Is Gaming in 960x540 possible? How is the interpolation?

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by franzerich, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    Ok, I have tested a screenshot of Rise of Tomb Raider at 960x540 and upscaled it to 1920x1080 [with and without interpolation] and must admit, the result is barely different.

    - The upscaled [non-interpolated] picture has a couple of more crisp edges and corners, but also looks more "noisy" (because of the visible pixels on every single object in the scene). But this noise is a "bad" noise, because it has nothing to do with the "fidelity" of an original FHD picture.
    - The upscaled [interpolated] picture (cubic interpolation or sinc3) has less crisp edges, but looks smoother.

    In the end both are kinda "equal" in quality. In fact I'd actually say the [interpolated] one looks more comfortable to look at (contrary to my initial assumption). My imagination was obviously wrong imagining "superior image quality" on the [non-interpolated] one.
    It's as you said: they lose so much image information, it doesn't matter if interpolated or not. By this reasoning 1280x720 must also be better than 960x540 (and it is - even if only slightly). I now understand why no one makes an attempt for integer scaling... barely worth.

    Note that I haven't tried it out by an actual game myself, but used a screenshot available in various resolutions from the internet, and upscaled the ones I wanted to compare).
    Native FHD.jpg Native FHD
    960x540 upscaled to FHD.jpg 960x540 upscaled to FHD
    960x540 upscaled to FHD non-interpolated.jpg 960x540 upscaled to FHD (non-interpolated)
    1280x720 upscaled to FHD.jpg 1280x720 upscaled to FHD

    In comparison to the screenshot in Native FHD all others are visibly worse (it should be noted, that you can hardly see the differences in the slideshow, but when you download all pictures and inspect them in native resolution you'll see the differences). The 960x540 however is not so much worse than 1280x720. Eventually if you are forced to reduce the resolution anyways, then 540p is definitely an option to consider.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  2. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Evangelist

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    It's pretty straightforward the lower the resolution the fuzzier and blurrier the image will be.
    , interpolation is irrelevant in every and all circumstances
     
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  3. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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    Bottom line is, if you have potato hardware, deal with what you're given and scale down or don't play.
     
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  4. Mr.Koala

    Mr.Koala Notebook Virtuoso

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    The Tomb Raider screenshot you used was not a good one. If you're forced to run your game at such resolution due to GPU performance limitation, chances are you can't afford any high quality AA, so we should use screenshots with no AA or cheap post-AA instead. The PR image copy you used was also delivered as a lossy JPG and likely compressed twice (there's 3rd party watermark).

    Here's a no-AA example from Destiny 2. The down sampling was always done with nearest neighbour.

    This is an extreme case full of hard edges or near vertical thin bars. In many games most scenes won't look as bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  5. pipyakas

    pipyakas Notebook Enthusiast

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    I played Dark Souls 3 and Nier Automata in 800x450 resolution on my laptop with a GT 840M gpu, and while the "blurry-pixelated mess" is quite obvious, the jump in performance worth every single time
    Of course it depends on which game/genre it is, as I played The Witcher 3 at 720p even though the performance can drops to 20fps but it's no where near unplayable

    most of the time FXAA is feasible, even on the lowest level of gpu performance, and in some games (ex Rise of the Tomb Raider) it cleans up a lot of the jaggies. Some games that include an internal resolution scaler (DOOM 2016, RainbowSIx Siege) also include great AA solution that doesnt have the same performance cost as MSAA or even SMAA while still produce acceptable IQ
    This is just something higher end gpu user could never understand the benefits, because the changes in performance at 100-200fps or 50-80fps even doesnt as effective as going between 20-50fps
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  6. hfm

    hfm Notebook Virtuoso

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    As much as we hope it would, interpolation doesn't work like that. It'll still look like a blurry mess. Same as 1080 looks on a 4K monitor.
     
  7. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Evangelist

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    Actually 1080p on a 4k monitor just looks a touch soft... Nothing like 768p on a 1080p screen.... Don't forget 1080p still has millions of pixels in the small area
     
  8. KING19

    KING19 Notebook Evangelist

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    Even i cant imagine down scaling any game on 960x540 with my 750m GPU as it would be a blurry mess with my 17" laptop with a 1080p screen. It might be less blurry if you have a 768p screen and/or smaller laptop but other than that its not worth it. Sure it could be playable but it wont be enjoyable imo
     
  9. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    That nearest_neighbour surely looks crisp. A lot of jagged edges, but definitely a clear picture. There's also a nice retro feel to it :D. This option would definitely be nice to have. Besides the 540p resolution would also be only a fourth of 1080p, and therefore allow to bump up various graphics settings in the game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  10. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Evangelist

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    wow thats rough, running at dvd quality in 2018...

    so whats the verdict, 720p or 540p which looks better? Im thinking 720p becuase its a higher resolution and has more pixels per square inch, seems like a no brainer.
     
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