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Screen resolution issues

Last response: in Windows 8
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February 22, 2013 3:26:10 AM

UPDATE:

*hangs head in shame*

Mea culpa. You can ignore everything in this thread -- man, is this embarrassing. My resolution wasn't different at all between the old system and the new. When I first launched the new system and saw that only five icons could fit aligned vertically on the desktop (as compared to eight icons on the old system desktop), I assumed that the resolution had changed and I struggled mightily to change the resolution to something finer. As it turns out, Windows 8 defaults to huge desktop icons -- even though it stated "use small icons" in the settings, my icons needed to be resized by selecting them and scrolling the mouse wheel. New to me. So my resolution was the same, it just looked different because the icons were so large.

*palm to forehead*

In my slight defense, the background image on my second monitor still doesn't look right -- it is much larger and lower quality, even though it is the same image on the same screen that I used on my prior rig, set at the same resolution. I'm still not sure what's causing that, and I have tinkered with the full/fit/tile/etc. modes without success. In any event, the large image on display #2 and the large icons on display #1 were my undoing.

Ignore the rest below!

This is very frustrating. My new Win8 build is all done, but I cannot achieve the same monitor resolutions I was achieving with my previous build and I have no idea what the issue is. I use dual monitors. Here is what is the same and what is different:

Old System:
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Displays (dual):
- Samsung UN22c4000 22" 720p LED - LCD HDTV
- Samsung UN32B6000 32" 1080p 120Hz LED - LCD HDTV
Connection: 2 HDMI-DVI cables

New System:
OS: Windows 8 64 bit builders edition
GPU: EVGA 02G-P4-3677-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW Signature2 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Displays: exactly the same as above
Connection: exactly the same as above

When I go into display settings, I have the same options for screen resolution for each monitor, but when I return the resolution to the settings I used on the old system, it looks terrible. I can only run at middling resolutions (1360 x 788 on the 22" display and 1600x1024 on the 32" display) which severely handicaps the amount of monitor real estate that I have to work with.

I downloaded my video drivers directly from NVIDIA's site for the new build. What gives? Is it my OS, my drivers, my new video card, or something else?
February 22, 2013 11:17:49 AM

OK....first thing I would try is to seperate the two screens.

I take it that the 1360x788 (should that be 768?) on the 22" is correct?
I also take it that you mean that your cables are HDMI to DVI converter cables?
If so, please use the straight through DVI cables that came with your screens (this might not be possible with the TV though)

Plug the 22" into each of the DVI ports in turn on the graphics card and confirm that it does get it's full resolution. You can actually do this whils thte PC is on...but I always make sure that I turn off the monitor whilst changing ports.

Once you have confirmed the above please unplug the monitor and use a straight through HDMI cable that should have come with the TV to attach the TV to the PC on it's own.

Confirm what resolution you are given and let us know here.

I suspect that you may find that the resolution will be fine in this configuration.

The trick will then be making the two monitors work together.

Again, I stress that you should use straight through cables, and not converter cables as you really have no need with your new graphics card.

If everything checks out with only one screen plugged in at a time, plug in both using their native cables (DVI for the monitor and HDMI for the TV) and configure the screens using nVidia's extended desktop setup in the drivers.

If you could come back and let us know how you got on that would be great.
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February 22, 2013 11:17:57 AM

Just noticed...both your screens are TVs! This shouldn't change my advice...but I would ask why you have 2 TVs instead of a Monitor and TV?
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February 22, 2013 12:05:54 PM

Thank you. Much of that I have already done. I utilize TVs/monitors because I have (in the past) alternated between TV and PC on each screen in an HDMI-switcher configuration. Presently both are hooked directly (HDMI-->DVI) to the PC.

- there are no straight through DVI cables -- both displays are HDMI only (no DVI), so HDMI-->DVI is necessary for at least one screen, since the GPU has only one HDMI output.

- I have tried running the larger screen HDMI-->HDMI alone as a single display already and it did not resolve the issue. I can attempt HDMI-->HDMI with the smaller screen, but I don't imagine there will be a different result.

- Aside from the resolution issues, I have had no problem setting up an extended screen dual monitor layout with these displays in both the old (Win7) and new (Win8) system. That is the one thing that is working correctly with respect to the displays in the new system.

In any event, the cables, displays, and GPU manufacturer are all the same as they were in my previous system configuration -- I literally unhooked the cables from one PC and connected them to the other -- so I can't think of any reason why this set up would not work from the standpoint of those existing variables.

I can always remove the video drivers from the new system, remove the video card, and place my older video card in the new system and see if it works with that configuration, but that would still leave some variables: if it does work, then it means it is a problem either with the video card itself OR with the card's Windows 8 drivers, but it wouldn't be clear which. Likewise, I can install the new video card in the old system (which is a Windows 7 system) and connect it, which might give some insight as to whether it is the card or drivers (or something else), depending upon the results.
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February 22, 2013 1:00:23 PM

I think in this case you are spot on....install the new card in the old system (as long as it wont blow up due to power, or somesuch) then test the displays.

Note...if you don't have it already get hold of the Geforece Experience app from them - it's beta but has a nice feature for updating drivers, etc.

On the topic of driver updates...whenever I do a nVidia driver change (which as I'm sure you are aware is quite often these days!) I tick the option for a 'clean' install....I've not had any issues at all since nVidia programmed that option in, either on windows 7 in my old setup or my newer windows 8 setup.

Let me know if the new card works the same way in the older PC.
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February 22, 2013 4:10:31 PM

It seems like the only logical approach, albeit an exhausting one. I was clinging to the hope that someone here would say "Oh yeah, that's just a driver issue, you just need the..." or "that's a Windows 8 thing, you just need to change the settings for..." before I start tearing things apart. I'm holding out hope...

In the meantime, can someone kindly remind me (or direct me to) the best way to cleanly remove video drivers in Win7 and Win8? I'm going to presumably have to clear the drivers from the old system before inserting the new card in the old (Win7) system and then I am going to have to do the same thing in the new (Win8) system.
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February 22, 2013 5:42:03 PM

Read above...NVidia have the option built right into the driver install now! :) 
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