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I have a netbook I want to use in order to do some video editing. I am planning to buy a bigger, wider screen. Presumably even if the wider screen runs in a different resolution than my netbook screen, that should be OK. But I want to make sure that the screen I buy works well with the netbook.

linux-3g16:/home/me # lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation N10 Family DMI Bridge
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller

linux-3g16:/home/me # xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 600, maximum 4096 x 4096
LVDS1 connected 1024x600+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 223mm x 125mm
   1024x600       60.0*+
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

So that tells me that the maximum resolution I can expect to get is 4096x4096, right? But how do I list all available display modes. The screen I want may be wider than usual.

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What do you mean by saying "wider than usual"? Since it says that the maximum is 4096x4096, all the intermediate resolutions are also supported. For example the output of xrandr on my laptop says the same (4096x4096 maximum), and I bought an external monitor that has a resolution of 1920x1080. It works like a charm. If I were you, I wouldn't take the risk to buy a monitor that has a default resolution > 4096x4096. – ierax Aug 6 '11 at 17:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think you will have any trouble with unsupported modes. The monitor reports whatever crazy layout it wants and your card should be able to send that resolution up to the supported maximum dimensions.

What you will run into is that netbooks typically don't have the horsepower you'd want to do high resolution video editing.

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