Lowering resolution for gaming - Significant change?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by triassic911, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. triassic911
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    triassic911 Burst Mode

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    Hi. Ever since I bought a gaming computer, it has been nice for me. I have been able to play most recent titles on High settings. However, there are 2 specific games that slow down at certain points of the game. They are GTA IV and Skyrim. It's not really a big deal, but I was wondering why it slows down at all, seeing as how my computer fits the recommended specs requirements (according to this site). I then thought to myself, is it possible because I am playing on a high resolution? I currently play at 1920 x 1080 since that is what is recommended on my monitor. However, from what I understand, the next resolution that is 16:9 aspect ratio is 1366 x768. That's a significant drop in pixels. If I change it to that, will I see a big difference in my games? I tried switching to 1366 x 768 once before, but being so used to a higher resolution, everything on my desktop and web pages felt all clunky. Thanks.
     
  2. Lanlan

    Lanlan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Try lowering the shadows maybe? I know that takes a lot of the performance away
     
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  3. DiscostewSM

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

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    Did you see an improvement in performance when lowering the resolution? Lowering the resolution reduces the strain on the GPU as it has to deal with fewer pixel and shader calculations. If you see no increased performance when adjusting graphic settings to be lower, then it must be something else, possibly not part of the recommended specs. Take RAM for instance. You can have enough, but capacity is only relevant to how much data can be held. RAM speed is also important, and if it is straining itself and playing catch up because it isn't fast enough, then games can slow down.

    Other possible factors involve hard drive performance, and even faulty parts.
     
  4. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Yeah, resolution makes a huge difference (barring things like shadows and other fancy shader work).

    If you're running at 1080 on high settings, that's beyond recommended. "Minimum" is "the game will technically run", while "recommended" is "the game will run well". Usually for making out settings you need to go a few steps above recommended.

    1600x900 is another 16:9 resolution you can try. A lower resolution for desktop stuff sucks, but in games it's often not as noticeable (assuming it's a small drop)
     
  5. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    What are the specs of your PC?

    And if you have anti-aliasing on, tone it down. That can be very demanding.
     
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  6. triassic911
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    triassic911 Burst Mode

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    My specs are:
    Intel core i7-2630QM 2.00ghz
    6gb RAM
    Nvidia Geforce GT 540M 1GB
     
  7. BORTZ

    BORTZ You get a hat, and YOU get a hat!

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    There's a joke about being over encumbered like in Skyrim here, but i cant find it.

    I know turning down your specs will definitly help your computer run faster, but im not sure what to tell you to tone back.
     
  8. triassic911
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    triassic911 Burst Mode

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    Wow, I turned off shadows in GTA IV just now, and it was running really smooth. Wow. I didn't lower the resolution either. I guess shadows do take a lot out of the comp.
     
  9. Lanlan

    Lanlan GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Lack of shadows does make a game look a lot worse in my opinion though.
     
  10. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    That's a very average graphics card. I would definitely suggest that you switch to a lower resolution in games like 1600x900 as Rydian mentioned.
     
  11. Fishaman P

    Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    Turn these down in order:

    1) Graphics you don't care about (like crowds in racing games)
    2) DirectX version (i.e. DX11->DX9)
    3) Complex graphics (shadows, water)
    4) Generic graphics settings
    5) Resolution

    Even if graphics don't look as detailed as they could be, it's still a lot better than a blurry picture.

    Anyway, what are your computer's specs? Even the standard NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti should be able to run Skyrim on High at 1080p just fine.
    Crap, you didn't mention you have a laptop, and a subpar one at that.
     
  12. triassic911
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    triassic911 Burst Mode

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    Is it really? It's a laptop so I don't know if the graphics card can be upgraded...
     
  13. KazoWAR

    KazoWAR GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I run GTA IV at 1600x900 on my 5 year old PC, it not that bad, not 1080p, but its not as bad as 720p. I really need to upgrade though :(
     
  14. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    It's a laptop, graphics can't be upgraded
     
  15. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    It's a laptop, graphics are difficult to upgrade, usually impossible.
     
  16. doyama

    doyama GBAtemp Maniac

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    Skyrim really really pushes your graphics hard. You can try to keep the resolution but tone down things like AA and shadows which take up a lot of GPU cycles. However at the resolution you're trying to run, you may eventually have to go down to a lower resolution just to run the game properly.

    GTA4 is just an inefficient engine, so you can try to tone down some settings but really you'll have to down rez in order to play that.
     
  17. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I actually have a question about resolutions in gaming: I know there's the performance hit, but when I first upgraded from a 1366xwhatever to a 1920x1080 monitor, my game's didn't actually look better. The 2D elements were smaller, I could see more of those, but the 3D elements of the game were the same. In fact, the only difference I noticed was being robbed of performance for rendering a larger image that wasn't giving a lot of reasons to run that high :/

    I checked back and forth between my old monitor and my new one and I really couldn't see a difference in the games graphically. So what exactly is the reason to go with a larger resolution over a smaller one, as far as gaming is concerned?
     
  18. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Higher resolution tends to mean higher definition (pointier points, deeper textures, smaller jagged lines) or bigger real estate (e.g. getting to see more of the map in transport tycoon deluxe). However it really depends on how the game engine works if it actually produces better results.
     
  19. demonicstrife

    demonicstrife *INSERTGENERICTITLE*

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    Resolution definitely has an impact on performance. The max resolution on my laptop is 1680x1050, but I usually just drop it down to the next highest resolution, which is 1280x800 (the equivalent of 720p for a 16:10 monitor) so games will run smoother. Then I just bump up the anti-aliasing and a couple other effects and games still looks great while running great.
     
  20. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Yeah I need to run Fable at a lower 16:9 resolution since it doesn't detect/support my 1080, and it's not that much of a difference between the various resolutions for even semi-recent games (as they will scale the UI, unlike desktop things that often do UIs at a pixel-perfect level).