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Will running 2 monitors of different resolutions affect my gaming performance?

#1Grunt40Posted 1/27/2014 1:08:17 PM
Basically, I just built my new desktop, and I have my fancy 1920x1080 screen that I use for gaming and such right now, but I was wondering if I set up my old 1440x900 monitor and used it as an exclusive desktop monitor/web browsing monitor, would it affect my in game performance at all? I can't imagine it'd be too taxing on my GPU, especially since I'm not running one game on 2 monitors, but I just want to make sure.
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#2ein311Posted 1/27/2014 1:09:43 PM
It won't affect your performance in the slightest.
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#3Logical_OnePosted 1/27/2014 1:13:50 PM
As long as you EXTEND your desktop to the second screen you'll be fine (so your 1080p monitor will be your main monitor with the toolbar at the bottom or whatever toolbar you choose). If you try to duplicate the 1080p monitor on the 900p monitor then you will bring the entire resolution down to 900p on both; at least that was my experience. I had 2x1080p and 1x720p and it was problematic so I simply bought a 3rd 1080p monitor.
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#4R_BrockPosted 1/27/2014 1:18:58 PM
I often play games on my 1080p, and run Netflix on a 1680x1050. Back in the day I did 1920x1200 and 1680x1050 and it didn't seem to be a problem then either.
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#5r3sonancePosted 1/27/2014 1:36:24 PM
I recently did that with nba2k14 my main monitor was 1080p and my older other monitor was a 720p tv native resolution 1360 x 768.

Long story short I had to change both settings to 1360 x 768 so I can get no screen tearing on my tv force 1080i wasn't doing it for me.

It was a duplicate setup so my friend could have his own desk space.
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#6MarikhenPosted 1/27/2014 1:44:21 PM
If you run them off of the same graphics card it can affect game performance. More to the point there's often if not always virtually no difference between full screen and "full screen windowed" modes' performance if you have a second monitor running off of your graphics card whereas full screen mode with the second monitor disabled, or unplugged, will net a small but noticeable performance boost in comparison.

Personally, I didn't expect anything like that myself what with modern cards being so much superior to the first cards that supported multiple monitors, but when I tested it out I noticed a 3-4 FPS increase when the rendering GPU, an HD6870 in my case, was "running" only one monitor as compared to when it was running two. For the most part it's small enough to not matter significantly in terms of gameplay, and if your CPU is weak enough that it's often holding back your frame rate I sincerely doubt that limiting the rendering GPU to just one monitor will make any difference. Still, in situations like mine it's something worth noting.

Just bear in mind that my situation's a bit atypical as I've got a GTS 450 for a PPU while also being plugged into two monitors. I used to have four, but when one went down I saw no reason not to keep going with two in the GTS 450 and just run games off of the HD6870's monitor in full screen for the performance increase in some games.
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