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*Read this summary first*
April 20

Other people have contacted me about similar problems

April 17 Update:
The same problem existed on the new Win98SE system that was delivered on April 17, 2001, both with the NVidia and Matrox cards (single monitor setup) After spending an hour on the phone with Dell tech support it was determined, through trial and error, that the only possible explanation was the Pentium 4 chip set. I am now going to send the Pentium 4 - 1.5 gHz chip system back for a Pentium 3 1 gHz chip Win2K system. 

On March 6, 2001 I ordered an new computer from Dell to use primarily for Photoshop and scanning. The system configuration is listed below. I immediately noticed that the monitors didn't look right, especially compared to my existing Win 98SE system (Picture B). They were a colder gray and there was nothing I could do to get them to match the monitor on my existing system. I also noticed that the Photoshop color picker was showing strange gradation (Picture A) that appeared to be less than 16 bit color. Continued below the pictures.

A
Win2K Screen Capture
Photoshop Color Picker
Showing less then 16 bit Color

B
Win98SE Screen Capture
Photoshop Color Picker
Showing 32 bit Color

I ordered an OptiCal color calibration system consisting of a spyder and software from ColorVision to see if the monitors across two different operating systems could be calibrated to match. In trying it out on the Win 2000 system, and on the telephone with ColorVision's support, we discovered that the PreCal calibration was giving me a purple colored logo on screen where it should have been shades of gray. They immediately told me to send the monitor back for a replacement. The new P1110 did give me the correct cast for calibration but the resulting color depth was no different. My next step was to send back the Matrox G450 for a replacement.
I should state at this point that there is nothing conclusive because of inconsistent results of switching graphics cards, cables, monitors between systems and, unexpectedly, different monitor resolutions.
Only once did I manage to get the P1110 looking good on the Win 2000 system. That was when the A monitor with the Matrox G450 was the 1626HT and the B monitor was the P1110, AND, I changed the monitor resolution to other than 1152x864. All the other times the P1110 gave me the exact colors you see in Picture A.
Now for the P991. It looked bad as both the A monitor and B monitor on the Win 2000 system, AND as the A monitor on the Win98SE system.
If you're having a difficult time following this it's OK, so am I. Over this past weekend I spent an hour on the telephone with Dell's tech support and I couldn't get the P1110 to look good with either the NVIDIA or Matrox cards. The support person told me to ask my sales person for a new DIFFERENT monitor, or have the system replaced.
Dell, being as they are, told me they would send me a Win 98SE CD to reformat the computer and see if that fixes the problem. BUT, they refused to extend my 30 day return date, which was only six days away. So I opted for them to take back the complete system and send me the exact system with Win 98SE pre installed. At least I get another 30 days to make sure it's working. I'm also going to purchase my second monitor locally and save the shipping.
Besides the video problem, I'm totally frustrated with Win 2000 as an operating system. After three weeks I still can't get my Epson scanner to scan through Photoshop due to a twain problem and I can't get any of three CompactFlash card readers to load drivers, except for the SanDisk ImageMate which needs to keep a CF card in there at all times in order for the drivers to load and be recognized by Windows. And get this, it need to be the exact card that was in there when it was first installed. If it wasn't for Ed Hamrick's VueScan scanner driver I wouldn't be able to scan at all. It works great with my Epson flatbed and my Polaroid SprintScan 4000. 
Summery:
I've experienced the video problem across two operating systems, Win2k and Win98SE. See the two pictures above.
Both systems had the problem with identical graphics cards, both the NVIDIA that came with it and Matrox G450 that I installed so I could have a dual monitor system.
Both systems had identical configuration in that they had the same components including the Pentium 4 1.5 gHz chipset. 
I've been contacted by a representative from Intel and they tried to duplicate my problem until they discovered that Dell was using a motherboard that was not an Intel board. (I'm not sure of the facts here but I'm sure I'll be corrected as soon as someone more knowledgeable reads this)
I've been in contact with Adobe's tech support and they are trying to duplicate the problem. 
Matrox has admitted that they have a problem in that some of their G450 cards don't let the Pentium 4 system boot. 
But that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm seeing, although it did happen to the G450 card that I was using and I had to send it back.
I uninstalled Photoshop 6 and installed Photoshop 5.5 to see if it was a Photoshop problem - same result
I changed my power supply from the UPS to plugging the system directly into the wall - same result.
There is one more consideration. Both systems came with the same Sony monitors, the P1110 - 21 inch and the P991-19 inch.
Do you think there could be a monitor problem?
Dell tech support was no help on this one. Though the technician was able to see the pictures on this page, he recommended sending the Pentium 4 system back for a Pentium 3 - 1gHz chip system. I think I'll wait until this can be solved before doing a backwards upgrade (downgrade).

If anyone has had a similar problem
please contact me about your experience.

My Win 2000 system consists of a Dell Dimension 8100
Pentium 4 - 1.5 gHz chip
512 megs of ram
Dell P1110 (21" Trinitron Monitor)
Dell P991 (19" Trinitron Monitor)
Matrox G450 Dual Monitor Graphics Card from Matrox to replace the 32MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 4X AGP Card that I didn't want 
My existing Win 98SE system consists of a Dell Dimension 4100
Pentium 3 - 550 mHg chip
384 megs of ram
Dell 1626HT (21" Trinitron Monitor)
Sony 100ES (13" Trinitron Monitor) 
Matrox G400 Dual Monitor Graphics Card
November 2001
Having sent the Win 2000 system back within the 30 return policy and eventually replacing it with a Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop, I'm still working with my dual monitor Win98 SE (550) system but have now upgraded it to Windows 2000 Professional in November 2001. It's still running fine just as expected. I didn't just upgrade. I purchased a second Matrox 60 Gig 7200 RPM hard drive and did a clean Win2K installation, making my previous C Drive into the D Drive.

A few people have related similar problems to me by e-mail

I took delivery of a new Dell P4 1.5gig with the G450 card and the P1110 monitors. I was aware of your webpage and problems before ordering so was naturally a little apprehensive about what would transpire after receiving the unit. After loading Photoshop 6 I immediately experienced the exact same problem - Showing less then 16 bit Color results in the color picker... that is UNTIL I played around with the Color Settings a little bit. "Settings" was set to "Web Graphics Default" so i changed that to "Photoshop 5 Default". Then I set the "Working Spaces / RGB:" to "P1110 Color Mapping File" and the problem was gone. I'm interested in knowing if you resolved your problem and if so what actions did you take to do so. I'm not positive that my "fix" really will work for me in the long run as I still want to further color correct both monitors for soft proofing but in the short term sense, the color picker is showing 32bit color now.
Oh my.
I am having a hellish time with my Dell server. I have a dual Pentium 3 server @ 1000 Mhz, running on Nvidia Geforce 2 MX 400 and 1 GB of Micron 133 Mhz Ram. I'm using a Dell P1110 21 for display. I am running Windows 2000 Advanced Server, and Red Hat Linux 7.2.

Under Windows 2000 Server I get a blurry picture, so blurry that it makes my eyes hurt. The only way to appease my eyestrain is to turn the resolution down to some ridiculous product like 800x600. If I turn my resolution up any higher (I am accustomed to 1600x1200), the screen gets blurry, and everything has a quaint shadow.

I do not have this problem with my TNT2 M64 P3 866 512 MB RAM on Windows 98. I know my P1110 isn't damaged, because it works perfect with Unix, and Win 9.x. I use Windows 2000 Server at work, and I run it side by side with Unix at home because I need to be fluent with it(WIN2K Server). I have looked everywhere, Dell customer support told me to do the same thing they told you.I have tried everything including changing graphics cards.Here is a list of graphics cards I've used in place of the Geforce 2 MX 400 on Windows 2000:
Vodoo 3
TNT 2
Savage 4
SR9
Sis 400
Geforce MX
I get the same results with all of these cards.

The irritating thing is, I need to use Windows 2000 because I'm not certified, and my job requires that I handle resources, DHCP, load averaging, VISIO, SQL, NAV Server, and other inherently WINDOWS 2000 Server typical tasks, excluding DHCP and Firewall which is better with Linux obviously.

Did you ever get your problem fixed?

I downloaded the P1110 WIN2K drivers and I still have the blurry problem.

 

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