Full screen vs windowed

Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,033Members
alt+tabbing
I usually run games in full screen mode. However, for NS2, this makes task switching arduous. It takes a long time to task switch. So, I've gone to running a window at full resolution (so the task bar is just barely showing at the top of the ns2 window) -- which results in near instantaneous task switching.

I have a feeling that it is memory related but I don't understand why it is not happening when running at the same resolution in windowed mode.

Anyone else have issues like this? Comments?

WinXP - AMD 2.5ghz x2 - 2 GB ram - 9600GT 1 GB

Comments

  • vizioNzvizioNz InversionNS2.com Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24595Posts: 661Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    QUOTE (Racer1 @ Aug 9 2011, 10:38 AM) »
    I usually run games in full screen mode. However, for NS2, this makes task switching arduous. It takes a long time to task switch. So, I've gone to running a window at full resolution (so the task bar is just barely showing at the top of the ns2 window) -- which results in near instantaneous task switching.

    I have a feeling that it is memory related but I don't understand why it is not happening when running at the same resolution in windowed mode.

    Anyone else have issues like this? Comments?

    WinXP - AMD 2.5ghz x2 - 2 GB ram - 9600GT 1 GB

    I've never tried NS2 in windowed, but I thought running in Windowed was actually worse for FPS (I'm basing this off my experience with SC2 or STALKER).
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    This is pretty much common for many games I've played. If you want fast switching between the game/other programs, you run it in windowed mode. Also, you can use shiftwindow (http://grismar.net/shiftwindow/) to adjust the screen so it mimics a 'noborder' mode.

    QUOTE (vizionz @ Aug 9 2011, 09:50 AM) »
    I've never tried NS2 in windowed, but I thought running in Windowed was actually worse for FPS (I'm basing this off my experience with SC2 or STALKER).


    It does, but the effect seems minimal (at least for my system when I did my benchmarking).
  • Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,033Members
    ScardyBob: Ooo I like shiftwindow. Thanks for the tip.

    vizionz: I've never seen a performance drop running in a window. Perhaps when NS2 becomes less choppy, it will be noticeable.


    I can see two possible solutions that ns2 could make (both would be nice):

    1. A 3rd display option given under the video settings: "Windowed Borderless". This would be the same as windowed but not show a titlebar or border.

    2. If in full screen mode AND the game resolution is the same as the desktop resolution, do not actually change the system resolution when going to/from ns2.
  • Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,033Members
    I have determined that if you are in windowed mode AND the bottom of the NS2 window is off the screen, then you cannot scroll down while in commander mode. This is always the case when your game resolution is the same as your display resolution, since the taskbar pushes down the window at least a few pixels.

    So, the only simple workaround while in windowed mode is to select a lower resolution. More complicated workarounds would be to use shiftwindow, or possibly lower the vertical resolution by a few pixels (via config file).

    It would be nice if there was another way to do this, as setting up a 3rd party program is not something that everyone will want to do.
  • vizioNzvizioNz InversionNS2.com Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24595Posts: 661Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    QUOTE (Racer1 @ Aug 12 2011, 10:26 AM) »
    I have determined that if you are in windowed mode AND the bottom of the NS2 window is off the screen, then you cannot scroll down while in commander mode. This is always the case when your game resolution is the same as your display resolution, since the taskbar pushes down the window at least a few pixels.

    So, the only simple workaround while in windowed mode is to select a lower resolution. More complicated workarounds would be to use shiftwindow, or possibly lower the vertical resolution by a few pixels (via config file).

    It would be nice if there was another way to do this, as setting up a 3rd party program is not something that everyone will want to do.

    Games aren't meant to be played in Windowed mode, so you'll be stuck with your 3rd party programs forever my friend.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,428Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    But then again, I detest games that lack a window mode option. Especially ones that have screwy resolution settings (no 16:9/16:10)...

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  • vizioNzvizioNz InversionNS2.com Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24595Posts: 661Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    QUOTE (Kouji_San @ Aug 12 2011, 10:40 AM) »
    But then again, I detest games that lack a window mode option. Especially ones that have screwy resolution settings (no 16:9/16:10)...

    What games are you playing!? Diablo2/Myst!? lol :)
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,428Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    edited August 2011
    Nothing to lol about where old games are concerned, mostly because they are usually much better compared to the current harvest we are presented with. But yeah, I like windowed mode for a few reasons:

    • More control for when/if it crashes (Especially for the NS2 Beta powered madness) --> I've heard this on voice chat a lot: Oh now it crashes, lets hope I get conrol back of my computer (while starting at a black screen of DEWM and locked out from CTRL+ALT+DEL somehow)
    • Unloading times while closing the game
    • Alt+Tab for obvious reasons, fullscreen is as slow as the poop-deck cleaning on a pirate ship!
    • With the latest addition for some games: borderless window mode > fullscreen any time of any day
    • Multi screen icon hassle vs fullscreen at some none native res (due to performance issues)
    • Recording gameplay, monitoring mic levels, recording times and HDD/CPU time with multiple screens
    • WinSize2 or similar wins all battles vs fullscreen


    The negligible fullscreen performance gain is not worth the trouble it causes imho :)
    Post edited by Unknown User on

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  • FehaFeha Join Date: 2006-11-16 Member: 58633Posts: 914Members
    You can always see your steam chat.
    You can easily go "afk" (forums/coding) and yet see when ppl jump infront of your face because they need your attention for a short while.
    You can very easily change windows, and when you want to return, just press the game window again.
    You can watch tv, vids, streams or youtube at the same time as you play.
    I think I get a performance gain in windowed mode, but unlike most people, I set games to only take slightly more than 1/4 of the screen. So the performance gain might be because I use lower resolution in windowed than in full screen (if I would use same in fullscreen, it looks fugly).
    Fullscreen likes to move around my desktop icons, which windowed does not.
  • QuovatisQuovatis Team Inversion Join Date: 2010-01-26 Member: 70321Posts: 1,014Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    I've found alt-tabbing from full-screen mode is very quick for me and never had a problem. I suppose it's highly system-dependent.
  • vizioNzvizioNz InversionNS2.com Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24595Posts: 661Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester
    QUOTE (Quovatis @ Aug 12 2011, 12:37 PM) »
    I've found alt-tabbing from full-screen mode is very quick for me and never had a problem. I suppose it's highly system-dependent.

    It indeed is. Alt+Tabbing takes about 2-3 seconds to switch between NS2.exe and anything running on my machine. I haven't played a game in windowed mode since I was developing sprites and UI alterations for NS1. I guess it can be handle for those needing to multi-task, but I am not sure why you mention having Steam Chat up (Shift+Tab) and then mention someone needing to get your attention (Steam Chat while Alt Tabbed) lol.

    I guess everyone has their own style.
  • Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,033Members
    QUOTE (vizionz @ Aug 12 2011, 08:27 AM) »
    Games aren't meant to be played in Windowed mode, so you'll be stuck with your 3rd party programs forever my friend.


    Tell me this after running your game in windowed mode at the same resolution as your desktop, with titlebar/border removed (via a 3rd party program). Besides an inperceivable drop in performance, there are no disadvantages that I know of. Also, no matter how fast your computer is, task switching will be faster in windowed mode than full screen.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,428Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    QUOTE (vizionz @ Aug 12 2011, 05:04 PM) »
    It indeed is. Alt+Tabbing takes about 2-3 seconds to switch between NS2.exe and anything running on my machine. I haven't played a game in windowed mode since I was developing sprites and UI alterations for NS1. I guess it can be handle for those needing to multi-task, but I am not sure why you mention having Steam Chat up (Shift+Tab) and then mention someone needing to get your attention (Steam Chat while Alt Tabbed) lol.

    I guess everyone has their own style.

    Not everyone has the ingame steam thingy enabled, whenever I run Source games it tends to lock up. Well it might be more stable as of now, but that doesn't mean I'm going to enable...

    Also Source games have borderless windowmode, which negates the need for Fullscreen all together (if there was any in the first place :P)

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  • Racer1Racer1 Join Date: 2002-11-22 Member: 9615Posts: 1,033Members
    FYI I updated the NS2 options.xml file to be 1920x1074 (I have a 1920x1080 display) and it works. I can still see the very bottom of the titlebar at the top of the screen, but its not that annoying. Unfortunately, when I play the game, NS2 changes the resolution back to 640x480. So, I have to change it back every time before I play.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 11,428Forum Admins, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue mod
    Perhaps make options.xml read only? :P

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