Hi, I am removed from the system building days of college and have really lost my sense geek that I used to pride myself on.
Two years ago I bought an HP system that has an ATI Radeon 4850 with 1gb ram and am looking to upgrade my primary monitor from a crt (Viewsonic P815, 1600x1200) to either a Dell U2410 (1920x1200) or Dell U2711 (2560 x 1440) but am not sure if my video card can handle either high resolution. When I go into Windows 7 video modes it stopps at 1600x1200 but but maybe that's because it only lists what my monitor can handle?
Per the AMD/ATI website,
Two integrated dual-link DVI display outputs
~ Each supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
Two integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
~ Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x1536
DisplayPort output support
~ 24- and 30-bit displays at all resolutions up to 2560x1600
But I can't tell if that is enough for my two potential scenarios (the dell lcds listed above) since I only have dedicated 1gb ram and this page might be listing the theoretical card limits, not what I have. That info also seems to contradict itself as it has up to different maxes based on vga and display port.
Here is the other factor. I have a second monitor, an Acer X203 (1680x1050) running as well that I intend to keep as secondary display. I am not sure if that in combination with my new lcd would exceed what I can handle with my card in terms of video membery.
Thank you to anyone who is patient enough to read all this and lend a hand to someone removed from all these new connectors and resolutions. Life was simpler for me when there was DSUB connectors.
The HD 4850 can handle 1920x1200 resolution with no problem, my ATi Rage Pro 16mb card could handle 1920x1080 counter-strike. For the Dell U2410, you should be fine connecting it to any port but the Dell U2711 will have to be connected with DVI/Display port. I think 1gb memory is enough depending on what you do with it...
The max res is 2560x1600 for that card.
If you are using it for gaming then it wouldnt be ideal at that resolution as the 4850 is rather weak
Yes the reason you see the max resolution at 1600x1200 is thats the most your monitor can display
for gaming that higher res and multi monitor will crush the 4850. For general browsing and htpc use then it will work fine
Thanks so much for the replies and help!
I will not be gaming on this machine, strictly for 2d needs (graphic designer). Maybe some old Half Life to bring back memories of my glory gaming days. Work and newborn baby though prevent gaming much.
One more quickie (I hope), regarding connectors. I plan to use the  Primary for the new monitor which is I think DVI. The port is listed as capable of single-link and dual-link but do I need to get the right kind of cable for dual which I think is required for that high of res? I don't have a displayport cable, and assume I would need a converter so would probably like to avoid that unless there are added benefits. So I guess, my question is, what cable would I need to have for the 2711 to power the 2560x1440. It appears any ole single link dvi cable do the trick for the 2410.
Thanks again!!! Its really nice to have some help on this before I buy a pricy monitor only to learn I can't handle it with my current video card and need to then upgrade that too, or need to get some expensive cable.