Switched to ATI Radeon

Some time ago I mounted my old monitor to the wall and configured my system for dual head. With NVidia 7300GT card setup was easy — Twinview handled it quite ok after fixing configuration so panels were properly setup and located:

  • 24″ on the left with 1920×1080 resolution as primary display
  • 20″ on the right with 1680×1050

My monitor setup

But after few days I decided that enough is enough. From time to time I had X11 session where maximizing window == placing it on two monitors (which was pain when second one was off or switched to BeagleBoard output). I do not have to add how uncomfortable it was…

So after discussion with few friends I decided to give a chance to ATI and bought Radeon HD5450 card. It is nearly cheapest card on that chipset (I bought DDR3 one instead of cheap DDR2 one) but it feels faster then GeForce 7300GT which I was using before.

But dual head setup is still a problem. Ok, X11 can now start without “/etc/X11/xorg.conf” file (I needed it with NVidia card) but after X session start I need to use XRandR to:

  • switch panels to native resolution (instead of 1680×1050 for both)
  • change orientation (20″ on the right to 24″ instead of cloning)

And then I have few strange things in system:

  • KDE panel does not enlarge with resolution change
  • RSIBreak blackout is only on 1680×1050 area of 24″ panel

So it looks like in near time I will continue fight with creation of proper “xorg.conf” file to get my displays configured properly out-of-box. I wonder when situation will change as it looks now that there is no standardized way to tell which display is which in configuration file (both panels are Samsung, both give “SAM” as name in EDID).

Thinking about LCD monitor change

Looks like I will have BeagleBoard soon which is great. But project will require also graphical output from it so here goes small problem — how to display it?

Currently I have 20″ LCD which is capable of 1680x1050px resolution and have two video inputs:

  • DVI where my desktop gfx card is connected
  • D-Sub where I have Koala NanoPC connected

BeagleBoard require DVI or HDMI input so I can not connect it to current panel. So there are few choices:

  • buy cheap 17-20″ LCD with DVI input and connect BB to it
  • buy FullHD (1920×1200 or 1920×1080) monitor with DVI/HDMI/D-Sub and use instead of current one.
  • like second option but use current one with BeagleBoard
  • do not buy any and use VNC to look what does BB display

OK, buying cheap LCD is not a problem — there are lot of them in local shops. The bigger problem is when I want to buy FullHD one. So far I created list of panels which are not an option and similar list of worth considering ones. So the choice for now looks like this:

Monitor Resolution DVI D-Sub HDMI Pivot TV tuner Notes
iiyama B2409HDS 1920×1080 + + 1 +
Samsung 2494HM 1920×1080 + + 1 +
Samsung 2333HD 1920×1080 + + 2 + no height regulation
Samsung 2493HM 1920×1200 + + 1 + not available anymore
Samsung 2693HM 1920×1200 + + 1 +
iiyama E2607WS 1920×1200 + + 1
Samsung T240 1920×1200 + + 1 no height regulation
LG W2452V-PF 1920×1200 + + 1 no height regulation

Can someone suggest other options?

High Definition contra big screen TVs

During day I was also at shop with television sets. One which take most of my attention was Samsung 52″ FullHD (1920x1080px) one — with very big contrast. It was connected to BlueRay disc player with some demos and trailers. I had to admit that some of them really show what high resolution means — sharp screen, all details on furry animals etc. But some of them used a bit bigger level of compression so it was visible on 52″ 🙁

Looks like companies which worked on HD-DVD and BlueRay did not get idea that LCD technologies will go into such big screens…

Samsung 205B Wide

Samsung 205B WideToday there was a sale in local MediaMarkt. I decided to go there to look how much it was destroyed by wild crowd.

When I was at the shop there were only a bit more people then usual — no signs of wild crowd, no destroyed stuff.. But they had one nice thing (which was also one of reasons why I was there): Samsung 205B Wide LCD monitor for 999 PLN (about 260 EUR) and I bought one.

At home I replaced my Samsung 17″ CRT with this new 20″ widescreen LCD and booted. 1280×1024 (my usual resolution) was not so good and after edition of xorg.conf I got 1680×1050 resolution and this is it. More space for windows, more space during reading of documents etc.

And all of that without any problems with gfx card — I use ATI x200 integrated into mainboard chipset and closed fglrx driver (did not checked does opensource driver support this resolution but I think that it should).