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What is the difference between screen resolution and the resolution of an image? If my screen resolution is 1024 x 768, will an image of the same resolution fit absolutely perfectly on my screen?

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3 Answers 3

Yes it will if they have the same resolution. If they have smaller resolution, the picture will be blur if you make it fullscreen. If the picture have different aspect ratio, it'll be stretch when make background.

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The screen resolution concerns the number of pixels in a display (check here).

The image resolution can refer to multiple concepts, but is used to describe the image detail (check here).

If your are refering to image resolution as the image size in number of pixels, and if you're seeing the image in full screen mode, so yes, the image will fit your screen. If you're refering to image resolution as the number of pixels-pre-inch, so no, this is not true.

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Part 1: There is none. If your screen resolution is 1024x768, and the image is 1024x768, then they are a perfect match.

Part 2: Not counting menus or other things that permanently take up some of your screen, yes, if the image is the same size as your resolution, it should fit perfectly. Having said that, most "desktops" are smart enough to know that the "start menu", and its bar will take up a certain space and just overlap that area.

Part 3: This doesn't take into account using a non-optimal resolution for the display you're using. If you're using a "wide screen" (usually 16:9 or 16:10) display with a "regular" (like 1024x768, which is 4:3) resolution stretched to wide screen, the entire desktop will appear distorted, possibly including a background geared toward whatever resolution you're using.

Physical limits: Between the monitor, and the video card, there will be some maximum resolution the pair can do. If the highest resolution a monitor will support is (just for example) 1280x1024, then forcing the video card to send a higher resolution will most often get you a pretty "signal out of range" message from the monitor, and it will display nothing else until the resolution is back in its capable range. Video cards are good at polling a monitor (one of the things Plug & Play got right) to query for a capable resolution list. The OS will get this list (of which the video card might not be capable of some, if it lacks enough video memory), and should only offer resolutions that the video card and monitor are, in tandem, capable of. If the OS is picking up the wrong monitor, or the wrong video card or video card driver are used, this could limit you to less possible resolutions than the hardware is actually capable.

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so in case i am trying to display a high resolution image/video on a low resolution monitor, what will happen? will it be compressed to my screen resolution thereby sacrificing the quality of the image/video? –  Arindam Jun 27 '12 at 6:23
    
@Arindam Edited answer with more detail on physical limits. –  killermist Jun 27 '12 at 12:52

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