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LCD displays for my case.

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Old 07-09-03, 11:18 PM Thread Starter   #1
DeathONator
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LCD displays for my case.


Ok, I'm kinda looking into adding an LCD display to my computer in the next uhh 5 years... yeah. Anyways I know for most LCD displays you download software to controle what is displayed. So, let's say I want it to display system temp, memory usage, etc while playing a game. Is there going to be a slight performance hit when using the LCD display. Like how much, less than 1%?.
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Old 07-09-03, 11:32 PM   #2
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well in some, i forget the name sorry


you can choose when you want to update the interval, so yes there will be a performance hit, but you can control how much for the most part

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Old 07-09-03, 11:41 PM   #3
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CrystalFontz is cool: they let you have the software at no charge- even if you don't use their displays.

Edit:
Doh! Tired last night and forgot to actually ANSWER the question...

Minimal- depending on what you are sending the display for text and how often it refreshes.
On my system it is not noticeable and I had to run benchmarks to see the difference. The benches showed little difference as well- within the margin of difference from one run to another! (I did run 5 sets of benches each: with/without and the "With" set was consistently lower by a few points...)

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Last edited by rogerdugans; 07-10-03 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-10-03, 12:06 AM   #4
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With the computer in your sig? No detectable perf hit, maybe .2% CPU usage. Maybe with a P2 233, it would bog it down JUST a little.

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Old 07-10-03, 02:36 PM   #5
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I have the crystalfontz 4 line usb display, and there is no detectable proformance hit, the program stays at 00 cpu usage in the system mangager.
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Old 07-10-03, 05:53 PM   #6
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i want to do this sometime also! good luck
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Old 07-10-03, 10:01 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Is there a good looking, good quality one for less than $60? I was thinking of trying to put my own together but I'm not that advanced yet.
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Old 07-11-03, 12:27 AM   #8
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The software I believe you are looking for is called Samurize. You need Win 2000/XP to run it. As for the LCD screen do a search for LCD's on eBay or check on some of the car audio sites in the mobile video sections.
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Old 07-11-03, 01:23 AM   #9
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No, samurize displays stats on your desktop. To display on an LCd you need either CrystalControl, LCDSmartie of JaLCDs. Just search for them on google.

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Old 07-11-03, 09:52 AM   #10
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A note on doing your own LCD-
It really isn't THAT difficult or advanced.

The one I have uses the HD44780 controller (from memory- I think thats the right #...) and works on parallel only.
I am NOT any good at understanding all the codes for resistors, capacitors, etc. But I can read directions and run basic multimeter functions like checking voltage and looking for an open circuit. I can even read resistance as long as I know what values I am looking for
But I really don't understand what is going on in all that stuff!
But I did wire up an LCD that works just fine (in Windows anyway; In Linux it doesn't but I think that is a software problem.)

Small lcd displays can be bought for less than $20- sometimes much less. That and about $10 at a Radio Shack and you can have all the parts you need, including the cable end for the parallel port.

If you have a $60 budget for an LCD, that is enough for a soldering iron, meter and parts for two displays so you can wreck your first one (Hopefully you won't of course )

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Old 07-11-03, 12:37 PM   #11
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Ok what kind of LCD are we talking about here? One of the ones like the Matrix Orbital LCDs or a TFT LCD display like those found on mobile video monitors or gameboys? Samurize will display the stats you want it to on your desktop but if using say a 5" TFT LCD you can have Samurize output it to the LCD. If using an LCD like the Matrix Orbitals then the programs _slh_ mentioned are the ones to use.
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Old 07-11-03, 02:03 PM   #12
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he's refering to like the crystal fontz or whatever its spelled. i want to eventually get an LCD in my rig, but i need more important stuff right now... (my own CPU, vid card)

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Old 07-11-03, 11:35 PM Thread Starter   #13
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rogerdugans: I have a multimeter, my dad has a soldering iron (plus I'm planning on getting one for myself soon anyways). I was looking at one at allelectronics.com (when I ordered a bunch of other stuff) I should have gotten it. Now, can I wire it to use USB fromt the mobo to controll it? Where can I find some info on how-to?
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Old 07-12-03, 03:06 AM   #14
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HD44780 LCD displays connect to the parallel port. There may be a way to connect it via usb with some kind of convertor, but if there is, I havent seen it.

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Old 07-12-03, 11:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by _slh_
HD44780 LCD displays connect to the parallel port. There may be a way to connect it via usb with some kind of convertor, but if there is, I havent seen it.
I have the feeling that _slh_ knows at least as much and probably more than I do about lcd displays

But I can agree 100% with what he said and say that I haven't seen any USB converters either.
I have seen some stuff where people made serial converters somewhere, but there was programming also involved as I recall and I did NOT want to get into that!!!

CrystalFontz sells serial and USB displays but I do not know if they use the same controller or different ones; they may just add some more electronic wizardry and convert parallels for all I know....

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Old 07-14-03, 11:50 AM   #16
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You can connect a HD44780 display to the parallel port with a minimal amount of soldering (14 wires, 16 if it has a backlight), its not difficult to do at all. You can also connect one to a serial port, but to do that you need something called a serial backpack module, to convert the signal from your serial port into something the parallel controller on the LCD can understand. Theyre not the easiest things to make yourself, as they need their own controller circuit (ie lots of components and connections) so unless youre confident with reading schematics and wiring, Id either buy one ready made or just go with the parallel option. As Rogerdugans says, Crystalfontz sell USB displays, but I have no idea what controller they use, or how theyre wired. Maybe someone here has one who can tell us all? Id like to know anyway...

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Old 07-14-03, 12:00 PM   #17
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I did soldering of an hd44780 display onto a printer port cable, it was not hard to do, I don't do much soldering myself but I had no trouble with doing it, although schematics are hard to understand if you don't know what your doing
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Old 07-14-03, 12:47 PM   #18
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Ok I must ask another question. Why deal with all this trouble of connecting the LCDs like the Matrix Orbitals when for about the same price you can get a much larger, much nicer 5.6" TFT active matrix display that can be modded to fit into some 5.25 bays and simply plugs into the composite output of your video card assuming you have a video card that supports dual outputs.

Assuming you do have such a video card, I cant see any real point in getting a Matrix Orbital, besides space saving, when you could fit one of these displays in some 5.25 bays or even mod the side of your case and put it there. You could use the Samurize software to outout Winamp, MBM, and other diagnostics to the screen.
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Old 07-14-03, 03:17 PM   #19
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Me? Because my backlit LCD display was much, much cheaper than any TFT you could buy (ie free) and I wanted the challenge of building it myself and making it work.

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Old 07-14-03, 03:30 PM   #20
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Same as _slh_:
mine came with a server case I bought for $25 shipped

A few hours of research and soldering + an old printer cable- voila!

I don't think I would be willing to spend $80 for an lcd either to tell you the truth, but $15 or $20 for all the parts needed, that I can see spending

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