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New Widescreen Monitor - how to set up?


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I have a new 22" widescreen monitor connected to my 4 yr old Compaq desktop. The monitor's suggested/max resolution is 1680x1050 but so far as I can tell my computer goes only to 1280x1024, which is what I'm using. So I now have a distorted sub-optimal image.


Is it time to buy a new video card, is there a way to "update" my current video card (VIA/S3G Unichrome), or what? What's the best way to take adavantage of my new monitor's resolution and wide-ness?

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I would save all the time and trouble and just go out and buy a new computer.


I tried to update my computer with more memory, hard to find and really didn't help that much, wnated to burn DVDs, so I bought a external DVD-burner. Started saving DVDs on my HD- my HD filled up, so I got a external HD, than my computer was bogged down and slow with all the new crap and programs - I bought I new computer that had DVD-burner, 500Gb HD drive has 3Gb of memory [expanable to 8] and is blazing fast. I wanted to save $$$, but bought stuff twice and spent even more $$$ :dopeslap:


4yrs is about the time to start to about replacing a computer. Good luck.

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It partially depends on your Compaq desktop's configuration. You need to see if it has a PCIe (different from PCI) slot. If it does, any modern video card (something like this would work well) will be able to run at that resolution. Most stuff produced in 2004/2005 had a PCIe slot, but with proprietary stuff (especially low end) from manufacturers like Compaq, you never know.


If your computer has an agp slot, you'll need a card that works in an agp slot. Something like this would work, but I'm sure you could find something cheaper. It's just that agp stuff is getting used less frequently, so it's harder to find deals.


However, if you have neither of those, you'll need a PCI card. That's the worst option, but it will work for you if you have no other options..

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Before you upgrade to a new video card make sure that your power supply is up to the task. My son upgraded to a new video card and discovered he had to reploace his power supply. New cards draw lots of power. Check the specs for the card and your power supply before your buy.

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I'd be really surprised if your computer couldn't do 1680x1050. It may just be a driver issue. You might try going to HP's site and looking for updated drivers?

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Supposedly the VIA/S3G Unichrome can do 1680x1050, but that involves installing a new/updated BIOS from HP (if they bothered to release it for the particular model computer that you own). If you can track that down, it should run the monitor. However, it's usually a pain to install a BIOS (typically it involves a floppy drive) for most people.


Most of the reports I saw on the web indicated that they still had problems even with the most recent bios. It's probably not worth the hassle, but it's a potentially viable solution.

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