forcing resolution change - good/bad/otherwise?
March 30, 2009 3:23 PM   Subscribe

What kind of "hardware damage" are we talking about? Netbook screen resolution question inside - please help.

I'm profoundly frustrated that I can't play Transcendence on my wonderful little Acer AspireOne. The screen res for my netbook is 1024x600 natively (800x600 is also available). This doesn't work for Transcendence. I tried doing it in -dx and /windowed modes, that didn't help.
I posted to their forums and they were almost less than useless.
I read this question and it left me with more questions.
FINALLY, I was messing around with my monitor settings. Under Advanced options in the screen Settings menu, there's a monitor tab. It contains a checkbox that says "hide modes that monitor cannot display." I unchecked it and VOILA all kinds of crazy-ass resolutions suddenly became available to me. I tried going one higher than 1024x600 (1024x768) and it worked.

However. Under the aforementioned checkbox is a dire warning that clearing that box may lead to an unusable screen and/or hardware damage.

I don't care how the screen "looks" - I just wanna play Transcendence, skewed pixels or whatever. Just need to see the buttons on the bottom of the screen.

But what kind of hardware damage are we talking about here? Am I gonna fry my little friend's monitor if I do this?

I've been struggling with this deeply personal issue for nearly four months now and I need some help. Thanks wise mefites!
posted by Baby_Balrog to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You're not going to damage an LCD by running it at a higher than supported resolution. Old, horrible CRTs would possibly face damage for running out of spec (most made in the last 10 years simply display an internal error if they're run out of spec).

Play away.
posted by Rendus at 3:29 PM on March 30, 2009

Best answer: There is no chance of hardware damage. Maybe, once upon a time, analog CRTs could be damaged by entering a weird video mode, but those days are long gone. You're safe.
(on preview, what Rendus said)
posted by zsazsa at 3:31 PM on March 30, 2009

So, now that that's taken care of, can we turn this into a question about best games to play on netbooks? I've been meaning to post a question like that, but keep getting hung up on the phrasing.
posted by box at 3:36 PM on March 30, 2009

Best answer: I tried going one higher than 1024x600 (1024x768) and it worked. [...] I've been struggling with this deeply personal issue for nearly four months now and I need some help.

It is my understanding that damage due to incorrect settings used to be an issue on older CRT monitors; if the computer commanded the monitor to flick the electron beam around faster than the monitor could support, the monitor would attempt it and break doing so.

On more modern hardware you're more likely to get your screen go blank or an 'unsupported resolution' message, than any serious damage.

Normally no-one is in a hurry to get rid of warnings like that one because, while I might have encountered 1000 monitors which don't get damaged by unsupported signals, doesn't prove there aren't monitors out there that do.

However, if you've been running at that resolution for four months with no problems, I doubt you're suddenly going to start having problems.
posted by Mike1024 at 3:41 PM on March 30, 2009

Response by poster: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY I LOVE you people.

Best games for netbooks -
ANY roguetype, especially Dwarf Fortress,
and Transcendence with forced-monitor-change-resolution-awesomeness.

Okay I'm off to fail graduate school see you all in a month or two.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:50 PM on March 30, 2009

posted by niles at 4:03 PM on March 30, 2009

Surprisingly, Warcraft III works on the netbook, though I've only tried basic campaign on the lowest display settings. You do have to go into the registry and change the resolution manually to 1024x600 though.
posted by liquoredonlife at 5:19 PM on March 30, 2009

Response by poster: Out of curiosity - how do you "go into the registry and change the resolution manually?"
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:02 PM on March 30, 2009

If it runs linux, you can set up whatever virtual resolution your video card will support in xorg.conf, and then use xrandr to "pan" in whatever slice of the virtual screen you care to look at. In fact, this is how I plug my netbook into my 24" monitor (which is teh usual use of xrandr).
posted by orthogonality at 7:16 PM on March 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Go to Start--->Run--->RegEdit. Then follow the below navigation...

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Blizzard Entertainment\Warcraft III\Video

There are two variables that you must change: resheight and reswidth.

Make sure you change the default hex value to decimal value.

reswidth = 1024
resheight = 600

You have to restart Warcraft 3 for the change to take effect.
posted by liquoredonlife at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2009

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