How bad is running a game outside of the 24" iMac's native resolution?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ShadowXOR, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. ShadowXOR macrumors regular

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    Washington
    #1
    I'm a hardcore gamer that is a stickler for quality, and CRT is still the gold standard when it comes to a perfect image (not to mention the ability to run many resolutions without any quality degradation), but LCDs have come a long way. I'm likely making the switch to Mac (using Boot Camp for the few PC games I play, I mostly play consoles).

    The iMac is the best fit for me but I'm concerned, when new games come out that exceed your system's specs you generally turn down the resolution to procure a quality image with a decent frame rate. 1920x1200 is a very high resolution with a lot of pixels, how much worse does the image get when turning the resolution down? Since it won't be at its native resolution I've heard that lowers image quality, but I have no personal experience since I've never used an LCD.

    And are there any other side effects?
     
  2. Entopia7 macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #2
    The screen at it's native resolution is gorgeous, but I have had no trouble running Quake Wars on my 24" 2007 Al iMac at 1280x800. It is, as is to be expected, somewhat jagged, but there is not a fuzziness or haze to the image. The textures are all clear, and it is still a pleasing picture.

    I had a laptop a few years back that had horrible blurring at resolutions lower than native, so I know bad when I see it. The iMac's screen is a good deal better than any other LCD I have owned (as long as you get a good one! But I have never seen a bad one in person, so I wouldn't be worried).

    I don't think you will be disappointed, but if you aren't sure, go to the closest Apple store and see for yourself. Only you know your standards.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Eric. macrumors regular

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #3
    I think that pixel density is a big factor here. With really high res monitors (like the 24" iMac) the pixels are small. Much smaller than those on, say, a 46" 1080p HDTV. When you scale the resolution down you essentially make multiple pixels display as a bigger one. The smaller the pixels were to begin with, the smoother they will look when running at a lower resolution.

    I'm not sure if you can follow that or not, but it makes sense in my head. :p
     
  4. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #4
    its okay but sometimes if you drop the resolution down allot it has a jagged boxed effect, but with most games if you cant run it at the full resolution you can allways lower the quality for a better resolution
     
  5. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I'm not sure what you mean here? And thanks for all the comments, I'm picking mine up tomorrow.
     
  6. Silock macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #6
    I think he means that you should run it at the native resolution, but just turn down some of the options so that you get the best frame rate.
     
  7. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    That makes sense, but sometimes it looks better to run at a lower resolution but with all textures, models, etc. maxed out and I don't want it to look awful outside of the native resolution.
     
  8. Gooter macrumors member

    Gooter

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    Chicagoland
    #8
    Does the iMac LCD screen support 1:1 pixel mapping? What that basically means is if you display an image smaller than the native res of the LCD, the LCD will not stretch the image to fit the entire screen; rather, it will display the true res of the image with black borders on the top and sides. This allows you to view an image that is not distorted by stretching (e.g. large jagged pixels, hazing effect, etc.).

    Thanks
     
  9. andychris02 macrumors member

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    Dublin, Ireland (at the moment)
    #9
    Gooter, I think it does, I was playing Assassins Creed the other day and due to the fact that the game has a bit of slow-down I changed the resolution to 1024 x 768 and when i did so there was a black border at the top and bottom, the image didn't seem to be distorted at all.
     
  10. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    So I could use some help, I did end up getting my iMac, but when I put games in something like 1024x768 they still fill up the whole screen (no bars) and are very ugly/muddy. Any ideas? I posted more in-depth about it here ( http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=644324 ) but I figured this thread was a good place for it too.
     
  11. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #11
    1024 x 768 is a 4:3 resolution. You need to pick a 16:10 resolution for the widescreen.
     
  12. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    And your worried about the monitors resolution, as opposed to the myriad other parts that define a gaming rig ? How much of a 'hardcore' gamer are you really ? ;)

    Seriously playing your games at 1024x768 ? Playing on an iMac ? I hope to god you at least got the 8800 GS BTO upgrade and not the stock HD2600 in most iMac models.
     
  13. Mushii macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2009
    #13
    Funny I never realised that the definition of a 'hardcore gamer' was defined by the 'box' that he/she played on.

    15 years of online gaming and I would consider myself hardcore - and I play on a multitude of platforms. Funnily though some of the games that I have played, like CS or EQ1 didnt require the most insane rig that a gamer could buy to be competitive.

    So please, do not talk about 'hardcore' as if it is some tag that comes with buying everything that Fatal1ty has branded or other such garbage. Hardcore is an attitude or state of mind that is reflected in the person's delivery based upon their circumstances.

    Mushii
     
  14. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    I'm not playing at 1024x768, I was using it as an example. I have the most powerful iMac currently available. Someone answered my question about the black bars, but I'm still trying to find a way for games to offer more than just one (1920x1200) 16:10 ratio resolution.
     
  15. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 15, 2007
    #15
    Here's a question that no one asked. What games are you trying to play? Also which video card option are you choosing for you iMac?
     
  16. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #16
    Ah, I get you.

    It all depends on the game, but can you not choose 1440 or 1680 resolutions?
     
  17. ShadowXOR thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    What do you mean which option? Video cards have tons of options. If you're referring to which one I got, I said I got the most powerful one available for current iMac's.

    Nope, 1920x1200 is the only 16:10 resolution available, pretty much all the rest are 4:3, in nearly every game I play. I play lots of different games, too many to list. They're all displaying the same options, which leads me to believe there is some kind of list of resolutions I could edit to add the ones I want.
     

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