Widescreen Gaming Forum

[-noun] Web community dedicated to ensuring PC games run properly on your tablet, netbook, personal computer, HDTV and multi-monitor gaming rig.
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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2009, 05:58 
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I have been using widescreen monitors for only a few months. During that time I have used two 17" laptop monitors and two Samsung widescreens. Being new to widescreens, I ran into a number of difficulties trying to play games, particularly older ones that were developed before widescreens became popular.

I think a sticky should be posted to include pointers about making basic adjustments to display properties, video-card control panels, and monitors. I have learned how to do a number of these things on my own, but it would have been more convenient and I would have learned faster if I could have read a sticky post here about making such adjustments. I have seen the list here regarding mods and patches that improve gameplay on widescreens, but I think that basic adjustments would often be enough to satisfy many gamers.

Maybe this website already has a sticky post including good coverage of these basic adjustments. In that case, please excuse me. :doh


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2009, 18:36 
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Hi there,
A summary of basic stuff could surely come in handy, but maybe getting to know what things like 'aspect ratios', 'stretch', 'pixel-based' etc. are, then trying to find the best way to run your games in the light of this knowledge and your own desires (and with the help of the MGL), is more adequate.

What sort of adjustments do you think would deserve a sticky ? Windowed mode for games, 1:1 scaling for monitors, things like that ?


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2009, 19:42 
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I might advise you check out http://www.tweakguides.com. He has a lot of guides for beginners for the nVidia and ATI control panels and Windows itself, all free. They should guude you through all the steps to setup new resolutions, adjust scaling and other such things.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 00:16 
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Thanks for the replies.

Stinging Velvet: Thanks for your link. I skimmed over some of the tweakguides, and I have added the link to My Favorites. I found the following page especially appropriate: http://www.tweakguides.com/NVFORCE_7.html Much of tweakguides is, however, extraneous information, and the information that is pertinent is sometimes not specific enough.

Scavvenjahh: You said, "... Windowed mode for games, 1:1 scaling for monitors, things like that?" Yes, that's the right idea, but more specificity would be appropriate. For example, instead of saying, "To get your old game to play well on your new widescreen, you need to use 1:1 scaling for your monitor," you should say somethiing like this:Go to NVidia Control Panel. Then go to Adjust Desktop Size and Position. Switch "Use NVidia Scaling" to "Use NVidia Scaling with fixed-aspect ratio." Unfortunately that exact advise will not work for many, maybe most, monitors, but I mention it here to give an example of what I mean by specific.

I understand that hordes of games, especially older ones, require some basic system adjustments before they can be played properly on a widescreen. But these adjustments come in patterns. Adjustments similar to the ones I have made for Heroes III and Heroes IV (see below) can be made with other games.

The sticky that I am suggesting should not try to give instructions for every game, nor for every unit of hardware. The sticky's initial post should be brief, with a few specific examples of basic adjustments. The initial post can then be followed by replies from other posters. Once a gamer has the basic idea of what he might need to do, the instructions don't need to be precisely accurate. Often all that we need is to be pointed in the right direction. Then, with our particular game and equipment, we can--hopefully--determine the precise adjustments to make.

I hope that such a sticky would save gamers from the troubles I have gone through during recent weeks, as a new user of widescreen monitors.

I had a high-end laptop with a 17" widescreen, max/native resolution 1920x1200. Using Vista 64-bit, I installed and started Heroes of Might and Magic IV without a hitch. But because of my laptop's default settings, the game played at full-screen picture. Consequently the image was distorted, and the frame rate was choppy. After some days of this unsatisfactory gameplay, I ran across information regarding "scaling." (This is where tweakguides would not have helped me, not specifically.)

I needed to do what I mentioned above as my example of specificity (that is, switch the scaling modes). It made a world of difference. Heroes IV then started up as a big square at the center of my widescreen, with black bars to the left and right. But the picture was absolutely perfect. No distortions and no blurring. This was the proper way to play the game, and the frame rate was 100%.


My laptop broke down. With my new PC (a high-end desktop with a Samsung SyncMaster 2443BWT 24" widescreen), I again had trouble getting Heroes IV to play properly. For some reason NVidia's control panel no longer allowed me to switch scaling modes. After some days of worrying about whether I would ever again be able to play Heroes IV properly, I found a way. Specifically:

System: Windows 7 64-bit, NVidia GTX 295, Samsung SyncMaster 2443BWT 24" widescreen
Game: Heroes of Might and Magic IV
Adjustments: 1. Use the monitor's control buttons to set the Image Size to "Auto." 2. Set desktop resolution to 1280x1024. 3. If the in-game resolution is set at 1280x1024, the game will now start up and play perfectly with optimal frame rate. (Ignore the black spaces to the left and right of the game screen.)

Here's another specific example:

System: Windows 7 64-bit, NVidia GTX 295, Samsung SyncMaster 2443BWT 24" widescreen
Game: Heroes of Might and Magic III
Adjustment: 1. Right-click the game icon. Click Properties. Click Compatibility. Click "Run in 640x480 screen resolution." 2. Use the monitor's control buttons to set the Image Size to "Auto." 3. The game will now look fine and play properly. (Ignore the black spaces to the left and right of the game screen.)


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 00:34 
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I would be willing to write some kind of "resolutions and you" article if it is needed. Something that explains what 16:9 is compared to others, how it compares to "HD" and console resolutions and such.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 12:51 
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We do have a tutorial section, with an index here : http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=9307

Granted, some are very much out-of-date, however you should still be able to find some helpful information for now :onethumb

I hope to do a refresh of them soon and I can assure you your suggestions are definitely taken on board! :)

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2009, 02:47 
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Joined: 05 Dec 2009, 22:30
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We do have a tutorial section, with an index here : http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=9307

Granted, some are very much out-of-date, however you should still be able to find some helpful information for now :onethumb

I hope to do a refresh of them soon and I can assure you your suggestions are definitely taken on board! :)


Yes, that tutorial is the kind of sticky I was thinking of. If I had seen it before making my original suggestion, I might not have made it. Still, the sticky tutorial has problems. Though I made only a cursory look through some of the topics, at least some of them need, as you say, refreshing. They need refreshing for Windows Vista and Windows 7. They need refreshing for new video cards and new drivers for those cards. They need refreshing for new monitors.

No one person should be expected to handle all of that refreshing, or even a sizable part of it. I think it would be best to start a new sticky. You might title it: Basic Adjustments to Make for Gaming on a Widescreen Monitor. The initial post would not need more than a half-dozen examples of basic adjustments. They could be the ones I gave above, but you would also need to include an example or two for ATI cards. That is, examples of how to make adjustments in the video card control-panel. Except that it is a few years old, you have a good ATI example at the start of the tutorial topic "How To: Game With Black Bars (non-widescreen)."

Neither the initial post, nor any replies to it, should require going into the windows register, or installing mods or patches, or calculating resolutions, or rewriting game script. The posts in this particular sticky should only be for basic adjustments that any ignorant joe like myself can do. The posts should confine their remarks to video-card control-panel adjustments, monitor-control adjustments, and adjustments in those Properties tabs you can get to by right-clicking a game's start-up icon. And I suspect there may be other such easy-to-make adjustments that I don't know of.

(I don't see why the Starforce topic is on the tutorial page that you linked me to. Starforce applies to all PC gaming, not just widescreen gaming. But since so many gamers are now using widescreen, I think it would be appropriate to reserve a sticky for Starforce all by itself. I don't think Starforce should be included on the new sticky I have suggested.)


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