Question about screen resolution

I just read in cgw about the perfer resolution of LCD monitors. Mine is a 17 inch monitor, and I have it set at 1024x768, they’re saying that it should be able to run at a higher resolution. Am I hurting performance or anything by keeping it at this reso?

AFAIK, LCD monitors in general (at least the notebook ones) has a native resolution that it displays best and while you can change your screen resolution up or down to whatever your video card supports, it won’t look as ‘sharp’ as the native resolution. I’m pretty sure you’re not hurting anything performancewise…hell you’re probably getting a bit more performance out of it actually.

That said, 1024x768 seems really low for a 17’’.

Yeah, it doesn’t affect performance, but it won’t be as good looking (even beyond just being lower resolution). As I understand it, the native res of a monitor is usually or always the highest resolution that it can display. At least I’ve never seen one that wasn’t like that.

Well that’s what I set mine too, it can go up alot further then that but that’s what I’ve always had my monitors on, even my previous monitor which a bit smaller screen and not LCD.

Native resolution for most 17" and 19" LCD monitors is 1280x1024. You’re not hurting anything viewing at a lower resolution except maybe your eyesight from looking at fuzzy text. :)

The text right now isn’t fuzzy , but I did notice I loaded up a game I bought from reflexive before I had the monitor replaced, and now when some of the puzzles pieces move I see a huge amount of blur on them. Also when some text popped up it was all jumbled. This was the only game that it has happened too. And I’ve played much more demanding games since then like BFME2 and AOE3.

What’s the manufacturer/model# of your 17" lcd?

Doesn’t your monitor support plug & play? Just go to Display Properties and see if you’re at the highest resolution or not…

The manufacturer is MAG Innovision. Where would I have the model number?

It has plug and play and is set a refresh rate of 60 hertz.

Wait does it go higher then 1024x768? Reading your post confuses me. You say you have it set to that but does it go higher? If it does then set it to the max resolution it can run at that would be its native resolution.

Yeah it goes alot higher up to 1280x1024

Ok thats the native resolution then. Ideally you should be running everything at that resolution even the desktop. Try running your games at that and see how it looks.

Ok I’ll try that in alittle bit, I just moved it up one to see how it is. Does setting it up at higher resolutions hurt the monitor?

No because ideally you want to always run it at the highest resolution possible… On LCD’s that is.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it gets harder to see at the highest resolution, could since I’m used to the lower one.

Yeah you just need to get used to it. Run it at that resolution for a while and see how everything works for you. Games should look a lot better.

The other thing you might want to do is bump up your font size, see if that helps.

Desktop resolution and font size being tied together is a problem – and one of the few things that Windows Vista appears to fix. However, since I run a Mac now, I’ve got no problems.


Sounds like you’ve just moved to an LCD monitor from a CRT monitor. I think it would help to explain a bit how they work to address your questions.

A CRT monitor has microscopic bits of red, green and blue goo stuck to the glass. Behind the glass is an electron gun. When the electrons hit the goo, the goo glows. To get a higher resolution, the electron gun has to work a lot harder to spray electrons, which is why high resolutions are hard for it to manage. This is why people may have told you in the past that high resolutions shorten the life of a monitor.

Your new LCD monitor, on the other hand, has a screen actually made of pixels. In your case, the monitor has 1280 pixels across, and 1024 pixels down. This is called the “native resolution” – your monitor doesn’t have to do anything special to display at 1280x1024. The dot that goes at row 397, column 1008 gets lit up on row 397, 1008.

When you set your LCD monitor to 1024x768, the monitor has to do some work to display. The dot that would go at 1,1 actually covers more than one pixel! So the monitor has to scale things; each pixel on the monitor shows a blend of the colors for the pixel of the image. This results in a “blurry” look that most people find undesirable.

So as you can see, using the highest resolution possible on an LCD will not only do nothing to shorten the life of your monitor, it might actually lengthen it. It should also look better.

If you’re used to viewing the screen at 1024x768, things will be smaller (and thus harder to see) at 1280x1024. You can make them larger by right-clicking the Desktop, select Properties, click Settings, advanced, and on the General tab there’s a selection for Font Size. If you’re finicky, you can choose “Other…” and use a ruler to match the size of the ruler on screen to the ruler in your hand; by doing this, an 8.5" x 11" page on the screen at 100% zoom is the same size as an 8.5" x 11" page in real life, which is kind of cool.

You shouldn’t see any ghosts or blurriness at that resolution. If you have a cheap VGA cable, or if you’re running through a KVM switch, you may see that, though. In that case, either switch to a better KVM switch (or cable), or switch from 32-bit color to 16-bit color, and that should clear things up.

Mine is set to 32 bit color, and on anything higher then 1024 x768 the text looks like it blurs alittle bit.

What type do you have?