RE: What's what with LCD resolution and aspect?

Subject: RE: What's what with LCD resolution and aspect?
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: 'Laura Lemay' <lemay-lists1 -at- lauralemay -dot- com>, Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 09:50:29 -0500

Laura Lemay [mailto:lemay-lists1 -at- lauralemay -dot- com] opined:

> > If you were about to receive (not ordered yet) a monitor to
> replace
> > a dying
> > CRT,
> > and the offering was 1680x1050 LCD, would you make a fuss and hold
> > out for
> > 1600x1200?
> I'm sure they'll be pleased if you made a fuss. The monitor you're
> getting is the 20 inch widescreen. A 1600x1200 monitor would be a
> 4:3 aspect ratio 20 inch LCD -- it's a smaller and cheaper monitor.
> LCD resolution refers to the actual number of native pixels on the
> screen. You should run it at its native resolution. If you run a
> 1680x1050 LCD at 1600x1200, you'll get stretched out pixels. That
> would be bad.
> Get the widescreen and just run it they way its supposed to be run.
> It's a terrific monitor. The really nice thing about the widescreen
> LCDs is that you can put two pages up side by side.

Two or three things...

1) The 4:3 1600x1200 actually costs more.

2) I've already got one (DELL 2007FP). It's one side of a dual-head setup.
The other side is a CRT, which is dying and needs replacing soon. So, the
side-by-side display of documents issue is already addressed by having two

3) I wouldn't drive an LCD outside its native resolution. (I think/hope the
old nVidia QuadroFX is able to give two very different LCD displays what
they both need... but it wouldn't be an issue if they were a matched set of

4) I've not really had a chance to play, but at computer and electronics
stores, I've seen what happens when a single picture is displayed on several
different-aspect displays - it's usually the wide-screen ones that show
circles as flattened eggs, people as short and fat, and text stretched a bit
wide. That seems to imply a software bias for a more upright aspect ratio.

Probably it will all work itself out, no matter which I get.

In the big-box stores, I can view what they have pre-assembled for display,
but they never do dual-head.
I could go to a Mom'n'Pop store, have them set up a dual-head display
pairing matched- and then mismatched-aspect displays, but that would be a
dirty trick when I'm not going to buy. The company will just buy from DELL
when the time comes.

I just thought I'd ask the voices of experience. I figured that among
5000-or-so tech-writers, a bunch would have dual-head setups and some might
have confronted the mixed-aspect issue (if it even is one) before me.

Cheers and salutations,

Kevin (about to begin pushing string - also called the purchase-req process

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