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V S Smith
November 17th 07, 01:47 AM
I have a Sony Vaio VGC-RA820G, must be approaching 4 years old; 3.2 mhz
single-core old "dual-threaded" CPU; added a gig of RAM, changed vid cards
to Nvidia 7600GS before upgrading to Vista; have since "upgraded" to XP
after finally realizing Vista - not from lack of trying - doesn't work very
well for me (yes, I know, need to ditch old computer, need to ditch HP AIO
printer, ditch s/w such as Roxio Easy Media Destroyer (they JUST seem to
have made a really Vista workable version 9.1 available, a little late for
me).

Another thing that I tried to do on this "old" system (best I can do,
retired, no $$$) was to buy a 24" monitor; a Gateway FHD2400; it had a
BEAUTIFUL picture - but on many applications that had static areas of darker
color (borders outside of Word, Frontpage, etc. and really anywhere with
darker colors but not seen on a bright image, like a web page or anything
with a lot of solid white like Outlook Distress or a lot of web pages, which
were bright and vivid)...

I got a lot of FLICKER in the image.

I went through the tech support gamut with Gateway and quickly went nowhere
though they did try to follow up, but I had already returned it to that
"Major Box" store before my 14 days or whatever were up) and still need to
know - is this computer and 512k VRAM video card, bought because I thought a
higher spec card would draw too much power for the hard-to-pin-down power
supply on the Sony computer - the cause of this problem?

My short attention span prevents me from playing games, so I just wanted
decent 2D. I currently run a Samsung 213T and wanted to upgrade to get a
larger image (and the whole world is going widescreen, it's a 16:9 world
after all).

The Samsung cost a fortune when I bought it a couple years ago but the 24"
HDMI equipped Gateway... so much less. Gateway's official stance: take it
back - get another one - "see if it works." I don't like to open boxes of
new equipment just to "see if it works" only to take it back, so I'm still
not sure what the problem was; but the Big Box (yes, Best Buy) store really
set my attitude in stone when I brought it back and their Geek Squad guy
just dismissed the whole thing and all he could say was "so do you want to
return it?" I said "I want to find out what the problem is, no I don't want
to return it."

I asked if I could leave the monitor at the counter and go to the computer
section of the store, and bring up some tests at http://www.techmind.org
which explains some things about LCD panels - and the Gateway was like a LCD
strobe light on all but perhaps one of the tests, and even on the one it
flickered mildly. By contrast the Samsung shows flicker - just a tiny bit -
on ONE of their test links. Day and night. I was invited to do so, but
when I got to the retail floor, I was told there was NO internet access, end
of story. The Geek guy told me he had satisfied himself that the monitor
was fine by running something like 80 tests or images; I asked him to pull
up that web site and he refused. His only worry/concern was to get my
refund processed with comments like "it really doesn't matter." Wow.

So I still would like a 24" monitor - but would rather not "try and buy."
If I need a new computer/vid card (some of the "top end" computers at Best
Buy have INFERIOR vid cards to the 7600GS - and that's pretty sad...)

The Gateway tech support said "a video card is a video card."

The 7600GS did run the Gateway at it's full resolution once I had nuked the
video driver and reinstalled it (on Vista), otherwise there seemed to be no
way to get the "new" 16:9 1920x1200 resolution working, but once I did that,
no problem. The Samsung is run at 1600x1200.

Thanks!

Bill H

Shoulda bought a Dell ;)

Paul
November 17th 07, 04:32 PM
V S Smith wrote:
> I have a Sony Vaio VGC-RA820G, must be approaching 4 years old; 3.2 mhz
> single-core old "dual-threaded" CPU; added a gig of RAM, changed vid cards
> to Nvidia 7600GS before upgrading to Vista; have since "upgraded" to XP
> after finally realizing Vista - not from lack of trying - doesn't work very
> well for me (yes, I know, need to ditch old computer, need to ditch HP AIO
> printer, ditch s/w such as Roxio Easy Media Destroyer (they JUST seem to
> have made a really Vista workable version 9.1 available, a little late for
> me).
>
> Another thing that I tried to do on this "old" system (best I can do,
> retired, no $$$) was to buy a 24" monitor; a Gateway FHD2400; it had a
> BEAUTIFUL picture - but on many applications that had static areas of darker
> color (borders outside of Word, Frontpage, etc. and really anywhere with
> darker colors but not seen on a bright image, like a web page or anything
> with a lot of solid white like Outlook Distress or a lot of web pages, which
> were bright and vivid)...
>
> I got a lot of FLICKER in the image.
>
> I went through the tech support gamut with Gateway and quickly went nowhere
> though they did try to follow up, but I had already returned it to that
> "Major Box" store before my 14 days or whatever were up) and still need to
> know - is this computer and 512k VRAM video card, bought because I thought a
> higher spec card would draw too much power for the hard-to-pin-down power
> supply on the Sony computer - the cause of this problem?
>
> My short attention span prevents me from playing games, so I just wanted
> decent 2D. I currently run a Samsung 213T and wanted to upgrade to get a
> larger image (and the whole world is going widescreen, it's a 16:9 world
> after all).
>
> The Samsung cost a fortune when I bought it a couple years ago but the 24"
> HDMI equipped Gateway... so much less. Gateway's official stance: take it
> back - get another one - "see if it works." I don't like to open boxes of
> new equipment just to "see if it works" only to take it back, so I'm still
> not sure what the problem was; but the Big Box (yes, Best Buy) store really
> set my attitude in stone when I brought it back and their Geek Squad guy
> just dismissed the whole thing and all he could say was "so do you want to
> return it?" I said "I want to find out what the problem is, no I don't want
> to return it."
>
> I asked if I could leave the monitor at the counter and go to the computer
> section of the store, and bring up some tests at http://www.techmind.org
> which explains some things about LCD panels - and the Gateway was like a LCD
> strobe light on all but perhaps one of the tests, and even on the one it
> flickered mildly. By contrast the Samsung shows flicker - just a tiny bit -
> on ONE of their test links. Day and night. I was invited to do so, but
> when I got to the retail floor, I was told there was NO internet access, end
> of story. The Geek guy told me he had satisfied himself that the monitor
> was fine by running something like 80 tests or images; I asked him to pull
> up that web site and he refused. His only worry/concern was to get my
> refund processed with comments like "it really doesn't matter." Wow.
>
> So I still would like a 24" monitor - but would rather not "try and buy."
> If I need a new computer/vid card (some of the "top end" computers at Best
> Buy have INFERIOR vid cards to the 7600GS - and that's pretty sad...)
>
> The Gateway tech support said "a video card is a video card."
>
> The 7600GS did run the Gateway at it's full resolution once I had nuked the
> video driver and reinstalled it (on Vista), otherwise there seemed to be no
> way to get the "new" 16:9 1920x1200 resolution working, but once I did that,
> no problem. The Samsung is run at 1600x1200.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Bill H
>
> Shoulda bought a Dell ;)

Tracing a few leads...

Your computer has a weird internal layout.
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VGC-RA820G-Digital-Pentium-Processor/dp/B000300A2U

Vaio VGC-RA820G, power supply is Delta DPS 400LB A (post #1 and post #2)
http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/64220/

+5v @ 22a, +5vsb @ 1.8a
+12v1 @ 12a, +12v2 @ 12a
+3.3v @ 20a +12vsp @ 1.2a
-12v @ 0.2a

There was also mention the machine is liquid cooled ? Looking at a picture of
it, in the upper bay, where the power supply should be, there is nothing. And
in the middle, it almost looks like the power supply was placed over top of
the motherboard and CPU. Definitely a weird and sketchy hardware config.
And I have no idea what a "+12vsp" rail would be, unless it runs the pump.

In any case, the 12V1 at 12A is a decent amount of power. 1.5+1.5+0.6+0.5 = 4.1A
for two optical drives, a hard drive, and fans (if present). That leaves
about 8 amps for video. Even an X1950Pro should run on that, but you might
need some kind of adapter cables for power. It really all depends if
there is some item I'm missing in my power estimate. (12V2 is for the
processor.)

I don't see a reason to change the video card at this time. The 7600GS
looks like plenty.

*******

Regarding the Gateway LCD, you may have acquired an "over-teched" monitor. There
are a number of enhancement schemes kicking about. The Gateway MSRP is about
$550, and with the money, you either get a nice panel, or you could get a bag
full of integrated circuits for messing with the picture.

For some background on some of the techniques available, see this article.
This covers some of the techniques being experimented with.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/lcd-parameters.html

See page 4, for a way to make a perfectly good monitor, flicker:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/lcd-parameters_4.html

An over-teched monitor may be cured, by fiddling for days with the OSD, until
you find the offending setting. (Turning off any "gamer" option would be a start.)

I don't see the video card as contributing to your problems. The
7600GS looks capable enough for 2D purposes.

http://www.nvidia.com/page/technology_extreme_hd_gpu.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvi

If you are shopping online for a monitor, find as many reviews as you can
first. There may be "color banding" problems, or flicker problems, or
trails in games (response speed), or latency issues (delay from signal
into monitor, until seen on screen), and the reviews might spot it,
before you have to.

I'd recommend instead, shopping in person. At the shop I visited, the
windows desktop was available for viewing. If the controlling machine was
idle for more than a few minutes, a movie would play on all the monitors
(useless). But I was able to bring up some text documents on the screen,
so I could compare the various monitors while displaying text. A constant
problem in big box stores, is the monitors don't all have the same
native resolution, which means some will be in a non-native mode
during my "testing". You cannot fairly compare a bunch of 15", 17",
and 19" monitors at the same time, using the same video signal.

If you're going with a Dell, find some reviews first. Some of the
Dells are just beautiful, while some of the others missed the
mark technically.

There are some monitors, that simply shouldn't have been offered
for sale.

Between the extra technology added to assist gaming, and contrast
enhancements that aid movie playback (but spoil Photoshop calibration),
there are plenty of gotchas.

I'm just glad my LCD is low tech. There is no reason for me to visit
the OSD (onscreen display menu), because there is nothing useful in it :-)

Paul

NotMe[_2_]
November 17th 07, 07:30 PM
"Paul" > wrote in message ...
>V S Smith wrote:
>> I have a Sony Vaio VGC-RA820G, must be approaching 4 years old; 3.2 mhz
>> single-core old "dual-threaded" CPU; added a gig of RAM, changed vid
>> cards to Nvidia 7600GS before upgrading to Vista; have since "upgraded"
>> to XP after finally realizing Vista - not from lack of trying - doesn't
>> work very well for me (yes, I know, need to ditch old computer, need to
>> ditch HP AIO printer, ditch s/w such as Roxio Easy Media Destroyer (they
>> JUST seem to have made a really Vista workable version 9.1 available, a
>> little late for me).
>>
>> Another thing that I tried to do on this "old" system (best I can do,
>> retired, no $$$) was to buy a 24" monitor; a Gateway FHD2400; it had a
>> BEAUTIFUL picture - but on many applications that had static areas of
>> darker color (borders outside of Word, Frontpage, etc. and really
>> anywhere with darker colors but not seen on a bright image, like a web
>> page or anything with a lot of solid white like Outlook Distress or a lot
>> of web pages, which were bright and vivid)...
>>
>> I got a lot of FLICKER in the image.
>>
>> I went through the tech support gamut with Gateway and quickly went
>> nowhere though they did try to follow up, but I had already returned it
>> to that "Major Box" store before my 14 days or whatever were up) and
>> still need to know - is this computer and 512k VRAM video card, bought
>> because I thought a higher spec card would draw too much power for the
>> hard-to-pin-down power supply on the Sony computer - the cause of this
>> problem?
>>
>> My short attention span prevents me from playing games, so I just wanted
>> decent 2D. I currently run a Samsung 213T and wanted to upgrade to get a
>> larger image (and the whole world is going widescreen, it's a 16:9 world
>> after all).
>>
>> The Samsung cost a fortune when I bought it a couple years ago but the
>> 24" HDMI equipped Gateway... so much less. Gateway's official stance:
>> take it back - get another one - "see if it works." I don't like to open
>> boxes of new equipment just to "see if it works" only to take it back, so
>> I'm still not sure what the problem was; but the Big Box (yes, Best Buy)
>> store really set my attitude in stone when I brought it back and their
>> Geek Squad guy just dismissed the whole thing and all he could say was
>> "so do you want to return it?" I said "I want to find out what the
>> problem is, no I don't want to return it."
>>
>> I asked if I could leave the monitor at the counter and go to the
>> computer section of the store, and bring up some tests at
>> http://www.techmind.org which explains some things about LCD panels - and
>> the Gateway was like a LCD strobe light on all but perhaps one of the
>> tests, and even on the one it flickered mildly. By contrast the Samsung
>> shows flicker - just a tiny bit - on ONE of their test links. Day and
>> night. I was invited to do so, but when I got to the retail floor, I was
>> told there was NO internet access, end of story. The Geek guy told me he
>> had satisfied himself that the monitor was fine by running something like
>> 80 tests or images; I asked him to pull up that web site and he refused.
>> His only worry/concern was to get my refund processed with comments like
>> "it really doesn't matter." Wow.
>>
>> So I still would like a 24" monitor - but would rather not "try and buy."
>> If I need a new computer/vid card (some of the "top end" computers at
>> Best Buy have INFERIOR vid cards to the 7600GS - and that's pretty
>> sad...)
>>
>> The Gateway tech support said "a video card is a video card."
>>
>> The 7600GS did run the Gateway at it's full resolution once I had nuked
>> the video driver and reinstalled it (on Vista), otherwise there seemed to
>> be no way to get the "new" 16:9 1920x1200 resolution working, but once I
>> did that, no problem. The Samsung is run at 1600x1200.
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>> Bill H
>>
>> Shoulda bought a Dell ;)
>
Thanks, Paul, some responses inline:



> Tracing a few leads...
>
> Your computer has a weird internal layout.
> http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VGC-RA820G-Digital-Pentium-Processor/dp/B000300A2U
>
> Vaio VGC-RA820G, power supply is Delta DPS 400LB A (post #1 and post #2)
> http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/64220/
>
> +5v @ 22a, +5vsb @ 1.8a
> +12v1 @ 12a, +12v2 @ 12a
> +3.3v @ 20a +12vsp @ 1.2a
> -12v @ 0.2a
>
> There was also mention the machine is liquid cooled ? Looking at a picture
> of
> it, in the upper bay, where the power supply should be, there is nothing.
> And
> in the middle, it almost looks like the power supply was placed over top
> of
> the motherboard and CPU. Definitely a weird and sketchy hardware config.
> And I have no idea what a "+12vsp" rail would be, unless it runs the
> pump.

It's a "closed loop" heat pipe; there is some sort of refrigerant in a
sealed pipe, cooled by a low RPM fan, works very well and I wish Sony would
have continued this line of PC's.

>
> In any case, the 12V1 at 12A is a decent amount of power. 1.5+1.5+0.6+0.5
> = 4.1A
> for two optical drives, a hard drive, and fans (if present). That leaves
> about 8 amps for video. Even an X1950Pro should run on that, but you might
> need some kind of adapter cables for power. It really all depends if
> there is some item I'm missing in my power estimate. (12V2 is for the
> processor.)

I've added another gig of RAM, and a 2nd HDD and I've not added any fans.
The computer is extremely quiet, which is much appreciated after listening
to some wretched "case fans" over the years.
>
> I don't see a reason to change the video card at this time. The 7600GS
> looks like plenty.

Great to hear that!

>
> *******
>
> Regarding the Gateway LCD, you may have acquired an "over-teched" monitor.
> There
> are a number of enhancement schemes kicking about. The Gateway MSRP is
> about
> $550, and with the money, you either get a nice panel, or you could get a
> bag
> full of integrated circuits for messing with the picture.
>
> For some background on some of the techniques available, see this article.
> This covers some of the techniques being experimented with.
>
> http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/lcd-parameters.html
>
> See page 4, for a way to make a perfectly good monitor, flicker:
>
> http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/lcd-parameters_4.html
>
> An over-teched monitor may be cured, by fiddling for days with the OSD,
> until
> you find the offending setting. (Turning off any "gamer" option would be a
> start.)

There was one gamer option, having it off or on made no difference. I'm not
being over-picky about this, I'm not the type that buys $200 power cables to
"deliver pure power" to my DVD player. A tiny bit o' flicker would have
been acceptable given the overall really bright vivid picture. A monitor
that can't deal with grey without flickering very badly is a serious problem
(or any color, darker shades).

I tend to agree with your "bag full of integrated circuits for messing with
the picture" theory. This monitor was evidently Gateway's (don't know what
that means anymore, said Gateway but also CHINA on the back, doesn't sound
like a cow pasture in South Dakota) first attempt at providing large-size
HDMI capability with all sorts of picture processing. One thing I didn't
try on it, guess I could have (but it wouldn't have helped) would have been
to set it in front of my Sharp Acquos monitor and plug the Sharp's HDMI into
the Gateway. The Gateway even has component inputs, a step down, but I
should have tried that as well.

What I was hoping for was a definite conclusion that the monitor was
defective and a new one would be much better. This type of conclusion is
evidently one handled today by "bring it back if it doesn't work." Guess I
should have at least tried that, but it seems to my 2 remaining brain cells
that the next set would behave just as the first... after all, Mr. Geek
pronounced it passed some 80 display tests he ran. I asked to observe.
Nope. Only thing they wanted was to exchange, refund, that's what they are
trained to do.

The xbitlabs lcd-parameters 4 article is scary. Way too deep for me but the
BenQ "black frame insertion" by modulating the backlights (16 of them) -
again, way beyond me. Just scanning the article I wasn't able to figure out
if they were using LED lights or CCFL's - would they respond that fast?
(LED's would, for sure, are they now making monitors with LED backlighting?
I know LED's are starting to be used in DLP's, consumers will no longer have
to buy expensive bulbs).


>
> I don't see the video card as contributing to your problems. The
> 7600GS looks capable enough for 2D purposes.
>
> http://www.nvidia.com/page/technology_extreme_hd_gpu.html
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvi
>
> If you are shopping online for a monitor, find as many reviews as you can
> first. There may be "color banding" problems, or flicker problems, or
> trails in games (response speed), or latency issues (delay from signal
> into monitor, until seen on screen), and the reviews might spot it,
> before you have to.
>
> I'd recommend instead, shopping in person. At the shop I visited, the
> windows desktop was available for viewing. If the controlling machine was
> idle for more than a few minutes, a movie would play on all the monitors
> (useless). But I was able to bring up some text documents on the screen,
> so I could compare the various monitors while displaying text. A constant
> problem in big box stores, is the monitors don't all have the same
> native resolution, which means some will be in a non-native mode
> during my "testing". You cannot fairly compare a bunch of 15", 17",
> and 19" monitors at the same time, using the same video signal.
>
> If you're going with a Dell, find some reviews first. Some of the
> Dells are just beautiful, while some of the others missed the
> mark technically.
>
> There are some monitors, that simply shouldn't have been offered
> for sale.
>
> Between the extra technology added to assist gaming, and contrast
> enhancements that aid movie playback (but spoil Photoshop calibration),
> there are plenty of gotchas.
>
> I'm just glad my LCD is low tech. There is no reason for me to visit
> the OSD (onscreen display menu), because there is nothing useful in it :-)
>
> Paul


Thanks again for the excellent answer and making me think about how my
Samsung just "works" when hooked up with DVI. Now I'm going to a REAL
COMPUTER STORE and get their advice and look at the displays - they might
actually understand some of the technology... and I'll end up with a great
monitor!

Bill H.

NotMe[_2_]
November 18th 07, 03:29 AM
"NotMe" > wrote in message
t...
>
> "Paul" > wrote in message ...
>>V S Smith wrote:
>>> I have a Sony Vaio VGC-RA820G, must be approaching 4 years old; 3.2 mhz
<lots of snippage to make AT&T happy>

Paul - just returned from the "real computer store" and now have a Samsung
24" monitor. Not as spiffy, I guess, meaning no HDMI, it's a cousin to the
last generation of the Gateway "pre HDMI." This one has no reflective
screen for which I am grateful; the display on the Gateway may have been a
bit prettier but this makes more sense since I normally have light sources
(windows and lights) in back of me.

But for the most important part, the monitor performs perfectly, no
perceptible flicker (yes, I'm sure it's there, but doesn't show up an
anything I launch). The salesman at the brick and mortar "real" computer
store feels that I got a connector with a bad lead/bent pin. I noticed this
DVI connector is a bit more robust.

So you're right, wasn't the vid card/computer after all, but the subject can
get deep as the links you showed me indicated. Now if I can just get Vista
in there somehow without horking up things... I have to admit the ONE
feature of Vista (oh, but I'm so wrong, Vista is leaps and bounds above XP
in its code base, right?) is the eye candy and the store was running the
"floating bubbles" screen savers on all the machines there - they weren't
being fed from a single source, but were running the screen saver from
individulal PC's they were connected to.

Thanks again - Bill H.