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I have an NVIDIA 130M card on my laptop, and with a typical widescreen monitor. I play a few games on my laptop, and some of them run in a non-widescreen resolution, such as 800x600 for example.

My graphics card has an option to allow the display to stretch the game's resolution if it's in full screen to widescreen. Now, it looks fine and runs fine, seemingly no frames are lost and it looks as if the game ran in widescreen natively (albeit slightly blurry, but it doesn't detract from the quality).

My question is, does this cost extra processing power, or generate more heat, or put strain on the graphics card? Will playing in this manner cause any ill effects to my machine?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If possible, you should always run a game on the native resolution of a monitor (assuming it's an LCD of some kind, which your laptop is) as it will look "best".

That being said, there is absolutely no penalty, performance, heat, or otherwise for turning this option on. If it looks fine to you (I think it would drive me crazy), go ahead and do it.

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I agree with this answer. +1 –  Ricket Jul 8 '10 at 22:57
    
I almost want to tell him "Yes! It will fry your PC!" Just so he doesn't play it blurred and stretched... –  MGOwen Feb 5 '13 at 3:40
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Can't see why it would cause problems. It's trivial for the hardware to do, and most of the heat from the graphics card comes from the rendering stages and not the actual output stage anyway. Blurry is the only side effect (though for a lot of people, it's an important side effect; PC gamers are often addicted to their super high resolution screens, witness Crysis…)

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I agree that blurry is an awful effect. Personally I'd rather run the game in its native resolution with the left and right black borders. –  Zan Lynx May 16 '11 at 19:57
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