What is native resolution?


Oct 29, 2017
Is native resolution the resolution your monitor can display without upscaling it? For example I have a 1080p monitor i want to view 1440p then I have to upscale it, But if I have a 1440p monitor I can display 1440p without upscaling it. Is that native resolution? If you can't understand what Im saying please explain it in the comments thank you.
Native resolution is the resolution of the screen. However you have upscaling the wrong way around, if you had a 4k monitor but a 1080p image it would be up scaled to fit 4k but it's not really 4k. Your 1080p screen can only display up to 1080p, so in your first scenario the 1440p image would be downscaled to fit.


Jun 11, 2008
As froggy said, "native resolution", at least as applied to LCD displays, is the number of physical pixels your monitor displays.

"Upscaling" is a bit more complicated. Running a game rendered at 1080p on a 1440p or 4K display won't get you a game displayed in the native resolution of the screen, it will get you a game rendered in 1080p displayed on a screen at its native resolution. In other words it will still look like a 1080p game (for the most part). But that isn't exactly what upscaling means in today's vernacular. Upscaling refers to rendering a game at a higher pixel density than the display is capable of and then scaling it back down to that native resolution. This can result in a sharper, cleaner image, kind of getting the benefits of the higher resolution without having to buy a more expensive monitor. It won't substitute for running a game at 4K on a 4K display, for example, but it can very much improve the image in some games.

Many games today have the ability to adjust upscaling. Note though that it takes more GPU horsepower to do this so frame rates may become a problem - but if your favorite game offers the ability it's definitely worth checking out!

When we say "native resolution" of a display, that refers to the physical resolution of the panel. If you examine a 1920 × 1080 monitor with a microscope you will see a grid of pixels 1,920 pixels across and 1,080 pixels high. That is how the panel is physically constructed and it doesn't change no matter what image you tell it to display. If you tell it to display a 1440p image, you will never actually see that 1440p image; instead what you will see is a new 1080p image that has been created by the GPU or display which approximates the original 1440p image as closely as possible. This is called downscaling (not upscaling) because you are seeing a smaller (1080p) version of the image rather than a 1440p image. On the other hand if you had a 1440p image on a larger 4K screen, the 1440p image would have to be upscaled to fill the screen.