Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling Enhancements

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Gavin Gear, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, has posted an article on the new DPI scaling enhancements in Windows 8.1 over on the Extreme Windows Blog. Thanks to Gary V. for the link!

While high-resolution displays are amazing they also present some practical challenges. When you increase resolution you inherently decrease the size of each pixel (assuming same display size). By decreasing the size of each pixel the content shown on the display appears smaller. When display Dots-Per-Inch (DPI) gets sufficiently dense this “shrinking effect” can make content hard to see and UI targets difficult to click/tap.
 

stealthy123

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are they just now aware of this?

I remember running a 1600x1200 display years ago and being moderately peeved that running natively made everything smaller.

Why hasn't this been a priority for the last decade?
 

Megalith

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I'm not going to read all of that because there's only one thing I want to know. Are legacy apps still going to look like crap when scaled up?
 

sfsuphysics

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are they just now aware of this?

I remember running a 1600x1200 display years ago and being moderately peeved that running natively made everything smaller.

Why hasn't this been a priority for the last decade?
Yeah no shit, I was OK for the longest time that my 19" monitor (4:3) ran in 1024 x 768 resolution. Upside is games ran faster too :D
 

g1tigi

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still, my ideal solution would be scaling based upon pixel pitch, which would obviously require specific hardware information, but then allow for the exact same scale across any given combination of potentially different multi-monitor setups.
 

antdude

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Yeah no shit, I was OK for the longest time that my 19" monitor (4:3) ran in 1024 x 768 resolution. Upside is games ran faster too :D
Wow, my 19" 4:3 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF can do 1280x1024 resolution, and I am still using it! I agree on the game FPS, but newer games don't do well with my old machine and video card. :(
 

MRAB54

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This may be the feature that makes me upgrade. DPI scaling on Windows 7 is horrendous at times. I'd be very interested in any improvements.
 

elzeus

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Would this in any way fix metro apps looking shitty on monitors in portrait mode?
 

funkydmunky

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Wow, my 19" 4:3 Samsung SyncMaster 931BF can do 1280x1024 resolution, and I am still using it! I agree on the game FPS, but newer games don't do well with my old machine and video card. :(
I hear you but like sfsuphysics, I found 1024 res was the best image in regard to scaling. The desktop just looked right on 98. Bump to 1280 4:3, and things just got small. Plus at 1024 most of our 19" CRT's could push 85Hrz. This would drop to 75/70 or God forbid 60 at 1280! Hrz over rez any day. Old skool rules ;)
 

Devistater

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All they are doing is adding an extra 200% DPI increase option, previously they offered 150%. The entire article is bragging about them adding an extra 50% to that option.

Yawn.

Plus that stuff has NEVER worked right. No one programs properly for it, INCLUDING MS THEMSELVES. Try cranking up the DPI sometime. It screws up all sorts of things, including dialog boxes and displays, and thats just in MS office and windows. Start running 3rd party apps or browsers and it just gets crazier.
 

Tawnos

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All they are doing is adding an extra 200% DPI increase option, previously they offered 150%. The entire article is bragging about them adding an extra 50% to that option.
Not quite. Adding an additional DPI scaling step is only part of what the article covers. Gavin also mentions custom DPI app scaling and separate DPI per monitor.

Also (totally OT), if you're into reloading, Gavin's site is awesome: http://ultimatereloader.com/
 

BBA

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This is why I went with a 28" that only does 1920x1200, the DPI is good enough I don't need to scale. I guess I am spoiled?
 

heatlesssun

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I'm not going to read all of that because there's only one thing I want to know. Are legacy apps still going to look like crap when scaled up?
Part of the point of this is to help prevent that. With the independent monitor scaling you can have higher scaling factors on higher DPI screens and lower scaling factors on lower DPI screens simultaneously.
 

G0M3S

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This is why I went with a 28" that only does 1920x1200, the DPI is good enough I don't need to scale. I guess I am spoiled?
I got my 27" at 2560x1440 for the exact opposite reason. Maybe it's because my eyesight is really good, but I LOVE the high pixel pitch with no scaling at all, it gives me so much space for activities.

Granted ended up getting a GTX 690 just to drive the damn thing, but I love it.
 

BBA

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I got my 27" at 2560x1440 for the exact opposite reason. Maybe it's because my eyesight is really good, but I LOVE the high pixel pitch with no scaling at all, it gives me so much space for activities.

Granted ended up getting a GTX 690 just to drive the damn thing, but I love it.
I have a friend with 4 of the 30" Dell monitors, 25xx by 16xx each, the dot pitch on those is way too small for my eyes, but ten years ago it would have been different, as I was running 2048x1536 on a 19" CRT with no issues. Now I have to use reading glasses (thanks to age related presbyopia).
 

BBA

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Well, maybe the 19" at high res was more like 15 years ago...
 

Bladestorm

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I got my 27" at 2560x1440 for the exact opposite reason. Maybe it's because my eyesight is really good, but I LOVE the high pixel pitch with no scaling at all, it gives me so much space for activities.

Granted ended up getting a GTX 690 just to drive the damn thing, but I love it.


Sorry, had to do it.

I agree though, love my 2560x1440.
 

wjogert

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Hmmm. My HTPC with Win8, running on a 720p television, won't let me open any of the Metro apps.
It always says the resolution is too low to run this app, and requests that I increase the resolution.

Wonder if this will address that issue too?
 

ICOM

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At what point does Microsoft realize that they've got a stinking pile of trash on their hands with W8 and decide to cut the strings?
 

Topweasel

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At what point does Microsoft realize that they've got a stinking pile of trash on their hands with W8 and decide to cut the strings?
This has little to with Windows 8 and more to do with general Windows usage. They probably try to fit a solution into Windows 8, as it more needed for switching between start screen and desktop mode. But has been a problem since variable screen resolutions have existed.
 

Unknown-One

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All they are doing is adding an extra 200% DPI increase option, previously they offered 150%. The entire article is bragging about them adding an extra 50% to that option.

Yawn.
Might want to go back and look again, because you missed a pretty major feature here.

You can set a different scaling factor on each individual screen. That means you can now have two or more screens with vastly different DPI ratings without having to choose a single DPI scaling value to apply to all of them.

At what point does Microsoft realize that they've got a stinking pile of trash on their hands with W8 and decide to cut the strings?
Erm... you realize this is an additional feature exclusively for the desktop side of things, right? Metro applications are already DPI aware.
 
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