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  1. #1
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    Desktop Resolution vs. Fullscreen Resolution

    This is something I'm just curious about.

    To put this in context, I have have rather poor eyesight so tend to keep my desktop resolution at 1366x768. That is also the native resolution of the monitor though it will display up to 1080p.

    If I increase the desktop resolution the icons and scale change so I can see that's working.

    My question is this if I keep the desktop at 1366x768 but start a game in fullscreen (Skyrim in this case) if I set the game resolution high (say to 1080p) I don't see much if any difference. So does the desktop resolution fix the maximum the fullscreen resolution can be, or is it just my lousy eyesight can't see the difference?

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    2 Star Lounger Bender's Avatar
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    This doesn't answer your question but it might be helpful;

    You didn't mention which operating system but if it's Win10 you can right click the desktop, select Display Settings, then use the slider control to "Change the size of text, apps, and other items". So no matter what resolution you choose you can adjust the screen items to your liking.
    Last edited by Bender; 2017-04-27 at 06:50.
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    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Your graphics card's s/w will determine this. I can't help with specifics but I sympathize with your problem. I run my monitor at below max res often and it can cause its own problems, you were smart to not buy a high res monitor. There should be the ability for each game to be assigned it own res in your graphics s/w.

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    Thanks for your replies.

    I'm using win7 so increasing the size of icons etc is an option.

    I'll check the s/w first though. I've just upgraded to the latest ATI Crimson Drivers and there is something in there for game profiles though I'm not sure (until I get home) if they cover resolution. I was using the older Catalyst drivers before as they always worked perfectly but they were definitely getting passed their "sell by date"

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    5 Star Lounger
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    ...does the desktop resolution fix the maximum the fullscreen resolution can be...
    Yes it does. Your game cannot override the Windows screen resolution. Not temporarily, not permanently, not in a window and not fullscreen either. Any application must obey the limits set by the video driver; they can ask YOU to change the resolution, but the game cannot do this itself.

    It's interesting to imagine a world where a game or other app runs at a different (higher) resolution in a window than the rest of the screen. However Windows does not support this capability and never has.

    The one thing the game can do is to provide content at a lower resolution than the driver resolution. The game still runs at the driver resolution setting, it's just that the game rendering doesn't take full advantage of the higher resolution setting. This is conceptually like taking a fancy 4K TV and hooking an old VCR up to it. The VCR program looks bad because the content on the VCR isn't up to the standard that the TV is running at. The TV is still running at 4K but the input signal contains fuzzy, lo-rez images and there's nothing the TV can do about that.

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    Ah, many thanks for confirming that BHarder

    I suspected this was the case as the game (Skyrim) does allow a higher resolution to be set for fullscreen than the desktop but as as it looks the same must top out at the desktop resolution regardless of how high it's set.

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    There was an interesting report I read, oh, about 6 months ago or so.

    There is a game engine out there (I don't remember the name). And they have been experimenting with internally rendering the game images at higher than display resolution. At the point in the graphics pipeline where they must display the frame buffer, they then downscale the resolution to what the display supports.

    I was a little baffled at why they would do this. Anti-aliasing is a very common rendering technique, but AA is an end-stage rendering technique, right at the very end of image generation. Maybe this is like an upstream version of anti-aliasing? Something that can take advantage of game engine knowledge of what the images actually consist of? AA is a very low level algorithmic process with no knowledge whatsoever of what the polygons are trying to represent.

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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Fyi Slorm, now that BHarder has answered your question nicely, some additional info you may find helpful for your situation:
    Quote Originally Posted by Slorm View Post
    I have have rather poor eyesight so tend to keep my desktop resolution at 1366x768.
    Same eye problem here, and I used to reduce my monitor res too. My solution is to use TVs as my monitors, a pair of 36" and 42" running at 1920x1080. Skyrim looks REALLY GOOD on that

    TVs are much cheaper than monitors of similar size, and the quality is fine in practice. Ask someone for a demo if this could help you. Of course, you could always get a projection system, imagine Skyrim at 100" on your wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Slorm View Post
    start a game in fullscreen (Skyrim in this case) if I set the game resolution high
    In the GODs [Good Old Days] when games were pickier about resolution, I used to use simple batch files to launch them—typically 3 lines of straightforward code, which in effect said:
    1. Change resolution [and color depth, if necessary];
    2. Launch game [or any other software];
    3. Change resolution back when you exit the game.

    Create a desktop shortcut for the batch file, and use that to launch the game. Set up a batch file for each game [or other software] where you want this behavior, each with its own desktop shortcut.

    If this interests you, check out these 2 little utilities:

    NirCmd is a fabulous little utility which can do a load of nifty things. The batch file would look like:
    Code:
    nircmd.exe setdisplay 1920 1080
    \Path to Skyrim\skyrim.exe
    nircmd.exe setdisplay 1366 768
    Display Changer II is also very good afaik [I've only used NirCmd], and focused on doing lots of stuff with resolution and display.
    Lugh.
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  11. #9
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Thank you, Lugh, for the information. I had completely forgotten about NirCmd so welcomed the reminder.

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