Guys..if my native resolution is 1440x900, can I play games @ 1280x1024 without any adverse effects?
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Your monitor probably can't even display 1280x1024. You only have a resolution limit of 1440x900, you can't fit more than 900 pixels vertically, and unless your math is way off 1024 is larger than 900.
If you have a LCD monitor then the display will look slightly blurred at any resolution lower than the native resolution. There are no adverse effects. You can play all the games just fine