VOGONS


First post, by dave343

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hey all, so because of my work from home situation, I need to setup my work monitor on my desk where I'd normally run my 386. The LCD I'll be using is a Dell 24" LCD that has a VGA input which I want to use with my 386 system packing a Cirrus Logic 5429/30 1MB. I know this will work, but my question is, the Dell monitor has 3 options for aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 5:4 so when I switch to using the 386, and change the monitors aspect to 4:3, am I loosing anything that I wouldn't had I used a proper 4:3 display? When I use 4:3 aspect on the Dell it seems to display ok... I get the black bars on both sides.

As for the refresh rates, would the Dell LCD monitor suffice for being able to handle the low requirements of the Cirrus Logic 5429/30? 1MB.

Thanks!

Reply 1 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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VGA had 70Hz refresh rate and a lot of 60Hz panels will display it with noticeable frameskip.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 2 of 54, by dave343

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-18, 18:37:

VGA had 70Hz refresh rate and a lot of 60Hz panels will display it with noticeable frameskip.

So I would/will need a LCD that can do above 60hz (so like any gaming monitor) 144hz, and properly display 4:3 aspect...That would work then?

Reply 3 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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Not just properly display 4:3 in general - properly display VGA mode. Which will require 70 Hz and forced 4:3 aspect ratio option or custom scaling, because it's anamorphic 16:10 resolution (320x200).

(so like any gaming monitor) 144hz,

Yes, but practically none of them have VGA or DVI with analog input now.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 4 of 54, by dave343

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-18, 18:56:

Not just properly display 4:3 in general - properly display VGA mode. Which will require 70 Hz and forced 4:3 aspect ratio option or custom scaling, because it's anamorphic 16:10 resolution (320x200).

(so like any gaming monitor) 144hz,

Yes, but practically none of them have VGA or DVI with analog input now.

Ok thanks.
So Samsung makes a gaming monitor model number LF24G35TFWNXZA, and it's a 24" VA 144Hz with VGA, DP, and HDMI, and currently $200 off at my local store. Looking at the manual, it says you can select 16:9, or 4:3 aspect ratio, which I guess forces it. I do not know much about the monitor internals and how they work, so because 320x200@70Hz is not a normal/standard resolution + refresh rate, when the 386 it boots up, will the monitor just set itself to 70Hz on the VGA once it detects the signal from the 386? The manual has a list of "optimal" resolutions, and all the VESA modes it supports as standard but if not listed it states you'll need to manual adjust yourself. So I'm just curious how that works. I know Display Port and HDMI can do 144+ Hz on those ports, but with the VGA, would all the manufactures allow 60+ Hz on the VGA port? I know it's the panel that's rated for 144hz, I just want to verify if that also lets VGA take advantage of the 60+ (70 in this case) refresh rates. This looks like a good monitor I could use for both work and my 386.

Thanks again for the replies 😀

Reply 6 of 54, by dave343

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-02-18, 19:52:

You can still find a large number of older, 4:3 19-inch monitors with VGA and DVI, for $100 or less.

Yeah, but most of those are only 60Hz max.

Reply 7 of 54, by konc

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dave343 wrote on 2022-02-18, 20:00:
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-02-18, 19:52:

You can still find a large number of older, 4:3 19-inch monitors with VGA and DVI, for $100 or less.

Yeah, but most of those are only 60Hz max.

Plus they're not suitable for a contemporary "working from home" monitor

Reply 8 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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Looking at the manual, it says you can select 16:9, or 4:3 aspect ratio, which I guess forces it.

Yeah, 4:3 option is forced aspect ratio.

so because 320x200@70Hz is not a normal/standard resolution + refresh rate

Most LCD monitors recognize 320x200 as basic VGA text mode (for compatibility reasons), which is 720x400.

I know Display Port and HDMI can do 144+ Hz on those ports, but with the VGA, would all the manufactures allow 60+ Hz on the VGA port? I know it's the panel that's rated for 144hz, I just want to verify if that also lets VGA take advantage of the 60+ (70 in this case) refresh rates.

There are probably some people on monitor/hardware related forums, which already tried to get higher than 60Hz refresh rate over VGA. If I had to guess - anything below 100 Hz should be safe over VGA port.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 9 of 54, by pinesal

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You will have some scaling issues as the pixels won't be multiplied evenly but the aspect ratio will be properly represented and you won't lose anything important from the image.

The refresh rate won't match. DOOM for example runs at 35 FPS which multiplies perfectly to 70hz on a CRT monitor but for a 60hz display, there will be uneven frames. However, I doubt you will notice.

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Reply 11 of 54, by Jo22

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Afaik, Standard VGA was 4:3 640x480 in 16c at ~31KHz horizontal and 60Hz vertical sync..

But of course, DOS gamers saw 320x200 in 256c and 70Hz as "VGA".
Other types of users likely associated that resolution with MCGA rather.

(Strictly speaking, not all VGA games are MCGA games, too.
Games using Mode 13h and 320x200 pels are MCGA compatible.
Games using ModeX and 320x240 pels do not work on MCGA hardware.)

In theory, things were like this (on a VGA system):
- 200 line modes (line doubled: 400 lines).. 70Hz
- 240 line modes (line doubled: 480 lines).. 60Hz

That's also why Standard EGA (640x350) runs in 70Hz on VGA cards by default..
It's being displayed in a 640x400 frame, which is a 200 line mode.

Edit: There also were games using "tweaked" modes.
Jack Jazzrabbit used an 320x199 resolution - to run the game at 60Hz.
Evidence can be seen in this older thread : 320 x 199

"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

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Reply 12 of 54, by Plasma

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Well VGA is a graphics controller not a resolution. Although it's been repurposed as such by the general public.

A program using 320x200 in 256 colors may not be MCGA compatible since MCGA only has 64K. VGA can use planar memory mode ("unchained") to get 4 pages in 320x200/256 since it has 256K. Wolfenstein 3D does this.

Reply 13 of 54, by Jo22

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Well, yes and no. I do agree with you, VGA firstly is (was) a graphics controller, a framebuffer device.
Albeit a very flexible. It can be programmed in a way that it can do certain operations on its own.

But in people's mind, it also is a connector. The DE15 D-Sub connector existed before, but the pinout and blue colour made it de-facto the "VGA connector".
Today or since the 90s, these blue connectors are specifically made with VGA in mind.

The term "VGA" also officially stands for 640x480 resolution, while "Super VGA" stands for 800x600 (the original SVGA mode)..
- Ironically, DOS gamers do associate 640x400@256c or 640x480@256 as SVGA, too.
Which contradicts with the video resolution terms from the DTP/CAD/CAM fields.

Technically, what DOS gamers always used to call "VGA" (320 by something) really matches a low-resolution named "QVGA" (quarter VGA).
- The term was often used in conjunction with webcams and PDAs/Pocket PCs in the 2000s.

ModeX, the unchained mode, often was used for 320x240 games/emulators but also worked with 320x200 resolution.
It's just so much better to be able to have nice square pixels and a contiguous video memory!
Perhaps that's why unchained 320x200 was somdtimes nicknamed "ModeY" (mode why)? 😉

Anyway, these are just my two cents -
I don't really mean to judge or play the role of an educator.
I'm just a visitor who has seen things come and go.
Most of you already know these technical things inside-out, anyway. Likely better than me.
I just wanted to provide some little summary for all the guests that wonder what it's all about.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_resolutions

"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 14 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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- Ironically, DOS gamers do associate 640x400@256c or 640x480@256 as SVGA, too.

640x480 with 256 colors is not part of VGA standard. So it's actually correct.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 15 of 54, by dave343

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Most LCD monitors recognize 320x200 as basic VGA text mode (for compatibility reasons), which is 720x400.

So does this mean that it'll actually display as 720x400 on the lcd?

There are probably some people on monitor/hardware related forums, which already tried to get higher than 60Hz refresh rate over VGA. If I had to guess - anything below 100 Hz should be safe over VGA port.

I'm just trying to understand, in Windows we just set the refresh rate to what we want, but how is it set in DOS? Is the Cirrus Logic card I'm using (and possibly dos?) telling the monitor "Use 70hz and 320x200" and then the LCD will run at 320x200@70hz. Or as you mentioned it'll actually display at 720x400? And if 720x400 isn't that res 85Hz Vesa standard?

Thanks for your help, just want to make sure I understand things before pulling the trigger on a monitor so that I can make good use of it for the 386 and another Pentium 1 system for Dos games.

Reply 16 of 54, by darry

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dave343 wrote on 2022-02-19, 02:52:
So does this mean that it'll actually display as 720x400 on the lcd? […]
Show full quote

Most LCD monitors recognize 320x200 as basic VGA text mode (for compatibility reasons), which is 720x400.

So does this mean that it'll actually display as 720x400 on the lcd?

There are probably some people on monitor/hardware related forums, which already tried to get higher than 60Hz refresh rate over VGA. If I had to guess - anything below 100 Hz should be safe over VGA port.

I'm just trying to understand, in Windows we just set the refresh rate to what we want, but how is it set in DOS? Is the Cirrus Logic card I'm using (and possibly dos?) telling the monitor "Use 70hz and 320x200" and then the LCD will run at 320x200@70hz. Or as you mentioned it'll actually display at 720x400? And if 720x400 isn't that res 85Hz Vesa standard?

Thanks for your help, just want to make sure I understand things before pulling the trigger on a monitor so that I can make good use of it for the 386 and another Pentium 1 system for Dos games.

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

Reply 17 of 54, by dave343

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darry wrote on 2022-02-19, 03:07:
dave343 wrote on 2022-02-19, 02:52:
So does this mean that it'll actually display as 720x400 on the lcd? […]
Show full quote

Most LCD monitors recognize 320x200 as basic VGA text mode (for compatibility reasons), which is 720x400.

So does this mean that it'll actually display as 720x400 on the lcd?

There are probably some people on monitor/hardware related forums, which already tried to get higher than 60Hz refresh rate over VGA. If I had to guess - anything below 100 Hz should be safe over VGA port.

I'm just trying to understand, in Windows we just set the refresh rate to what we want, but how is it set in DOS? Is the Cirrus Logic card I'm using (and possibly dos?) telling the monitor "Use 70hz and 320x200" and then the LCD will run at 320x200@70hz. Or as you mentioned it'll actually display at 720x400? And if 720x400 isn't that res 85Hz Vesa standard?

Thanks for your help, just want to make sure I understand things before pulling the trigger on a monitor so that I can make good use of it for the 386 and another Pentium 1 system for Dos games.

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

I've been eyeing the BenQ BL2420PT which is a IPS 23.8" 2560x1440P monitor. It has VGA, DVI, HDMI and Display port. The manual says it supports the DOS modes 720x400@70hz, as well the 640x480. I mainly care about the VGA for my old 386 and Pentium systems. But... The monitors manual says it supports only these aspect ratios: Full, Aspect, and 1:1. Here is the description.

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I just don't understand what 1:1 would be when compared to a monitor with a dedicat d 4:3?

Reply 18 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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1:1 = no scaling. And "Aspect" could be very problematic, because you have to rely on a scaler to determine correct aspect ratio, which will lead to overstretched picture more times than not.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 19 of 54, by jmarsh

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dave343 wrote on 2022-02-19, 02:52:

I'm just trying to understand, in Windows we just set the refresh rate to what we want, but how is it set in DOS?

It's mostly up to the card's bios. A program calls the vga bios to set a specific mode and the bios takes care of setting all the card-specific registers to achieve it, which includes setting up timings that decide the framerate.
If an app knows about the specific model of card being used it can set its own framerate by poking the card's registers directly (this is how UNIVBE provides VESA 2.0 support for cards without a VESA BIOS).