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I've successfully edited my xorg.conf file to include my second video card and set the display to Xinerama. But for some reason, no matter how I change the monitor settings, KDE keeps starting up in 1278x1023. I've manually set 1024x768 by editing the file, I've used SaX2 to set the default resolution to it, I've chosen 1024x768 as the only resolution via xorgconfig. Yet, every time I start up KDE, my monitors both go right to 1278x1023. I also have a XF86Conf file that seems to contain much of the same information as the xorg.conf file. (I assume that's the file SaX2 makes.) Editing that directly to contain only the resolution I want doesn't help either.
I'm using 2 ATI cards: Radeon 9600 and 9200SE. But I've had the same problem happen when I remove the 9200SE and just use the 9600. This is driving me nuts. My 17" LCD has a much crisper display at 1024, and it's what I've grown used to. Things are just a tad too small as they are now and adding the blurriness to it makes a lot of small text hard to read.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
BTW, I've tried installing the ATI proprietary drivers, but I'm rewarded with a blank screen when I try them. Before I tackle that issue, I'd like to at least manage to get my screen to operate they way I tell them to.
I've not had much success with multiple monitors and using ATI drivers. So I've pretty much always used NVIDIA cards. Not using ATI drivers and just using the defaults will work, but you won't get 3D accel out of them. My 2 cents on that.
As for you monitor resolution, most entries will look something like this in your xorg.conf file:
Changing other settings does affect the display (for example, I had a typo in "Screen1" and that screen didn't work until I fixed it) so it's not as if I'm editing some extra copy of the file. I'm really at a loss here. When I exit the X server, my screens reset to 1024x768, except when I load up in failsafe mode, in which case they drop down to 800x600. So the system is perfectly capable of displaying other modes, it just refuses to once X gets going. I can't find any reference to the higher resolution anywhere in the xorg.conf file at this point. Or even to a lower resolution, for that matter.
Sorry, I wasn't very clear in my last post. When I shut down the X server and am dealing just with the basic text mode interface, the monitor goes to 1028x768. If I use ctrl+alt+backspace, for instance, the screen will move into the lower resolution to display X's shutdown and startup information and goes right back to 1280x1024 when X restarts. Similarly, if I don't go right into KDE or Gnome on boot, I'm in 1028, but once I type in "startx," the screen blanks and goes into the higher resolution.
Something I just noticed... if I use SaX2 to modify settings, there's a "test" feature that's supposed to make sure the settings work. If I set them wrong, the screen doesn't come up (as expected). However, while the little test box says "1028x768", the monitor itself displays the same old "1280x1024" in the corner after it flicks off and on.
I'm about ready to give up and live with the new resolution, and simply rely on my smaller monitor for stuff I want to see clearly. I discovered Gnome doesn't squash the fonts as much as KDE does. But still, something's apparently amiss and I'd rather fix it than ignore it.
It looks like the problem I'm actually having isn't the problem I thought it was. I just went into GIMP and played around with an image to test the resolution. A 1024x768 image fits perfectly on the screen, but 1280x1024 spills over. This still doesn't explain why the monitor itself says it's in the higher resolution mode, but apparently what I'm actually viewing is the resolution I want. Does that make any sense? My monitor seems to be lying to me. If I have to just live with the oddity, I will, but it seems to me that something's still not right. The monitor reports the correct resolution in Windows, and the display is much clearer. Maybe I still need to work on getting those ATI drivers running properly or finding some open source ones. (Or switching to nVidia, though I don't really have the money for that.)
On that note, though, since my secondary monitor is behaving just fine, is there any compelling reason not to combine an ATI and an nVidia card? If I can get away with replacing just the card for my primary monitor, maybe that's a viable option.
I don't know why your monitor is displaying an incorrect resolution...that is odd.
As for combining an nvidia card and an ATI card. I've done it, however, I haven't been able to load up their respective drivers together, meaning I was stuck at 2D speeds on the cards...and really the one that has always given me problems has been the ATI drivers. I run 2 NVidia cards instead of 2 ATI or one of each. Either way, it'll be a learning experience for you, who knows, maybe you can get it to work.
The quality has gone up a bit since I bit the bullet and increased the resolution in xorg.conf to 1280. I suppose it's just a matter of getting used to things being a little smaller. I read somewhere that LCDs tend to work best at their highest resolution, and I guess that's true. Didn't have the problems with Windows, but Windows has enough other problems to make up for that. Fonts are clearer, so I'll take that over the headache I was getting before.
I think I'll see how things perform with the ATI cards for now, though from what I'm reading, it seems most folks prefer nVidia with Linux. So I may end up switching over. I won't bother with one of each. As much as experimentation is interesting, I just want it to work right.