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What is the proper resolution to set a 21" crt to??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 23, 2007 8:51:37 AM

What is the proper resolution to set a 21" crt to??
also i was wondering if it is very important to calibrate every monitor you get, even crt's?? i was thinking of getting a 26" planar lcd and i was looking into how i would have to calibrate it, and the bloody calibrating stuff is worth like $300 so the entire price with the monitor and tax would be about $1500 when the monitor is $950 so is it necessary?
September 23, 2007 11:51:12 PM

ok nearly 40 views and not a single person knows? holy **** this forum is falling apart :( 
September 24, 2007 12:06:04 AM

It depends on what monitor it is. I've always run my monitors at their native. I've found both 1600x1200 and 2048x1536 in the 21'' range. The brand and model would be helpful.
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September 24, 2007 12:24:09 AM

CRTs have varying resolutions, so there is no one correct answer, and with a shadow mask CRT the phosphors can't align with the pixels exactly. The best way to find this out is to read the monitor manual, you can find these online at most manufacturers web sites.

Generally speaking the "correct" res for a 21 inch CRT is 1600x1200, but 1280x1024 is probably a closer match for what you would get on an LCD. Also I'd never use a CRT at it's maximum resolution and refresh rate because they tend to jitter.

I have a 26 planar and I wouldn't bother to calibrate it, unless you need it to match printer output it's best just to tweak the settings in the apps you use most. FYI NEC sells a monitor as the planar which comes with a bunch of extras including calibration for around $1500
September 24, 2007 12:25:24 AM

Unless I am missing something CRTs will do multiple resolutions, only LCD has a native, you set the CRT to it's maximum supported resolution so long as your video card will support it. FWIW I ran my Sony 21 in 1600 x 1200.
September 24, 2007 12:31:52 AM

There is no proper or best resolution for a CRT, only a "native" resolution for an LCD, and even that is a suggestion as to what looks best on it, not a necessity.
September 24, 2007 12:33:00 AM

Dell 21" Trinitron thats all i know

and iv been running my monitor at 1024x768 for the longest time but i did not know that they didnt have a native resolution or anything like that so thanks for the replies

also MagicPants what do you think of the 26" Planar?? are you completely happy with it?? have you had any other lcd's in the past and if so how does the Planar compare?? do you play games on it, and if so is there ghosting and if so how much?? and in what games fps etc or rts?? overall happy with it, and out of 10 what would you give it. and if i missed anything be sure to leave any other comments you have about the monitor
September 24, 2007 12:40:41 AM

maverick7 said:
Dell 21" Trinitron thats all i know

and iv been running my monitor at 1024x768 for the longest time but i did not know that they didnt have a native resolution or anything like that so thanks for the replies


I had a Dell 21 Trinitron. I think there were a couple of such models. One a little higher quality than the other. I believe the max rez was 1800 x 1440. You just pick a rez that looks good to you. I used 1600 x 1200. You usually pick the higest rez you can so long as the refresh rate doesn't go so low you get flicker and of course if you can see the small print. You can adjust font sise if you must but that didn't always look so good.
September 24, 2007 1:05:50 AM

I run the the Dell 1110 Trinitron (21") at 1600 X 1200 with 85 Hz vertical scan rate. That seems the best resolution/refresh combination. 1800 X 1440 runs at 60H (maybe 72) wich has too much flicker, You can get 100 Hz or more at lower resolutions but that's a waste of Real Estate.
September 24, 2007 3:31:36 AM

CRT's = completely up to you (70+ hertz or more though, below hurts your eyes)
LCD's = Max usually is best
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 24, 2007 4:03:10 AM

You can run it at 800X600 and it still will be crystal clear. I have an old 17" I use just to fix systems with because of that reason.
September 24, 2007 4:31:28 AM

holy crap i was running my monitor at 60hertz and i just set it to 72 and wowowowo is all i can say a huge ass difference omfg it looks waaaaay better now. i still have it set to 1024x768 however

btw the monitor is a Dell P1110 Trinitron

i was also wondering i sort of have these black spaces on both sides of my screen like a few millimeters and it is sort of bothers me.. should i leave it as is or stretch the screen to cover that area?
i was also wondering what exactly the refresh rate does?? like right now its set to 72 what if i set it higher, what are the negatives to doing that? and what are the benefits?

*i also noticed that the screen is waay less bright when it is set at 72 hertz rather than 60hertz, is that normal or not?

*on a side note i tried to run at 1600x1200 and i could barely see anything on the screen.. much too small for me. (if someone with my monitor or something similar could take a picture of their screen so i could see how small their icons are i would just like to see because perhaps im doing something wrong. or idk actually im just amazed people use high resolutions like that..)
September 24, 2007 8:37:42 AM

use 1600x1200 @ 85 Hz (if u can) and raise the dpi in windows to 120... keep the best resolution without loosing readability

I have a Samsung P1100+ so i know what im talking about

:cheer
September 24, 2007 10:13:43 AM

Once you set up your monitor you may have to adjust the size etc., so yes make it wider/taller etc. if need be.

The refresh rate it the number of times per second that the screen refreshes. The only thing that you really want to avoid is 60Hz. The reason being is that your lights, assuming U.S., flicker 60 times a second, 50 in Europe. You don't really need anything above 85Hz that is plenty far enough away to kill any flicker from you lights. Technically 72Hz. should do. You need to be careful not to raise the refresh too high because, you can damage the monitor. Check the specs on you card and the monitor and don't exceed the recommendations. 85Hz is usually safe for decent equipment.

If the screen isn't bright enough, then...well...turn up the brightness.

You might try a 1152 by 864 resolution, or maybe a little higher, it's really personal preference.
September 24, 2007 11:05:11 AM

Personally id put it up to w/e I could for max. Higher resolution 99% of the time means better picture.
September 24, 2007 11:09:04 AM

I have a Philips 17inch crt using its optimal setting @1152x864 @75Hz. Therefore your monitor can go higher. eg 1280x1024@75/85Hz or 1600x1200@75/60Hz etc etc. PS as someone here already said, don't go below 75Hz. Monitor's lowest refresh rate is about 60. High flickering on the monitor gives you eyestrain and worst, headaches. I know cos I have experience them.
September 24, 2007 11:09:40 AM

Hatman said:
Personally id put it up to w/e I could for max. Higher resolution 99% of the time means better picture.


Hatman not always.
September 24, 2007 12:29:33 PM

i say 1280x1024,1024x768 is too small, the extra 200 or so on each side really helps, i would use it at 1280x1024 @75+hz and then manually adjust the brightness and so on.
September 24, 2007 3:51:30 PM

The whole resolution thing is 100% personal preference. If he thinks the print is too small then the resolution is too high. It's really whatever he likes to see with regards to the trade off between type size and desktop size. I'm sure he can work that out. At least for his sake I hope so.
September 24, 2007 5:34:14 PM

I had two 21" Dell P1130 Trinitrons. Great gaming monitors.
Had both at 1280x1024. The letters at 1600x1200 were a bit too small for me.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 24, 2007 6:04:26 PM

maverick7 said:

also MagicPants what do you think of the 26" Planar?? are you completely happy with it?? have you had any other lcd's in the past and if so how does the Planar compare?? do you play games on it, and if so is there ghosting and if so how much?? and in what games fps etc or rts?? overall happy with it, and out of 10 what would you give it. and if i missed anything be sure to leave any other comments you have about the monitor


So far I've played Bioshock, Civ4, and Oblivion on it. I don't see any ghosting or input lag on it at all, I see both those on my dell 2405. One thing I like about the 26" panel is if a game is running too slowly I can drop it into 1680 x 1050 with a cropped screen and the display is still 24". The planar has two issues: Firstly s-ips panels can't block out as much light as an mva panel so a black screen in a dark room is twice as bright as my dell 2405. If the room is lit even dimly I can't tell. Secondly, this panel runs unusually hot, make sure there is some airflow around it, as the top edge of the lcd panel will be hot to the touch.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 24, 2007 6:16:25 PM

maverick7 said:


i was also wondering i sort of have these black spaces on both sides of my screen like a few millimeters and it is sort of bothers me.. should i leave it as is or stretch the screen to cover that area?
i was also wondering what exactly the refresh rate does?? like right now its set to 72 what if i set it higher, what are the negatives to doing that? and what are the benefits?

*i also noticed that the screen is waay less bright when it is set at 72 hertz rather than 60hertz, is that normal or not?

*on a side note i tried to run at 1600x1200 and i could barely see anything on the screen.. much too small for me. (if someone with my monitor or something similar could take a picture of their screen so i could see how small their icons are i would just like to see because perhaps im doing something wrong. or idk actually im just amazed people use high resolutions like that..)


I try to stretch my screen as far out as possible, black space at the sides equals unused phosphors equals wasted money.

Setting your refresh rate higher means the video signal is running at a higher frequency and more susceptible to noise which makes the screen jittery, you can see this in fine text. Another way to reduce noise is to run at a lower resolution. If your screen has ghosts or is blurry check your connection or try a better quality cable (BNC if you can)

I think 72 Hertz is brighter because your screen is being scanned more often, but I'm not sure on this one.

and finally CRTs do have a practical maximum resolution, that's when there are fewer phosphors to display an image then there are pixels in that image. This might by why 1600x1200 looks bad on your monitor.
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