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Apple PowerBook G4 with Dell E173FP LCD Monitor

Posted on 2005-03-22
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Hey Guys,

I have an Apple G4 15" (Widescreen).  I also have a Dell E173FP LCD Monitor that I bought thru my work when Dell was selling them for like $170 with desktops.  Anyways,  I have to use the DVI -> VGA Adapter that was included with my PowerBook G4.  When I first plug it up it seems to be fine.  After it being on for about 30 to 40 minutes the text starts, for a lack of better words, "jumpy".  It literally seems to jump left to right about 3 pixels.  Its not just the text, if you look closely its eveything.  

When plugged into my PC I have no problems using the monitor.

I dont have DVI on the LCD Monitor so connecting straight to DVI is not an option.  I am running the monitor at Dell's recommended resolution of 1280 x 1024.  I have tried different resolutions and refresh rates trying to find a good way to avoid it but cannot.  I also dont see a way to upgrade the software for my video adapter thru Apple.

Thanks,

Trav
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Question by:wtconway
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7 Comments
 
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by:davidis99
davidis99 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13608030
In my most recent experience with a Powerbook, I recall seeing part of the display preferences under system preferences that, when the OS detected an external monitor (be it CRT, LCD, or TV) it would allow you to configure that device separately from the configuration of the primary display.   Is that how you're configuring the external LCD, or are you configuring the main display and not getting a separate external configuration?
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by:wtconway
ID: 13608051
It is separate.  If I were to open my laptop screen up (making both the laptop lcd and my Dell lcd viewable) it would allow me to have both running at different resolutions, refresh rates, even set heigh information for running in dual platform mode.

This knows that I am configuring only my Dell LCD if that answers your question.

I will tell you that the higher the refresh rate the less viewable the jumpiness is.  I have it set to 75hz, the highest setting.

Could this be a proble of going from DVI to VGA?
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
davidis99 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13608108
It could be - I haven't tried this with a powerbook, but I've had similar problems with PC notebooks when using a DVI-VGA adapter in combination with LCDs and some video cards in external docks.  I wouldn't necessarily get jumpy effects, but I've gotten very poor quality from an adapter vs. a native connection.  

As it is giving you a separate control panel, is it giving you an option to select all available resolutions and refresh rates, or are you only using the "recommended" resolutions and refresh rates?  On occasion, I've found the MacOS think's it's smarter than it really is, and sticking to the "recommended" choices can sometimes be too restrictive.  
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LVL 7

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by:wtconway
ID: 13608193
I tried changing the resolutions.  At 1280x1024 it gives me 60 and 75.  According to Dell I should run it at 60.

I have noticed that if I bring up the OSD the jumpiness is not affected on the OSD but you can see it on the image behind it.  I am thinking it just may be a poor connection but I hate to spend $30 for a new adapter.

I am going to pull out a CRT here and test with it.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:wtconway
ID: 13608259
Well I was able to haul my KDS-XF9e from the closet in my office to my desk..... rather odd looking on my desk I must say with 1LCD and 1CRT on thie small desk... but back to the original point.

The jumpiness is not there.  There must be some type of miscommunication between my PowerBook and the LCD.  I am going to keep this question open till I can get some concrete information on how to workaround this (other than the obvious "Don't Use It" answer)
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:wtconway
ID: 13640969
I found that it was my LCD... I took my powerbook to work and plugged it into my LCD there (same model as mine at home) and the problem does not exists.

Thanks!
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