Friday, September 30, 2011

Diablo 3 at 1920x1200 resolution

Up until recently I've been gaming on a 19" monitor in 1280x1024 resolution. Everything was fine and dandy and I wasn't expecting this to change, except that I became inspired by all those hi-res videos of Diablo 3's gameplay coming out of the beta and this made me crave a bigger monitor.

The truth is that I've been pining for a bigger screen for a while. At work I use a 2-screen setup and it helps a lot for coding. At home I didn't have this luxury until now.

Going with the justification that I wouldn't be using the new monitor just for gaming, I made the plunge and treated myself to a beautiful HP ZR24w monitor. Here are some quick specs: 24" diagonal, 1920x1200 resolution, S-IPS panel, 7ms response time.

It may not be the absolute best monitor for graphics or gaming but it's pretty damn good, especially for the price. Hell, I paid $350 for it (which still isn't peanuts) but I paid more than $500 for my 19" Samsung back in 2005. Technology has evolved by leaps and bounds. Besides, I trust this model, not just for the fact that it consistently gets good reviews but also because I have 2 more of them at work and a friend of mine also has one and they all run great.

While a 7ms response time is not blazing quick as far as gaming is concerned, I have played World of Tanks and watched movies on it and it performs admirably.

Now, the question is whether I'll be able to play Diablo 3 at the full 1920x1200 resolution. Actually, I can answer that partly: not quite, and that's because I like to play in windowed mode, so a few pixels will be lost from the top and bottom of the screen.

Unfortunately, though it runs any game I can throw at it at 1280x1024, my video card kind of stutters in World of Tanks at 1920x1200. My frame rate in that game drops to 15fps and sometimes even lower at that resolution. On the other hand, it performs decently at 1600x10XX.

My graphics card is a Radeon HD 4670 with 1GB DDR3. The core clock runs at 750MHz and the memory at 800MHz. As we speak I have just overclocked the memory to 910MHz so we'll see how that goes. Unfortunately the bus width is just 128bit while and it doesn't have a whole lot of Stream Processing Units and the throughput doesn't shine either compared to modern cards.

Diablo 3 will be a totally different beast than World of Tanks. It might even have better optimized graphics. For that reason, my plan is to wait for the game to be released, see how it plays at full resolution and high detail and, if it's not playable, I'll just upgrade my graphics card (the current one is 3 years old already).

It would be a shame not to be able to play Diablo 3 at 1920x1200, especially with this gorgeous screen. Traditionally I've always thought that 1280x1024 was enough for gaming but now I've seen the temptation and I can't go back.

What about you? What resolution do you plan to play Diablo 3 at?

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