VOGONS


Reply 141 of 295, by cde

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Crank9000 wrote:
dave343 wrote:

I stopped using CRT's a while back, were just taking up too much room, and with age all had blur issues or similar. For this reason, I just use an HP E190i, it's a 19" IPS 5:4 Aspect Monitor, absolutely gorgeous color reproduction, really makes older games look amazing.

Does that have 4:3 scaling mode or does it just stretch 1024x768 and other 4:3 resolutions to full screen? The pdf manual I downloaded from HP didn't say anything about its settings.

I have just bought that screen to replace the AOC I960SRDA which had too much "IPS glow" on the bottom right. The E190i has less of it, but it's still noticeable. It has no issue with 720x400@70 Hz, I played DOOM (GeForce4 Ti 4200, VGA output) and subjectively feels pretty good (less responsive than a CRT though). It also has no problem with the 640x350 that my KT7A BIOS insists on using at boot.

Now to answer your question, all resolutions are stretched to full screen. There's no setting to force a 4:3 aspect ratio. Nonetheless I can say all resolutions I tested (720x400, 640x480, 800x400, 1024x768) look fine when stretched. The powered USB 2.0 hub is quite nice for older PCI USB 2.0 cards that don't take external +5V on the PCB, and thus can't power energy hungry devices by themselves. The settings are very complete and easy to navigate. Overall, I'd say it would be a very good choice if not for the IPS glow, hence I do prefer a TN panel (see below).

For your reference, I've attached the user guide found on the CD which is a bit more complete than the one commonly found on the Internet; it contains a bit more information on the various settings.

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Last edited by cde on 2019-10-02, 21:16. Edited 6 times in total.

Reply 142 of 295, by cde

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As a further amendment to my previous post, it appears that pretty much all LCDs are slightly disappointing to me for 320x200 games when using the VGA output.

Basically the video card scales the 320x200 framebuffer into a 640x400 signal that is interpreted as 720x400 by the monitor which scales it again into 1280x1024. This leads to, in all video cards that I have tested (many ATi, NVIDIA and one S3) to an uneven pattern of pixels that is especially jarring when reading text, as letters sometimes become bold depending on their x coordinate (such as t being 8 pixel wide instead of 4).

Conversely, using the DVI output leads to a pixel perfect result, with no such jarring. This is because ATi/NVIDIA cards directly scale 320x200 into the native resolution. ATi cards in particular provide a very sharp result, which you can see below. This also leads to text in 80x25 mode being a bit too sharp compared to the slightly fuzzy text from VGA output. An oddity: 80x25 in VGA and DVI modes use different fonts.

Note the deformed lowercase w in VGA:

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However NVIDIA cards, when scaling 720x400 text or 320x200 graphics to DVI, apply a filter that blurs the image. The effect is very pronounced on the GeForce 4 Ti, and while this leads to a pleasant 80x25 text mode, in 320x200 the image looks worse than with ATi cards (I've tested the 9600 Pro and 9200 SE). On the 6600 GT the effect is slightly less pronounced but still present and annoying. Ideally I'd have preferred a filter to have been applied in text mode, and not applied at all in 320x200 mode.

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EDIT: I did not realize my ASUS VP28U 4K monitor did provide a 4:3 aspect ratio option (this monitor does not have a VGA input). After testing with the 9600 Pro, the result looks simply amazing with 720x400 (text and graphics), 640x480 and 1280x1024. 800x600 and 1024x768 don't look very good in VESA mode because it seems the card stretches it first to 1280x1024 leading to artifacts and then the monitor scales to boxed 4:3 in 4K. However when drivers are installed 800x600 and 1024x768 look amazing too.

Unfortunately this monitor only reports supporting 60 Hz and 75 Hz in 1280x1024, so the card decides to use 75 Hz. As a consequence Lotus III has too fast music, and when racing has regular slowdowns when the whole game (music and graphics) stutters badly.

EDIT: I managed to force 70.08 Hz on the DVI output by patching the VGA BIOS ROM. See Outputting 720x400@70Hz with the ATi R300 DVI output in DOS

Last edited by cde on 2021-03-03, 13:49. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 143 of 295, by cde

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After further testing with the HP E190i and two TN-based 1280x1024 panels, the DELL 1908FPb and Acer V176L bmd, I have to say the E190i shows strong IPS glow (which I mistook initially for backlight bleed) that is very distracting and bad when using the screen with a black background in a dark room. OTOH the two aforementioned TN-based panels have very uniform blacks, no backlight bleed and great viewing angles. So at this point I would recommend the Acer V176Lbmd: it is extremely light, smaller form factor (17") and like others works fine at 70Hz. Overall it's a very satisfying purchase considering its very low price. The 1908FPb is also fine, but with warmer colors and weights a lot more due to the CCFL. The V176L, like the 1980FPb is rated as a 75Hz monitor, but in practice (using vsynctester.com) like the HP 190i they drop frames at 75 Hz. Only at 60 Hz will they not drop frames. Finally, the V176L from my testing at minimum brightness appears flicker free.

Last edited by cde on 2019-10-02, 21:19. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 144 of 295, by cde

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And now for another test, this time the AOC G2590PX. This is a $230 1920x1080 TN panel that can do 144 Hz with Freesync, pcmonitors has a pretty good review: https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/aoc-g2590px/ (a slighter cheap without adjustable stand and USB is the G2590FX, panel is the same).

What sparked my interest in this monitor is the many aspect ratios: wide, 1:1, 17" 4:3, 19" 4:3, 19" 5:4 and 16:10. The good news is that 720x400@70 Hz over VGA is properly boxed into 4:3 (17" and 19" modes), and the result looks very good. Quake 1.08 (DOS) is very responsive.

Initially I thought 17" 4:3 and 19" 5:4 would be 1024x768 and 1280x1024 respectively. However that's not the case, the two resolutions are something arbitrary that AOC chose based on the panel size. Basically in 4:3 mode any input resolution will be forced into this 17" or 19" box, which is great. I do wish though that a 2:2 mode existed for 640x480 that would basically double the pixels (note: this can be achieved on a 1280x1024 monitor on DVI by choosing in the nVIDIA scaling options the preseve aspect ratio option, putting bars above and below to show a 1280x960 image. But this doesn't seem to work on a 1920x1080 screen).

The image looks really good, with text being sharp and colors subjectively ok. Light bleed is almost nonexistent on my model, although I might have just been lucky. Contrast ratio is not excellent, OTOH brightness range is good. The built-in speakers are average; the USB3 hub is nice. It has two HDMI in addition to VGA and DP, so a good number of inputs.

What really blew me away though is 144 Hz (over DP). I've played an OpenGL port of Quake 1 called darkplaces and the result is extremely smooth, going back to 60 Hz makes quick movement (such as looking left and right) feel very jittery. It really feels as good as my CRT in terms of responsiveness and input lag.

Overall it's a pretty versatile monitor and a good purchase. I would recommend it due to the 4:3 options and 144 Hz refresh rate. In addition, it can do up to 120 Hz over VGA in a number of resolutions (up to 1280x1024), and playing for instance Half-Life at such high refresh rates (with fps_max set to 120) lets to an experience that very much feels like a CRT. I had to use the "RefreshLock" utility (attached) to force 120 Hz otherwise a number of games stick to 60 Hz, even though higher refresh rates are available.

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Reply 145 of 295, by darry

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A bit of a necro, but I found a 1920x1200 monitor which has explicit 16:9 , 1:1 and 4:3 options and is apparently 70Hz capable at up to native resolution (though 60Hz is recommended by manufacturer for some reason) . It is the Philips 252B9 whose manual is here : https://www.download.p4c.philips.com/files/2/ … _11_dfu_aen.pdf

My fears :
- That >60Hz is handled by frame-skipping
- That the oddball resolutions generated by OSSC will not be handled .

I took a chance as I had a 100$ gift certificate from Bestbuy .

I will post back with results .

Incidentally, I already have an Acer VW257 that apparently uses the same 1920x1200 IPS panel but does not have an explicit 4:3 mode , only an "Aspect" mode that basically considers that anything with a 4:3 or 16:10 pixel aspect ratio gets to be displayed properly (without stretching) and most everything else gets stretched to full screen, so 640x400 and 720x400 get stretched to full screen .

EDIT : Even "Sync on Green" is supported according to specs. Now, AFAIK, that is not common on modern LCD screens . Not that I have any need for it, but maybe someone else does .

Last edited by darry on 2020-08-19, 21:30. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 146 of 295, by Horun

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Wow great darry ! Hope it works ok at 720x400 70Hz. Please let us know. The Dell 1908FP drops frames at 75Hz as cde tested and reported,
edit:

cde wrote on 2019-08-31, 11:49:

The 1908FPb is also fine, but with warmer colors and weights a lot more due to the CCFL. The V176L, like the 1980FPb is rated as a 75Hz monitor, but in practice (using vsynctester.com) like the HP 190i they drop frames at 75 Hz. Only at 60 Hz will they not drop frames.

Thank you cde !
I get no frame drops on my two Dell 1908FP at 70Hz using the DB15 VGA inputs, maybe they do with the DVI input, have not tested that. Considering I paid less than $10 for both total am happy with them "at the price"

Keep up the tests guys and thank you ! Really appreciate you testing some of the older models too, some are very inexpensive if you know where to find them 😀

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 147 of 295, by Oetker

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That made me look in the specs of my 2007FP, does this mean it could actually be displaying 70Hz over VGA? I always assumed older flat panels only displayed 60Hz. I wish there was a test tool for DOS, my modern PC doesn't have a VGA output.

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Reply 148 of 295, by digistorm

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I have an old Dell 15” TFT monitor with VGA only and it does do 70Hz no problem. I think it also has to do with the panel resolution. 1024x768 is not a lot of pixels so it is easier to do the math 70 times a second. With 1200p panels, it is rare to see > 60Hz processing because you need to push much more pixels.

Reply 149 of 295, by darry

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IMHO, there are at least 4 considerations when looking at 70Hz support on a monitor :

a) Is 70Hz supported and, if so, at what input resolutions is it supported ?
b) Over what input(s) is 70Hz (HDMI/DVI , Displayport , VGA) supported ?
c) Is 70Hz actually displayed at 70Hz or are frames skipped intentionally by the display electronics because the actual LCD panel can only handle 60Hz ?
d) Does c) vary according to b) ?

For a), essentially all older monitors and, AFAIK, most newer ones at least support 70Hz at 720x400/640x400 for backwards compatibility . I have heard there are exceptions .

For b), VGA is usually not an issue at 720x400@70Hz/640x400@70Hz for backwards compatibility. For higher end Nvidia Geforce FX cards(ATI cards are a different ball game), since DVI/HDMI/Displayport is usually upscaled to monitor native resolution (or close to it) under DOS by the video card's BIOS and vintage video cards cannot handle more than 165MHz 162MHz bandwith, resolutions such as 720x400@70Hz/640x400@70Hz will usually be converted to 1600x1200@60Hz or higher but at 60Hz, unless one uses a trick to, for instance, force 1600x1200@70Hz using non standard reduced blanking . See this thread for more info : 70Hz in pure DOS at 1600x1200 (or other) over DVI on an old card (FX5900) with modern monitor is possible

For c) and d) Testing with something like PixPerAn under Windows (98SE works) is an option (though some video cards may not have enough bandwidth to properly display 70 different frames of info per second at high resolutions). Another option is running DOOM under DOS and spinning in a circle by keeping a directional arrow pressed . If your PC/video card is fast enough to a run at DOOM's max 35FPS, it should be very obvious whether movement is smooth (actual 70Hz refresh) or not (70Hz frame-skipped to 60Hz). Maybe some monitor display controllers do time-axis interpolation re-sampling (?), in which case this test may not be valid (this is conjecture on my part) .

EDIT : See also this thread Good 4:3 LCD Monitor

Reply 151 of 295, by darry

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cde wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:36:

I would really like to see a 1280x960 LCD on the market that could upscale 720x400 without artifacts and able to handle 70 Hz without dropped frames. Pro ably not going to happen though 🙁

I am curious as to why you prefer 1280x960 to say 1600x1200 . Is it to get the integer scaling of 640x480 ? My reason for preferring 1600x1200, (on a 1920x1200 display due to 1600x1200 no longer being made) is to get close to integer scaling for 320x200 (640x400) with an OSSC (and maybe eventually an OSSC Pro). 640x480 line-doubled to 1280x960 by OSSC and then scaled to 1600x1200 by my Acer VW257 looks very good to me .

As for the the artifacts due to improper sampling of 640x400 as 720x400, those can be eliminated with an OSSC as a digitizer set to proper number of samples per line.

Are you referring to other artifacts ?

EDIT : OSSC Pro will have HDMI or DVI input . If that is combined with a programmable EDID, we might be able to get some sharper output of Nvidia cards by forcing them to output 720x400 or 640x400 directly or, by simply disabling the scaling option in the BIOS, and getting them to display 640x400 in a postage stamp at say 1600x1200 and then having the OSSC capture only the actual active picture area and scale it to full screen . There are some fun/interesting times ahead .

Reply 152 of 295, by jmarsh

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darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 17:29:

For c) and d) Testing with something like PixPerAn under Windows (98SE works) is an option (though some video cards may not have enough bandwidth to properly display 70 different frames of info per second at high resolutions). Another option is running DOOM under DOS and spinning in a circle by keeping a directional arrow pressed . If your PC/video card is fast enough to a run at DOOM's max 35FPS, it should be very obvious whether movement is smooth (actual 70Hz refresh) or not (70Hz frame-skipped to 60Hz).

DOS pinball games are usually an easy test since they run at 70Hz and have parts of the screen that flash on and off for single frames. So if elements of the table aren't flashing consistently frames are being dropped.

Reply 153 of 295, by Horun

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Oetker wrote on 2020-08-19, 06:42:

That made me look in the specs of my 2007FP, does this mean it could actually be displaying 70Hz over VGA? I always assumed older flat panels only displayed 60Hz. I wish there was a test tool for DOS, my modern PC doesn't have a VGA output.

2007fpspecs.png

Specs say yes but you would have to actually boot to DOS and see what your monitor (thru the Menu) reports, am sure it will say 720x400 @70Hz as that is a native built-in resolution for your monitor. Being 4:3 it should scale the older DOS games OK but could be a bit fuzzy as Darry explained.

jmarsh wrote on 2020-08-19, 22:12:

DOS pinball games are usually an easy test since they run at 70Hz and have parts of the screen that flash on and off for single frames. So if elements of the table aren't flashing consistently frames are being dropped.

Good IDEA !

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 154 of 295, by darry

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Horun wrote on 2020-08-19, 22:20:
Oetker wrote on 2020-08-19, 06:42:

That made me look in the specs of my 2007FP, does this mean it could actually be displaying 70Hz over VGA? I always assumed older flat panels only displayed 60Hz. I wish there was a test tool for DOS, my modern PC doesn't have a VGA output.

2007fpspecs.png

Specs say yes but you would have to actually boot to DOS and see what your monitor (thru the Menu) reports, am sure it will say 720x400 @70Hz as that is a native built-in resolution for your monitor. Being 4:3 it should scale the older DOS games OK but could be a bit fuzzy as Darry explained.

AFAIK, older IPS panels were often limited to 60Hz, so I would not be surprised if frame-skipping occurred anytime 70Hz was fed into a 2007FB or 2007FPB , whether through VGA or DVI . That being said, the only way to be sure is to try it . And since there at least 2 variants of that monitor (one with IPS and the other VA, I believe), there may be differences between units . Also, at least one person tested the 2007FP for frame-skip on his/her unit and confirmed frame-skip at 70Hz (input unknown) : Re: Good 4:3 LCD Monitor

EDIT: I actually have one of those currently in storage, but I only tried it briefly . At the time, I did not really mind 70Hz to 60Hz conversion, but since noticing it while testing in another scenario, I am much more sensitive to it . IMHO, it's one of those things that, once you notice it, really bugs you .

Reply 155 of 295, by Horun

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darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 22:44:

AFAIK, older IPS panels were often limited to 60Hz, so I would not be surprised if frame-skipping occurred anytime 70Hz was fed into a 2007FB or 2007FPB , whether through VGA or DVI . That being said, the only way to be sure is to try it . And since there at least 2 variants of that monitor (one with IPS and the other VA, I believe), there may be differences between units . Also, at least one person tested the 2007FP for frame-skip on his/her unit and confirmed frame-skip at 70Hz (input unknown) : Re: Good 4:3 LCD Monitor

EDIT: I actually have one of those currently in storage, but I only tried it briefly . At the time, I did not really mind 70Hz to 60Hz conversion, but since noticing it while testing in another scenario, I am much more sensitive to it . IMHO, it's one of those things that, once you notice it, really bugs you .

OK yeah assumed it was standard TN not IPS (the manual says TFT but yes that does not mean a TN), missed that part and was sorta hoping it could do 70Hz thru the VGA, figured the DVI would be a no go. Yep tested and failed 70Hz in that topic. One thing in that thread you linked is most do not state if they used a VGA port or the DVI when they report the test failures, most of those monitors have both and I can see a big difference using one over the other as you mentioned the issues with DVI above.

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 156 of 295, by foil_fresh

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so i'm fairly happy using a 24" 1080p 240hz display for my old pcs, but curious to know if 4K makes a clearer picture when it comes to scaling DOS resolutions and primitive 640x480/800x600 resolutions?

my 27" 144hz acer (secondary monitor) has kinda died (it's a strobe-light rave party when displaying anything over 60hz now) so i was thinking about a replacement 4k screen if it's useful for retro. i understand that it will be super rare or impossible to find any 4k monitor with VGA inputs so some sort of converter/adaptor will be required...

if you use a 4k screen with vga -> display port adaptor i'd like to hear your story 😀

Reply 157 of 295, by darry

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foil_fresh wrote on 2020-08-20, 01:40:

so i'm fairly happy using a 24" 1080p 240hz display for my old pcs, but curious to know if 4K makes a clearer picture when it comes to scaling DOS resolutions and primitive 640x480/800x600 resolutions?

my 27" 144hz acer (secondary monitor) has kinda died (it's a strobe-light rave party when displaying anything over 60hz now) so i was thinking about a replacement 4k screen if it's useful for retro. i understand that it will be super rare or impossible to find any 4k monitor with VGA inputs so some sort of converter/adaptor will be required...

if you use a 4k screen with vga -> display port adaptor i'd like to hear your story 😀

In theory, the smaller the pixels (relative to the theoretical pixel size of a resolution on a given display), the more precise thescaling you can hope to achieve . Infinitely small pixels in infinite numbers could yield perfect (integer) scaling of any arbitrary resolution . That said, in practice, the scaling algorithm plays a large part in the result .

Using a configurable digitizer/line multiplier such as the OSSC is almost certain to yield better results than any VGA to to Displayport or DVI/HDMI adapter .

For starters, a VGA to DP adapter
a) May not support 70Hz input to begin with or may convert it to 60Hz
b) Will not let you select proper sampling for 640x400 or 720x400 input
c) is unlikely to offer any scaling or line multiplying options and, even if it does, configurability is unlikely

Reply 158 of 295, by cde

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darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

I am curious as to why you prefer 1280x960 to say 1600x1200 . Is it to get the integer scaling of 640x480 ? My reason for preferring 1600x1200, (on a 1920x1200 display due to 1600x1200 no longer being made) is to get close to integer scaling for 320x200 (640x400) with an OSSC (and maybe eventually an OSSC Pro). 640x480 line-doubled to 1280x960 by OSSC and then scaled to 1600x1200 by my Acer VW257 looks very good to me .

Well I would prefer 1600x1200 if the DPI was small enough to get a screen size of about 17". Current 1600x1200 screens are too big and unwieldy imo.

darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

As for the the artifacts due to improper sampling of 640x400 as 720x400, those can be eliminated with an OSSC as a digitizer set to proper number of samples per line. Are you referring to other artifacts ?

Yes, I was referring to the erroneous doubling of pixels you can see due to the lack of subpixel sampling on many scalers.

darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

EDIT : OSSC Pro will have HDMI or DVI input . If that is combined with a programmable EDID, we might be able to get some sharper output of Nvidia cards by forcing them to output 720x400 or 640x400 directly or, by simply disabling the scaling option in the BIOS, and getting them to display 640x400 in a postage stamp at say 1600x1200 and then having the OSSC capture only the actual active picture area and scale it to full screen . There are some fun/interesting times ahead .

Excellent! Looking forward to it 😀

Reply 159 of 295, by darry

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cde wrote on 2020-08-20, 08:48:
Well I would prefer 1600x1200 if the DPI was small enough to get a screen size of about 17". Current 1600x1200 screens are too b […]
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darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

I am curious as to why you prefer 1280x960 to say 1600x1200 . Is it to get the integer scaling of 640x480 ? My reason for preferring 1600x1200, (on a 1920x1200 display due to 1600x1200 no longer being made) is to get close to integer scaling for 320x200 (640x400) with an OSSC (and maybe eventually an OSSC Pro). 640x480 line-doubled to 1280x960 by OSSC and then scaled to 1600x1200 by my Acer VW257 looks very good to me .

Well I would prefer 1600x1200 if the DPI was small enough to get a screen size of about 17". Current 1600x1200 screens are too big and unwieldy imo.

darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

As for the the artifacts due to improper sampling of 640x400 as 720x400, those can be eliminated with an OSSC as a digitizer set to proper number of samples per line. Are you referring to other artifacts ?

Yes, I was referring to the erroneous doubling of pixels you can see due to the lack of subpixel sampling on many scalers.

darry wrote on 2020-08-19, 21:57:

EDIT : OSSC Pro will have HDMI or DVI input . If that is combined with a programmable EDID, we might be able to get some sharper output of Nvidia cards by forcing them to output 720x400 or 640x400 directly or, by simply disabling the scaling option in the BIOS, and getting them to display 640x400 in a postage stamp at say 1600x1200 and then having the OSSC capture only the actual active picture area and scale it to full screen . There are some fun/interesting times ahead .

Excellent! Looking forward to it 😀

For the monitor size, I understand what you mean . This is not an issue for me, however, as having a 24/25-inch 1920x1200 monitor gives a 20-21-inch viewable 4:3 1600x1200 usable area, which I find perfect . 20 inches on a 4:3 CRT was my dream monitor size up to the late 90s . My last CRT was a Viewsonic P95 . It was only 19 inches (18 viewable, I think) and really unwieldly .

As for the sub-pixel scaling issues, I imagine these could largely reduced or eliminated with a properly setup OSSC, sampling wise, with line multiplication set to give a result as close as possible to native monitor resolution (or at least the largest 4:3 subset ofnative resolution). That is my hope for the Philips 252B9 .If my OSSC could reliably work in the out of spec 1600x1200@70Hz mode (189MHz) which samples 640 as 1600 active lines on the X axis and 400 active lines on the y axis with line tripling, it would give an effectively perfectly integer scaled 320x200 to 1600x1200 . The OSSC Pro will hopefully be the perfect solution here .

As for using the future OSSC Pro on the digital output of Nvidia cards, one down side I see is having to reboot the PC for EDID changes to take effect . Maybe some way to force the video BIOS to re-initialize the card without rebooting will be found (or is already known).

And just to be clear, AFAIK , and to the best of my understanding, what I mentioned about the OSSC Pro is within the realm of its theoretical capabilities but will depend on what actually gets implemented on it feature wise . I am just a potential, very hyped, user here . I did not want to imply that anything will necessarily be possible, beyond what the developpers have already said .