What is the discernible difference while playing games and watching movies on a 720p laptop vs a 1080p laptop?

Aditya_26

Commendable
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
1,510
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I use my laptop primarily to watch movies and I would also like to play recent game titles on it. I currently use a Macbook from 2013, but it is in bad condition and the repair costs are so ridiculously high that they approach the cost of a mid- spec Windows laptop.The added advantage of games is a big bonus, but I will mainly use my laptop to watch movies and shows, write documents and presentations, perhaps record some music (the Macbook comes with many easy- to use apps for personal productivity but I am sure Windows laptops have options too; help appreciated). I would like my movies and shows and games to be sharp and detailed, but if there is a massive difference between 720p and 1080p then I would rather save up and increase my budget.http://www.amazon.in/HP-Pavilion-15-ab522TX-15-6-inch-Graphics/dp/B017VPMJAA/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1465980653&sr=1-1 this is what I'm looking at currently. (if anyone can spot a laptop with a SSD for around the same or slightly higher price I would appreciate it; laptops in India are quite expensive, 1 USD= 64 Rupees.)
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
What is your budget?

If you have a low budget, then the following 15" Acer Aspire laptop should fit your needs. For $550 you get a Core i5-6200, nVidia 940mx, and a 256GB SSD with a backlit keyboard. I highly doubt that laptop can last 12 hours on a single battery charge with "typical" usage. I would peg battery life to be closer to 6 hours at most.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-NVIDIA-Windows-E5-575G-53VG/dp/B01DT4A2R4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466692339&sr=8-1&keywords=acer+940mx


For $775 / $799 you get a Dell Inspiron 15 which has a quad core i5-6300HQ and a nVidia GTX 960m graphics chip which most people would consider to be minimum for playing games at 1080p resolution. The cheaper one has a 256GB SSD, while the more expensive one has a 1TB hard drive and a 8GB SSD cache.


https://www.amazon.com/Dell-15-6-Inch-Quad-Core-i5-6300HQ-Processor/dp/B015PYYDMQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466694847&sr=8-1&keywords=dell+inspiron+i5+7559

https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i7559-12623RED-Generation-GeForce/dp/B015PYZ186/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466694847&sr=8-2&keywords=dell+inspiron+i5+7559


For $1,250 you can get the Dell XPS 15 it is similar to the Dell Inspiron 15 in specs, but built with better quality parts. It's InfinityDisplay means there is a thin bezel surrounding the 15.6" screen making this laptop similar to the size of a typical 14" laptop. This price include a 1TB hard drive and 32GB SSD cache. It also uses DDR4 RAM instead of DDR3 RAM, but for the average user there is no discernible difference in performance. Based on reviews it has roughly a 9 hour battery life based on "typical" usage (i.e. no gaming).

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-15-9550-laptop/pd



That's the laptop I am considering, but I am waiting for a sale to push me in the right direction.
 

KindaHardcoreGamer

Estimable
Jan 9, 2016
7
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4,510
0
You can usually tell the difference between 1080p and 720p, but it depends on how close you are to the screen.
I can't really recommend a laptop until I know some more info. Does it need to be portable (small, light, thin)? What games do you want to play on it, and on what graphics settings? Thanks!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Regarding watching video, you will not really notice much of a difference when watching a 1080p video on a small 1366x768 screen versus watching it on a small 1080p screen. Yes, some detail is lost, but you should not notice it on a small screen because the pixels are very small. However, if you were to watch a 1080p video on a 50" HDTV that only had a resolution of 1366x768, then you would notice a difference because each individual pixel would be much larger compared to a 15" screen.

As for playing game, yes you can notice a difference since lower resolution means less details. The higher resolution can also provide you with a wider field of view (FOV), but that depends on each specific game because each specific game could be coded to provide a different FOV even though the aspect ratio of 16:9 is the same for 1366x768 and 1080p resolutions.

Of course, playing games at a higher resolution is more demanding on the GPU. So if you want to max out graphics quality at 1080p resolution, then you will need a much more powerful GPU compared to maxing out graphics quality at 1366x768 resolution.
 

Aditya_26

Commendable
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
1,510
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I am aware that playing games at FHD stress the GPU so in any case i will turn down settings for games. But for movies, etc, I'd like images to be crisp. As regards portability, the lighter and smaller (13 inches perhaps) the better, but I am told that nearly no laptop in that size bracket comes with dedicated graphics. I'd like to play games up until early 2016 or so, and have no issue playing them on medium settings or even low settings.

You mentioned closeness to the screen. A laptop user usually sits no more than two feet from the screen, so in that case would the FHD/ HD difference be notable?
 

Aditya_26

Commendable
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
1,510
0



Sir/ Ma'am,
I can discernibly tell the difference between HD and FHD in general, so as an average laptop user I am sure I would be able to tell the difference while watching things. However, if as you say on a laptop it shouldn't matter too much, I suppose I may be able to compromise

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


Are you referring to watching a HD movie / video on a FHD monitor or HDTV?

In that case, most people can easily tell the difference because when you watch a 720p movie / video on a 1080p screen video quality takes a steep dive because the smaller video resolution must be stretched to fill the larger screen resolution. This is done through a process called interpolation which attempts to estimate where pixels are place on the screen to show a larger image. This causes video to be less defined and fuzzy.

Generally speaking, the higher the resolution something is the more detailed it is. Stretching a small video resolution to fit a larger screen resolution does not instantly create detail in the video image itself. It's like taking a 9x6 hand knit blanket and stretching it to 18x12. The more you stretch that blanket the larger the space in between the yarn strands will be.

However, when taking a higher resolution video and displaying it on a smaller resolution screen the video will not look as bad as the above case. There is video interpretation involved, but instead of making the video larger by filling in gaps when the video is stretched, details (the pixels themselves) are removed so that the 1080p video can be shrunk down to fit on a 720p or 768p resolution screen. Sure you will loose detail, but the video will still look much sharper compared to stretching a video.

The above is the reason why DVD movies (720p) look terrible when you attempt to watch them on a 1080p screen. They will look even worse if you attempt to watch a DVD movie on 4k HDTVs / monitors.


Between the choice of buying a laptop with a 768p or 1080p screen, I would always choose a laptop with the 1080p screen because when I work on spreadsheets or word documents the higher resolution screen will allow me to see more information on the screen at one time. That means less scrolling back and forth when working with spreadsheet that uses many columns and/or rows and large word documents.

One of my laptops (from 2011) only has a 1366x768 screen and I am definitely going to be replacing it. The questions that remain are how much I am willing to spend on another laptop and if I should wait for laptops coming out later this year with Intel's 7th generation Kaby Lake CPUs.

 


Sorry for picking nits, but DVDs only have a resolution of 480p, if memory serves (but your general premise is still valid either way). :D

 

Aditya_26

Commendable
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
1,510
0


Yes, you're right, I am referring to watching HD video on TV, and I am likely to plug my laptop into the HDMI of my TV to watch some stuff on that. My TV, however, is only HD ready (720p). Again, picking nits, but the point being that I would probably follow your lead and buy a 1080p laptop so that as and when I do want crips, detailed video it is available to me.

Could you suggest a good laptop with a 6th gen processor (preferably i5 and above), FHD screen, Decent discrete graphics processor, and all ports/ etc. with Windows 10? Again, smaller screen size the better, but I believe it is unlikely to find these specs anywhere but a 15.6" Laptop or above.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
What is your budget?

If you have a low budget, then the following 15" Acer Aspire laptop should fit your needs. For $550 you get a Core i5-6200, nVidia 940mx, and a 256GB SSD with a backlit keyboard. I highly doubt that laptop can last 12 hours on a single battery charge with "typical" usage. I would peg battery life to be closer to 6 hours at most.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-NVIDIA-Windows-E5-575G-53VG/dp/B01DT4A2R4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466692339&sr=8-1&keywords=acer+940mx


For $775 / $799 you get a Dell Inspiron 15 which has a quad core i5-6300HQ and a nVidia GTX 960m graphics chip which most people would consider to be minimum for playing games at 1080p resolution. The cheaper one has a 256GB SSD, while the more expensive one has a 1TB hard drive and a 8GB SSD cache.


https://www.amazon.com/Dell-15-6-Inch-Quad-Core-i5-6300HQ-Processor/dp/B015PYYDMQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1466694847&sr=8-1&keywords=dell+inspiron+i5+7559

https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i7559-12623RED-Generation-GeForce/dp/B015PYZ186/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466694847&sr=8-2&keywords=dell+inspiron+i5+7559


For $1,250 you can get the Dell XPS 15 it is similar to the Dell Inspiron 15 in specs, but built with better quality parts. It's InfinityDisplay means there is a thin bezel surrounding the 15.6" screen making this laptop similar to the size of a typical 14" laptop. This price include a 1TB hard drive and 32GB SSD cache. It also uses DDR4 RAM instead of DDR3 RAM, but for the average user there is no discernible difference in performance. Based on reviews it has roughly a 9 hour battery life based on "typical" usage (i.e. no gaming).

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-15-9550-laptop/pd



That's the laptop I am considering, but I am waiting for a sale to push me in the right direction.
 
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