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CRT monitor: Should I be able to safely go over the max reported res?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 13, 2010 6:35:08 AM

Just bought an old trinitron monitor manufactured in 1998. It's a 21 inch. Its spec sheet says that the max resolution is 1600x1200 at 85hz.

I'm thinking that it should be able to safely do higher resolutions at gradually lower refresh rates. For example, 1920x1440 at 60hz. I know many 21 inch CRT's can go to 2048x1536 at 60hz.

What do you old-school CRT people think?

Edit: Here is the spec sheet.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/55347/sp...
a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 129 C Monitor
October 13, 2010 7:05:06 AM

Even if you could, I doubt your eyes would enjoy it. 60hz with a CRT is very hard on the eyes.
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a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2010 7:05:25 AM

You shouldn't go above the native resolution.
The native res is the best for any screen
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 129 C Monitor
October 13, 2010 7:07:56 AM

55Range said:
You shouldn't go above the native resolution.
The native res is the best for any screen


CRT's don't have a native resolution.
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a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2010 7:15:57 AM

Well, my bad, I meant the res [default] that it came with
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 129 C Monitor
October 13, 2010 7:19:36 AM

55Range said:
Well, my bad, I meant the res [default] that it came with


CRT's don't have a default either. They do have a maximum however. Unlike LCD's, Crt's resolutions are not hardwired. They just adjust the frequencies and deliver smooth clean resolutions, and it is possible to create resolutions, although it's not recommended to go beyond their max.
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October 13, 2010 7:27:07 AM

Whoops, forgot to include the spec sheet, resolutions are towards the bottom:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/55347/sp...

Keep in mind this monitor is from 98. Maybe back then higher resolutions weren't that popular, so they didn't feel the need?

Am I wrong in thinking that supporting 16x12 at 85 means it should support higher resolutions at 75 or 60? My eyes handle 60hz just fine. I don't notice the flicker when I'm looking directly at the screen.

Keep in mind I have set the monitor to a higher resolution, and it worked, but I turned it back quickly because I was afraid it could be harmful.
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a b U Graphics card
October 13, 2010 7:35:21 AM

Just seconds before I started typing, I tried it in linux( not windows because it does not give me the options to go higher).It worked, but it did not look very good.
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October 13, 2010 9:19:36 AM

That's the thing, I know my monitor has the ability to go higher, but the question is whether it can go higher without degrading the tube.

I've read that going higher than the max resolution can damage your monitor.

But in this case, I'm thinking dell was lazy and didn't add the TRUE max resolution to their specifications list, because their listed max resolution is 1600x1200 at 85hz. On most CRT monitors, when you read the specs, the highest resolution can only be refreshed at 60hz. If you step down to the next highest resolution, you can go to 70 or 75hz, and so on, until you get to 800x600 where you can refresh at 120hz.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 13, 2010 5:16:00 PM

If it's a cheap CRT you can damage it by trying. While a good CRT should simply give you a black screen if it doesn't support a given res & refresh rate, a cheap CRT can be a bit unpredictable. Don't go above the 1600x1200.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 13, 2010 5:31:53 PM

60hz would give pretty bad flicker because CRTs backlighting and drawing mechanism is the same. While LCDs typically have their backlight refreshing at well over 200hz or takes direct current and doesn't ever refresh.

If you are comfortable with it, then thats fine. Though I would watch out for your monitor though.
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July 10, 2011 4:47:40 AM

Sorry to bump an old thread, but there is a lot of misinformation here.

Look at the monitor specs:

Aperture grill pitch 0.25 mm (center) - 0.27 mm (corner)

Display area 388 mm x 291 mm

Based on those specs, the monitor can't really display more than 1552 x 1164 pixels. It is going to be struggling at 1600x1200, and there's no point trying to display more than that.

Also, you can't damage this monitor by trying to increase the resolution. No CRT monitor, no matter how cheap, will be damaged by increasing the number of pixels per line. No multisync monitor (such as this one) will be damaged by applying an out of range horizontal sync rate.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a c 129 C Monitor
July 10, 2011 5:28:36 AM

edavid said:
Sorry to bump an old thread, but there is a lot of misinformation here.

Look at the monitor specs:

Aperture grill pitch 0.25 mm (center) - 0.27 mm (corner)

Display area 388 mm x 291 mm

Based on those specs, the monitor can't really display more than 1552 x 1164 pixels. It is going to be struggling at 1600x1200, and there's no point trying to display more than that.

Also, you can't damage this monitor by trying to increase the resolution. No CRT monitor, no matter how cheap, will be damaged by increasing the number of pixels per line. No multisync monitor (such as this one) will be damaged by applying an out of range horizontal sync rate.


While this could be true, and I didn't say it would cause damage, I have seen a lot of warnings from any program and coding examples that allow you to do this. If there was no chance of damage, I doubt I'd see warnings about it being possible to damage the hardware in every case I've seen that allowed me to create my own resolution.
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