30 Hardware and Windows Tips in 30 Days Tip 11: Thinking Widescreen Display? Check Your Video Card Support First
Widescreen displays are all the rage, but some onboard video and graphics cards aren't up to the task of supporting some sizes. Here's how to make sure you get full benefit from your new display.
Checking Display SupportOnce you know the native resolution of the display you're considering, open the Display properties sheet and click Advanced (Windows XP).For Windows Vista, open the Personalization menu in Control Panel, click Display Settings properties sheet, then click Advanced Properties. Open the Adapter tab and click the List All Modes button.
Will It Work? List All Modes KnowsIf you see the native resolution of your display listed in List All Modes, you know you can use the new display as it was meant to be used. If not, make sure you are running the latest drivers for your video card or integrated video.
No Support? Time for a New CardIn some cases, you might discover that your video card or integrated graphics cannot support the native resolution of your intended display. If you buy it anyway, the display will use a non-standard resolution that will provide poorer display quality. In a worse-case scenario, if you might not have any widescreen resolutions, the display would be run in a squashed-looking 4:3 ratio. To avoid this problem, upgrade to a newer graphics card that does support your preferred display.
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