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So this is something i recently noticed. I have a 27inch 1440p monitor. And a game in 1080p looks pixelated on that. My friend has a 27 inch 1080p monitor and the same game on 1080p with all same graphics settings doesn't look pixelated on his monitor.

What's up with that? Anything happening with upscaling on my monitor thats causing this?

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you checked if the settings outside the game are also the same? For example, NVIDIA offers a Control Panel in which you can set Antialiasing preferences that I believe can overwrite the game settings. $\endgroup$
    – Tare
    Sep 15 at 9:55
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I just went through this with a new 4k monitor under Windows 10 (but have repeated it many times with many different monitors):

The On Screen Display (OSD) of the monitor should have an info page that lists it screen dimensions and frequency. For example my monitors OSD says 3840x2160 @ 60hz. So the first step is to bring up the OSD info page under Windows. If the OSD says the monitor is running at 1080p in windows then that could be affecting the game and should be changed to the native resolution, under Windows go to "Display Settings" and look for "Display Resolution". It should be set to 1440p which would be the native resolution of the monitor. Windows will usually list the native resolution with a "recommended" in parenthesis next to it. If the font size in windows is very small when switched to the native resolution, then you can use font scaling (found on the same "Display Settings" page in windows) to increase the font size till you like it. A reboot isn't required when this change is made, but Windows 10 always seem to be quirky until it is rebooted after a font scale change. My 2160p monitor has font scaling set to 200% and the fonts look almost printed on the screen, but the same monitor with font scaling set to 100% and the display resolution set to 1080p looks pixelated and terrible frankly.

Once you are happy with the Windows settings, start up the game and use the monitors OSD to check the resolution and frequency again. Many newer games can detect and set the monitor to specific modes, but not all of them so you really have to check both windows and the game.

One issue that may come up is that your Video card may not be able to sustain 30fps at 1440p. Here again some newer games will allow the game to be rendered at a lower resolution then scaled to the native resolution. The game will look a lot better scaled to the native resolution then if the monitor is running at a non-native setting.

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