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Can a monitor that supports 24 bits of color depth be used with a graphic card that supports 16 or 32-bit color depth only ??

This monitor, for example:
http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/dell-ultrasharp-2000fp-lcd/4505-3174%5F7-32526424.html

The specifications say it supports 24 bits of color only. And modern graphic cards no loger support 24-bit color depth.

Will it work?

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3 Answers 3

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Short answer: Yes, it will work. Color depth is never an issue. Some monitors that claim 24 bit are actually only 18 bit anyway. Also there's no such thing as a 32-bit color monitor.

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Selected answer since it actually answers the question. –  GetFree Nov 7 '09 at 18:55
    
There are 36 bit monitors! –  bert Nov 19 '09 at 17:06

32 bit colour outputs in 24-bit.

That's 3 bytes. One for Red, one for Blue, and one for Green. Add another byte for transparency, which isn't actually displayed as such, but rather affects how other colours are drawn, and you have 32 bits.

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You mean 3 BYTES, rights? –  GetFree Nov 6 '09 at 23:47
    
Anyways, I dont care if the fourth byte is the alpha component or not. I just want to know if the monitor will work with a 32-bit graphic card. If you try to select a bigger resolution that you monitors maximum, it wont show anything. Does the same problem happen to color depth? –  GetFree Nov 6 '09 at 23:50
    
Er, yes, I did. And no, the monitor will work fine, you're not selecting too high a colour depth, it's just misleading (The ultrasharps are really nice monitors, btw :)) –  Phoshi Nov 7 '09 at 0:02
    
Phoshi just explained it. It's semantics. A video card is capable of 32 bit color, 8 of them are tranparents. A screen can display 24 bit color, which is everything the card can display that isn't transparent. 32 bit color is actually 24 bit color with 8 bits of transparency –  MDMarra Nov 7 '09 at 0:04
    
The forth byte is often the Z-index in modern 3D cards. It defines the order of elements. –  bert Nov 7 '09 at 9:35

The colour depth of an RGB image is usually 24-bit - 8 bits for each of the red, green and blue values. For example JPG images are 24 bit as they have no alpha.

The colour depth of an RGBA (or ARGB) image is usually 32-bit - 8 bits for each of the red, green, blue and transparency (or alpha) values. For example PNG images are often 32 bit as they have an alpha channel.

A pixel that has a colour with alpha needs to be blended with the colour of the pixel that's already on the screen, but the resultant image will only be 24 bit.

The colour quality on graphics cards (either 16 or 32 bit) refers to the number of colours (216 or 232) that can be displayed, not the bit depth of the image used to display those colours.

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Ok, so when you select 32-bit color depth on your graphic card, that doesn't mean the output to the monitor is sent as 32 bits but only as 24 bits. It's the graphic card that internally handle colors in 32 bits and calculate the resultig colors when there are transparencies and finally outputs the results as 24-bit, right? –  GetFree Nov 7 '09 at 0:29
    
The colours will always be sent in 24 bit mode, it's just that there will be 2^32 (4294967296) of them as opposed to 2^16 (65536) of them when you're in 16 bit mode. –  ChrisF Nov 7 '09 at 0:39

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