The cost of looking good

Windows' display Settings screen offers me various choices for "Color" and "Desktop area". What do these options mean? What do I gain or lose by choosing a higher or lower setting -- Murray WestThese settings control how your screen looks; they're limited by the capabilities of your graphics card and monitor.

The Color Palette setting defines colour depth the number of colours the graphics card can display. The settings are a bit confusing because Windows isn't consistent as to how it defines the settings. For instance, the option 256 Colors could be described as Limited Color (8 bit), while the setting True Color (24 bit) could just as accurately be 16,777,216 colors, which is what 24-bit colour really is.

In theory, greater colour depth slows down your graphics card. But with today's cards, you're not likely to notice any difference. So my advice is to keep the colour depth as high as your system permits.

The Desktop Area setting controls your resolution the number of pixels displayed on the screen. For instance, a setting of 640 x 480 means the screen has 640 pixels on each of 480 horizontal lines. A higher resolution, such as 800 x 600, yields more and smaller pixels.

Since each of the objects on your screen icons, text, windows, and so on has a set size in pixels, a higher resolution results in smaller objects, allowing you to fit more of them on the screen. But it also makes the objects harder to see and the text harder to read.

Your best bet is to pick the resolution that you find easiest on your eyes. (You can always change the resolution or colour depth back at your convenience.) Right-click anywhere on the Desktop, select Properties, and click the Settings tab. Enter the changes you want and click either OK or Apply. After Windows makes the changes (which sometimes requires a reboot), it will ask if you want to keep the new settings. If you don't click OK within 15 seconds, Windows will return to the original settings.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?