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I have recently replaced my monitor setup, I used to have a setup of 1x 24" and 1x 17", but now I have 3x 27" 2560x1440 monitors. On the old setup, I ran games at 1920x1200 in borderless window / fullscreen windowed mode. This allowed for easy (&fast!) multitasking between game and desktop.

However with this new setup, to run fullscreen windowed, I'd be forced to run the games at 2560x1440 resolution, and that takes a major toll on the FPS. I'd like to run games in windowed mode (non-fullscreen) at 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 with black borders surrounding the non-gaming area to improve performance (i.e. same way fullscreen with lower resolution works on many monitors, but without the alt-tab delay which happens when changing resolution between desktop and game).

Running games in windowed mode is technically not a problem, the problem is that whatever is behind the game (i.e. my desktop/applications running in the background) is somewhat distracting me from the game.

TL;DR: Is there a good way to run games in windowed mode at resolutions less than a monitors maximum resolution, with black borders automatically applied?

I'm using Windows 7.

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You could try running the game in borderless window mode at the desired resolution, and just setting your desktop wallpaper to black and keeping nothing else on that monitor to "simulate" the experience you're going for. –  StrixVaria Dec 31 '12 at 16:07
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2 Answers

To answer your question: no. Not a "good" way. Borderless mode, or Fullscreen Windowed mode as you call it, will fun the game as "fullscreen", though as a borderless window application. said window is not re-sizable. An adequate solution would be to open a completely black picture to have underneath a regularly windowed game, and set the resolution on said game lower. You will have the border from the game, and you'll have to open a picture every time you wanna game though (plus, it's another thing to have to keep in front of your browser and such after browsing something). Personally, I have yet to play a game that allows resizing of the rendered area in the game window at all, much less re-sizable borderless windows.

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Black borders will not be applied automatically (excepting perhaps some weird, game-specific support, but don't count on that). The closest thing if your graphics card or monitor support it is to run the game monitor at 1920x1080 and tell it to use black bars instead of stretching to fit the video feed to the display size. You'll just have to change the size back and forth each time.


You can use an auto-hotkey script to size and position game windows running in windowed borderless mode, and then try to find another program which will function as basically a giant black box that covers the desktop. This should also get you pretty close to what you want.

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