Fedora on a Dell

Fedora Core 2 on a Dell Inspiron 8600

Widescreen Summary.

When purchased, Dell had a special on the Ultra SVGA wide screen throwing it in for free on all purchases. On first boot Fedora booted to 1600*1200 even though a generic 1920*1200 screen was selected during the installation, leaving a wide band on either side of the screen. Opening the screen resolution tool the only wide screen options was for 1024 pixels wide. Not having spent much time tweaking the X-server it was a bit of a concern.

The 8600 has the NVidia GeForce Go 5200. NVida have released a new driver that supports this card as well as 4k memory stacks. 3d performance is quite good. See the NVidia pages for details.

Latest Update -- March 26 2005

Michael Breen's page has a great tip for getting a modeline in Fedora Core 3 though it would be best to leave the "_60" off the modeline so as not to upset system-config-display.

Widescreen Setup.

Searching the internet I quickly found a forum post giving a modeline for the 1920*1200 wide TFT screen as well as some resources that could be used to produce your own modeline tailored to your system. Much too easy :). As mentioned you just need to add a custom modeline to your xorg.conf file.

If you wish to use differing resolutions it looks like you will need to enter multiply modelines and a Usemode option 16:10. See this page here as an example. I find examples like these give to high a screen refresh for an LCD screen. The Dell specs indicated a refresh rate of 60Hz. See my xorg.conf file here for a modeline that gives 1920x1200 at 60Hz. I believe multiply monitor sections are needed to be able to use TV out or a second monitor. See this page that has a good example of an XFree86 file set up to use the NVidia driver>

Important:

Its important to remember that you can damage your LCD screen by doing this so take care and double check your modeline with the sort of resources mentioned here. Also I have read reports of burn in on the LCD screen if used for long periods at the highest settings. The brightness of the screen can be control by the hotkey combination Fn + Up Arrow and Fn + Down Arrow.

I installed both xine and mplayer to the machine using yum and the FreshRPMS repo. DVD playback and sound both work quite well with the default NV driver. I haven't tried TV out which I will leave until NVidia update their drivers, hopefully that won't be two long. I will post more when the NVidia drivers come out for Fedora Core 2, particularly in regard to TV out, second monitor and 3d games. I will also post some framerates although I don't play games much these days. Tuxracer runs with the default drivers but poorly.

Resources: