Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

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Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-24 @ 19:20

So my rig will mainly run Windows 2000, and maybe dual boot either Me or 98SE if I can get the SATA controller to work with them, but I'm a bit torn on screen selection. For now I'm using a 32" Sony Bravia 1366 x 768 hdtv which is fun because it is huge, but that got me thinking for 2000 wouldn't the best gaming resolution have been 1280 x 1024?

Given that, I can't seem to find any monitors larger than 19" with that native resolution.

Looking for a brand new 'best 1280 x 1024' screen led me I the Asus VB199T-P which has DVI and VGA inputs, a 5ms response time, and 76Hz vertical refresh rate.

Is there any other model of screen i may want to consider for this?

1600 x 1200 came up but I think that wasn't doable in 2000, and my Quadro 2 Pro likely wouldn't be very up for it in 3d era-correct games.

What do you guys think?
Retro: Win2k/98SE - 2x P3 1.4ghz, 2gb RAM, Quadro 4k, SB Audigy 2zs | Xp/7 - i7 3970x, 16gb DDR3, 2x Titan Black, SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby leileilol » 2019-6-24 @ 20:05

1600x1200 was a thing before Win2000 (it's a resolution that was big part of the hype of the original Riva TNT's hires quake2 potential in 1998, and even the Voodoo Banshee supports it) so go nuts.


To settle the 'period correct' on ridiculous resolutions, here's a super old Nov 1998 Quake3 shot at 2048x1152. (slightly over "full HD")
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-24 @ 20:39

leileilol wrote:1600x1200 was a thing before Win2000 (it's a resolution that was big part of the hype of the original Riva TNT's hires quake2 potential in 1998, and even the Voodoo Banshee supports it) so go nuts.


To settle the 'period correct' on ridiculous resolutions, here's a super old Nov 1998 Quake3 shot at 2048x1152. (slightly over "full HD")

I understand what you're getting at - my goal is just to get the best screen i can find that the hardware will drive well.

The Quadro 2 Pro is not exactly a beast of a card, and I'm wanting to have the overall setup balanced as far as a sort of best experience that i could have had in 2000 / 2001 when i built my first new pc.

In any case do you have any recommendations on screens I may want to consider?
Retro: Win2k/98SE - 2x P3 1.4ghz, 2gb RAM, Quadro 4k, SB Audigy 2zs | Xp/7 - i7 3970x, 16gb DDR3, 2x Titan Black, SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby frudi » 2019-6-24 @ 21:51

The nice thing about 1600x1200 monitors is that they can also display 800x600 without major scaling distortions. They can also scale down to lower resolutions in whole integer multipliers, such as 400x300, 320x240 and 320x200, in case you also want to run DOS games on them. Scaling to 640x480 is not perfect, but is still decent (at 2.5x). That leaves 1024x768 and 512x384 as the only standard 4:3 resolutions that scale poorly; and obviously 1280x1024, which isn't even 4:3, but 5:4.

On the other hand a 1280x1024 monitor is only really good at displaying its native resolution, all other popular resolutions will be pretty badly distorted. So if a game doesn't run well enough at 1280x1024 or doesn't even support it, you're basically stuck with either poor performance or poor scaling. At least with a 1600x1200 screen you can turn it down to 800x600 and get significantly better performance, without sacrificing scaling quality.

And honestly, with a GeForce/Quadro 2 type card, you will likely struggle to get decent frame rates at 1280x1024x16, let alone at 32-bit. Unless of course you're also looking for that period correct 30-40 fps experience :). The sweet spot for that card is probably at 800x600x32.

Now getting a good 1600x1200 screen though, that's not always a simple matter. I'm not sure any new ones are still being produced. Used ones, look for something like Dell's 2007fp or Samsung's 214T. Alternatively, you can get some new 1920x1200 monitors that support 4:3 resolutions up to 1600x1200 through either 1:1 pixel mapping or 4:3 correct scaling (with black bars on the sides). That's the option I went with, the specific monitor I use is a Dell U2412m (there's a newer version available, the U2415, but it lacks VGA and DVI inputs). That was after trying out both a good 19" 1280x1024 IPS LCD and a high-end 19" Nokia CRT; in the end the convenience of 1600x1200 support and the quality of a new IPS screen won out for me.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-24 @ 22:18

frudi wrote:The nice thing about 1600x1200 monitors is that they can also display 800x600 without major scaling distortions. They can also scale down to lower resolutions in whole integer multipliers, such as 400x300, 320x240 and 320x200, in case you also want to run DOS games on them. Scaling to 640x480 is not perfect, but is still decent (at 2.5x). That leaves 1024x768 and 512x384 as the only standard 4:3 resolutions that scale poorly; and obviously 1280x1024, which isn't even 4:3, but 5:4.

On the other hand a 1280x1024 monitor is only really good at displaying its native resolution, all other popular resolutions will be pretty badly distorted. So if a game doesn't run well enough at 1280x1024 or doesn't even support it, you're basically stuck with either poor performance or poor scaling. At least with a 1600x1200 screen you can turn it down to 800x600 and get significantly better performance, without sacrificing scaling quality.

And honestly, with a GeForce/Quadro 2 type card, you will likely struggle to get decent frame rates at 1280x1024x16, let alone at 32-bit. Unless of course you're also looking for that period correct 30-40 fps experience :). The sweet spot for that card is probably at 800x600x32.

Now getting a good 1600x1200 screen though, that's not always a simple matter. I'm not sure any new ones are still being produced. Used ones, look for something like Dell's 2007fp or Samsung's 214T. Alternatively, you can get some new 1920x1200 monitors that support 4:3 resolutions up to 1600x1200 through either 1:1 pixel mapping or 4:3 correct scaling (with black bars on the sides). That's the option I went with, the specific monitor I use is a Dell U2412m (there's a newer version available, the U2415, but it lacks VGA and DVI inputs). That was after trying out both a good 19" 1280x1024 IPS LCD and a high-end 19" Nokia CRT; in the end the convenience of 1600x1200 support and the quality of a new IPS screen won out for me.


Oh that makes sense!

I have a Quadro FX 4000 SDI that could be swapped in if the experience with this 2 Pro is going to be awful. Also I think I've seen several of those Dell 2007fp screens at local thrift stores recently for $10 or so...

Hmm...
Retro: Win2k/98SE - 2x P3 1.4ghz, 2gb RAM, Quadro 4k, SB Audigy 2zs | Xp/7 - i7 3970x, 16gb DDR3, 2x Titan Black, SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby frudi » 2019-6-25 @ 13:09

If you can get one of those 2007fp Dells for about $10, I think it's honestly a no-brainer. Even if for whatever reason you decide to use something else for this build in the end, a monitor like this is so versatile it can always find a use in many different retro projects. I wish I could get them for $10 here, instead of more like 40€+, I'd get a couple just to keep in reserve :)
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-6-26 @ 15:41

1600x1200 is the way to go!
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-26 @ 18:48

oeuvre wrote:1600x1200 is the way to go!

Haha thanks! I'm going to keep my eyes out for a Samsung 214T. None on ebay at the moment but I might be able to find one locally.
Retro: Win2k/98SE - 2x P3 1.4ghz, 2gb RAM, Quadro 4k, SB Audigy 2zs | Xp/7 - i7 3970x, 16gb DDR3, 2x Titan Black, SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby Srandista » 2019-6-26 @ 19:19

I'm all for 1600x1200 as well, but was it really a thing back in 2000? And I don't mean like on John Carmack's desk, but widespread used resolution back then?
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-6-26 @ 19:22

1280x1024 was the thing back in 2000 if you had cash for a decent monitor. My Sony 420GS could do 1600x1200 @75Hz but the games I played back then tended to max out at 1280x1024 anyway.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-27 @ 04:47

Unknown_K wrote:1280x1024 was the thing back in 2000 if you had cash for a decent monitor. My Sony 420GS could do 1600x1200 @75Hz but the games I played back then tended to max out at 1280x1024 anyway.

yeah I am pretty sure I ran 1024x768 on CRTs until I ended up getting a 21" Sony that could do 1600x1200 as well (not sure what model it was but it looked amazing at the time), but my next screen was a 28" 1920x1200 Viewsonic.

Since I'm switching from 'just' a 1.13ghz PIII to dual 1.4ghz chips and 1.5-2gb RAM, and selling the Quadro 2 Pro to keep the Quadro FX 4000 SDI... it might just make more sense to buy a modern 1920x1200 and run things in 1600 x 1200 with side bars. Who knows how long it will take me to track down a Samsung 214T, let alone in good condition and even still it's panel would probably look awful compared to what we have now days.

So I guess the next question is what would be a great 1920x1200 screen? I have been using 1440p on my modern rigs for some years now and it seems like 90% of sub-2k screens are just normal FHD 1920x1080 which doesn't handle scaling of the common lower resolutions well AFAIK.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby SPBHM » 2019-6-27 @ 11:22

I rarely used 1280x1024 or 1280x960 because my monitor would flicker a little too much over 1024x768, and the performance hit was significant,

1600x1200 was the high end resolution, like 4K now, but not that many used.

1024x768 was a common and respectable resolution,
1280 looks clearly better, but was not ideal on cheaper CRTs... also 1280x1024 is not even a 4:3 resolution.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby Srandista » 2019-6-27 @ 12:41

SPBHM wrote:1280 looks clearly better, but was not ideal on cheaper CRTs... also 1280x1024 is not even a 4:3 resolution.

1280x1024 wasn't used on CRTs, it was LCD resolution, which came after 1024x768 (and I really have no idea, why they gone from 4:3 to 5:4 ratio).
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-6-27 @ 13:15

Srandista wrote:
SPBHM wrote:1280 looks clearly better, but was not ideal on cheaper CRTs... also 1280x1024 is not even a 4:3 resolution.

1280x1024 wasn't used on CRTs, it was LCD resolution, which came after 1024x768 (and I really have no idea, why they gone from 4:3 to 5:4 ratio).


My 17" CRT disagrees.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-27 @ 13:22

I had a Philips Brilliance 107P4 which could do 1920x1440@60Hz but using that resolution was incredibly impractical and I never had the graphics hardware that had horsepower for that (neither do I think there ever was such hardware for that). 1280x960 was my desktop and gaming resolutions of choice with it (Though it was fairly usable on desktop at 1600x1200@75Hz, I would have used it if my monitor was 19" and not 17") until I upgraded to a 1440x900 monitor in oh I don't know 2005 or 2006. 1280x1024 is the devil's work as far as I'm concerned, it's not proper 4:3.

For comparison of then and now, I think this would make sense:

1920x1440 -> 8K
1600x1200 -> 4K
1280x960 -> 1440p
1024x768 -> 1080p
800x600 -> 720p
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-27 @ 15:59

appiah4 wrote:I had a Philips Brilliance 107P4 which could do 1920x1440@60Hz but using that resolution was incredibly impractical and I never had the graphics hardware that had horsepower for that (neither do I think there ever was such hardware for that). 1280x960 was my desktop and gaming resolutions of choice with it (Though it was fairly usable on desktop at 1600x1200@75Hz, I would have used it if my monitor was 19" and not 17") until I upgraded to a 1440x900 monitor in oh I don't know 2005 or 2006. 1280x1024 is the devil's work as far as I'm concerned, it's not proper 4:3.

For comparison of then and now, I think this would make sense:

1920x1440 -> 8K
1600x1200 -> 4K
1280x960 -> 1440p
1024x768 -> 1080p
800x600 -> 720p


I ended up looking for available 1900x1200 screens and went for an Acer B247W, it is 24" 1920x1200 IPS, 4ms response time, 75Hz refresh, and has VGA/HDMI/DP inputs so I think it will work out pretty well for this rig with the Quadro FX 4000 SDI driving it.

My only concern is how it will handle lowerish resolutions over HDMI (coming from DVI on the PC end) as I noticed the old 1366x768 Sony Bravia TV I have been using wouldn't display the BIOS/POST/Windows boot screens correctly and only looked normal once Windows loaded and fed it 1024x768.
Retro: Win2k/98SE - 2x P3 1.4ghz, 2gb RAM, Quadro 4k, SB Audigy 2zs | Xp/7 - i7 3970x, 16gb DDR3, 2x Titan Black, SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-6-27 @ 16:15

Srandista wrote:
SPBHM wrote:1280 looks clearly better, but was not ideal on cheaper CRTs... also 1280x1024 is not even a 4:3 resolution.

1280x1024 wasn't used on CRTs, it was LCD resolution, which came after 1024x768 (and I really have no idea, why they gone from 4:3 to 5:4 ratio).


That simply isn't true. Most OEM computers from the early 2000's onward shipped with CRT monitors that displayed the desktop at 1280x1024 by default. All of my Dell computers growing up did. This is circa 2003/2004.

In the year 2000, most people were gaming at 800x600 or 1024x768, but that was primarily a performance limitation brought on by the hardware at the time. My 1998 CRT monitor handles 1280x1024 just fine. I think even my voodoo 3 supported it.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby leileilol » 2019-6-27 @ 20:32

Srandista wrote:1280x1024 wasn't used on CRTs, it was LCD resolution, which came after 1024x768 (and I really have no idea, why they gone from 4:3 to 5:4 ratio).

My 17" CRTs did 1280x1024 before they could even do 1280x960. 5:4 squished to 4:3 was evident, but that's how they rolled. I even mained 1280x1024 in 2000. :|
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby Wolfus » 2019-6-27 @ 22:12

I was thinking about Benq BL912. It's 1280x1024 display with VGA and DVI (retro and not-so-retro rigs at the same time) and what is most important for me - it also works with Amiga w/out scandoubler.
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Re: Best monitor / resolution for 2000 rig?

Postby kalm_traveler » 2019-6-27 @ 23:15

Wolfus wrote:I was thinking about Benq BL912. It's 1280x1024 display with VGA and DVI (retro and not-so-retro rigs at the same time) and what is most important for me - it also works with Amiga w/out scandoubler.

That's a smart idea.

I was looking for a 1600x1200 newish display but they seem to have died off around 2005 entirely... you can still pick up new 1280x1024 monitors from a number of manufacturers though.

1920x1200 are fairly slim pickin's and it seems most of them are aimed towards photo editors but this Acer I picked up has a 4ms response time and 75Hz refresh is high enough for a retro rig IMO. I would have preferred 100+ but all those gamer-aimed screens are the more standard resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1080, 2560x1440 and 3440x1440.

I use a 3440x1440 100hz Gsync display for my main modern rig and love the screen real estate, but A) no way am I going to spend ~ $700+ on another one for a retro setup, and B) also no way anything easily compatible with Windows 98SE/ME can effectively play games at that resolution (assuming any would run at it in the first place).

For the time being I'm using a Dell 1280x1024 screen I picked up at a thrift store for $5. It actually looks a lot nicer than either of the 32" 1366x768 TVs I had been using, aside from having quite a few light scratches (can't see them when the screen is on anyhow).
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