Screen resolution question


Active Member
Hi folks,

I currently have a 19" 4:3 LCD monitor and the screen resolution on my PC is set to 1280x1024, which is the MAX that I can set my PC to (using the slider control in the display settings function).

Now, if I was to buy a new 20" widescreen monitor, which has a max resolution of 1680x1050, would my PC detect that the new monitor can display a higher resolution and therefore give me the option to increase the setting (on the slider control)


as I sadly suspect, would it make no difference that the monitor has a higher res because maybe my graphics card can only handle a MAX of 1280x1024 ?

In which case, I guess I would need to buy a more powerful graphics card in order to benefit from the higher res monitor?

I was looking at the w's monitors in Comet today and they looked amazing and then I suddenly noticed the resolution setting.....I reduced it to the same setting as mine (1280x1024) and suddenly, they didn't look so impressive! :(


Tommy Angelo

Pretty much any graphics card from the last few years will be capable of higher resolutions than generally available monitors.

I'd be shocked if your graphics card couldn't support 1680x1050. But what card is it? Just to be 100% sure.


Senior Moderator
Monitors look best at native res. And yes, you will be able to set new external at 1680x1050

You'd probably be able to drive both monitors at the same time, even if you have a less advanced card so long as you're not gaming. But knowing your GPU would help


Active Member
Cheers guys, you're making me feel a bit more hopeful :)

My graphics card (i think!) is a VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro IGP and it's 64MB.

What do you think? Will this handle a res of 1680x1050 ?


Active Member
Most graphics cards have a tick-box setting in the advanced or options menus that says something like "hide modes that the monitor can't display". The reason for this is that if you set your graphics card to a resolution that your monitor can't display you have all sorts of problems because you can't get a picture on your monitor any more and therefore you can't do nothing. That is probably the reason why at present your graphics card appears not to support any higher resolutions than what your monitor is currently displaying.
quick search around google shows a lot of people having trouble getting 1650x1050 out of that particular graphics chip

if you're spending a fair bit on a brand new widescreen monitor, might be wise to pick up a cheap graphics card that'll defo do the trick
(hint: there's someone selling a few right here in the classified bit at the bottom of the forum for <£30)

(also your LCD monitor is 5:4 not 4:3 :smashin:)


Active Member
Hmmmm, not sounding so good...... now, do I take a chance and buy the monitor???

I don't really want to have to bother with having to replace my graphics card so I might just have to make do with my current monitor.

Why are PC's so difficult to "upgrade"....nothing is simple!!

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