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Old April 2nd, 2006, 05:18 PM   #1
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Powerbook with external monitor

I'm hoping someone can give me some input on this from personal experience.

I cut with FCP on a first gen 15" Aluminum Powerbook G4 1.25 Ghz running Tiger and 2 gigs of RAM. I have used an external monitor set to extended desktop for as long as I can remember and this has never been a problem for me. I have used a 20" Dell CRT display for years, using the external CRT for most 'eye' instensive work, spreading my tool palettes and menus across both screens. Now my monitor is dying and I am having a difficult time working with it...so I am preparing to upgrade to a new flat-panel LCD screen and I was initally going to get the 20" Dell flat-panel...but now that I think more about it, I am pretty intent on getting the 24" screen, I typically have other apps like Soundtrack or Sonicfire Pro open with working with projects, and the extra screen real estate would be a big bonus for me.

Here is my question...I know that the 20" will work fine as an external for my Powerbook, however I haven't been able to get a definitive answer regarding the compatibility of the 24" on my Powerbook. I am wondering if my Powerbook has the video processing muscle to effectively work with the Dell 24".

As a first gen AL Powerbook, it holds the stock ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64 MB VRAM. Will this be enough to power the 24". I am hoping someone in the forums actually uses a similar set up and can clue me in on its performance.

Thanks in advance.
-Jon
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 02:05 AM   #2
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Well, I have a last gen 1.67 PB and the Dell2405, and I just connected the monitor to my computer and it spans over just fine. I even used Digital Cinema Preview to play some footage and my oh my...sweet.

Then I started FCP and spanned it so that the Viewer, Canvas and timeline were on it, and all the bins on the PB. Worked fine. DVCPRO HD footage.

But I am guessing I have a later model than yours. Have you tried yours?

-shane
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 02:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shane Ross
But I am guessing I have a later model than yours. Have you tried yours?

-shane
I haven't yet had the chance to try my PB on the 24" yet, but if I remember correctly, the later models doubled the VRAM to 128 MB which I am sure would work fine for the 24" Dell, however my biggest concern I think is that my model has the 64 MB ATI card which I think is pretty close to the low end of what is recommended by Apple to take advantage of the Core Imaging processing of Tiger. None of the the Tiger Core Imaging capabilities seem to be a problem for me at all with my set up as it is right now, but I wonder if the system is going to be too tapped out to run video smoothly with my configuration if spanning with the Dell 24". I know it is the monitor I want to get, but before I shell out the $800, I am just hoping I don't end up working with jittery video everytime I begin cutting something in FCP or playing back Quicktime files.

Can you confirm for me what the VRAM is in your 1.67 Ghz? I think it is 128 MB, but if it is 64 MB like mine, than I am probably good to go.

Thanks for responding...much appreciated.
-Jon
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 01:45 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have 128MB.

Sorry.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 05:54 PM   #5
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You don't say what the resolution of the Dell display is, which is important. Check that against what the PowerBook manual says about how large a panel you can drive.

Mike.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike Hanlon
You don't say what the resolution of the Dell display is, which is important. Check that against what the PowerBook manual says about how large a panel you can drive.

Mike.

This is probably an area that I don't know too much about in terms of whether the following data is a go-ahead for me or not, but the resolution of the screen I am hoping to get (Dell 24" widescreen) can go as high as 1920x1200.

The native resolution of my Powerbook 15" is 1280x854, however, if I bring up the display control tab, the it lists options for my external display as high as 2048x1536 - including the 1920x1200 as listed by they Dell 24" LCD....it lists these options under the monitor selection tab of my current (and dying CRT), so I don't know if that being the present monitor has any bearing on the options displayed, but I have to assume that since the others are listed in terms of what is supported as an external display in general, then I should be okay with the 1920x1200 display parameters of the 24" LCD.

I actually have about 2 weeks before I make the purchase (that's when my expendable cash will allow it), but so far, it looks like I should be okay with this one on my system.

Thanks for the info.
-Jon
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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I could provide a long answer about how that list of resolutions is determined, yadda yadda yadda, but the short answer is you are good to go.



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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:57 PM   #8
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Awesome....thanks.
-Jon
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