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Hellbent

fast switching monitor

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I ALT-TAB between full screen games and the desktop frequently and being the impatient, instant gratification person I am, I hate waiting for the screen to switch from the game to the desktop and back again. Most monitors this is about a 2 to 4 second affair. Are there any super fast switching monitors? less than 1/2 second would just be so awesome.

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I'm confused.

You mean switching from a game with a different resolution to the desktop's one, or just switching between applications like full screen games and the desktop?

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Does that really have that much to do with the monitor? I thought that had more to do with your RAM and perhaps processor speed. It seems to take longer to do with more system-intensive programs, so I think that's the case.

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Well, if you're running anything that requires resolution switching there's an additional delay, but I never saw any monitors specifically optimized for this sort of "fast switching". Even the best CRTs could change resolution in about 0.5-1 sec (depending on whether the refresh rate changed too), for DOS programs and VGA/SVGA resolutions it could be almost instantaneous, and it's pretty fast for old CRT monitors with purely analog circuitry, up to XVGA resolutions. But for anything built after 1998 with a digital microcontroller, no chance.

TFTs are optimized to work at a fixed resolution, and generally take much longer to switch.

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I meant resolution changing. So if I ran my game at the same res as my desktop it wouldn't have the delay? thanks for the replies.

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It will have less delay if it also uses the same refresh rate (which you usually can't control), but many 3D games perform a reset of the video card anyway (Direct3D, OpenGL), so even that "trick" may bring no actual advantage.

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Hellbent said:

I meant resolution changing. So if I ran my game at the same res as my desktop it wouldn't have the delay?

Yes. In fact, that's why I try to switch all my games to the same resolution as my desktop. It's usually the first thing I change whenever I install a new program.

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Hellbent said:

I ALT-TAB between full screen games and the desktop frequently and being the impatient, instant gratification person I am, I hate waiting for the screen to switch from the game to the desktop and back again. Most monitors this is about a 2 to 4 second affair. Are there any super fast switching monitors? less than 1/2 second would just be so awesome.


Yeah I feel your pain. I try to set every game I have to the same resolution as my desktop.

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DuckReconMajor said:

It would be cool if there was a source port that had a no border window feature.


Do you mean something like this?

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Danarchy said:

Uhh, you mean like full screen?

Yes, but switching windows is instant.

Mike.Reiner said:

Yeahhh... that's basically what running the game at your monitor's native resolution will do.

Even at native resolution, I still have to wait several seconds, even longer sometimes, to switch windows.

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DuckReconMajor said:

Yes, but switching windows is instant.Even at native resolution, I still have to wait several seconds, even longer sometimes, to switch windows.

PrBoom-Plus, ZDoom, and Chocolate-Doom can alt-tab instantly with no discernible delay on my system.

If it's taking you several seconds, you either have too much crap running or your hardware isn't up to snuff.

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It also depends on the graphics adapter: certain makes just "throw a fit" if you activate/deactivate the 3D subsystem in full screen mode, causing a resolution change/reset anyway.

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My computer has two monitors; the laptop screen and an external LCD. The laptop screen switches resolutions instantly, but the external LCD takes a couple of seconds to switch. Both display the exact same screen, but one is quick to switch modes and one isn't.

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LCD displays made after say, 1995 also include internal processing for motion compensation, TN overdriving etc. and that gets fucked up pretty badly from resolution changes. Even on analog tuner TVs with an LCD screen changing channels is not instantaneous like on CRT TVs.

Yeah, it's a not often covered aspect of modern displays. Much like poor color depth and display lag (not pixel response time).

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While we're on the topic of monitors, anyone have an idea of why ZDoom/ZD/GZDoom/ST all cause my monitor to go blank for a second or two shortly after minimising or quitting them when running fullscreen mode? (and loading the game up too in the case of the GL ports)

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As far as CRT monitors go, this is a quite common behavior when switching in/out of fullscreen mode and/or resetting the graphics adapter (occurs even in DOS mode, and is more dramatic when the monitor is switching from/to high resolutions, which today means practically all the time).

The only way to speed it up is to use a very old VGA monitor without any digital PLL sync circuits (driven directly by the VGA all the times), as these don't blank the screen when in transitional mode: in that case you will see the image deform temporarily and the monitor may squeal and crackle with a very dramatic effect.

Apparently some marketing geniuses long ago decided that this looked bad and scary (and in effect, it stresses the CRT), thus all CRT monitors made after 1997 have digital circuitry that blanks the screen for a period of time, when major changes in refresh frequency and/or resolution occur. The switch is the applied gradually, rather than letting the monitor being directly latched to the VGA all the time.

TFT monitors, by their very nature, have to operate in an entirely digital and controlled manner, and some even have to cache several frames in advance, and thus will blank even for lesser reasons e.g. rapidly flashing images.

TL;DR version: you can't fix this behavior. Even when no resolution/frequency changes occur, some software will induce a raster reset anyway.

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fraggle said:

I have a compiler.


You're teasing him, and you know it ;-)

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Maes said:

As far as CRT monitors go, this is a quite common behavior when switching in/out of fullscreen mode and/or resetting the graphics adapter (occurs even in DOS mode, and is more dramatic when the monitor is switching from/to high resolutions, which today means practically all the time).

The only way to speed it up is to use a very old VGA monitor without any digital PLL sync circuits (driven directly by the VGA all the times), as these don't blank the screen when in transitional mode: in that case you will see the image deform temporarily and the monitor may squeal and crackle with a very dramatic effect.

Apparently some marketing geniuses long ago decided that this looked bad and scary (and in effect, it stresses the CRT), thus all CRT monitors made after 1997 have digital circuitry that blanks the screen for a period of time, when major changes in refresh frequency and/or resolution occur. The switch is the applied gradually, rather than letting the monitor being directly latched to the VGA all the time.

TFT monitors, by their very nature, have to operate in an entirely digital and controlled manner, and some even have to cache several frames in advance, and thus will blank even for lesser reasons e.g. rapidly flashing images.

TL;DR version: you can't fix this behavior. Even when no resolution/frequency changes occur, some software will induce a raster reset anyway.


Funnily enough I never had this on my old CRT monitor, it only started when I got this TFT monitor.

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The Ultimate DooMer said:

Funnily enough I never had this on my old CRT monitor, it only started when I got this TFT monitor.


How old was it? Pretty much anything I saw after 1997 had a digital CRT breaker - changing resolutions would effectively switch off the electron beam and only re-activate it once the resolution changed, and this took some time. Some monitors were faster than others, but it was never instantaneous.

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