I just got a new display for my desktop, an Acer AL2216W widescreen LCD. It has a native display resolution of 1680x1050. It's quite adequate, especially since it finally has me off of CRT, giving me a ton more desk space.
The problem is that the video card in my computer (that onboard Intel 950 described in the spec) doesn't have an internal mode for 1680x1050. But it can actually supoprt that resolution, it just needs to be convinced. Fortunately, someone clever has written a program which pokes the appropriate values into the appropriate places to convince this kind of video card that it supports resolutions it doesn't know it supports.
Unfortunately, I've already misplaced the link for the very nice
walkthrough I used. But the little program is called
915resolution. It's as simple as running that with one line to
overwrite a resolution you're not going to use (that's anything, with an LCD
you want to be in native resolution anyway) with one you want to. This only
affects RAM, so it has to be rerun every time you boot. That's good news, as
it means you can't break anything permanently unless you try really hard.
Gentoo makes it even easier for you. The 915resolution package comes with a nice init.d script. Just drop an appropriate line into /etc/conf.d/915resolution, add it to whatever runlevels you need to, and you're good to go.
As for me, I'm enjoying my increased desk space (nearly 4 sq. ft.), my increased screen real-estate (453280 px), and not having to shove my face up to the screen and/or squint to read text in an XTerm at default resolution (a significant gain in effective screen space).