Screen resolution...a function of what?

  dendrite 21:22 28 Dec 04

I am contemplating buying a Mesh computer with upgrades to the graphics card and monitor, namely to a 256MB ATI Radeon X800 Pro card and a Viewsonic VP201B 20 inch TFT. Maybe not ideal but Mesh upgrade options are rather restricted. The only thing I have real misgivings about is the high native resolution of the screen, i.e. 1600 x 1200. From the reviews I've seen the VP201B gives a good if not outstanding picture at 1600 x 1200 but quality noticeably drops at lower resolutions. My question is, will I ever have to use a lower resolution? I understand you need a good graphics card to drive 1600 x 1200 (I'm assuming the Radeon is up to the task) but are there other factors? In particular, does software have to be '1600 x 1200 compliant'? The
computer will be used for DVD playback, MS Office applications, games, and the sort of utilities that come free with magazines. Can I be confident these sort of things will play at 1600 x 1200?

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