First up, whats the difference when running a game in full screen or borderless full screen or windowed? Some people I have talked to swear that running a game in a windowed version can deliver the best performance with their hardware.
Other people say that the pixel resolution of their game, when run in anything other than full screen, is slightly lower and therefore leaves your game looking a tiny bit blurry. So I decided to take a little look into this and give us all the chance to tell our side of this game screen debate.
We covered this windowed gaming topic a while ago and figured it was time to refresh our opinion poll and also revisit to see if the same is still true.
In fact it would seem that the Windows environment gives more hardware resources natively to anything running in full-screen, as it is deemed to be the primary operation. As such you should get more frames per second usually from a game running in full screen compared to a game running as a borderless full screen.
To help understand this a bit better. Borderless full screen is the same as running the game in a window. This is like the browser you are using right now to run this website, but the borders of the browser window are removed so your games viewing area expands to the very edges of your screen. Basically that means windowed and full screen borderless are practically the same.
This may seem obvious but it seems that if you want to run a game at your native screen resolution, lets say it is 1080p, then you would get a better FPS by selecting to run it Full Screen instead of borderless full screen.
However, if you havent got the hardware to run your game at your native screen resolution then you might choose to run it in windowed mode. This will run the game in a smaller window on your desktop. It means you keep the visual quality but can select a smaller resolution. However, you are running the game in a smaller window than your monitor screen, and that can annoy people sometimes.
Another use of borderless full screen would be if you have 2 monitors or more. You can set the game to run on one screen but your mouse would be able to move across to the other screen if you wanted to. This isnt a very pleasant experience in most games as it can be jarring if you are dropped out of your game mid play and find your mouse on another screen. But it really depends and this can suit other people who want that functionality and “freedom” as you can switch between your other windowed apps very swiftly and with nearly no delay. But your game will suffer a slight frame rate drop for this privilege.
Finally, something to consider is that those people using G-Synch or similar technology may find a different experience again as sometimes certain full screen borderless options have been disabled.
So where do you sit amongst the viewing preference when it comes to your game play habits? Are you all about full screen gaming or borderless full screen multi monitor or perhaps you like to have a handful of smaller windows always running a particular bunch of turn based strategy games, swapping from one to the other as your whim takes you? And what sort of FPS hits and boosts do you notice when you move from one game view method to the other? And what about laptop gamers out there, where do you sit with all this? Let the debate begin