingly doesn't look and play too badly, but I can't help but wonder if you can improve the experience somehow using a VGA to DVI scaler or EDID Emulator. Have you tried using a DVI->VGA adaptor on your EDID Emulator and then outputting from it to any of your 5:4 screens Phil?
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2015-5-26 @ 23:07

The StarTech VGA to HDMI scaler can scale to any resolution really, but it always does a full-screen scale. It can't do any type of letterboxing or aspect ratio control.

With the EDID Emulator, you could force the card in outputting a 1024 x 768 signal, but the monitor will still fill the entire screen with this.

Ideally what you want is have a tiny black bar at the top and bottom. But the difference between 4:3 and 5:4 isn't that great. And many Windows games support this resolution natively and correctly.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby obobskivich » 2015-5-27 @ 09:55

Tested the XL2430T with Voodoo2 and GeForce FX via VGA - it will go all the way down to 320x240 at up to 75 Hz (and it may go higher on refresh - I'm not certain the FX/V2 isn't limiting me there). 320x200 showed a stable picture, but I also got an "Out of Range" message box from the monitor, so I'm guessing that one is out. All scaling options were available as well.

As a neat side note: this was all done in WindowsXP, with 16- or 32-bit color enabled. With the Voodoo2 installed, the GeForce FX thinks it's a monitor/display, and all of the Voodoo2's resolutions become available in the nVidia control panel for Windows - so I can set 320x240, 512x384, etc. 1080p passthru on the V2 also works and looks fine. :happy:
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby alexanrs » 2015-5-27 @ 16:50

I'm kidda sad that 320x200 doesn't work right on the XL2430T. Guess that after the XL2420T the BenQ monitors will get progressively less retro-friendly.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby od1n » 2016-6-16 @ 12:19

dr_st wrote:Some monitors have a built-in setting called "aspect" to stretch any resolution to the maximum allowed size, while maintaining the correct aspect. And being built into the monitor, it does not depend on video drivers, and works for every application, every OS, and even BIOS and DOS.

My DELL U2410 has such a setting. I just verified that it displays the correct aspect for the BIOS screen, the DOS command prompt, as well as two select games - Skyroads, and DOOM. The image fills the screen vertically, without stretching horizontally (centered, with black bars at both sides).


Sorry for resurrecting this old thread, but I just bought this monitor based on the verification above, and I cannot for the life of me get it to display BIOS, DOS or games in the proper aspect ratio. No matter how many times I've tried switching back and forth between the three aspect ratio modes to maybe force it to snap out of it and do the right thing, it keeps displaying things stretched to either 16:9 or 16:10.

Did you perform the test above on an actual DOS system? Or just Dosbox running on a modern machine?

My setup is as follows:
The Dell U2410 is attached to a PC running DOS 6.22 with mostly 1998 components - a Pentium 200MMX off an Epox motherboard with a VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset and a Matrox G200. I've also tried switching out the graphics adapter with a more modern GeForce4 4200TI on DVI to see if accepting the signal via a digital input made any diference on the monitor, but still it stretches everything. I'm a my wit's end here.

The funny thing is that the Dell U2410 will actually display the correct aspect ratio if I attach it to my modern PC (2.8Ghz i5 running Windows 7) via HDMI and force some really low common resolutions like 320x200 via the Nvidia Control Panel on my GeForce GTX 960. It just doesn't work on an actual DOS machine. Any help or even open speculation as to why this is happening is very welcome.

Oh, and when I'm checking the "Info" tab in the U2410s menu while attached to my DOS system, it says that it's receiving a 720x400 signal (both when displaying the DOS prompt or a 320x200 game like Doom). It makes no earthly sense. Unless my graphics cards have gone completely rogue and are choosing to upscale their outputs, the info tab has to be lying.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-6-16 @ 12:36

720 x 400 is what all my LCDs show in the menu.

A real shame that aspect ratio controls don't work for you :(

Is there maybe a firmware update? Do contact DELL and see what they say.

I guess at 640 x 480 and higher it will work? My AOC screens also have this behaviour.
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Re: Widescreen monitors and 4:3 aspect ratio compatibility thread

Postby Imperious » 2016-6-16 @ 12:49

I have a Dell U2412, when setting either 4:3 or 5:4 (native 16:10) it forces that aspect ratio no matter what resolution is put into it.
I haven't used the Display port but VGA and DVI works well.
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