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Gaming on TFT's- Is native res. that important?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Krikkit, 6 Mar 2007.

  1. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Right guys, this will probably be a thread full of unsubstantiated opinions, but there you go.

    I'm currently using a CRT, a high-quality one capable of 2048*1536 without trouble, at 75Hz. This means I have a monstrous desktop resolution on all the time, but when I game, I just crank the res. down to whatever it needs to be. CS gets desktop res, but something like FEAR has to go down to ~1280*1024 with high-ish settings.

    If I upgrade to a TFT, I want to have a decent desktop resolution, because this is really the main point - I love having a massive res and be able to tile windows all over the place.

    However. If I buy something like a 24" widescreen, I can't afford to keep buying top-dollar graphics power to back it up, so I can't run all the games I want to at its native res.

    Is it really that bad if you run a big TFT on a non-prescribed resolution? I know quality will take a hit, but how bad is it really?

    I know some of you are thinking "Just buy a smaller TFT and take the hit." but I can't stress how enjoyable it is to be able to surf the web on one half, watch a film and chat on msn/IRC on the other, all nice and tiled without having something squashed (either vertically or horizontally).
     
  2. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    well, i game on a 17 in lcd, lol...so i cant really tell you...everything i run can be done at high settings at the optimal rez...but i cant tile things like you can on a larger screen...im interested in the opinions on this...something i never thought about and i am looking at going for a 22 in soon...
     
  3. Pug

    Pug What's a Heatsink?

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    I find non-native resolution is most noticeable on text, tbh.
    You will obviously find the image less sharp in-game too but you could always tell yourself it's built-in anti-aliasing... ;)

    With that said, looking at the spec in your sig, surely you wouldn't have to turn much below medium detail to play at native res, no? How 'bout a 22", otherwise?
     
  4. OremLK

    OremLK What's a Dremel?

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    22" widescreen will give you very respectable desktop real estate at 1680x1050, and it's also a great resolution for most games if you have a recent PC. Throw in the fact that you can get a decent 22" for under $300USD these days, and what's not to like?
     
  5. crazybob

    crazybob Voice of Reason

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    I agree with Pug, non-native resolution is most noticeable on text. I've played games at lower resolutions on my LCD for many hours and never had a problem with it; it's kinda like free, crappy, antialiasing. For images it's harder to see. This is especially true if you run your game at an integer fraction of your native resolution (eg, 800x600 on a 1600x1200 panel) because there isn't any blurring, you just get really big pixels. Each game pixel uses four panel pixels.

    However, you might also consider multiple monitors. You can get two or three decent 1280x1024 monitors for the same price as a 24" widescreen. You'll still be able to spread your work out all over the place, and you'll have a smaller area to fill with your games, allowing you to run them at native resolution with a lesser card. Of course, if you're considering this route (smaller area on which to play games) you should also bear in mind that most good LCDs will let you choose whether to scale non-native resolutions, or just let them take up a smaller area in the center of the monitor.

    I tried taking some photos of a game at non-native resolution and you wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between them. I think that's just a failing of my photography skills, because you can definately see the difference if you're looking for it. Mostly, you just lose the crisp lines you'd see at native res.
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2007
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Well 20/22" wide would be kinda downgrade from 2048*1536.. Even I do have a browser, IRC and a fourth program (let it be torrent client or what ever) tiled on my 1680x1050 space, I really understand your worry. I had a 1600x1200 CRT before this one and I had the exact same problem in my mind. From even bigger 4:3 resolution I'd go for 24" wide and larger resolution.

    It would be good if you could see 22 and 24" monitors in a shop or somehwere so you could play with windows.

    As for the original question of playing. I've played some old FPS-games scaled and haven't had any issues with the games looking like poop. Also there's this option you run them in window! a 4:3 window on 1280x1024 fits to 1680x1050 screen nicely and you can still see if someone misses you in IRC :)
     
  7. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    I just turn the quality down.
    Also, my panel (Dell) scales the size down, rather than stretching, so I get a cube in the middle.
     
  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    I'm talking about the next upgraded rig, not this one. I know a 7900GT won't cut the mustard, I'm talking 8800GTS-640/R600 XT. :p


    The thing about scaling or just showing the image at its original size is very cool, I didn't know they did that. Awesome. :D
     
  9. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

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    I personally hate running games at non-native res.
    As has been said, its mainly noticable on text but it bothered me enough to get an 8800GTX over my old X1800XT. :/

    I would spank the wallet on a nice 24" widescreen since even that's gonna have a lesser amount of screen real-estate than your current setup.

    Then, if you find games are whipping your GFX card at the native res, and you can't stand it being scaled/shrunk on your screen, and you can't afford to buy a new GFX card, then you can always buy a 2nd monitor with a smaller res and run the games on that.

    :)
     
  10. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy Dark & Sinizter

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    How good it is at non-native resolution depends on the chip used for scaling the picture in the screen. On my Dell 2407, its not so noticeable at certain lower than ideal resolutions. Its more noticeable on text than gaming.

    I have set my XBox 360 to output to component at 720p (less than half the res of the 2407) and I have no problems with playing as yet on the few games that I have tried.

    I have yet to try HDDVD playback at this res.
     
  11. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    Why are you moving from a nice screen, yeah sure its a CRT but even a Sony 21'' trintron monitor will out do a top end TFT panel.

    Anyway have you considered dual 19'' TFT's desktop estate would be 2560x2048, yeah split screen i known.

    But with that a single screen can be used to play games at native res on 1280x 1024

    Just an idea.

    :D
     
  12. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy Dark & Sinizter

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    I prefer a TFT to a headache/eye-strain inducing CRT anytime - for monitor usage. Personal preference to move away from CRT I guess.
     
  13. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    The truth is that I love this CRT, but it probably will die sometime soon, it's got nearly 18000 hours on the clock, and there aren't that many truly nice CRT's left around that are worth buying.

    The other big problem is desk space. I'm not fussy about having a lot of room in front of me on a desk, but I have my desk a good 5-6" from the wall, and have as much of the monitor over it as I can, but even so, I barely have enough room for an A4 sheet of paper in front of it. That makes doing uni work a complete ballache, and it's something which I need to do more often. Having a TFT that isn't 2.5' deep would be a big help tbh.

    I can't stand dual-screen setups to try and combine them together as 1, the line in the middle irritates me beyond words. 2 screens on their own, awesome, as soon as you put them together, hate it.
     
  14. Hack'n'Slash

    Hack'n'Slash Minimodder

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    I'm probably just having a blond moment, but wouldn't 2x19" monitors = 2560x1024?

    I'm in the same position as Krikkit, my desktop is 1600x1200 but i can drop the res for games that make my 79gto sweat, (CoH, for example runs best for me at 1280x960) without the worry of a possibly fugly non-native image.

    I really can't decide; I don't mind the idea of 2x19"-ers, but the cost of two descent ones is higher than the cost of a quality 20" widescreen, and the idea of a non-scaling 20" is drawing me more towards the widescreen option.

    I keep procrastinating with this decision, I'd wait for my crt to finally bite the bullet and then I'd be forced to choose but this damn thing seems to be made from Energizer bunnies - keeps on going and going and going.
     
  15. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    yeah ur right at the 2560x1024, i scaled up in both directions! lol :duh:
     
  16. El1m1nate

    El1m1nate What's a Dremel?

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    try turning down ur settings on the games then ull get higher res
     
  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Running at anything but the native res will make things look softer. Text will be more noticable, but it IS noticably softer. If you cant get a graphics card that allows you to run at native res, I'd hang onto the CRT for a while.

    The larger the TFT the more noticable the softness is. I use a 24" widescreen TFT and most games look pretty bad outside of native res, especially if there's text on the screen.
     
  18. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

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    I was playing SupCom last night for the first time and I thought the gfx were pants.
    I confirmed I had everything set to maximum at 1920x1200 and it still looked pish.

    I felt like it wasn't running in the native res but had double-checked it was.
    Turns out SupCom got confused and even though I selected 1920x1200, it was outputting at 1024x768! :D
    I had to set another res then re-select 1920 and it looked a million miles better. :)
     
  19. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules What's a Dremel?

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    I can't stand not playing on the native res of my screen. When I do, though, it doesn't look toooooo bad. The Samsung 226BW seems to do a good job of scaling. However, its still a massive difference in quality on my 360. Very noticeable and very annoying. On games, I lower the quality before I lower the resolution. The 7900GT seems to be able to handle the games I play at 1680x1050, so I'm happy with it for now.
     

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