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Old 07-30-2003, 05:52 AM   #1
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Monitor frequencies - general question

Hi, I'm coming to Linux from Windows (like many, i guess), and i'm puzzled about something.

In windows, you normally specify the refresh rate. Usually, for a supported monitor, windows automatically knows what refresh rates can be used, and you normally pick the highest one available for the resolution you want. Very simple, end of story.

Now, in XF86Config, there is the "Monitor" section, which lists both vertical and horizontal refresh ranges supported by the monitor. But I don't know what that means. What refresh rate is it going to use??

...ok, i tried reading the manual at, but it seems like it has a lot of info I don't really care about. All I really want is to translate the refresh rate I set in Windows into some setting in X configuration. Possible?

Old 07-30-2003, 06:17 AM   #2
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Look in your monitors manual....

Like for my Viewsonic I have:

HorizSync 30-97
VertRefresh 50-180
It'll be a range like that. As for what it actually uses and why, I don't know.
Old 07-30-2003, 07:18 AM   #3
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All monitors use horizontal and vertical refresh rates and you need them both for X - unless maybe a framebuffer (with Vesa 2+?) takes care of minimal stuff. I'm not sure what the Windows option is - I think it's either vertical or a third thing. I think it all has to do with the speed the electron gun shoots crap at the screen. Or sumpin. *g* Anyway - check your manual (hah - I hardly ever have manuals) or try to dig the information out of the website of your model's manufacturer. It's important to set those correctly. When in doubt, aim low. You may have less video quality than you might but if you aim high you might end up with no monitor at all. (Actually, it may be dangerous to set them *too* low as well, but too low is better than too high.)

Well. That was precise and authoritative.
Old 07-30-2003, 12:23 PM   #4
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Yeah, I know what ranges to use for my monitor. I just wonder why it wants ranges, not specific values. How do I know that X uses high values from the ranges? oh well, maybe i'll read the XF86 manual again... when i have a few thousand hours to spare
Old 07-30-2003, 12:50 PM   #5
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Look in /var/log/XFree86.0.log !
You can see there what Linux is doing with your video and how it is deciding which refresh rate will be used ( among other interresting stuff ... ).

happy reading, Rolf
Old 07-30-2003, 01:41 PM   #6
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Ah, excellent, I love logs!


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