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Samsung Syncmaster 216BW resolution

5829 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  hurdygurdyguy
Here's my dilemna:

My Samsung Syncmaster 204b monitor (which I really liked) developed capacitor problems in it's electrical supply circuit causing it to flash and blink on and off until it "warmed up" and flickered into stability. Fixing it involves removing the bad caps and installing new ones and I was resolved to doing this until I bought a used Samsung 216bw 22" Widescreen. It's great. Except: I can't change the display resolution to it's native 1680 x 1050, either through the ATI Catalyst Control Center or the Windows Diplay Properties ... There are all kinds of resolutions to pick from in the display property settings except for the needed 1680x1050!! The closest I can come to approximating what I had on my previous monitor is 1280 x 960 which results in a horizontally stretched display (windows, icons, fonts etc). Nearly all the settings result in the stretched picture which throws off all the window proportions. I have tried them all! The few resolutions that do display the correct proportions are so low as to make fonts, icons etc annoyingly pixelated.

I have updated my ATI Radeon HD4200 (integrated) graphics card drivers and the driver for the Samsung monitor which still did not add a 1680x1050 option. I can use a lower resolution in order to get the proper proportion, but then that lower resolution makes everything pixelated and I lose a lot of screen real estate and I think, "So what's the bloody point of a high resolution, widescreen monitor when you can't get the higher resolution??!!" I have trolled the online forums without much success except one solution being to edit the Windows registry and create a custom resolution of 1680x1050, but there's no way I'm messing with the registry, so unless someone here has done that and says "yeah, that works" that not an option.

Is there a way to create a custom resolution with the ATI HD 4200?

Am I going to have to get a new graphics card?

Any suggestions? Or a point in the right direction?

Thanks, HG Guy
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You need a dedicated GPU. If you're using a OEM PC you will most likely have to upgrade the PSU also.
Okay...By "dedicated GPU" do you mean a new graphics card? Why wouldn't the integrated Radeon be enough? (Just asking)

My computer is a HP Compaq Pro 6005 Microtower, XP Pro (factory downgrade from Vista). Does this fit the OEM PC definition?

Thanks! HG Guy
Hey "gurdy",

I have the same display and had no issues with the resolution. If you have the Catalyst software installed, go to the resolution page and click advanced and you will be presented with a page that will allow you to create a "custom" resolution and refresh rate. Make sure it is 1650x1080x60 for optimum performance. The refresh can actually be between 50 - 70 but, the 60 is the best setting. Also, the newer MoBo's that have the onboard NVIDIA or ATI HD series GPU are more than enough to handle this and even higher resolutions. I also run Linux and was able to edit the xorg.conf file for a working and correct resolution on this display using multiple NVIDIA cards on 4 separate systems using a KVM switch.

Remember, onboard GPU's need shared memory from the system and the more you are able to make available, the crisper and snappier the resulting display will be.

@ h4ckb0y,
Thanks for the suggestion! I have searched and searched every inch of the CCC interface for a way to make a custom resolution with no success, even plowing through the online help pages. The interface has no "resolution page" per se so I'm assuming you mean the "Display Properties." This has no "advanced" button to press, so I'm still at a loss as to what to do short of getting a Radeon card with a DVI output (curiously, my HP pc came with a DVI cable but the pc has no DVI out for the integrated video card).

Am I missing something in getting to the "custom resolution" dialogue?

Thanks, HG Guy

I've attached a screenshot of my CCC page if that helps.


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Have you tried updating to the latest drivers?
Indeed I did! The CCC is the latest I could find from ATI (dated just this last June I think). I've been seeing on other threads elsewhere comments to the effect that the latest may not always be the best, though.

HG Guy
True, the latest isn't always the best. But old drivers, such as before or around the time widescreen LCD's became common, often don't support WS resolutions.

I'd suggest starting over. Uninstall the video drivers (using Add and Remove programs), then use an app such as Driver Sweeper ( ) to ensure the uninstallation is complete. You can then attempt reinstalling the latest version of drivers.

Is the monitor properly identified in Device Manager? You should see it listed by name ( not "Plug and Play monitor").
Yep, the Syncmaster is named in the Device Manager list. I've considered uninstalling/reinstalling the drivers, but I'm always wary of messing with that sort of thing, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do... I may give that a shot soon.

HG Guy
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