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mstark

DPI Scaling for PE, much more important than resolution

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If they come up with an IPS-equivalent 120Hz panel, I'm game. ;)

There are overclockable ones. I have a QNIX QX2710 PLS panel that overclocks to 1440p 120Hz, unfortunately it's damaged so I'm getting a warranty replacement. The screens are a bit hit and miss though (with backlight bleed and such).

 

The Catleap 2B extreme ones are a safer buy but they are expensive.

I'll probably end up waiting until I can get a GPU with decent 4K gaming performance, but without the Titan price tag.

 

Obviously you'd also want to skip HDMI-based displays until you can get one with HDMI 2.0. You could also get a monitor that uses two dual-link DVI cables right now - I'd wait for DisplayPort 1.2 though.

You'll be fine with HDMI 1.4b and high speed HDMI cable, that's the HDMI standard introduced for 4k and it should start showing up on motherboards soon enough! It's the equivalent of the DP1.2 controller.

If you're satisfied with a 24Hz or max. 30Hz refresh rate, then yes. That's the highest you'll get from HDMI 1.4a/b though. HDMI 2.0 support is what you'd want from an HDMI-based 4K monitor.

Looks like you're right, if I understand this table correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Version_comparison

 

I was convinced 1.4b (the double link, high bandwidth version) controllers was *the* 4k HDMI standard, but that it simply hadn't made it to market yet (afaik, they haven't been included in any consumer products so far).

Yep. Same deal for the 4K TV sets out now, 1.4b support only.


Exile in Torment

 

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Out of curiosity, what about the 4k Seiki TV? http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7674736 handling 2160p at 120Hz. One of the reviews describe the TV as limited to 30Hz for monitor use, but wouldn't that be due to the HDMI controller on the motherboard/graphics card, seeing as the HDMI controller (presumably 1.4b) on the TV set itself has to be able to receive a 4k 120Hz signal? (I'm assuming there's something I simply don't understand, since I believe you that 1.4 is limited to 4k@30Hz).


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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...seeing as the HDMI controller (presumably 1.4b) on the TV set itself has to be able to receive a 4k 120Hz signal...

HDMI 1.4b adds support for 1080p at 120hz or 3D 1080p at 60hz per eye, 4k is limited to 30hz with HDMI 1.4b that the Seiki SE50UY04 uses. It's going from 2m pixels to 8m pixels, so 120 / 4 = 30.

 

4K video content at 60fps is a long way off, so if you just want a HDTV for 4k video content then it's good value. If you want a 4K desktop you'd just get multiple monitors. If you want to game in 4K you're going to have to wait for HDMI 2.0 because getting at least 60 frames per second is way more important than going from 1080p to 2160p.

 

I think if the Seiki screen supported 4k at 60hz they'd have used displayport, since they didn't I think it's almost certain that screen isn't capable of it, even if it had an interface that supported it.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot
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The limits are in the specifications and the drivers are limited to the specifications, the screens, cables, ports, and controllers are made to the specifications. There's better cables, ways to increase the signal quality, but I doubt the Seiki screen timings or PCB are capable of 4k at 60hz.

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I'd guess most of the new laptops will be Full-HD in a couple of years.

Because "Full-HD" sticker is something that'll help sell the things.

 

Most extra monitors as well, but at the rate tower-pc market is dying right now,

I wouldn't expect 4x screens to be all that common.

 

But I would almost expect everything but full-hd and 4x to disappear.

One for the "masses" and one for the ones considering themselves "pros".

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I also believe full HD will be the mainstream standard (for laptops), like the current king 1366*768, and WQHD or 4k will be the somewhat upmarket option (that £100 upgrade 1080p screens occupy at the moment when you order CTO).

 

I think, with the advent of high dpi capable operating systems and apps, the adoption of 4k for smaller devices will be much more rapid than the adoption of 1080p, though. Earlier, the only reason no one would dream of having a 11-13" 1080p laptop was that it'd be pretty much unusable in real world scenarios, whereas this next wave of devices will be more or less resolution independent due to better/automated scaling of the operating system (unless Microsoft utterly fails in their DPI scaling implementation).

 

Two of the main reasons I believe the adoption will be faster: 1. The expense of producing higher DPI screens is only marginally higher than producing a regular one, there's just never been any demand in the market until now (based on price difference when buying 720p or 1080p replacement panels straight from manufacturers on eBay). 2. Users have gotten used to looking at razor sharp (300dpi+) screens on a daily basis thanks to smartphones, and a number of tablets. Stepping it up with the laptop becomes a more natural move, as long as the operating system scales.

 

I find it quite telling that a number of manufacturers simply skip over 1080p and jump straight to WQHD (2560*1440/1600) or QHD+ (3200*1800) for 13" devices (Ativ Q, Ativ Book 9 Plus, Envy 14, UH90 Lifebook, kirabook). Yes, currently upper market, but compare that to the past 5 years, during which the only 1080p 13" laptop has been the Sony Vaio Z.

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Personally I won't buy anything unless it does 120Hz.

 

That's a little silly, the 120Hz vs say a 60Hz now won't impact a game like this. That would be great for action games. In TV's its great for Football or Basketball where there's a lot of action back and forth, but these types of games are not built that way espescially with an isometric camera so you'd be wasting money buying a screen like that if you aren't going to see the impact. Now if it's a high Res Monitor at 4k then 120 Hz makes sense because it's a much larger data stream to display.

Edited by Falkon Swiftblade

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I don't think it's silly at all. 60Hz vs 120Hz is easily noticeable. I've been a long time CRT user and only when 120Hz LCD screens came out did I get one, but I still prefer my 24" Widescreen CRT screen to my 120Hz TN panel, because of the better colors and no input lag.

 

I play competitive FPS games which is one of the main reasons I enjoy 120Hz more, but even in an RPG or an RTS (such as Dota 2), the mouse feel of 60 vs 120Hz is noticeable and so is the general smoothness. I am hoping that Project Eternity allows for framerates of 120+, but being Unity I am doubtful. I have yet to encounter a Unity game that runs well.

 

The current overclockable 1440p IPS screens that can do 120Hz are pretty nice, the one I had (qnix) that I am getting a warranty replacement for is a single input DVI-D with no scaler or OSD, so it has pretty much 0 input lag, the pixel response time is good enough to offer 120 viewable frames (Without frame skipping). The qnix/x-star have some visual side effects from overclocking but the Overlords and Catleaps are pretty flawless if you get a good panel.

 

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I'd guess most of the new laptops will be Full-HD in a couple of years.

I wouldn't expect 4x screens to be all that common.

 

I think you may be underestimating the speed at which this will change.  1080p is already standard for pretty much all laptops as of this year.  The Asus Zenbook Infinity has a display resolution of 2,560x1,440, the Chromebook Pixel 2,560×1,700 and the Samsung Ativ Book 9 3200 x 1800.  These laptops are high end this year, but the specs will be standard next year.  I think we're going to see a big change, as we did over the last 18 months in mobile phones.

 

Though I do disagree about pixel doubling - I'm working my way through the IE games (currently on the last one - IWD2) and have been playing at 720p on my 2560x1440 monitor.  It looks just as good as a 720p screen would (as it should - every pixel becomes 4 pixels on the screen - no distortion).  It doesn't look as good as running it in glorous 2560x1440, but at least I can read and use the interface.

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[...] the mouse feel of 60 vs 120Hz is noticeable and so is the general smoothness [...]

 

Do you know what the USB polling rate for your system + mouse is?

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1080p is already standard for pretty much all laptops as of this year.

No, that's not even remotely true. 1080p is premium this year. In my country they start at around $1200. 1600x900 is common starting at around $900. 1366x768 is still the most common and popular even with laptops released this year.

 

The Asus Zenbook Infinity has a display resolution of 2,560x1,440, the Chromebook Pixel 2,560×1,700 and the Samsung Ativ Book 9 3200 x 1800.

Isn't the Google Pixel the only one available to buy? It's also $1600.

 

These laptops are high end this year, but the specs will be standard next year.

 

No, they'll remain premium, I would be surprised if they even go lower than $1400.

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I would expect, now that the software side is in order, all macs to go to whatever they call "retina" resolution (not necessarily 4xHD as such)

in a pretty short time, not necessarily next year for every model, but close.

 

Having that.. does win 8 already handle different resolutions with grace?

I gather the "square blocks" new interface does, but how about the "normal" desktop? And programs?

 

Because the hyper-resolutions wont be common if 4x sceen makes Word toolbar so tiny you cant use it.

That's why 1600x1200 laptop screens were premium 10+ yrs ago, and instead of becoming a standard they just disappeared.

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MS moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis. But there is tons of programs that use Win32 or older .net componets that don't scale so well to monitors with high ppi or even high resolutions.

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Having that.. does win 8 already handle different resolutions with grace?

I gather the "square blocks" new interface does, but how about the "normal" desktop? And programs?

Desktop mode has "limited" scaling, the same scaling that Windows 7 employs. You can scale elements, but it causes fonts and graphics in most/all apps to turn blurry because they don't handle the scaling well. This is similar what happens/happened on retina MBP when it was released, it simply scaled everything by 2x and used higher resolution assets when available, eg. when apps had included them. I believe there's currently no way for x86 apps to detect what scaling Windows has been set to and load/scale assets accordingly, 8.1 should introduce this. For example, even though vector based, a 12px font won't magically be turned into a 24px font, it'll still be a 12px font scaled to twice the size unless an app supports scaling and intelligently detects this. It gets even more complicated when you start involving web browsers and their scaling behaviour.

 

Windows 8.1 is scheduled to include "enhanced DPI scaling", but few details have been released. It' probably something very similar to what the current retina MBP employs, but based on information released so far it'll allow more user customization.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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MS moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis. But there is tons of programs that use Win32 or older .net componets that don't scale so well to monitors with high ppi or even high resolutions.

 

 

XAML alone does not make anything scale better per se, it's just XML to describe a GUI, but there may be more options now with WPF than there were with Windows Forms. However, PE will most certainly not be based on any parts of the .net framework that are highly dependent on the OS, if any at all (via Mono).


Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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MS moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis. But there is tons of programs that use Win32 or older .net componets that don't scale so well to monitors with high ppi or even high resolutions.

 

 

XAML alone does not make anything scale better per se, it's just XML to describe a GUI, but there may be more options now with WPF than there were with Windows Forms. However, PE will most certainly not be based on any parts of the .net framework that are highly dependent on the OS, if any at all (via Mono).

 

 

Windows 8 uses Windows Runtime XAML Framework, which is successor to WPF. It uses XAML to define vector graphic elements that it uses as GUI objects. XAML Framework is native code framework, where WPF is based on CLR (common language runtime), so it don't need .net or mono framework to run under it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Runtime_XAML_Framework

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Do you know what the USB polling rate for your system + mouse is?

I use a Logitech G400 which by default is 1000Hz.

 

On my secondary system I have a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer v3 which defaults to 125Hz, but I use that polling rate program to overclock it to 500Hz.

 

Since I play Call of Duty 4 at top level (currently not competing because of uni though), it's pretty much a requirement to use 500Hz because in CoD4 the game has these random instances where even when you're getting 250FPS, it feels like 30FPS because of mouse jitter from 125Hz polling rate. 250 or higher fixes it.

 

There is a bug in the Windows XP usb drivers for Intel P55 and H55 chipsets (and newer models too I think) where the polling rate is completely messed up and spikes all over the place. Using Windows 7 or higher (or installing a USB PCI card or something) alleviates the problem.

Edited by Sensuki

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MS moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis. But there is tons of programs that use Win32 or older .net componets that don't scale so well to monitors with high ppi or even high resolutions.

 

 

XAML alone does not make anything scale better per se, it's just XML to describe a GUI, but there may be more options now with WPF than there were with Windows Forms. However, PE will most certainly not be based on any parts of the .net framework that are highly dependent on the OS, if any at all (via Mono).

 

 

Windows 8 uses Windows Runtime XAML Framework, which is successor to WPF. It uses XAML to define vector graphic elements that it uses as GUI objects. XAML Framework is native code framework, where WPF is based on CLR (common language runtime), so it don't need .net or mono framework to run under it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Runtime_XAML_Framework

 

Irrelevant. Why would Obsidian use the MetroWindows 8-UI-Framework for their game, restricting access to the game to, let's say, 5% of the user base? ;) You said in your first post "moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis" - all I wanted to say was:

 

1. scaling capability is not an inherent benefit of using XAML to describe a UI. [edit]I don't mean to imply that you directly said this - I merely want to point that out.

 

2. Obsidian will very likely not use XAML to create P:E's UI because the available technologies to interpret this are too dependent on the OS.

Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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MS moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis. But there is tons of programs that use Win32 or older .net componets that don't scale so well to monitors with high ppi or even high resolutions.

 

 

XAML alone does not make anything scale better per se, it's just XML to describe a GUI, but there may be more options now with WPF than there were with Windows Forms. However, PE will most certainly not be based on any parts of the .net framework that are highly dependent on the OS, if any at all (via Mono).

 

 

Windows 8 uses Windows Runtime XAML Framework, which is successor to WPF. It uses XAML to define vector graphic elements that it uses as GUI objects. XAML Framework is native code framework, where WPF is based on CLR (common language runtime), so it don't need .net or mono framework to run under it.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Runtime_XAML_Framework

 

Irrelevant. Why would Obsidian use the MetroWindows 8-UI-Framework for their game, restricting access to the game to, let's say, 5% of the user base? ;) You said in your first post "moved to use XAML in all their new UI componets, those scale perfectly well to all resolutions and high ppis" - all I wanted to say was:

 

1. scaling capability is not an inherent benefit of using XAML to describe a UI. [edit]I don't mean to imply that you directly said this - I merely want to point that out.

 

2. Obsidian will very likely not use XAML to create P:E's UI because the available technologies to interpret this are too dependent on the OS.

 

 

My orginal message was answer to question "Having that.. does win 8 already handle different resolutions with grace?" and had nothing to do with PE.

 

Ans second message was to clarify to you what was the framework that I was refering in my first message and again I did not speak anything about PE.

 

To speak about PE, if PE uses any GUI components it probably uses those that unity offers as it's the engine and development enviroment that PE uses, because there should not be need to outside libraries for GUI in unity.

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My orginal message was answer to question "Having that.. does win 8 already handle different resolutions with grace?" and had nothing to do with PE.

 

Ans second message was to clarify to you what was the framework that I was refering in my first message and again I did not speak anything about PE.

 

:blush: Sorry for putting it into a wrong context. My bad, should have read the previous post more attentively.


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Interesting Info:

 

Pixel density of screens that Infinity Engine was officially designed for:

75dpi (1024*768 on a 17" CRT). 

 

Pixel density of screens where Infinity Engine games start being unplayable without mods due to small text & ant-farm miniature feel:

91dpi (1920*1080 on a 24" LCD). 21% higher than the game was designed for. This means fonts and characters appear 21% smaller than intended on these monitors.

 

Highest pixel density officially confirmed by devs that Project Eternity will be designed for:

108dpi (2560*1440 on a 27" LCD, the dev's largest "target resolution").

 

Pixel density on the next generation of computer monitors:

140dpi (3840*2160 on a 31.5" LCD). 29% higher than what the game was designed for. This means that fonts and characters appear 29% smaller than intended on these monitors.

 

Pixel density on the next generation of laptop screens:

180dpi+

 

Conclusion:

Project Eternity will be largely unplayable on "standard sized" 4k screens without mods, and a large percentage of recently released laptops.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

Windows 8.1 will automatically detect the DPI of the screen(s) it's being used on, and offer ways for software to access the information from applications. This means that apps can scale their font and UI sizes automatically, by looking at the setting in Windows.

 

So, if you're using Windows on a 3200px x 1800px 13" monitor, Windows 8.1 will default to scaling UI & text to 200%, and an application could access this information and scale its UI & text accordingly.

 

The first "new-gen" 31.5" 4k pro monitor is finally available from Asus, with Sharp's and Samsungs' offerings close in tow (Samsung will be showing off their 4k monitor at IFA, early September!):

 

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DJ4BIKA/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d7_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0Y9PQ3TRXAWX0VZ6T4GZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00EC82URC/ref=s9_simh_gw_p147_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1D7S6CKV6E05RRMNF855&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=418448307&pf_rd_i=468294

 

Can't wait for the price point to drop on these beauties (it probably will once a consumer edition e-IPS/ah-IPS/PLS version is released).

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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You can scale, so 1080p render looks exactly the same on a 3840*2160 display as it would on a 1920x1080 display. It would be better if fonts were rendered at the higher DPI like in WIndows 8.1 and any vector UI elements, but it's probably complicated because the game assets and renderer are limited.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot

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I like to play games in the "size" they were meant to be played - which means that if a game was optimized for a resolution of 800x600 pixels, then I rather stretch it and get a blurry or pixelized image than making everything super tiny.

So that's what I actually care about - when will the blurriness become noticable. And I'm not too worried about that. Many of the finer details in the game will actually be 3D or particle effects that will hopefully scale properly. If it's only the background that gets a little blurry while texts, 3D models and so on stay sharp, I'll be okay.

 

But in any case, since mstark mentioned the PPI values for future monitors: I was wondering what the maximum PPI value is that a normal monitor needs.

According to Wikipedia, the human eye has an angular resolution of 1' (one arc minute or one 60th of a degree). This means that in average conditions, two dots can be seen separately if there is an angle of 2' between them. This means that you can't see them separately if they are at an angle of 1.5' from each other.

 

Now I'm sitting at least 30 inches away from my monitor. If d is the distance between the two dots, x is my distance from the monitor and a is the angle, then we have the relation

d = x * tan(a),

which can be simplified for small angles to

d = x a.

The PPI can then be calculated by dividing 2 by d:

PPI = 2 / d = 2 / (x a) = 2 / (30" * 1.5 * 1/60 * 1/360 * 2 pi) = 150 pixels/inch (rounded)

 

The same calculation yields a distance of 13" to 14" between your eyes and your iPhone Retina display with 326 PPI that you have to keep so that your eyes can't see the pixels. Usually, you don't get much closer than that, so the calculation is good.

 

So that actually means I'll never need a monitor with more than 150 PPI.  :blink: (And this is the conservative estimate. If I try to be more precise and use a distance of 35" between me and the monitor I get 130 PPI as a result.)

Which is, of course, still a lot more than the measly 90 PPI I have right now. But the point remains - if the upscaling happens in an interval that you can't actually notice with your eyes, then it doesn't matter.

 

 

 

By the way, 2560 pixels on a 24" monitor are actually 120 PPI. That's why I don't like the PPI value, it's very tricky. What you just did was to claim that next-gen monitors would have to upscale the game by 29%, when in reality it's only 15% when you compare monitors of equal size.

Not to mention that current Macbooks have a resolution of 2560 horizontal pixels, just like the game, at a screen size of 13", which translates to a PPI of 227. That's plenty.

 

TL;DR:

1) Things won't be tiny if you upscale them, as intended.

2) Desktop monitors only need 150 PPI at most.

3) Your numbers and comparisons are wrong, because PPI is a bad unit if you use different monitor sizes.

Edited by Fearabbit

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Gaah, I don't understand the purpose of this thread! Some people prefer nearest neighbour because things remain crisp, others don't like watching at Lego and prefer some decent interpolation. So when some day the game is released for higher resolution screens, you want an option to use nearest neighbour. Sounds reasonable. Either way, I pretty much expect this game to have a zoom function much like the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions. That would make the whole discussion pretty much a moot point.

 

You also argue for providing the 2D backgrounds/textures in as high a resolution as possible. Can't argue with that, other than that it seems to be already challenging to handle these huge textures.

 

Lastly, "dpi scaling" is a very odd word. Do web developers really use that? The moment I got a 15" 1080p laptop a couple of years ago, I started putting high resolution images on web sites and had the browser downscale them. People with a slow connection probably hated me for it. Either way, it didn't occur to me to invent a fancy name for that. These days, I'm using ctrl+mouse wheel in my browser all the time which means that the scaling factors will be all over the place and I'm pretty damn happy all modern browsers use some form of interpolation, not nearest neighbour as they did back in the days. Only wish the SVG support would get anywhere. Half the images on the web were vector graphics to begin with. Rendering them as PNG just to then start getting into all kinds of trouble with scaling them is really dumb. Sorry for the digression.

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