Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Thoughts on resolution other than Native

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
Share
August 25, 2006 4:46:55 PM

Here's the setup. I currently use a 17" Viewsonic (4 yrs old) and run it in 1024 x 768 even though it's native resolution is 1280 x 1024. I don't do any gaming whatsoever.
I want to increase my screen for easier viewing. I was considering a 20.1 inch but the native resolution is 1600x1200 which would defeat my purpose of increasing most objects and text for easier view. I was wondering if running a 20.1" in 1280 x 1024 would still look good? I'm not running my current monitor in it's native resolution and I don't think it looks fuzzy or blurry.

I'm just concerned that so many people here stress only running in the native resolution but are the benefits mainly for gaming? Maybe I'd be better off just getting a 19" and running it natively in 1280 x 1024? I didn't even get into my confusion on the whole 5:4 vs 4:3 aspect ration thing.
August 25, 2006 9:42:24 PM

Whenever a display with a native resolution (DLP, LCD or plasma, typically) is used to show content from a different resolution, that content must be modified. If you are scaling up to show 1024 x 768 content on a 1280 x 1024 monitor, then either the monitor or your graphics card has to take every 4 horizontal pixels, and make 5 out of them. It also has to take every 3 vertical pixels, and make 4 out of them. How should it do this? If it copies every 4th column and every 3rd row, then you'll end up with jagged-looking characters and images with stripes going across them. If it interpolates light intensities, then you lose sharpness. For example, imagine alternating black and white pixels in a checkerboard pattern in your 1024 x 768 content. When showing this on a 1280 x 1024 screen, the first four black-white-black-white pixels going across the top of the display would need to be shown in five physical dots - so you either double one of them, or you make them all into different shades of gray. Similarly, the first six black-white-black-white-black-white pixels going down the left side of the display would need to be shown in eight physical dots. So you either double two of them, or you again make them all shades of gray. Neither approach is perfect. In fact, they both render a rather poor result, in my opinion.

This is why 720p content looks better on a 720p TV than on a 1080i TV. Every four pixels (2x2) in 720p need to be rendered as 9 dots (3x3) on a 1920 x 1080 res screen.

As an alternative to changing your screen resolution, may I suggest that you change the number of dots per inch in your display settings? Right-click on an empty space on your desktop, select "properties", click the "Settings" tab and then click the "advanced" tab. You should see something about "Small Fonts" and "Big Fonts" or "120 dpi" and "96 dpi". The higher the number of dots per inch, the bigger your text will get - and the easier it will be to read.

I use this in Media Center since I'm currently showing things on a NTSC TV screen (640 x 480), which isn't very good at showing readable text. I need to set the resolution to something larger (e.g. 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768) or else some of the windows and dialogs don't fit on the screen. But to make the resulting smaller fonts readable, I increase the dpi.
August 26, 2006 7:03:55 AM

Quote:
Here's the setup. I currently use a 17" Viewsonic (4 yrs old) and run it in 1024 x 768 even though it's native resolution is 1280 x 1024. I don't do any gaming whatsoever.
I want to increase my screen for easier viewing. I was considering a 20.1 inch but the native resolution is 1600x1200 which would defeat my purpose of increasing most objects and text for easier view. I was wondering if running a 20.1" in 1280 x 1024 would still look good? I'm not running my current monitor in it's native resolution and I don't think it looks fuzzy or blurry.

I'm just concerned that so many people here stress only running in the native resolution but are the benefits mainly for gaming? Maybe I'd be better off just getting a 19" and running it natively in 1280 x 1024? I didn't even get into my confusion on the whole 5:4 vs 4:3 aspect ration thing.


1. No need to be confused about 5:4 vs 4:3... 5:4 is 1280x1024, and 4:3 is 1600x1200, or 800x600, but that's not used much these days.

2. As for resolutions other than native, you just have to try them out. Some still look decent. Others are unreadable.

3. If you get a 20" UXGA (1600X1200), you can maintain the native resolution but increase the text size in the browser a couple of ways and on the Desktop through Display. However, some things won't be able to be made bigger... like graphics, toolbars and the like.
Related resources
August 26, 2006 1:34:50 PM

Wow adjusting the DPI does help. I changed my DPI to 115. But you're right, some things just don't get any bigger on higher resolutions like toolbars and graphics. I think I'll will be better off with the 19" running at 1280x1024 probably with DPI set around 110. That is the highest resolution my Radeon 9000 series goes up to anyway.

By the way, does the viedo card always display the resolutions up to the max of the display? Or if I put in a $300 video card combined with a 1280x1024 display would it actiually give me a 1600x1200 resolution option?

I just don't understand why certain web sites don't compensate for you resolution. Now serveral new sites have large gap on the right side.
August 26, 2006 1:54:39 PM

Quote:
"... By the way, does the viedo card always display the resolutions up to the max of the display? Or if I put in a $300 video card combined with a 1280x1024 display would it actiually give me a 1600x1200 resolution option?..."


No. The maximum resolution (and native) is determined by how many pixels the monitor has. It can display less than the max (lower resolution)... though perhaps display may be significantly degraded, but not higher.

If you decide to get a widescreen monitor, you'll need to be sure your video card can display the same resolution as the monitor. Many older cards were designed before the newer widescreens and won't display widescreens at their native resolution.
!