4:3 on widescreen project - burn the CD - test your monitor - just a few minutes

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Mau1wurf1977, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Hi all!

    Short version

    - Burn the iso image
    - Boot your retro PC from the CD
    - Monitor to be connected via VGA
    - It will test resolutions (check for black bars on the left and right side)
    - It will test for 70 Hz support and smooth scrolling (check for smooth scrolling)

    As you know old DOS and Windows games mostly use the 4:3 aspect ratio. It's basically non-widescreen and many monitors still display it correctly with black bars on the sides like this one:

    [​IMG]

    Others do not preserve the 4:3 aspect ratio and stretch the image onto the entire screen like this one:

    [​IMG]

    Another issue is that MS-DOS games run at 70 Hz. Some monitors will internally convert this to 60 Hz which results in jumpy / non-smooth scrolling. Apparently IPS panels suffer from this.

    So I've created an ISO image that boots and runs a few tests. It's really easy, it will test one resolution at a time:

    320 x 200
    640 x 400
    640 x 480
    800 x 600
    1024 x 768
    1280 x 1024
    1600 x 1200

    Just press Escape to get to the next resolution:

    [​IMG]

    The images will show artefacts, but that's fine. The current resolution can be observed at the bottom right:

    [​IMG]

    After the 1600 x 1200 it will do a scrolling test of text file. This should be super smooth, as if you move a page of paper up:

    [​IMG]

    Just report back with the monitor make and model and what you observed.

    So far I've seen monitors doing the following:

    Some do everything 100%
    Some do the high resolutions correctly, but stretch 320 x 200 and 640 x 400

    Others tested their IPS panels and reported scrolling issues.

    The iso image can be downloaded here:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/94628483/AR-TEST-V11.iso

    Of particular interest are:

    1920 x 1200 16:10 panels. Especially IPS or other non-TN panels that can do 70 Hz properly.

    Because these monitors can do the 1600 x 1200 resolution pixel perfect, which is kinda the ultimate 4:3 resolution and most old games support it natively.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  2. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    CD-ROM??? What the hell is that? We don't all have those new damn fangled machines. :D

    I have a couple of XT's and there well, XT's lol....and my 486 which I just got recently currently doesn't have a working CD-ROM. I did however mount the ISO and transferred the PCPBENCH directory to floppy disk and in turn copied it to my 486, but it threw up this rather nice German message:

    "initgraphics: vesa modus 100 konnte nicht initialisiert warden" which translates to "init graphics: vesa mode 100 failed to initialize"

    I'm assuming this is in relation to the graphics chip not being able to support a particular VESA mode or is it perhaps missing something from the CD? I'm currently using onboard graphics (Cirrus Logic CL-GD542X). The /MODES switch tells me: "VESA VBE Version: 1.2 with the resolutions 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768".

    I'm afraid I'm limited to ISA at the moment, none of those fancy PCI slots on these boards.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    And how did your widescreen monitor display the first benchmark (320 x 200 resolution).

    It doesn't have to be a retro PC. Can be any modern PC as long as you use the VGA cable.
     
  4. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Ok here's the results just using VGA (320 x 200). Interestingly the OSD menu reports the resolution to be 720x400@70Hz.

    Dell 2405FPW (1920x1200 16:10) - This monitor allows you to adjust the Scaling and gives you 3 options, 1:1, Fill and Aspect. So I thought I would include all options for a comparison.

    Sorry for the bad photos but they were taken with my phone.


    Fill mode

    Fills the entire screen as suggested stretching it down to where the black bars were in Aspect mode. The stretch isn't that bad it actually looks quite good and not very noticeable at all. You only really see it when you compare the modes.

    [​IMG]

    Aspect mode

    Notice the horizontal black bars. Fills the screen but keeps it within the correct aspect ratio.

    [​IMG]

    1:1 mode

    Pretty useless with such a low resolution on a monitor which does 1920x1200 but an interesting option to have.

    [​IMG]

    I might do higher resolutions if I get the chance.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    It doesn't do this one correctly. It should be 4:3 with bars to the sides like here:

    [​IMG]

    But many monitors don't do this.

    Yes the OSD usually shows 700 x 400 @ 70 Hz for these modes.

    I bet yours will be fine for 1600 x 1200 though.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Bit the bullet and bought a Business class 16:10 24" TN panel monitor from Samsung. It arrived the other day and I'm extremely happy! It does all DOS and Windows 4:3 resolutions in the correct aspect ratio:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Splinter Cell at 1600 x 1200. So pretty:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  7. rade

    rade Member

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    Just out of interest, what model samsung was this?
     

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