" is it possible mandrake doesn't have the right driver for the video and simply put until i give it one I won't get a GUI."
X Window will not give you a GUI until you get the X Window configuration file correct.
If your monitor is not configured correctly then you fix it by editing a file called /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 in Mandrake. The Mandrake program to edit this file is called xdrake (or Xdrake or XDrake).
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.