After years of a PC/Mac gaming dry-spell a bunch of games have hit me all at once: namely Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Lone Survivor, and Diablo III.
If you don’t want your games to look like garbage on a display you need to run them in native resolution (in my case 1900×1200), otherwise there’s pixel interpolation or something that makes everything on screen look like it’s covered in goo. The problem is that my computer is so old that modern games don’t run well when using my external display under decent settings. I’ve gotten around this by using Window mode. It works ok, but I’d rather be fully immersed in the game, which would mean playing it full screen. I’ve chalked this up to just having an old computer that can’t run these kinds of games.
OR SO I THOUGHT!
Here’s the trick that worked for me. I needed to stop my laptop from driving both the internal and external displays at once and set it up just to use the external display. I used this hint to do so. I shut my lid to make the computer go to sleep, opened it back up, and only the external display is in use.
And my games run a lot better.
If you do the same proceed with caution. It didn’t work for some people in the comments who claimed it hosed their machines. Also, make sure you’ve hit this switch in Energy Saver preferences, otherwise you’ll never get good graphics performance.
Why not just close the lid? Because these games will make your computer hot, and heat dissipates through the keyboard. I don’t get a good feeling having a notebook closed like that when it needs to constantly cool down.
If you use Steam you should/could friend or follow me here.