VOGONS


First post, by badmojo

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Hi,

I'm not too strict about matching my hardware to the era of game I'm playing, but one thing I'd like to get right is the monitor size.

Circa 1992 I bought a new 486SX33 which I recall came with a 14" (CRT obviously!), and I'm assuming that was about the norm, but what about around 1995/96?

I'm currently playing Stonekeep on a 17" CRT and it feels a little large for a VGA resolution. Would a 14" be more appropriate? 15" maybe?

Any thoughts appreciated!

Reply 1 of 23, by DonutKing

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Well I remember having a 486 with 14", then a Pentium 2 in 98 with a 15 inch... didnt upgrade to a 17 inch until 2001/2002... LCD's started coming along a couple of years after that.

I play games on my 386 and 486 with a 15" CRT mainly because I don't have anything smaller, apart from my EGA and Commodore monitor which aren't VGA.

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Reply 2 of 23, by Stull

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I used a 14" monitor from 1993 until 1999, when I got my bitchin' 17" Trinitron that could do 1600x1200 (but that's beside the point). For a machine built in 1995/96 I would expect a 15" monitor.

Reply 3 of 23, by badmojo

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OK thanks, that sounds right but does complicate matters - the 17" was being shared b/w my DOS machine and my Win98 machine, which are both sitting next to my modern PC with a widescreen LCD. I do have a nice little 14" IBM screen but to squeeze that in there I'd have to push my wife's PC off the desk onto the floor, and that would not be well received.

I guess I'll have to risk serious back injuring by swapping CRT's in and out...

Reply 4 of 23, by jwt27

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I still use the exact same 14" shadow-mask CRT that came with my first 486, and IMO it looks better than any 17" screen, for resolutions up to 640x480. At 800x600 text becomes quite small and blurry, if you use that resolution a lot I would recommend getting a 15". 1024x768 will definitely make your eyes bleed on a 14".

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Reply 5 of 23, by sgt76

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I used crt monitors for the "authentic" experience until sometime last year when my eyes couldnt take the torture anymore. All 14-17" crts were scrapped then, and replaced with a nice 15" ibm tft screen c 2001. Real nice low res gaming without scaling issues, and best part is its beige!

Reply 6 of 23, by 7cjbill2

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Back in about 94-95 I had a CTX 17", which was a low-qualiy, big monitor, paid around $500 for if I remember correctly. In about 96 I purchased a Sony GDM 20" from a local wholesaler/bulk place in Alpharetta, GA for about $900. I kept that until it died in late 2003 when I bought my first LCD, 15", and the size increases started their cycle all over again. 😀

In my 486 build, I wanted desperately to find an older 17" to go with the period (about 1995/6) but got a screaming deal on a 19" Samsung CRT from around 2003 for $50. Cheap is a quality overcoming many faults.

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Reply 7 of 23, by Stull

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sgt76 wrote:

I used crt monitors for the "authentic" experience until sometime last year when my eyes couldnt take the torture anymore. All 14-17" crts were scrapped then, and replaced with a nice 15" ibm tft screen c 2001. Real nice low res gaming without scaling issues, and best part is its beige!

Any ghosting issues with an LCD that old?

Reply 9 of 23, by Mau1wurf1977

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Some of the new Asus LCD (with LED backlight) have an aspect ration mode for 4:3. However without testing who knows if this works via VGA port AND at typical DOS resolutions.

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Reply 11 of 23, by MaxWar

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Im using a 17" CRT as long as VGA is concerned. I dont really care for tiny 14" screens.

Id like to get my hands on a EGA monitor though 😜

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Reply 12 of 23, by 7cjbill2

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On my GLide PC I actually have been using my Hitachi 36UDX01S 36" CRT HDTV...it actually has a VGA port on it.

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Reply 14 of 23, by Pippy P. Poopypants

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I used a crummy old 14" CRT for the longest time, before finally upgrading to a 17." Then 5 years ago I finally moved into the LCD realm. Personally I prefer going with an LCD (after years of using LCDs my eyes don't really want to go back to CRTs), but a 17" CRT is perfectly good enough for playing anything retro. To me size does matter (take that however you want).

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:

Some of the new Asus LCD (with LED backlight) have an aspect ration mode for 4:3. However without testing who knows if this works via VGA port AND at typical DOS resolutions.

I purchased a 24" ASUS LED monitor not too long ago. However, it is hooked up to my UNIX workstation at the moment, so I can't really test for sure if it can go below 640x480. Regardless, old games on this thing don't look pretty at all if you decide to stretch the screen.

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Reply 15 of 23, by Anonymous Coward

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14" or 15" CRT would work just fine. Actually, 1024x768 can look just fine on a 486, provided you have a good enough monitor and graphics adapter. I was fortunate enough to have a very high end Sony 14" on my 486 with a .25 dot pitch. The image also filled the whole screen without thick black borders. In windows 3.1, I ran 800x600 and it looked great. 1024x768 looked good too with large fonts, but my graphics card couldn't handle it well. The only thing I didn't have that I really wanted was digital controls. These monitors usually had a memory that could remember your screen settings. The problem with monitors with analog controls is that every time you changed screen modes, you would have to dick around with the control knobs until everything looked just right.

I know use a 15" Sony FSII, which is very similar to what I had with my original machine, but nicer in that it supports higher refresh rates and has digital controls. I highly recommend this monitor, or perhaps something from NEC.

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Reply 16 of 23, by 7cjbill2

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You might consider one of the last-gen CRT's, like my Samsung 997pf. It' got digital controls but is otherwise very basic. I run 1024x768 w/ Windows 3.11 through my Hercules Dynamite w/ 2MB. Looks great plus you get to use the VMODE app to enhance if you need...just don't tell EMM to use the monochrome UMB or it won't work. I had that problem with mine had to change it.

I've seen older CRT's go dirt-cheap on e-Bay, there was a 21" nearby me in GA for about $50 but I already bought the 19". 🙁 Especially good if you can find a local seller and pick it up.

Will pay $$$ for:

caching ISA I/O-IDE controller

PM me for my list of trade-ables...

Reply 17 of 23, by dirkmirk

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I've decided to give up on the 17" crt flatscreen idea, they are'nt really worth anything and I could not be bothered hunting down a good one.

I got one from a recycler, contrast and brightness is at 100% but its still too dark, another 17" curved screen makes a hissing noise at certain refresh rates, I could buy a new one (flatscreen 1600x1200) but not for $80 delivered!? Hypocritical attitude as I bought a 2nd hand dell for $200 ..... 10 YEARS ago, hypocritcal as I've spent good money on cpu's, mainboards, video cards, memory, controller cards but for some reason I cant bring myself to spend not that much money really on a brand spanker 17" flat screen crt, is my head not screwed on correctly? After all the monitor would have to be if not the the most important part of a retro system.

Anyways enough of the rambling, I'm going to buy a dell ultrasharp U2412M, a 24" 1920X1200 LED IPS LCD.

http://accessories.ap.dell.com/sna/productdet … 2093&redirect=1

1 - Because I need a decent monitor for my modern system, since I started a family I have'nt had a proper desktop setup.

2 - I think it could be an acceptable screen for a retro setup as a secondary benefit, after all the image from my 386 looked good on the 42" plasma..

To hook what I assume to be 4 retro boxes together will be something like this 4 port KVM VGA/PS2 switch WITH AUDIO

http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.proces … oduct_Id=418379

The modern computer will have be to connected via HDMI, might have its own keyboard & mouse, 5 boxes, one screen.

Any good reason not to pursue this?
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Reply 18 of 23, by 7cjbill2

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Sounds like a good idea to me. I agree, unless a nice CRT throws itself at you, no reason to do it and with something like that, one is bound to come along sooner or later. The only reason I spent $50 on my 19" was a) new in box and b) the guy needed a bit of help so I sprung for it. I don't regret it now.

Will pay $$$ for:

caching ISA I/O-IDE controller

PM me for my list of trade-ables...

Reply 19 of 23, by badmojo

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The thing I noticed after trying a CRT again recently after many years, is that they have a "memory" - particularly in a game like System Shock 2 which has lots of great contrast b/w light and dark. Hard to explain, but for example when you turn quickly a light source leaves a trail across the screen briefly.

I've settled on using a nice little 14" IBM CRT for DOS and a Viewsonic 17" CRT for Windows 98. If I see a nice 15" then I might give that a try too.

I'm currently playing Duke3d (640x480) on the 14" and it's plenty big enough - the depth of the screen means that I'm forced to sit pretty close to it!