Advice on buying new Monitor for an older PC


  1. Posts : 85
    Win 10
       #1

    Advice on buying new Monitor for an older PC


    I have a 12 year old PC. It's a Dell XPS 410 that has had many hardware upgrades through the years to include a SSD, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 ti graphics card, a 600W PSU, 8g RAM, and an Intel Core Quad CPU (Q6600) at 2.4 GHz. This is not hardly a modern day gaming rig. But it's still a very capable PC for everyday needs and is running Windows 10 smoothly.

    At this time, I'd like to buy a new monitor. Preferably, one that I can use on this machine but also one that I can use whenever I happen to replace this PC. I am thinking maybe a 24 or 27 inch monitor. But given the age of this PC (to include the mobo), are there any limiting factors (specifications) that I must consider before purchasing and hooking up a new monitor to this PC?

    Thanks for any suggestions here.
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  2. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 2,968
    Win 10 X64 Pro 2004 19041.208
       #2

    If you're not doing something that limited by the CPU, then you can use any monitor that the GTX 650 ti supports.

    I believe that would not include 3840 X 2160 or higher at 60 Hz over HDMI. That would require HDMI 2.0; the 650 ti is too old for that. (I think it has HDMI 1.4.) Some of the 650 ti cards have a Displayport jack. If it's version 1.2, it'll do 3840 X 2160 at 60 Hz (in 24 bit color).
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  3. Posts : 85
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    bobkn said:
    If you're not doing something that limited by the CPU, then you can use any monitor that the GTX 650 ti supports.
    I know 4k resolution is the successor to 1080 HD in the latest monitors. But I guess what I am trying to ask is the following. Let's say I were to buy the latest/greatest 27 inch PC monitor and plug it into my older PC with my current graphics card.

    Are the current monitors simply 'dumbed- down' to the technology in which they are plugged into? For example, if you were to plug in the best 27 inch 4k monitor in today's world into my older PC, is it going to give the absolute best high definition video that my graphics card was ever capable of producing?

    My graphics card is around the late 2012 era and the PC/mobo itself from 2007. Thanks.
    Last edited by scott784; 19 May 2019 at 01:16.
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  4. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 5,252
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    Go for 27" rather than 24". Beware that some applications don't display well on very high resolution monitor and you might be struggling to read tiny fonts. I bought a Viewsonic VP2770 monitor (2560 x 1440) a few years ago which is fine for all applications including photography. Note the Viewsonic VP range has a zero defective pixel warranty. Many new games are very demanding of GPU RAM so your current GPU is unlikely to support the highest resolutions for gaming.
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  5. JMedlock83's Avatar
    Posts : 581
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #5

    Steve C said:
    Go for 27" rather than 24". Beware that some applications don't display well on very high resolution monitor and you might be struggling to read tiny fonts. I bought a Viewsonic VP2770 monitor (2560 x 1440) a few years ago which is fine for all applications including photography. Note the Viewsonic VP range has a zero defective pixel warranty. Many new games are very demanding of GPU RAM so your current PU is unlikely to support the highest resolutions for gaming.
    I have 2 custom desktops that I built. Both of my monitors are 27". I wouldn't trade them for anything. . lol
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  6. CountMike's Avatar
    Posts : 16,632
    W10 Insider + Linux
       #6

    scott784 said:
    I know 4k resolution is the successor to 1080 HD in the latest monitors. But I guess what I am trying to ask is the following. Let's say I were to buy the latest/greatest 27 inch PC monitor and plug it into my older PC with my current graphics card.

    Are the current monitors simply 'dumbed- down' to the technology in which they are plugged into? For example, if you were to plug in the best 27 inch 4k monitor in today's world into my older PC, is it going to give the absolute best high definition video that my graphics card was ever capable of producing?

    My graphics card is around the late 2012 era and the PC/mobo itself from 2007. Thanks.
    Limiting factor is mostly type of connection between GPU and monitor, starting with VGA as lowest, DVI, Digital or analog (analog being equivalent of VGA), HDMI (normal size and mini) and Display port that also has several versions which is mostly used for very high definitions displays.
    There are some adapter you can use to adapt one type of port to another, only analog types like VGA need an active adapter.
    That GPU still has quite a range of available display options
    Advice on buying new Monitor for an older PC-image.png
    So in theory can drive best monitors, just don't expect them in games.
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  7. Lugh's Avatar
    Posts : 109
    Windows 10 Home x64 1803
       #7

    Consider a TV. My 2 monitors are 42" TVs running @ HD 1920x1080. Very easy on my old eyes.

    TVs are much cheaper than monitors for the same screen size. Only drawback is they take a few seconds to power on, otherwise perfect for whatever you can throw at them—AAA games etc. I wouldn't dream of switching to dedicated monitors.
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  8. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 2,968
    Win 10 X64 Pro 2004 19041.208
       #8

    scott784 said:
    I know 4k resolution is the successor to 1080 HD in the latest monitors. But I guess what I am trying to ask is the following. Let's say I were to buy the latest/greatest 27 inch PC monitor and plug it into my older PC with my current graphics card.

    Are the current monitors simply 'dumbed- down' to the technology in which they are plugged into? For example, if you were to plug in the best 27 inch 4k monitor in today's world into my older PC, is it going to give the absolute best high definition video that my graphics card was ever capable of producing?

    My graphics card is around the late 2012 era and the PC/mobo itself from 2007. Thanks.
    As mentioned by Count Mike (post 5), the limitation is likely to be the graphics card interface, rather than the fundamental capability of the graphics card itself.

    To get 4k at 60 Hz, I think you'd need HDMI 2.0 or Display port 1.2 or higher. (HDMI 1.4 can do 4k, but only at 30 Hz. That's low, but I don't know whether it'd be tolerable in an LCD display.) Dual link DVI can do 2560 X 1600 at 60 Hz, but not 4k.

    In short, you could buy a 4k monitor, but regardless of what interfaces it supports you probably can't get 60 Hz at its full resolution. You could run it at 60 Hz, but at a lower than native resolution.

    If you buy an actual PC monitor rather than a TV, there should be no issues.
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  9. Posts : 85
    Win 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    CountMike said:
    Limiting factor is mostly type of connection between GPU and monitor, starting with VGA as lowest, DVI, Digital or analog (analog being equivalent of VGA), HDMI (normal size and mini) and Display port that also has several versions which is mostly used for very high definitions displays.
    There are some adapter you can use to adapt one type of port to another, only analog types like VGA need an active adapter.
    That GPU still has quite a range of available display options
    Advice on buying new Monitor for an older PC-image.png
    So in theory can drive best monitors, just don't expect them in games.
    Thanks for all the responses here. And good to know the GPU still has quite a range of available display options. I am going to look at some in person at BB.
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  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,052
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    Hi there

    Don't forget there are a lot of DVI->HDMI cables out there so you might find you can get better resolution that way -- go for 27 rather than 24 inch screen as others have said unless you are really cramped for space.

    Remember also that a lot of monitors / TV screens have via their own hardware menu (use the handset that came with the monitor) where you can usually set things like picture - rescan and automatic resize so it fits perfectly on the screen.

    For 27 inch monitor with decent text size etc I'd suggest just using resolution at 1920 X 1080 (full HD) which gives sensibly layout of picture and decent sized text -- but it depends of course on what you want to do on the machine.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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