First post, by Enhancer
This is my first post. I recently got back into classic gaming, and tinkering with old components. I wanted to see if I could use my Acer Predator X34. I figured I would document some of my findings in case someone else got the weird bug to do something like this.
Since this monitor only has HDMI and Displayport inputs, I have found that can be quite a limitation for Windows XP. I first tried with a GTX 760, figuring it to be a good choice to play any XP game at high framerates and detail settings, while having the bonus of that Displayport. I immediately ran into some issues, finding that anything above 3440x1440@60hz was out of the question. Even 60hz was sometimes dodgy it seemed. Knowing that Displayport 1.2 should be plenty for 3440x1440, I looked about and guessed that the Kepler cards had pixel clock limitations. I tried to scale it back, but the drivers were very picky about any resolutions in-between, accepting say 1080p but refusing to have anything to do with 1600x1200. This was new, because my main machine(with a 1080ti) has no problem at all with in-between resolutions, you can pick whatever you want up to the max resolutions.
So I sold the GTX 760 and got a GTX 960, hoping the last card with dedicated XP support would be new enough to handle Displayport 1.2. Unfortunately, I encountered largely the same problems. At this point I started playing more with drivers. The latest drivers(368.81) are a hindrance, locking out custom resolutions, and still limiting to 60hz. Backing it down to the earlier 350 series drivers,(I think I was using 355.98) opened custom resolutions back up, but still wouldn't play friendly much with high framerates, and the in-between resolutions. Attempting to use HDMI instead opened up 1920x1080@100hz, but it still wouldn't play nice with in-betweens.
At this point I was a bit flummoxed, and there is scant info about anything related to Displayport for Windows XP(or HDMI 2.0 for that matter) . So instead, I hooked up another old PC build with a ATI HD 3870. The much older 3870 lacks the Displayports and HDMI outputs, but I sourced a DVI to HDMI cable, and lo and behold I had more options on hand, far more than the Nvidia setup would allow.
Ah ha! Now all I need is an ATI/AMD card running HDMI or Displayport and I'm off to the races. I picked up a HD 5870 for a good price, started with a fresh XP install, and immediately ran into problems with lockdowns and limitations. Familiar with the Nvidia problems by now, I quickly sourced the problem to the drivers. While Nvidia seems to be relatively consistent in its driver limitations, AMD is all over the place. I found that again the latest 14.4 Catalyst drivers weren't having it, so I started moving back. 13.4 Beta drivers allowed some more options, so I started looking a substantially older driver, something closer to launch drivers. I happened upon 10.4, because it was the quickest one I could source for download. Suddenly the world opened. I had 3440x1440@100hz! Almost. The images jumps a lot and lacks stability so I had lower the refresh rate, which leads me to believe there is an inherent bandwidth limitation for Displayport in Windows XP, possibly not allowing 1.2, only 1.1. However, I was able to get things like 1600x1200@85hz, which was still a big improvement. Feeling bolder, I tried Catalyst 10.5 and 10.6 and ran into my worst problems yet. Both drivers wouldn't allow anything more than 800x600, it was awful.
So, I figured I would share this and see what ideas you had to combat the situation, or if you had ever tried something similar(4K 60hz+?). At some point I will likely try and update this with a more specific list of supported resolutions and framerates, within the limitation of my X34 of course. Looking forward to your feedback.