TFT monitors and Xorg

Joseph Vella satyam at
Sat Mar 11 05:24:50 UTC 2006

On Friday 10 March 2006 09:57, dick hoogendijk wrote:
> Hello,
> Probably a stupid question, but I'll take my chances.
> For years now I only used "normal" monitors on windows, linux, FreeBSD
> but soon I'll get a Samsung 930BF TFT screen.
> What I'd like to know is, if Xorg is capable of "seeing" this monitor
> and sets the right options. I know it does a good job with other
> monitors, but as I understand TFT's are quite different in some
> aspects.
> Do TFT's use HorizSync and VertRefresh the same way as normal monitors?
> Maybe I worry about nothing, but I hope someone will explain things to
> me than.

No you don't have to worry, Xorg has no problems with them.  I haven't even 
had to specify Hsync and VertRefresh.  But if you want to, Xorg has the 
options to get very specific with the settings.  Here's a section of 
xorg.conf for one of my monitors.  It ran just as well without all this 
stuff, but since I had the info, why not set it.

Section "Monitor"
        DisplaySize       430   270     # mm
        Identifier   "Monitor0"
        VendorName   "DEL"
        ModelName    "DELL 2005FPW"
        HorizSync    30.0 - 83.0
        VertRefresh  56.0 - 75.0
        Mode            "1680x1050"
                DotClock 119.0
                HTimings 1680 1728 1760 1840
                VTimings 1050 1053 1059 1080
                Flags    "-HSync" "+VSync"

This monitor has a non-standard resolution of 1680x1050 and Xorg has no 
problem with it.

The sharpness of a TFT display (especially on text) makes CRTs look quite 
blurry in comparison. After getting used to TFT I can't use CRTs anymore.

There is one difficulty.  That very sharpness actually makes many fonts appear 
horrible.  You might have to play with font.conf to get them looking good.  I 
had to set antialiasing, hinting, sub pixel rendering. I had to get the right 
combo and had to set them differently for different font sizes and weights 
and even family for some of them.

I've had poor results connecting some models with analog.  The same monitor 
had a night and day quality upgrade by using a DVI connection.  You can find 
good video cards with DVI for $50 (even less).

Another thing to note is that it's best to run them at their native 
resolution.   The Samsung you mentioned is only 1280x1024 for a large 19" 
screen.  For me that would make everything too large.  If I was looking for 
19", I would want a higher native resolution.  If I was happy with that 
resolution I would be looking for a 17" monitor.  Of course I know nothing of 
your usage and preferences so YMMV (just a heads up).

I think the most significant hardware upgrade I've done in 15 years was the 
widescreen display.  Being able to have two windows open side by side is a 
whole new world.

This is what I have, right now it's on sale. Normally I'm not particularily 
fond of Dell, but this monitor rocks:

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