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Hardware Level VGA and SVGA Video Programming Information Page
Product Recommendations for Video Developers 
        This page is to provide hardware recommendations for those implementing the information on this site.  There are no recommendations for video cards, as the goal is to increase programmer support for all cards, existing or otherwise, rather than try to influence people to buy a specific video card implementation.  I will, however recommend hardware, other than the video cards themselves that are helpful in the development of software for video cards in general. Monitors are a strong issue to me, both for safety concerns, and financial concerns, as it is usually advantageous to buy an new, indestructable monitor than to burn through many cheap, expendable monitors.

 Monitors Recommended
        For a monitor to be recommended it must meet all of the following criteria:

The following monitors have been evaluated by myself personally, and have been determined to meet all these criteria. Monitor Failures
        This section lists monitors that have either died for me while testing, or have died for others in a fashion that would imply that the programmer was responsible for their failure.  This does not imply that the programmer was at fault, as these things naturally happen when developing drivers.  I strongly recommend the purchase of one of the recommended monitors, to avoid damaging a valuable monitor

Compaq VGA (not SVGA) -- I do not know the model specifically.  It was a fixed frequency model, and the horizontal circuitry was damaged.  The problem was repeatable after repairs were made, so I believe that the monitor can be damaged by normal mode testing. I have met others who claim to have experienced this same problem.  Not recommended.

CTX CMS-1561LR -- The problem with this monitor occured when driving the monitor at the high end of its frequency envelope.  The monitor synced to the frequency, but may have been slightly overdriven.  The horizontal output transistor and some capacitors were replaced and the monitor was restored to working order.  The problem has not been repeated, so ordinary failure is likely.

NCR MBR 2321 -- This one comes from a friend in Fayetteville, AR, whose monitor blew caps while writing a svgalib video driver.  The explosion from the capacitors shattered the rear of the picture tube, damaging the monitor beyond repair.  Not recommended due to the catastrophic nature of the failure.  The operation being performed when the failure occurred was frequent mode changing.

Test Equipment Recommended
        There are certain pieces of test equipment that can come in handy when working with video cards.  This can be especially important when verifying that the video signal being generated is, in fact the one intended by the programmer.  Failure to do this can cause catastrophic failure when the driver is used in conjunction with a fixed-frequency or other monitor that can be damaged by improper inputs.

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