Tag Archives: hardware

Dual-Head and Graphics Cards

I now have a dual-head configuration using an HP 2509m and a Samsung SyncMaster 204B.  I am certainly enjoying the extra space though I am still sorting out how to get KDE to handle some things nicely — like when I start a program from krunner, I’d like it to start on the screen where krunner appeared, not the active screen as determined by the last active program.

A mere nit.

I thought I was going to have to replace my graphics card because running two monitors hooked up with one on DSUB and one on DVI caused the GPU fan to run constantly at max speed.  Connecting them both with DSUB works normally — though I notice compositing is temporarily disabled, so we’ll see what happens when that is re-enabled.  However, I now have knowledge of a utility called nvclock and it is most useful in monitoring and setting certain features of the card.

So the good news (for me) is that I can keep my card.  I am increasingly thankful for that since it has a unique collection of features.  The eVGA nVidia 7900 GS KO has a 256 bit memory interface with a mere 256M of RAM, but it is GDDR3.  Getting out of this card and into a true upgrade will cost me more than I want to pay right now.

My next task is to raise the hutch on my desk to admit the second monitor under it.  A little bit of carpentry to keep me entertained among the technology.

HP 2509m Monitor Thoughts

A monitor is a monitor… for the most part to me.  There are a few things I notice, and that is about it.  I certainly do not spend the time some do fine tuning the colors.  However, with this one I might because I find the color is just a little washed out compared to my Samsung 204B.   Adjusting the contrast and bright did not fix it, so that might be a project for another day.

If I had to choose a key nit about this monitor, it would be the excessively large frame which is meant for mounting HP accessories all over it.  I would love having this 2″ narrower and 2″ shorter to be much cleaner in appearance.  The second nit might be height, but it is “short” so that is easily adjusted by putting things under it until it is the height I want.  And, since I have taken days to write this for a reason, a third nit would be the glossy screen reflecting so much; but I can control much of that based upon lighting in the room.

Two other nits were easily resolved:

  • I caused a fuzziness by selecting auto-adjust at the wrong time.  I have found that unless something with bright color is maximized on the scree, that feature doesn’t work “right” on any monitor.
  • The power button has an offensively bright LED.  But, best option ever, it can be turned off in the monitor’s menu.  It’s like they knew it would irritate people.  Smart.

The two games I’ve tried look good.  The web pages I have gone to look nice.  Having the monstrous width is awesome, and I don’t yet miss the 120 pixels of height I lost.  But how loudly can I really complain for $35?

Possible New Server

I might have need for a new “server” if certain plans go well (which would involve working part-time from an island).  I spec’d out parts, and I cannot believe what $750 can get these days.

  • small form factor, bare bones LGA775 system
  • DVD Burner
  • 19″ 1440×900 monitor
  • 640 GB HDD
  • 4 GB RAM (DDR2 800)
  • Intel Core2 Duo Wolfdale 2.93GHz
  • GeForce 8600GT

Amazing!  This is why I buy parts.  With the exception of the memory, I think that outstrips my current machine of which I am usually very proud!  Of course, a year from now I’ll look at this and some of it will be out of date.  Such is the way of technology.  But for something to run one or two VMs on, and also use as a music machine, this is “super duper”.

Of course, no purchases have been made yet.  Once plans happen, surely the technology will have changed… again!