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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Question External LCD Display Resolution Problem
    I have my ViewSonic 20.1" display hooked up via vga - mini dvi connector to my 1.86Ghz macbook. I can get the laptop display to run normally and the external lcd to display 1600x1200. The native res for the external display is 1680x1050 but I cannot get this to happen. I have tried detecting displays etc but the resolution is not available to select. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    EDIT-XTREEM's Avatar
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    Gooshy,
    The macbook can only run an external monitor at its internal res with out a hack. The internal res of a macbook is 1280 by 800, so you will only be able to get the external res to 1280 by 800.
    Mac Pro (Early 2009) 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 6 GB Ram, 640 GB Drive. Dell 2408WFP.

  3. #3

    walkerj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDIT-XTREEM View Post
    Gooshy,
    The macbook can only run an external monitor at its internal res with out a hack. The internal res of a macbook is 1280 by 800, so you will only be able to get the external res to 1280 by 800.
    That is incorrect. I routinely run a 4:3 external 20" CRT at 1600 x 1200 simultaneously with my internal Macbook display at 1280 x 800. I also on occasion drive a 37" HDTV at 1443 x 768 (those numbers may be slightly wrong, but that's about what they are.) Heck, even my wife's old Mac Mini will drive the TV at that resolution.

    No hacks, just plug in the Mini DVI - VGA dongle and it figures out to do the right thing. As for getting that extra 50 pixels and the proper widescreen aspect ratio for the external monitor I'm not sure. I don't have a widescreen monitor with which to test. Perhaps the monitor isn't reporting it's capabilities properly to the Mac? A Macbook should be able to drive an external monitor up to something on the order of 19XX x something much bigger according to specs I've read and promptly forgotten.

  4. #4

    kgeier82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDIT-XTREEM View Post
    Gooshy,
    The macbook can only run an external monitor at its internal res with out a hack. The internal res of a macbook is 1280 by 800, so you will only be able to get the external res to 1280 by 800.

    plain wrong...

    my internal runs at 1280x800, and my external at 1680x1050
    2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt

  5. #5

    kgeier82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooshy View Post
    I have my ViewSonic 20.1" display hooked up via vga - mini dvi connector to my 1.86Ghz macbook. I can get the laptop display to run normally and the external lcd to display 1600x1200. The native res for the external display is 1680x1050 but I cannot get this to happen. I have tried detecting displays etc but the resolution is not available to select. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks.
    if its a 1680x1050 display, it shouldnt be able to run 1600x1200. thats 150pixels too tall!

    have u tried to unplug replug it during boot?
    2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeier82 View Post
    if its a 1680x1050 display, it shouldnt be able to run 1600x1200. thats 150pixels too tall!

    have u tried to unplug replug it during boot?
    I have tried unplugging and replugging the display but it isnt detecting the display is widescreen. The display is correctly detected in windows and I have had it working on Ubuntu/kubuntu.

    Does mac os have the equivalent of an Xconf.org where the settings can be manualy setup?

    Thanks for the help so far.

  7. #7

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDIT-XTREEM View Post
    Gooshy,
    The macbook can only run an external monitor at its internal res with out a hack. The internal res of a macbook is 1280 by 800, so you will only be able to get the external res to 1280 by 800.
    That used to be the case with iBooks, they could only use "mirror" mode unless you applied a patch.


    Does mac os have the equivalent of an Xconf.org where the settings can be manualy setup?

    You might need to use a 3rd party utility to get your resolution to show up:

    http://www.3dexpress.de/index.html

    There's another one out there as well, I can't think of the name at the moment though...

  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    That 3rd party app Aptmunich has above may do it.

    The MB should support this resolution though, especially since this is the native resolution of Apple's 20" display also.

    Must be something to do with the way the EFI is translating the info being reported by the monitor. You could try 1280 x 800 and see how that works for you. This is the next size down that will give you the same aspect.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich View Post

    You might need to use a 3rd party utility to get your resolution to show up:

    http://www.3dexpress.de/index.html

    There's another one out there as well, I can't think of the name at the moment though...
    Thanks I'll have a look and see if it helps. It looks a lot more detailed than the default mac version.

  10. #10

    kgeier82's Avatar
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    i would think maybe a problem with the monitor telling the laptop what it "should" run at. im not sure how it all works, but ive never had a problem with a mb/mbp and a 1680x1050 lcd
    2.4ghz Unibody | Hitachi 320GB 7200 | 256MB 9600gt

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Oct 31, 2011
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    I have the same issue. 1920x1080 monitor only displaying 1600x900.


    DisplayConfigX
    doesn't work on 10.7.

  12. #12

    RustProofCorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greensun View Post
    I have the same issue. 1920x1080 monitor only displaying 1600x900.


    DisplayConfigX
    doesn't work on 10.7.
    Try running in clamshell mode to see if you get the correct res on your monitor
    60% of the time it works every time.

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Nov 06, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by greensun View Post
    I have the same issue. 1920x1080 monitor only displaying 1600x900.


    DisplayConfigX
    doesn't work on 10.7.
    You are probably using a vga cable? These dont support resolutions higher than that, use a dvi cable and it will work on full hd res.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    May 28, 2015
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    Thank you
    Quote Originally Posted by RustProofCorn View Post
    Try running in clamshell mode to see if you get the correct res on your monitor
    OMG this worked immediately thank you so much, if only all of life's problems had solutions this simple!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!

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