Ok Im not clear on the proper terminology or whatnot so I will provide as many details I can in laymans terms.
I had an old laptop a HP ZD8000 series with a 1440*990 screen at 17". I played many games on this laptop, BF2, CSS, DODS Fear, UT2k4 all using the full display area of the screen. If i selected a high resolution the image would look better more detail etc. A smaller resolution say 1024 or even 800 would also show the image using the whole display area of the screen. Sure the image would seem a little stretched out, or my windows icons would appear larger, but it would FILL the display area.
Now the issue...
I have an Acer 8204 here with a 15.4 inch widescreen with a resolution of 1680*1050. Any game or application I run at a resolution smaller then 1680*1050 runs in a smaller area of the screen. The image will display but is is small and surrounded by a black border. Either top and bottom black lines, left and right black lines, or a "frame" effect...
I have gone to widescreengaming and gotten the steps needed to play at widescreen resolutions by forcing the games to run at 1680*1050, but I should not have too, I want to run windows at 1200*? so i can see my icons more clearly, and I would also like to play at some a smaller resolutions for performance reasons... Is there a software solution or do I need to put a check mark somewhere in my display properties to use the whole screen?
I dont recall the exact setting, but I know on my Dell's there is an option that controlls how different screen resoluitons are handled.
Basically LCD's give the best picture at their Native Resolution.
The Bios setting in question forces all screeb resoluitons to use the LCD's native screen resolutin which basically means that when you set a smaller resolution, the pictures do not get bigger but rather just use a subset of the screen.