ATI vs NVIDIA on widscreen displays, panning

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by urikkiru, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. urikkiru

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    Widescreen laptop displays seem to be more common these days(I own one). Parallel to this, ATI also apparently holds the leading place in performance for mobile graphics chipsets. However, there is a slight problem that Nvidia solves effortlessly, and ATI seems to ignore.

    Panning. Older games, and still a lot of newer ones are incapable of playing in any other aspect ratio then 4:3(approx.) So, in order to display on LCD screens, these lower resolution games get their images stretched to fit the entire LCD screen(If that option is enabled). In a widescreen display, obviously this will change the aspect ratio to 16:9, making things look... odd :) This can be annoying as heck when playing older games.

    Nvidia solves this problem by simply offering the option to keep the aspect ratio when this stretching is enabled. ATI, seems not to. There are rare reports of people seeing this option in ATI drivers, however it is not universal. Most people I have talked to or seen talk about this issue state they do not have this option in their display properties, regardless of driver version/revision.

    It seems an odd omission on ATI's part, do you not think? I know if was purchasing a widscreen LCD laptop again, I'd have chosen an nvidia chipset. Sure, it'll be slower then the ATI, but at least alot of games I have would be playing in the correct aspect ratio.

    Just my 2 coppers.
     
  2. MuFu

    MuFu Chief Spastic Baboon
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    First I've heard of this. I'm not sure how it can be accomplished if the game doesn't support a (square-pixeled) w/s field of view.

    Unless you mean nV offer an option to "zoom" in on a 4:3 aspect image, cropping it at the top and bottom. That would be weird though. :?

    Edit - ah, I misunderstood. You mean scale the vertical resolution of old games up to the full capability of the screen and then game with black bars down either side, right? Not sure how that's at all relevant to newer games that only support a 4:3 aspect though.
     
  3. PatrickL

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    I think your advice has not even 1 copper value. Because if you buy a laptop with a slow performer chipset you will get stuck with it while a driver change can always gives more options.
     
  4. urikkiru

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    Yes, the screen gets zoomed, while not filling the screen quite entirely, keeping the 4:3 aspect. Much nicer for games. To get an idea of what this looks like, grab a 1680x1050 desktop, and put a 1400x1050 window on it. Now imagine that window is your game. That's what it looks like properly resized, while keeping the aspect ratio.

    PatrickL: whether or not the advice is good is a matter of opinion. I have a radeon9700 mobility. While it's quite nice, I would give up some clock speed to be able to play a lot of games at a proper aspect ratio again on my laptop. To be honest, I have more older games I play far more often, then I do newer ones.

     
  5. jvd

    jvd
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    have you tried hydra vision ?
     
  6. urikkiru

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    Hrm... hydra vision is not a program I'm deeply familiar with. I know it's for handling multiple desktops, similar to how X windowing systems do it, but when I looked at it quickly, I didn't see any option that would handle the problem I'm describing. I could be wrong of course, and if you know way to do it I would be ecstatic! Does it offer the ability to set your desktop to a specific size/res, that can't be overrided? That would be sweet :)
     
  7. jvd

    jvd
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    actually i don't use it . I was just sugesting it :)
     
  8. T2k

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    I don't really get it - what's your pain actually?

    I have widescreen CRT since years and most of the games are working just fine. If you need help, go to http://www.widescreengamingforum.com and ask for it...
     
  9. urikkiru

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    Erm, the problem is that games on the ati chips get stretched out to the widescreen aspect ratio? And the image looks compressed vertically that way? Kind of annoying to play older games, and have normally tall people look like midgets?
     
  10. L233

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    Interesting... it must be even worse with these new panels using really weird resolutions like 1280x800.
     
  11. T2k

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    :lol:

    really weird resolutions like 1280x800.

    That's a standard 16:9 ratio resolution pal. :wink:
     
  12. anaqer

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    Wouldn't that be 1280 x 720, pal...? :?:
     
  13. L233

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    Yeah but some games don't even support 1280x1024, much less the rather new 1280x800 resolution (which is 16:10 btw).

    I've been looking into buying a notebook with a 16:10 panel and it now seems like ATI chips aren't really viable for taht :cry: That narrows down the number of interesting products quite significantly.

    I'm confused though. ATI has been the leader in notebook graphics for a long time, how could they possibly fuck up so badly?
     
  14. T2k

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    No, it wouldn't - that'd be 16:9.

    PS: Ah, I see now - of course, 1280x800 is standard 16:10, sorry for the typo. :D
    BTW most of the monitors has 16:10 by default.
     
  15. T2k

    T2k
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    :) I meant the same of course. :)

    Honestly right now I can't recall any other ratio on wide notebooks than 16:10... :?:

    :?: Where's the fuck-up here? :?:
     
  16. anaqer

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    Ah, I see. Any particular reason for not going with the "real" widescreen aspect ratio though?
    Or did those wacky FPD folks just want to outdo themselves after making 1280x1024 a standard?
     
  17. T2k

    T2k
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    Uhumm... what is "real"? ;)
     
  18. anaqer

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  19. AndY1

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    What are you on about?

    Display Properties: Settings: Advanced: Displays: Panel Properties.

    There it is.. the option to keep the aspect ratio or to stretch to 16:9.
     
  20. urikkiru

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    Right, what I'm trying to tell you, is a significant number of people don't have that option in their display properties. Me included. Chalk it up to laptop chips, odd drivers, firmware differences, who knows. Regardless, it's a problem for many people with widescreen displays.

    EDIT: And different driver version doesn't seem to make a difference? Odd that.
     
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