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Is screen resolution, a hardware or software ?

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manishrathi

Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Screen resolution is measured in dpi of the screen. So I believe its a part of hardware. But if its a part of hardware, then it shd be a permanent feature, which can not be changed.
We can change the screen resolution from display properties. If its a hardware feature, how is that possible ? Is it a software feature ?
Pls explain how does this mechanism of screen resolution work.

thanks
 

jgv115

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Location
Australia
screen resolution depends on the monitor.

You can have a 19inch 1280x1040 and a 17inch 1280x1040.

You can't run at a higher resolution than the monitor's native.

This is all I know about screen resolutions.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
If you've found a 1280x1040 monitor, you're not living the same universe as the rest of us :)

I'm not sure whether CRTs operate the same way as an LCD, but for an LCD, it has a set number of pixels, and any resolution smaller than "native" will either be displayed only in the center of the screen with surrounding pixels blank, or scaled up (usually via the graphics driver) to take up as much of the screen as possible by making each pixel in the original image use more than one pixel.
 

tinymouse2

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Location
Surrey, England
A monitor is a peripheral.

Inside the monitor you have certain components each of which are pieces of hardware. The software is the way the pixels change to a different colour.

The LCD display itself is a piece of Hardware that's utilized by software to create an image you see.

Hopefully this answers your question.
 
OP
M

manishrathi

Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
My monitor resolution is set as 1280x800. Is it possible that different size monitor can have same resolution ? If yes, how is that possible ?
When we say 1280x800 resolution, in how much space, do these pixels have to fit ?
I am still confused with the measuring of resolution by pixels

thanks
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Both my computers have 1280x1024 monitors, one 16" CRT and one 17" LCD.
I may fix this with christmas money.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
if a engine can make 500HP, how can it be lower then 500HP at times?

that is basically the same question your asking...
 

Tserrof

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
UVic
My monitor resolution is set as 1280x800. Is it possible that different size monitor can have same resolution ? If yes, how is that possible ?
When we say 1280x800 resolution, in how much space, do these pixels have to fit ?
I am still confused with the measuring of resolution by pixels

both a 15 inch monitor and a 13 inch monitor can have this same resolution because the 15 inch monitor has bigger pixels. so same number of pixels except each one is larger. hence the whole display is larger. :)
 

Ecel

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Regarding running at a monitor's native resolution, I'm using two monitors at 1920x1080 and 1680x1050. When fiddling with the Settings, I can set my resolution to 2048x1536 and 1920x1200. By doing this though, it makes my desktop scrollable in a sense. I changed my graphics card recently and that caused the change, always wondered how this worked.
 

BioTuned

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Location
Brookfield, Ohio
Screen resolution is dictated by the monitor's capabilities. For-example if a monitor supports a resolution of 17" 1280x800, think of those numbers a horizontal and vertical lines. Now, those lines can be both drawn with a very thin pencil or a think marker. If you were to use a thin pencil to draw those lines, it would take up less space, hence make the size of the monitor small, if the lines were drawn with a think marker, it would take up a lot of space, hence the size of the monitor would be bigger. It is possible for a smaller size monitor and larger size monitor to support the same resolution. Most common example are the HDTV's with either 1080p or 720p resolution. However, the lines are actually pixels. and thickness and thinness of the lines are size of the pixels.

As per your original question, screen resolution is both hardware and software, your graphic card or onboard graphic processor will size up the resolution to what is supported by the monitor, but graphic card resolution support is not universal, some graphic cards will be able to support higher resolution, some will not, and same with the LCDs monitors. Setting the resolution outside of the monitors recommended resolution will distort the output picture or create a scroll effect.
 

jgv115

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Location
Australia
I have been using 1240x1080 for all my life. (I am really really young though... you'll never guess).

And yes, it is definitely possible for different screen sizes to run at same res.

My friend has a 19inch 1280x1040 and it looks very bad because the pixels are having to be stretched across the screen.
 

tinymouse2

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Location
Surrey, England
I have been using 1240x1080 for all my life. (I am really really young though... you'll never guess).

And yes, it is definitely possible for different screen sizes to run at same res.

My friend has a 19inch 1280x1040 and it looks very bad because the pixels are having to be stretched across the screen.

Are you sure? That sounds like an impossible resolution to me... Do you mean 1280x1024? That's a pretty standard resolution for a 17 and 19" monitor.
 

Stratus_ss

Overclockix Snake Charming Senior, Alt OS Content
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Location
Ontario Canada
I will try and sum up what others have said:

Resolution depends on 2 things:
1) the ability of the monitor
2) the ability of the graphics card

For example a graphics card may (as my 7900gs) have a maximum capability of 1440X900. So if I plug this into a monitor that is capable of 1080p (1920X1200), I still can only get a resolution of 1440.

Conversely, a card can support higher the 2K resolution but the monitor goes up to 1600x1200. Setting the resolution higher then the monitor can handle will either cause the monitor to go "out of range" or it will produced the "Scrolling" effect mentioned here (the desktop becomes larger then the screen can display)
 

tinymouse2

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Location
Surrey, England
For example a graphics card may (as my 7900gs) have a maximum capability of 1440X900. So if I plug this into a monitor that is capable of 1080p (1920X1200), I still can only get a resolution of 1440.

That's not right... My 7900gs had the standard 2560x1600 max resolution. My older FX5200 also had 2560x1600 max res. Something's wrong with your GPU if that's really the max you can get.
 

BioTuned

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Location
Brookfield, Ohio
For example a graphics card may (as my 7900gs) have a maximum capability of 1440X900. So if I plug this into a monitor that is capable of 1080p (1920X1200), I still can only get a resolution of 1440.

Are you using the max resolution from your windows display setting? Windows will set the max to which the monitor is capable of. Most of the cards, low-end to high-end, are capable of much much higher resolution then that. Even if you card supported maximum of 1440x900, you won't be able to project at 1080p. 1080p is the number horizontal pixels across the screen, and "your card" only supports up to 900.
 

scoobydoo

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Both

The monitor(hardware) will display any resolution up to its max and you use software to choose the resolution you want. The software is limited by the hardware you are using.

There are 3 basic screen sizes 4:3, 16:9, 16:10. Take your resoluition and divide it down. If that number doesn't equal one of those 3 and that is the size monitor you have then you are either stretching or compressing the image.

Fwiw 1080p is 1920x1080, not 1920x1200, that's 1200p;)

1920x1200 is the 16:10 res, 1920x1080 is the 16:9 res
 
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Murdochs_mad

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Jan 28, 2005
Location
Cornwall
LCD (plasma) displays have a set number of pixels (native resolution), say for a 19" (wide) 1440(h)x900(v) that is the display's hardware configuration. Your graphics card can send it any resolution the card is capable of generating but sending it anything other than its native resolution will result in the display scaling the image and it won't look pretty plus anything that the display cannot display will probably result in an "out of range, not supported" message on the display. CRT displays have the same limitations of max supported resolution but do not have the same distortions when not using the displays native resolution being analog they scale the resolution better. To answer your question a monitor/display has a hardware specification that it is built to, your graphics card also has a hardware spec that it must stick to but certain settings i.e. resolution are controlled by software, basically your graphics cards resolution is controlled by software, which the hardware in the card sends to the display/monitor which uses its hardware to display the image, for all intents the display is dumb and using the data it is provided with uses its hardware to create an image, obviously nowadays displays are a bit more intelitgent and communicate data like capabilities to the host machine.