Digital resolution, HDMI vs DVI

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by Xaero_toast, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Xaero_toast

    Xaero_toast Limp Gawd

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    I'm working on upgrading the monitors on my triple monitor machine. I quit gaming years ago, and I'm a long way from being current on hardware trends anymore. This is just a 3 headed web browsing machine, but it suits my needs.

    It's pretty old stuff. It was 3 19" 4:3 monitors at 1280x1024 resolution (obviously time to start thinking about upgrades). I haven't spent money purchasing a new monitor in two decades. It grew from 1, to 2, to 3 monitors years ago, just by using when I already had. I kind of enjoyed the creative exercise of scavenging/repurposing. It went from 17" CRT's to 19" CRT's as opportunities arose.

    It went from CRT's to flat panels as I came home from work with screens that failed from capacitor plague (which were fixed for less than $10/each and a good hour of fun with a solder iron) It's been a fun little DIY adventure, but I'm ready for something nicer, and that's going to require some spending. The funding I have set aside for this project allows a spending rate of about $200-ish/month until it is done.

    The whole works is running on a Geforce GT240, and a Geforce 210. When it becomes necessary, these will probably get upgraded to a single card, but for the time being, they are adequate, and I am looking at upgrading displays first.

    I ordered a Benq BL2420PT the other day, 23.8" IPS screen with a native resolution at 2560x1440. I knew this resolution would require a digital connection where previously I was using SVGA on all monitors.

    The new display is fantastic. As expected, the image quality is remarkable side by side with monitors 10 years older. I did not think I would be in a hurry to replace the next screen until I saw these side by side.

    With a high resolution widescreen monitor, I may no longer need 3. The GT240 card has HDMI, DVI, and SVGA. If I can connect this display, and the next one, both to the GT240, I may be able to remove the second video card. The display can be connected by just about any means (VGA, displayport, hdmi, and DVI).

    Connecting it to DVI works great. It goes to 2560x1440 resolution, as expected. Connecting it to HDMI seems to impose a limit at 1920x1080. Specs for the GT240 list it's maximum "digital" resolution at 2560x1600. HDMI is a digital connection, so shouldn't it be capable of the same resolution?

    If I am able to reach 2560x1440 on HDMI, then next months upgrade can be another monitor. From there I decide whether to think about a third monitor, or see if 2 high resolution widescreen monitors is good enough I no longer need a third. I
     
  2. Supercharged_Z06

    Supercharged_Z06 2[H]4U

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    There are different versions of the HDMI standard - odds are your card is HDMI 1.3 or earlier which may be limiting you - I.E it can’t support the higher res at the refresh your monitor wants.
     
  3. Xaero_toast

    Xaero_toast Limp Gawd

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    I thought something like that would be a possibility. I can't find a definitive answer as to what HDMI specification the card meets. It's an XFX card, and since they've gone to AMD instead, all reference to nVidia cards seems to be deleted from their website.

    Most likely, next month, I'll get another monitor, and use the DVI on the second video card. I was hoping to get down to a single video card to free up a card slot for something else, but that's not a priority.

    There's only 3 pieces to this puzzle. The video card, the HDMI cable, and the monitor. Do you think it's a pretty safe assumption then that the video card is the limitation?
     
  4. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK Gawd

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    That monitor has a HDMI 1.4 port.
    Your GT240 (refreshed 9800GT) is HDMI 1.3a. Supercharged is correct. Your GPU is the weakest link.
     
  5. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins Muh Feelz Got [H]urt Right in the Pussy

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    If its an XFX Nvidia card, its 100% HDMI either 1.3 or 1.4. XFX when AMD exclusive in 2010. HDMI 2.0 didn't even debut until 2013 and 2.1 in 2017. HDMI should be able to support 2560x1440 at 60hz unless you have 2 monitors plugged into it then it might reduce that maximum down to 1920x1080.
     
  6. rhansen5_99

    rhansen5_99 [H]ard|Gawd

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    First off welcome to the high rez world. You are probably fine running multiple cards, but if you must I would suggest when you get a chance to maybe get an AMD RX 550 (or used gtx 9xx, 10xx or better RX), if you were trying to drop down to a single card. They give you HDMI 2, DVI-D, and Display port effectively giving you 3 ports that can push 1440p.
    I will tell you from experience with a HP 27 1440p monitor (with only DVI and Display port inputs) I have had limited to no success getting an HDMI adapter to work getting the native resolution, but this is a really old monitor and tried random odd ball adapters.
     
  7. Xaero_toast

    Xaero_toast Limp Gawd

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    Thanks. It is definitely a different experience. I never had a complaint with my 19's at 1280x1024 until I saw what newer looks like. I think I'm going to take some time to observe this before buying the next piece. I have noticed some things I did not anticipate. The high resolution makes elements of the windows desktop so tiny. Adjusting DPI scaling helps that a lot, but with Windows 7 the adjustment is for the entire desktop, not on a per monitor basis. The DPI scaling setting that makes things look "right" on the new monitor makes them too big on the old 19" monitors. It's a temporary problem, as next monitor upgrade is coming soon, and the next monitor will have a same or much similar pixel pitch. I believe newer versions of windows have resolved this, but my next windows upgrade is going to coincide with machine replacement.

    I put thought into the resolution vs display size, and knew relative to the monitor I had before I was increasing resolution in greater proportion that screen area, but that can only help image quality. However, I've given some thought to the idea that the same resolution in a larger display (say 27" or so from the current 23.8") would let me push the display a little further back on my desk while maintaining the same relative visual experience.

    I've had no problems running multiple video cards. I've done so for a long time, and it's probably a substantial contributing factor in my preference toward nVidia cards. They were most reliable when I first started doing this, although today I believe good multimonitor support is something everyone does. The interest in getting down to a single card is just about freeing up a card slot for other purposes.