VOGONS


First post, by phantasia

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I've been trying several routes to be able to get the best possible output on a modern screen.
I cannot go full CRT due to constraints in the space.

Here's what I got running:
- Dell U2414H - It only has HDMI and DP inputs - Connected to a 5900 - It has VGA and DVI outputs.

Here's how I've tried to run it into my retro build:
1. DVI to HDMI cheap ass converter from Amazon. It's actually the one that works best in MSDOS, Win98, etc. But if I try to run for instance, Dungeon Keeper, I get errors with the resolution not being supported.
2. Extron RGB-HDMI 300 A. Found a cheap one on ebay. It works, it outputs and scales. MSDOS text looks really really bad. I've tried several different ways to output, scale, mess up the settings etc.

I am now considering either a used LCD with VGA input only from the 2000's. But I have crossed with some interesting stuff that could both work for my day to day work + satisfy my retro hunger.

I've seen this screen with a good price - AOC 24G2SPAE, has both DP, HDMI and VGA.
Reading through the manual: https://aoc.com/api/frontberg/downloadable/9f … K%20English.pdf

It has a table with what I think it's a good list of refresh rates + resolutions it supports.
Do you think that this screen could do the trick for what I'm looking for? I'm not planning to go into stuff before VGA, no EGA, CGA, etc.

Edit: Typo on Dell monitor name

Reply 1 of 13, by rmay635703

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Old 4:3 screens usually have some combination a lot of lag
Frameskipping on 70hz refresh , motion blur and strange horizontal lines and distortions with vertical movements .

There are videos for many of the vintage 4:3 screens.

Depending on your use the antique 20” LCD TVs (low res up to 640x480) or Dells 20” LCDs work best. Some of the 15” LCDs are ok too. I have an old HD 12” widescreen TV that handles all the inputs well (4:3 correction) but lag is an unknown.

None of these are comparable to the modern wide screens that properly support a forced 4:3 mode but those can be expensive just as scalers can be quite pricey.

Your screen in question no idea if it stretches 4:3 content, if it doesn’t it’s possible you might just want to direct drive 4:3 sources as scaling adds lag (race between internal or external scaling)

Reply 2 of 13, by phantasia

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My current Dell has aspect ratio options for 4:3 and another one besides the 16:10.
From the readings of the AOC that I listed as interested in buying, it also sports an internal scaler for the 4:3 resolutions. I can live with the "black bars" together on the screen with the content.
Just wondering if from the tech specs vs. what is needed for running DOS games, if it would be good to go without adding any more stuff in the middle, pure VGA from graphics card over to monitor and that's it.

Reply 3 of 13, by wbahnassi

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I have the Dell E2715H jack-of-all-trades. Takes in VGA, DVI, and DP. It is able to display anything I throw at it. The ports are all connected to different computers:

DP -> RTX 2060 -> Windows 11 @ 1080p dual monitors

DVI -> DVI-from-HDMI dongle -> OSSC -> MSX outputting PAL 50hz and NTSC 60hz at Line2x/Line4x/Line5x modes

VGA -> Voodoo3/SiS/CirrusLogic 8-bit VGA -> from various DOS machines (P233MMX/486/XT clone)

It is wide-screen, but knows how to keep the 4:3 aspect ratio, and you can force it to go wide or narrow should the video card play dumb (e.g. true DOS on the RTX 2060).

It has an auto-adjust function that recalibrates the screen under VGA to give a very clean picture that fits just right. So DOS text mode looks very nice without any irregularities. It never failed under any DOS video modes, and runs SVGA modes with ease. It's also lag-free, or at least I never felt any lag from it. Takes about 1 second to switch between video modes, which feels on par with some CRTs I've seen.

My desktop setup is dual-monitor of this baby. And I'm all for it vs 4K monitors, which I tried and really didn't feel it added any value to me on the Windows 11 experience. YMMV though.

The only issue it gave me was on a Trident VGA 16-bit ISA card, which seems to output a too-strong VGA color signal, causing faint jailbars to appear on the screen with slightly over-saturated colors.

It's an old DELL model of course, as VGA inputs have pretty much disappeared now...

Reply 4 of 13, by zuldan

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I have CRT monitors for my DOS retro machines but for my Windows 98 retro machines I really love the Dell 1908FPx series. 19-inch, 1280 x 1024, 5:4 aspect, Response Time: 5ms.

You can attach a Dell 10w soundbar at the bottom. Makes the setup really compact and great to take to lan parties. Here is a picture below with the sound bar. I got all my Dell 1908's on eBay for between $40 to $60. The soundbars for $20 to $30.

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Reply 5 of 13, by Jo22

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In my opinion, a CRT with a large dot pitch (0.3mm, 0.4mm) somewhat makes a difference for DOS games (320x200).
No LCD so far was a match here.

For 640x480 and 800x600, an old NEC or Belinea 4:3 LCD monitor seemed okay, though.
That were those beige 15" screens from the late 90s, early 2000s.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 7 of 13, by MikeSG

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HP z23n LCDs are similar to Dell wbahnassi mentioned. Supports VGA, HDMI, DP. Modern narrow bezel/frame.

DOS, BIOS etc are all presented full screen and in good proportion.

Strong jail bars on some VGA cards though. Cirrus Logic cards are fine, but Trident cards are unusable unless you mod them (replace caps, solid links across coils).

Reply 8 of 13, by Jo22

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I really recommend giving a CRT a chance here.
I've been using LCD screens since the 486 notebook days when they were monochromatic.

They're nice for 640x480 and up, but no fine substitute for low-res DOS games.
You'll hurt yourself unnecessary by sticking to an LCD for everything.
The pixelated "retro" graphics you're now used to weren't part of the original experience.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 9 of 13, by phantasia

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Believe me I would go for a CRT if I had the space, but I also need to use the same space for leisure and work. Therefore space is pretty limited. Then finding "new" CRT's is a pain, costs are stupid, shipping costs are even more stupid.
I had my share of fun with CRT's back in the day, nowadays I really appreciate being able to have 2 megascreens on my desk thanks to desk arms.

I will report back when I get the AOC monitor delivered and running. I have been reading about other monitors mainly for A500 and A1200 systems from Commodore and the specs of the screen are really not far away from some of the required stuff to work even with those.

Reply 10 of 13, by phantasia

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Well, so far so good, DOS displays beautifully on the display.
Windows XP was looking great.
Now setting it up with a P2 build from scratch.

This is what I should have done from start.

Any specific games or software to check if the screen can handle the necessary resolutions?

Reply 11 of 13, by Horun

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Try Jazz jackrabbit (not the Win9x version) from DOS, another is Heretic or Hexen.

zuldan wrote on 2023-12-19, 01:36:

I have CRT monitors for my DOS retro machines but for my Windows 98 retro machines I really love the Dell 1908FPx series. 19-inch, 1280 x 1024, 5:4 aspect, Response Time: 5ms.

Yes those Dells are very good for Win9x, also ok for DOS vga games.. I got two from a thrift store over the years and they do work very well...

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. Stuff: https://archive.org/details/@horun

Reply 12 of 13, by phantasia

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Thanks.
I'll give it a go with those 3.
The AOC LCD I got is really working wonders, it auto adjusts image, it can be put to work on 4:3 aspect ratio making it all very perfect.
I will also try to run some of the games listed on the PCI and AGP video chips compatibility chart.
I was wondering if there's some kind of utility to just test resolutions and refresh rates all in one.

Reply 13 of 13, by phantasia

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Wow, what are those?
Tested Prehistorik 1 and 2. Smooth sailing.
Tested Pinball Dreams and Fantasies, great smooth experience.
Dungeon Keeper has some issues with the internal scaler as its stretched and hides a bit on the lower horizontal border. But something that I can fix.

All in all the result is great!