VOGONS


First post, by sketchus

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Just curious.

Obviously there's some fairly modern crt monitors that can do 1600*1200, that are really popular, however that's not necessarily accurate to DOS/early Windows 98 usage. Do you have a sweet spot, be it resolution or monitor size that you think suits well?

I tried a 21 inch crt monitor on my desk once and it dwarfed most things, so I think at 17 inch monitor would be just about right.

Reply 1 of 17, by leileilol

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In the early to late 2000s, 1152x864 was my daily driver of a res when 1280x960's too 60hz on 17" CRT displays. I'd bump to 1280 for games though (whether x960 or x1024 is supported, i'll live with the 5:4 squish)

High resolutions ARE a Win98 period correct thing FWIW. 1998's had some consumer video cards that pushed 1920x1200 (monitor permitting). One of TNT's original selling points was "Quake2 at 1600x1200".

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Reply 2 of 17, by chinny22

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if we are taking dos out of the requirements...
Some earlier games (Return Fire, Road Rash) still need 640 x 480 so a modern monitor that can lock the aspect ratio is important. I'll also accept 5:4
Highest resolution I've gone is 1920 x 1080 in later games which looks really good, maybe more but I've never tired.

If we are only talking about CRT's 17 or 19" is about as big as I can go. I've scored larger but always pass them on as like you say are simply way too big.

Reply 3 of 17, by RetroSonicHero

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800x600 is what I consider to be the minimum desktop resolution before basic tasks become cumbersome. As far as gaming goes, many of them ran at 640x480 with period-correct hardware, but the aforementioned 800x600 and above certainly wasn't unheard of as time went on. I don't feel strong about monitor refresh rate or size; just give me at least 60hz (70 is preferable for certain DOS games), and I'm good.

But yeah, 800x600 is what I run on WFW3.11, 95, NT 4.0, and 98 SE.

Reply 4 of 17, by Ensign Nemo

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Although I generally prefer CRTs for retro gaming, the Windows 98 era is when I start caring less about having an authentic experience and just use a modern LCD a lot of the time. A lot of this has to do with the tradeoffs between CRTs and LCDs for the types of games I'm playing. If I'm playing an FPS or flight sim, I prefer a larger monitor and any widescreen patches if they are available. Since early LCDs often had poor refresh rates, I'll just use a modern monitor. That being said, I don't just play fast paced 3D games on Windows 98. I think that CRTs really shine on 2D games from that era or earlier, especially if the gameplay is slow enough that I can notice the effects of looking at a CRT. Adventure games are a good example. I know some people like the really quick responses of CRTs for playing fast 3D games, but I can't tell the difference myself.

Like the others have said, 17 inches is about my limit. I also don't want to keep more than one or two CRTs of this size in my apartment. These days I place more premium on small CRTs that don't take up a ton of room in my apartment. I'm rambling a bit, but I'd say that 17 inches is my Windows 98 sweetspot for CRTs, but a decent modern LCD is my goto for 3D games.

Reply 5 of 17, by AppleSauce

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I use a 21 inch Sony Trinitron G500 because its a compromise , I get a nice big screen space and I can crank win 3.1s , win 95s and win 98s desktop to 1280x960 for a less cluttered desktop and I've run some games at 1600x1200 for the memes.

In DOS 6.22 , I run games at 320x200 for older titles and 640 x 480 for later stuff (provided the game supports it) and also win95 and it looks alright.
For Win 98 1024 x 786 is usually my target but I might bump it up to 1280x960 if my 256 DDR can handle it.
Since the other half of the table is occupied by an Amiga 1200 with a 1986 NEC multisync crt and the G500 is shared between a DOS/95 and 98 rig via KBM , I figured this would be the jack of all trades master of none kind of solution to cover as many bases as I could to save space.

I also managed to cram all the stuff onto a lifetime foldable table in case stuff ever needs to move which is a bit sketchy I'll admit , but hey its held up till now so might as well keep using it.

Reply 6 of 17, by ciornyi

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A good 17" monitor with 800x600 @120-140 hz is a go. I'm using lg 720p monitor both win 98 and xp and it's stunning at 140hz

DOS: 166mmx/16mb/Y719/S3virge
DOS/95: PII333/128mb/AWE64/TNT2M64
Win98: P3_900/256mb/SB live/3dfx V3
Win Me: Athlon 1700+/512mb/Audigy2/Geforce 3Ti200
Win XP: E8600/4096mb/SB X-fi/HD6850

Reply 7 of 17, by auron

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leileilol wrote on 2024-07-07, 18:53:

High resolutions ARE a Win98 period correct thing FWIW. 1998's had some consumer video cards that pushed 1920x1200 (monitor permitting). One of TNT's original selling points was "Quake2 at 1600x1200".

apart from terrible performance, there is nothing in that game to warrant such a resolution. if anything it would probably look worse than at a more common resolution, because the low-poly models with warping, along with downsampled low-res textures will just stick out more. also HUD elements become tiny in games of that time.

at least UE had detail textures to make a case for hi-res, but ironically that was originally disabled in D3D if i recall...

Reply 9 of 17, by Joseph_Joestar

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st31276a wrote on 2024-07-09, 09:05:

Also agree that high resolution large polygons with low res textures looks stupid in games. 640x480 ftw.

In general, I do agree that 800x600 and 1024x768 would be the sweet spot for most Win9x games. But I also think that may be a bit subjective, and it depends on the game in question as well. Some Win9x games did use fairly low-res textures, but others were more future-proof. Especially if you look at titles that were released from 1998 onward.

To my eyes, Unreal (1998), Quake 3 (1999) and Max Payne (2001) look pretty good at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 16xAF. Here's a screenshot from Max Payne at those settings.

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PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
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Reply 10 of 17, by leileilol

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Don't forget Total Annhilation. That was a RTS that absolutely could make use of extreme resolutions then.

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Reply 11 of 17, by BitWrangler

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It's kind of a wide range, at the bottom end you've got the disrespectful "Ok, I'm just gonna force 640x480 at 256 colors and fuck up your icon layout" of very early 9x stuff, and at the "haven't you upgraded to XP yet?" end you can do widescreen res on an LCD for something like Battlefield 1942.

In general though, I found I wanted to stick around 1024x768 because otherwise UI got too tiny and other interface elements could be messed up/unattractive. I was using a P70 IBM trinitron that could do 1600x1200 in mid 98 era, but around then my Voodoo3 was only fluid at 800x600 on most stuff. Then with a GF3 in win XP beta testing (preSP1) era, where I was still on 98SE I was at 1280x960 I think.

Latterly I picked up a Samsung SyncMaster 955DF 19" and haven't done a lot on it, but it is more like a 17" in external dimension so is not such a heckin chonker to deal with as 20-21 class.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 12 of 17, by revolstar

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I'll chime in if I may - with my 17" Flatron 774FT, I generally use 1024x768 for the Win98 desktop and apps, but in games, I prefer 640x480. I really like the scanlines that become noticeable in 640x480, and there's the added bonus of 30+ FPS in Glide games on my voodoo2.

Last edited by revolstar on 2024-07-11, 14:15. Edited 1 time in total.

Win98 rig: Athlon XP 2500+/512MB RAM/Gigabyte GA-7VT600/SB Live!/GF FX5700/Voodoo2 12MB
WinXP rig: HP RP5800 - Pentium G850/2GB RAM/GF GT530 1GB
Amiga: A600/2MB RAM
PS3: 500GB HDD Slim, mostly for RetroArch, PSX & PS2 games

Reply 13 of 17, by Shponglefan

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For Windows 9x gaming, my preference is 19" CRT that can run 1024x768 at 85+ Hz.

17" is okay, but I prefer that for DOS gaming.

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Reply 14 of 17, by e8root

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Resolution which I used depended always on:
1. Monitors capabilities like hard limits (horizontal and vertical refresh limits), dot pitch and its bandwidth
2. Video card's RAMDACs and quality
3. Video card's acceleration capabilities and computer performance
4. Use case

For desktop I prefer resolution of 1280x960 or 1366x1024. On beast monitor like SONY GDM-FW900 even 1920x1200 can be used quite comfortably. That is not really retro but more like modern usage.

For retro I typically use 21" Trinitron and use 1024x768 or 1156x864 or even 1280x960.
Refresh rate heavily depends on monitor and card. If card is unable to run at high refresh rate and makes image blurry then its better to lower it. I prefer not going below 70-75Hz though.

Reply 15 of 17, by willow

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In 2000, I have bought A901HT iiyama 19" CRT with 1600x1200x92hz and geforce 256. I have used on win98 with 1600x1200 resolution on some games like NFS 4 for example. All depends the games. The advantage of CRT was that 320x200 or 1600x1200 were good on a CRT even at 19". It's not true with lcd or oled.

Reply 16 of 17, by momaka

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For Windows 98 gaming, I'd definitely go with a CRT whenever possible. But as to what size, that would depend on the games targeted.
Generally speaking, for gaming at 800x600 or lower resolutions (especially DOS stuff @ 640x480 and lower), I think a late 15" will more than suffice (and still probably sync as "high" as 1024x768 for desktop, which should be perfectly adequate for Windows 98 use.) A 17" will be fine too, but just won't be needed.
Past 800x600 (i.e. 1024x768) but not higher than 1152x864, I recommend going with a 17".
For 1152x864 to about 1440x1050 (I don't and won't ever recommend 1280x1024 on a CRT - it really looks ugly, IMO), jump up to a 19".
Past that (e.g. 1600x1200) go for a 21"

*BUT* here's a trade-off I've noticed with quite a few CRTs: 15" and 17" tend to have (or can be adjusted to) amazing contrast levels: pitch black that makes the monitor look like it's completely turned off in a dark room and blinding whites when transitioning from a dark picture. This can also be obtained with some 19" CRTs. But jumping up to 21" CRTs, I've found many of them can't quite achieve the same levels of contrast. It often becomes a trade-off between either bright whites (with "washed out" blacks) or deep dark blacks (with rather "murky" whites), but never both at the same time, especially on Sony CRTs. IDK, maybe I'm just not lucky, but both of my 21" Sony CRTs are this way. A 21" Hitachi I have is a lot better, but still not perfect. In contrast (pun intended 😁 ), all of my 19" CRTs seemed to suffer from this a lot less or not at all. And with my 17" CRTs, it's almost never a problem (except, again, with a few Sony's I encountered.)

All of that said, I'm not a complete CRT "purist" and will game on LCDs too. But every time I jump on one of my CRTs, I'm quickly reminded of why the look so much better in old games: built-in anti-aliasing from the "imperfect" pixels of the CRT, no motion blurring regardless of the FPS, and much less noticeable screen tearing (especially in games with "jumpy" or slow FPS.)

Reply 17 of 17, by BitWrangler

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Now that you mention it, yeah, I feel like I've seen greyer blacks on bigger monitors.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.