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94. Re: BF3 Open Beta Begins Sep 29, 2011, 21:36 Kalthorn
 
I know this isn't an ever-present problem anymore, but traditionally Alt-Tabbing out of a full-screen game caused a loss of video context. This meant that all the graphical resources needed to be re-sent to the video card once you switched back to the game (and all the resources for the desktop (Aero, etc) needed to be loaded before you could fully alt-tab out).

These days I think it depends heavily on the game and whether or not it's DirectX or OpenGL (as well as the user's system of course). If you're running on high settings with a beefy video card and 4GB of system ram, I doubt the programmers are going to decide to keep an extra 512+MB of ram tied to their game client (outside of the actual game logic) just so that they can copy it all back to the video card in case of emergency. Which means they need to get the (likely compressed) data off the hard-drive again.

But then again, many of today's 3D engines are constantly streaming large amounts of updated graphics data to the video card per frame, so maybe they have most of it sitting in system memory already.

Regardless of the technical aspects, it's a really dumb decision. Once you are in the game, you shouldn't need anything outside of the game to keep playing. What if MS Word 20XX had spell checking in a separate app? Would anyone say "oh just Alt-Tab and Ctrl-V! Those are PC standards, people, duh!"
 
 
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