My archaic CRT monitor has a resolution of 1024x768. My GPU is an Intel 82945g chipset, CPU is P4, 1GB RAM running Windows XP. I want to replace the CRT with a TFT which comes with 1366x768 resolution.

My question is: Would it be computationally expensive on my CPU in any way to display on this new monitor with higher resolution relative to the older one? (The older one used to work just fine when it was working)

My doubt arises from the fact that, when I try to play high res movies on the old monitor, they lag maybe, because of the transformation (scaling) performed by the media player but this is a purely CPU issue as far as it seems. Replacing with the new monitor would mean, the CPU sending an array of now 1366x768 color pixel intensities.

I am confused about this. Is it over the display video card to handle it independently by means of parrelism or something or actually means CPU churning more cycles to keep up?

Can I safely replace it with a 21 inches Monitor (1920x1080) HD monitor?

  • Are you switching to 1920x1080 or 1366x768? Question's a little unclear on that. And what you're using it for is important too. That PIV might not have enough processing power to render some video formats (and of course, modern games are unlikely to run). There's workarounds, but at this point a pentium 4 is at least a decade old. Replacing it with a cheap, modern box would be something worth considering. – Journeyman Geek Apr 24 '15 at 4:36
  • @JourneymanGeek : I am switching it to 1366x768. 1920x1080 is just something I asked anyways. Btw, I have ordered a Dell TFT 1366x768 Plug'N'Play VGA Monitor with 16M colors. I am skeptical if it will work though! – pulp_fiction Apr 24 '15 at 4:38

It is more dependent on your GPU than your CPU if you can use a higher resolution monitor, the GPU may be a discrete one attached to your motherboard or an integrated one which is part of your CPU. Any hardware made in the past 5 years should support 1920x1080 for the desktop and things like word processors or the internet no problem. Past that and we will need to know your specific hardware. Movies lagging is not really part of the resolution, it depends more on what resolution the video file is and which program you are using to watch it. I would recommend Media Player Classic - Home Cinema to reduce CPU usage during video playback.

  • Yeah..yeah I understand what you said about the "program " I am using and the res of the movie. I have tried MPC infact..many of them actually. And its even beyond 5yrs age. It is really old. See my Edit. – pulp_fiction Apr 23 '15 at 15:46
  • Uh OK based on that info I think you can run 1366x768 but I am not sure that 1920x1080 would work. And at that point the monitor would be worth more than the PC... If you want a higher resolution screen you might need to upgrade your computer, a $300 computer would be able to display 1920x1080 no problem and should be able to play your movies a lot better too. – user438322 Apr 23 '15 at 15:50
  • Yeah... the thing is, it a piece of garbage but has accompanied me through good and bad days. It is just lying there. I actually work on a personal Laptop that is okay. I just want to provide a new face to the old system...it can still do Word Processing, browsing, playing movies just fine. Rest everything I exclusively use my laptop. It is more of, my laptop has gone for repair, so why not check your mail on the PC for now. 1366x768 is acceptable for me if not HD – pulp_fiction Apr 23 '15 at 15:54
  • Yeah if that's what you want then I would say look for an older flat screen with a resolution like 1366x768 or 1600x1024. – user438322 Apr 23 '15 at 15:59

945 chipset is limited to 1600x900 but Intel released a driver to fix this issue, use at your own risk.


  • Yeah, I am risking it. I have ordered a Dell TFT 1366x768 Plug'N'Play VGA Monitor with 16M colors from Amazon. See if it works otherwise I would have go through their return policy! – pulp_fiction Apr 24 '15 at 4:53

Depends if the video is being decoded in hardware on the GPU, or solely by the CPU. Check your video drivers and hardware support this.

Use a monitoring tool (e.g. resource monitor for windows, top for linux) to check where your existing bottlenecks are. Check CPU, RAM, and if your GPU is decoding in hardware. If you are hitting 100% CPU use and the video is stuttering, running at higher resolutions will just get worse.

It sounds like you have a fairly old rig, so if everything is working optimally, besides upgrading, overclocking would be your best option.

If you're not CPU bound and are just running an old integrated video chipset, a cheapo dedicated graphics card might solve your problems, but the money is usually better spent towards a full upgrade.

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