1 2 3 Previous Next 44 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2018 9:47 AM by woot

    Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530

    Whathecode

      I posted this in a thread reporting on the same issues, but was requested to post it as a new question instead.

       

      Ever since I got my Dell XPS 15 9550 (almost 2 years ago), I have noticed Windows 10 animations lag (minimize/maximize animations, resize, task view, ...) and Google Chrome runs even slower, becoming unusable at times. As per the thread linked above, I was hopeful to read about the Falls Creator's update resolving this issue for some (UPDATE: problem persists after Spring update). Unfortunately, I notice no difference on my computer. I have had a motherboard replacement, a screen replacement, and a full laptop replacement by Dell, followed up most recently now with an audio card replacement. Nothing has changed.

       

      Judging from the information you can find online and the feedback from Intel and Dell support, this seems either to be a rare problem or people generally don't care. For example, in none of the XPS 15 reviews this problem is mentioned, although I have seen it firsthand on 4 laptops of the same model (my original laptop, the one with the motherboard replaced, the full replacement, and a similar model from a friend). However, this is definitely not an isolated issue!

       

      Some sources mentioning this issue:

      - Dell XPS 15 9550 4k Intel 530 UI performance Windows 10 - Super User

      - Intel HD Graphics 530 - Poor performance 4K

      - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5iqaid/dell_xps_9550_4k_poor_ui_performance_do_i_have_a/

      - Maximizing window animation of 4k windows has a severly reduced - Microsoft Community

      - 4k laptop lag in Windows 10 UI animations

      - I've posted this resize issue also on Microsoft Feedback Hub: https://aka.ms/Fjuwtk Probably most important observation here is: "It is only windows which near about 3/4th of the full 4k size (3840x2160) which stutter when maximizing."

      - ... There might be more sources I can try to dig up based on my searches in the past, if this could be of any help.

       

      Reproducible issues (Still persists July 21th 2018)

      The following issues are not 'showstoppers' when considered in isolation. I merely list them since they are easy to reproduce and are indicative of the overarching problem: the Intel HD 530 graphics card (and possibly others) are unable to run Windows 10 smoothly in 4k, to the degree where I prefer to work on a (cheaper) non-4k system.

       

      1. Opening up Task View on 4k always has reduced performance compared to full HD

      Steps to reproduce: press WinKey-Tab repeatedly while several application windows are open.

       

      In the following video, a 4k laptop (XPS 15 9550) is positioned on the left, and a full HD laptop (Lenovo T460s) is positioned on the right: XPS 15 repeated task view - YouTube

       

      The 4k laptop only has a couple of windows open (file Explorer), whereas the Lenovo is running two instances of Visual Studio, IntelliJ, multiple Chrome instances, etc ... (my 'typical' work environment). Still, as can be seen, the animation shown when opening the task view (press Windows-Tab repeatedly) lags immensely on the 4k laptop compared to the full HD laptop. From this, I conclude this is not a performance degradation due to the system being under heavy load, but likely a bottleneck due to screen resolution. In an actual work environment (where I replicate the setup of the Lenovo on the XPS), 'every day' window management (dragging windows, resizing windows, switching virtual desktops) simply becomes unbearable.

       

      2. Scrolling in list view of Windows explorer lags and maxes out GPU

      Steps to reproduce:

      1. Open up a Window explorer window.
      2. Open up several folders in the list view on the left hand side so that there is a considerable region through which can be scrolled. E.g., open up "C:\Windows\System32".
      3. Open up the task manager, and select the "Performance" tab.
      4. Scroll in the list view using a touchpad (this might be related to XPS 15 9550's touchpad drivers specifically, although I have no clue where they are located or who is responsible for them, or why it would impact GPU performance).

      You can notice there is an immense delay. The view continues to scroll seconds after the scroll action has been initiated while the Intel GPU spikes. To further demonstrate this is a bottleneck related to the GPU and somehow related to screen resolution:

      1. Resize the list view so it takes up half of the screen
      2. Scroll again.

      This is demonstrated after another short 'task view' demonstration in this video: Windows explorer maxes out GPU when scrolling - YouTubeThe scroll operation is now even slower, lasting over 10 seconds, and the GPU spikes to 100%.

       

      3. Scrolling in some applications is unacceptably slow for a high-end system

      Steps to reproduce:

      1. Open a single Chrome window.
      2. Open a Microsoft Edge window.
      3. Place them side-by-side so they fill up half of the screen each.
      4. Scroll in both windows one after the other (or compare scrolling smoothness to a full HD system)

      You can see that Microsoft Edge scrolls smoothly (as one would expect), whereas Chrome lags: Chrome vs Edge scrolling on 4k - YouTubeThis issue is exacerbated when Chrome runs in full screen. I am still uncertain why some applications are impacted whereas others are not, but Chrome seems to be the worst. However, even the built-in File explorer in Windows lags. Same test with Edge and Explorer here: 4k scrolling file explorer vs edge - YouTube

       

      4. Window animations of larger windows are less smooth than window animations of smaller windows

      Steps to reproduce:

      1. Open a window and resize it so it takes up less than 1/4th of the screen.
      2. Open a window and near-maximize it (not maximized, this facilitates triggering the animation repeatedly)
      3. For each, minimize and restore repeatedly by pressing WinKey-Up, WinKey-Down.

      You can see the animation of the small windows is smooth as expected (same as maximized windows on full HD laptops), whereas the near-maximized window has a reduced framerate: Resizing small vs big windows 4k - YouTubeIn the video I only have Chrome and Edge open (and in this case it is Edge which lags, just to demonstrate it is not application-specific). Similarly, resizing small applications is smooth, whereas the larger you make the window, the more the resizing operation 'slows down'. Even simply dragging larger windows around on the desktop is less smooth than smaller windows (less visible in the following video, but try it out for yourself!): Dragging big window vs small - YouTubeAgain, this is indicative of a bottleneck.  This might look minor here, but becomes (unpredictably/irregularly) worse during normal system operation where more windows/virtual desktops are open. One thing which is interesting to note (but might be totally coincidental), the 'threshold' where animations seem to slow down seems to be windows which exceed full HD resolution (1/4th the size of 4k); they thus don't even need to be near-maximized.

       

      5. Some games run smooth in windowed mode, yet rendered at the same resolution, stutter when full screen

      Games tested on: Teslagrad, OxenfreeSteps to reproduce:

      1. Open task manager so that you can view load of both GPUs
      2. The dedicated GPU should be used to render the game. If this is not the case, configure the executable to run using the dedicated graphics card in the NVIDIA control panel.
      3. Run one of the tested games in windowed mode, rendered at full HD
      4. Press alt-enter

       

      A reduced/irregular framerate can be observed in full screen compared to maximized: Games: simple game (Teslagrad at 1080p) - YouTube

      More interestingly, you should be able to see that the dedicated GPU is used to render the game (GPU1 in my case), but the integrated graphics card (GPU0) is maxing out regardless. (will add a screenshot soon of Oxenfree)

      A 'solution' is to change the resolution of the laptop to full HD prior to launching the game. In this case everything runs smooth.

       

      Although I personally can see the reduced framerate by looking at the video, I know it may be hard to see. Again, let me instead highlight the fact that there is a bottleneck. As shown at the end of the video 'GPU Copy' operations spike tremendously in full screen compared to windowed mode. In addition, the game does not always run as smooth as shown in the video, at some points 'responsiveness' of input was entirely gone and the framerate would (irregularly) drop to 10-15 fps or so.

       

      I don't play a lot of games, and mostly non-demanding ones like point-and-click games. Yet, I notice these heat up the laptop unnecessarily much. In case you want to replicate, I suspect trying the same with any game/application made in the Unity engine might have the same effect, regardless of what is rendered by the dedicated GPU.

       

      6. Random delays, quirks and rendering errors, particularly in Chrome

      Unfortunately not a reproducible issue, but to give one example of where all of these earlier listed issues culminate in a totally unusable system (and why this is not just me bitching about small reduced framerates), this is me trying to use Trello in Chrome: Chrome at its worst on Dell XPS 15 9550 - YouTube

       

      Possible solutions?

      I found the answer on the Super User post interesting:

      I've since added a second ram module, to have the ram operate in dual channel mode now. The animations have improved on the 4k laptop monitor so much so that the choppiness is virtually gone!

      He has since reported in the end the problems still occur, but perhaps Intel support can provide more insights into whether/how much of a difference this could make?

       

      I currently have 1X16GB. Is there any chance buying another 16GB stick would make any difference? By now, is it known where the bottleneck is coming from? To me (judging on the maximize animation only stuttering above a certain resolution), it could be related to memory size where no big enough buffers are available (or allocated) in the operating system. Using hWinfo, I can tell the Intel HD 530 card currently is allocated 1GB of RAM, which unfortunately I can not change to be more from the Dell BIOS to try out this theory.

       

      Another user mentioned that the main problem is with Windows 10 and that things supposedly run fine on Kubuntu. I will try switching from Windows to Linux next.

       

      Above all, I am interested in hearing whether these issues can be replicated (by either Intel, or other users on this site). Are they related to my specific hardware, and have I perhaps been unlucky with all the computers I have gotten so far? Or, am I doing things which most people don't or are not bothered by?

        • 1. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello Whathecode
           
          Thank you for joining the community.
           
          In order to help you better, I would like to gather more information about the configuration you have on the computer.  Please attach to this thread the TXT file the Intel® System Support Utility will generate: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25293/Intel-System-Support-Utility
          Steps to save the report:

          1. Run the utility.
          2. Click on “Scan” to get the scanned system.
          3. Once the scan is complete click on “next”.
          4. Use the “save” option, save the report to your desktop.
          5. To attach a file, you must click the “Attach” option on the bottom right-hand corner of the response box.
            
          Regards,        
          Leonardo C.
          • 2. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
            Whathecode

            Sorry for the delay. You can find the output of the diagnostics tool attached as requested.

            • 3. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
              Whathecode

              Also interesting to note (but possibly unrelated), this problem now also seems to occur on my other laptop since I have upgraded to Windows 10 Insider build which includes new window manager features. In particular, resizing new 'sets' windows (such as Explorer) lags compared to a normal/stable Windows environment.

               

              At the heart, this problem might thus be related to changes introduced by Microsoft in the window manager, which simply are more noticeable at higher resolutions. However, I presume it is Intel's responsibility to go into a dialogue with Microsoft and laptop manufacturers (e.g., Dell) to ensure that the hardware which gets shipped for 'Windows' computers is capable of running 'normal' Microsoft Windows operations. I argue the problems I report here are severe enough to consider my laptop does does not run windows 'normally'.

               

              Concretely, if I would have known this was the expected experience of this laptop I would not have bought a 4k laptop yet. I simply relied on the fact that the hardware could run 4k. It is very likely if there was an option to run Windows using the dedicated GPU which is also built in into the laptop the Windows performance would be satisfactory, but there is no way 'get rid of' the Intel HD 530, nor to force Windows to run on the dedicated GPU.

               

              Of course, this is presuming there is nothing wrong with my hardware. But maybe there is. Can Intel replicate these problems on any other devices? In case you need more details on what exactly I am reporting, e.g. detailed videos or better descriptions, do not hesitate to ask!

              • 4. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                Hello Whathecode 

                Thank you for your response.
                 
                Looking into your case, first I will like to mention that before the dell system is released to the market the manufacturer should have tested that the performance on the model works properly, you can try to test the system with the default factory operating system if that is a possibility on your case to test the performance, allow e to share with  you the following link for information on the steps to  complete this process:
                 
                http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln130027/factory-reset-restore-or-reinstall-microsoft-windows-on-a-dell-computer?lang=en
                 
                Please be aware that the content on that site is not controlled by Intel®.  This information is offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel® for the merchants or services offered there.
                 
                Hope this helps.
                 
                Regards,
                Leonardo C.
                 

                • 5. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                  Whathecode

                  The current installation is a recent reinstall performed by Dell themselves when I sent the laptop in for repairs (again) last week. That is why I was unable to answer sooner: I did not have access to the laptop.

                   

                  To reiterate, I have had this issue for the past 2 years or so and I have pretty much exhausted all combinations of driver versions, both the repackaged ones by Dell and the more recent ones provided directly by Intel (some magical combinations in fact did solve other issues I had which have since been ironed out in the most recent version). Before I was running Windows 10 Pro, but Dell has now reinstalled Windows 10 Home on the laptop (as can be seen in the attachment I've sent) which showcases the same problems. As stated in my original question, I have also had a motherboard replacement, a screen replacement, and a full laptop replacement before, which makes me believe more and more this might be a hardware limitation, or at least an issue which impacts multiple manufactured units.

                   

                  Therefore, I am interested in knowing whether similar reports have come in before (in fact, I linked to a couple myself) and whether this issue has ever been replicated by either Dell, Intel, or Microsoft on similar dual-graphics card setups (lower energy Intel card + dedicated GPU). As of now, Dell seems to insist on avoiding a more thorough investigation, or at least is not informing me about it, seemingly continuously swapping hardware components ad infinitum hoping that it would please me. Microsoft provides no meaningful feedback to such inquiries to mere end users like me, although similar reports can be found in the Microsoft feedback hub.

                   

                  Other than my previous post on the related issue I have not reached out extensively to Intel yet, so this is me trying to inform Intel that this might be a more far-reaching problem than individual faulty components or driver version combinations. I am hoping Intel will respond more professionally to these reports than Dell and Microsoft have so far. Thank you for starting to look into it!

                  • 6. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hello Whathecode 

                    Thank you for your response.
                     
                    Let me investigate the case on our side, I will be posting back as soon as news become available.
                     
                    Regards,
                    Leonardo C.
                     

                    • 7. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                      Whathecode

                      Thank you for investigating this issue! To add to the list of "I am not the only one reporting this", here are two more recent posts I just ran into when googling for "xps 15 windows 10 lag":

                       

                      In the meantime I also did some more detailed debugging. I was looking into GPU usage in scenarios where I notice lag vs. scenarios where I notice no lag. Concretely, I mentioned that resizing/scrolling in small windows is smooth, but in big windows is not. To show this is not just in my head, have a look at the following video: Gpu load small screen vs big screen - YouTube

                       

                      You can clearly see that scrolling in Chrome when the window is small incurs practically no GPU cost; a small peak of usage here and there. On the other hand, once Chrome runs in full screen, I can instantly experience lag in scrolling. This is also reflected in the GPU which spikes while doing so. This is a fresh Windows 10 Home installation, with latest video drivers and only running Chrome and Hwinfo. Therefore, I would expect no slowdown/lag at all when running Chrome fullscreen as opposed to in a smaller window. Also the 'all or nothing' impact on the GPU is very odd. To me, this still seems to be indicative of some buffer sizes which exceed a certain limit after which extra computations need to occur slowing down everything.

                      • 8. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                        Whathecode

                        Another recent similar post here on the Intel forum, but with a Intel HD4600 (just trying to aggregate all similar bug reports here): Intel HD4600 4K Windows 10 GUI poor performance

                        The problems reported and video shows the same symptoms I am describing. Just like me this user also went through a couple of motherboard replacements with Dell. I currently have another motherboard replacement service on the way. I am skeptical it will help, as everything seems to indicate this is either a hardware limitation or a driver issue.

                         

                        At least Intel makes an effort to replicate this issue on systems owned by themselves (as indicated in the post I just linked to). This is something Dell is still not considering even after 2 years of this mess. I believe the best way forward is trying to find a system on your end which shows the same symptoms and go from there. If you need more specific details on how to replicate, I am available to help out.

                        • 9. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                          Ronald_Intel

                          Hello Whathecode,

                           

                          I would like to step in and help if that is ok with you.

                           

                          I was reading the issue description you provided, and it looks to be the same issue that is described here: dGPU Switch and Freeze Problem. Please check it out and let me know if that is not the case.

                          It is a long thread, but in summary it talks about slow performance on different aspects of the User Interface (UI) occurring exclusively on laptops with Hybrid Graphics (i.e. Intel Graphics + Discrete graphics cards).

                           

                          Intel was able to reproduce the issue, and after exhaustive research and debugging, we were able to provide a fix that is included in any driver released after build number 4982 (6th Generation and newer). After implementing the code change, we noticed there were some remaining stuttering happening in various areas of the OS experience. We've now concluded that any remaining stuttering is coming from a different component (OS and Discrete graphics driver). This concluded Intel's investigation, and we are now considering this issue closed, though Intel will remain in communication with the other parties (OS and Discrete graphics card vendor) to assist in any way we can should they desire.

                           

                          Our suggestion at this point is reporting this issue directly to the other parties as previously explained.

                           

                          Best Regards,

                          Ronald M. 

                          • 10. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                            Whathecode

                            Hi Ronald,

                             

                            Your input is more than appreciated! In fact this (and the thread you link to) is the most constructive and professional response I have received on this issue so far, so thank you!

                             

                            However, this is not the same issue I am reporting on here, which is more of a continuous performance issue (in particular, linked to size of windows open in Windows, as can be seen in the Chrome scrolling video) and which persists. I can not reproduce the issue you refer to on my current system, so I presume Intel's efforts have paid off here. I guess it might have contributed to my overall impression of an underperforming system in the past, and might even be related (most threads I link to seem to have this hybrid graphics cards setup), but the specific scenarios I outlined earlier are different and I can still reproduce them with the latest drivers (I can link you to more videos/provide more details if needed).

                             

                            The following observations make me believe the issues are not related:

                             

                            The problem can be solved by either disabling Intel GPU, which forces the system to always work with NVIDIA, or disabling NVIDIA GPU. Both of them is not an option though, as if you disable Intel, not only you will drain the battery faster, but also some games will stop working. If you disable NVIDIA, then what is the point of buying a laptop with a discrete GPU?

                            On my Dell XPS 15 9550 I unfortunately cannot turn off the Intel GPU (forcing the NVIDIA card to be used for Windows rendering), but I can disable the NVIDIA GPU (through device manager), which makes no difference whatsoever. In fact, I would be satisfied if the issue could be solved by solely relying on the dedicated GPU when power is connected, and have this 'reduced' experience when on battery. However, since I intended to use this laptop for work, the everyday operations are just too laggy for me to work on full time with many application windows open and multiple desktops in task view (that said, as shown in the video, this is not even a requirement for lag to occur).

                             

                            Therefore, I would encourage Intel to consider this as a separate issue (seemingly reported by many other people as indicated by the links I have provided) and try to go through the same steps as you have so excellently done with the prior issue: try to reproduce on your end and see where exactly the problem lies. I am not excluding this is an operating system issue. In fact, on my other laptop which I currently use for work (Lenovo T460S) I am running the current Insider build from Windows 10 (which introduces sets and the time line) and have also noticed a reduced responsiveness of everyday window operations on this system. Perhaps you can expect more similar reports in the near future.

                             

                            I will take some time to go through the lengthy thread to make sure the exact issues I report here have not been mentioned further down in this thread, and see how you responded to them (I only went through the original report and first page or so which lists Intel's official response). Tomorrow, I also expect an on-site visit from dell during which the motherboard will be replaced (again). This will be the 4th Dell XPS 15 9550 replacement I get, so I am not too hopeful, but I will report back whether this resolved the issue.

                            • 11. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                              Ronald_Intel

                              Hi again Whathecode,

                               

                              I believe that in fact, many users in the thread dGPU Switch and Freeze Problem also reported that they were able to solve the issue by disabling the Integrated graphics. Anyway, I am sorry for asking more input from you - as I'm pretty sure by now you must be exhausted from dealing with this issue - but I do think the next step for us is attempting to reproduce the issue you are reporting. Can you put together some steps we should follow to reproduce the issue, or perhaps a video showing us how to reproduce it? Bear in mind that we'll be using Intel NUCs to effectively eliminate any potential conflicts with Discrete Graphics cards as outlined in the aforementioned thread.

                               

                              In the meantime, I would also suggest requesting to your laptop manufacturer that they reproduce and debug the issue from their end. If they determine that the issue is isolated to the Intel driver then they have the capability to file a bug directly with Intel.

                               

                              I look forward to hearing from you again.

                               

                              Best Regards,

                              Ronald M.

                              • 12. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                                Whathecode

                                I believe that in fact, many users in the thread dGPU Switch and Freeze Problem also reported that they were able to solve the issue by disabling the Integrated graphics.

                                Exactly, which is why I stated this issue seems different.

                                 

                                I'll gladly assemble more concrete steps on how to reproduce exactly tomorrow (if the problem persists). I can already start with providing more concrete details on the latest video I made:

                                In the meantime I also did some more detailed debugging. I was looking into GPU usage in scenarios where I notice lag vs. scenarios where I notice no lag. Concretely, I mentioned that resizing/scrolling in small windows is smooth, but in big windows is not. To show this is not just in my head, have a look at the following video: Gpu load small screen vs big screen - YouTube

                                This exact same issue also seems reported here: Scrolling is laggy with my DELL XPS 15 - Dell Community (yet another related report to be added to the list ) In line with this post, I also notice most lag in Chrome, and Edge performing better (suitably well, in fact). I remember from the past Firefox also ran slow (I tried switching browsers because of this issue). However, as this post mentions, the problem even occurs in the simple file explorer window (opening for example the 'system32' folder 'C"\Windows\System32') and scrolling through this in full screen vs. in a small window, similar to the video of Chrome I made.

                                 

                                More exact details will follow tomorrow, in case this is a bit unclear/vague at the moment.

                                 

                                P.s., in relation to:

                                In the meantime, I would also suggest requesting to your laptop manufacturer that they reproduce and debug the issue from their end. If they determine that the issue is isolated to the Intel driver then they have the capability to file a bug directly with Intel.

                                After two years of trying to communicate effectively with Dell support, I can guarantee you this is going nowhere. They simply do not have a 'debugging' culture. I have practically begged them to try to reproduce the problem on their end, to let the technician bring over a laptop which in their opinion functions properly etc ... all to no avail. During my latest encounter with them they now simply decided to replace the motherboard again, even though during one of their latest reports they told me (again) that the system was functioning as designed. I gave up on Dell ...

                                • 13. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                                  Whathecode

                                  To update: Dell did the motherboard replacement, yet the problems remain; they made a desperate attempt at asking me to reinstall Windows again even though it was them who reinstalled it last; Dell is now back to their argument that the system under-performs ‘by design’ (guess I’ll stick with my cheaper non-4k Lenovo T460s which runs just fine then until more people start complaining).

                                   

                                  Surely, this is a driver issue impacting multiple 4k laptops which could be attributed to Microsoft, Intel, Dell, and less likely, NVIDIA (given that the issue occurs even when this card is disabled). But Dell support decides they can provide better support by concluding as follows:

                                  “Thank you for your patience. I see that we had escalated the issue to our Product Engineering Team and they confirmed that the system is working as designed. Yet we replaced the motherboard as an exception since we do not suspect any issue with the system and as mentioned our product engineering team has confirmed that the system is working as per design. ^NS”

                                  That sums it up nicely. Dell support has no clue whatsoever on how to handle bug reports pertaining to software/driver issues. Since they seem to be incapable of doing so, I hope Intel continues to communicate with customers directly to try to pinpoint whether or not these problems could be attributed to Intel drivers or hardware, or are more likely to be caused by any of the other parties involved. If so, I hope it carries more weight when Intel files a bug report directly to either Microsoft or Dell.

                                   

                                  Reproducible issues

                                  The following issues are not 'showstoppers' when considered in isolation. I merely list them since they are easy to reproduce and are indicative of the overarching problem: the Intel HD 530 graphics card (and possibly others) are unable to run Windows 10 smoothly in 4k, to the degree where I prefer to work on a (cheaper) non-4k system.

                                   

                                  1. Opening up Task View on 4k always has reduced performance compared to full HD

                                  Steps to reproduce: press WinKey-Tab repeatedly while several application windows are open.

                                   

                                  In the following video, a 4k laptop (XPS 15 9550) is positioned on the left, and a full HD laptop (Lenovo T460s) is positioned on the right: XPS 15 repeated task view - YouTube

                                   

                                  The 4k laptop only has a couple of windows open (file Explorer), whereas the Lenovo is running two instances of Visual Studio, IntelliJ, multiple Chrome instances, etc ... (my 'typical' work environment). Still, as can be seen, the animation shown when opening the task view (press Windows-Tab repeatedly) lags immensely on the 4k laptop compared to the full HD laptop. From this, I conclude this is not a performance degradation due to the system being under heavy load, but likely a bottleneck due to screen resolution. In an actual work environment (where I replicate the setup of the Lenovo on the XPS), 'every day' window management (dragging windows, resizing windows, switching virtual desktops) simply becomes unbearable.

                                   

                                  2. Scrolling in list view of Windows explorer lags and maxes out GPU

                                  Steps to reproduce:

                                  1. Open up a Window explorer window.
                                  2. Open up several folders in the list view on the left hand side so that there is a considerable region through which can be scrolled. E.g., open up "C:\Windows\System32".
                                  3. Open up the task manager, and select the "Performance" tab.
                                  4. Scroll in the list view using a touchpad (this might be related to XPS 15 9550's touchpad drivers specifically, although I have no clue where they are located or who is responsible for them, or why it would impact GPU performance).

                                   

                                  You can notice there is an immense delay. The view continues to scroll seconds after the scroll action has been initiated while the Intel GPU spikes. To further demonstrate this is a bottleneck related to the GPU and somehow related to screen resolution:

                                  1. Resize the list view so it takes up half of the screen
                                  2. Scroll again.

                                   

                                  This is demonstrated after another short 'task view' demonstration in this video: Windows explorer maxes out GPU when scrolling - YouTube

                                   

                                  The scroll operation is now even slower, lasting over 10 seconds, and the GPU spikes to 100%.

                                   

                                  3. Scrolling in some applications is unacceptably slow for a high-end system

                                  Steps to reproduce:

                                  1. Open a single Chrome window.
                                  2. Open a Microsoft Edge window.
                                  3. Place them side-by-side so they fill up half of the screen each.
                                  4. Scroll in both windows one after the other (or compare scrolling smoothness to a full HD system)

                                   

                                  You can see that Microsoft Edge scrolls smoothly (as one would expect), whereas Chrome lags: Chrome vs Edge scrolling on 4k - YouTube

                                   

                                  This issue is exacerbated when Chrome runs in full screen. I am still uncertain why some applications are impacted whereas others are not, but Chrome seems to be the worst. However, even the built-in File explorer in Windows lags. Same test with Edge and Explorer here: 4k scrolling file explorer vs edge - YouTube

                                   

                                  4. Window animations of larger windows are less smooth than window animations of smaller windows

                                  Steps to reproduce:

                                  1. Open a window and resize it so it takes up less than 1/4th of the screen.
                                  2. Open a window and near-maximize it (not maximized, this facilitates triggering the animation repeatedly)
                                  3. For each, minimize and restore repeatedly by pressing WinKey-Up, WinKey-Down.

                                   

                                  You can see the animation of the small windows is smooth as expected (same as maximized windows on full HD laptops), whereas the near-maximized window has a reduced framerate: Resizing small vs big windows 4k - YouTube

                                   

                                  In the video I only have Chrome and Edge open (and in this case it is Edge which lags, just to demonstrate it is not application-specific). Similarly, resizing small applications is smooth, whereas the larger you make the window, the more the resizing operation 'slows down'. Even simply dragging larger windows around on the desktop is less smooth than smaller windows (less visible in the following video, but try it out for yourself!): Dragging big window vs small - YouTube

                                   

                                  Again, this is indicative of a bottleneck.  This might look minor here, but becomes (unpredictably/irregularly) worse during normal system operation where more windows/virtual desktops are open. One thing which is interesting to note (but might be totally coincidental), the 'threshold' where animations seem to slow down seems to be windows which exceed full HD resolution (1/4th the size of 4k); they thus don't even need to be near-maximized.

                                   

                                  5. Some games run smooth in windowed mode, yet rendered at the same resolution, stutter when full screen

                                  Games tested on: Teslagrad, Oxenfree

                                   

                                  Steps to reproduce:

                                  1. Open task manager so that you can view load of both GPUs
                                  2. The dedicated GPU should be used to render the game. If this is not the case, configure the executable to run using the dedicated graphics card in the NVIDIA control panel.
                                  3. Run one of the tested games in windowed mode, rendered at full HD
                                  4. Press alt-enter

                                   

                                  A reduced/irregular framerate can be observed in full screen compared to maximized: Games: simple game (Teslagrad at 1080p) - YouTube

                                  More interestingly, you should be able to see that the dedicated GPU is used to render the game (GPU1 in my case), but the integrated graphics card (GPU0) is maxing out regardless. (will add a screenshot soon of Oxenfree)

                                  A 'solution' is to change the resolution of the laptop to full HD prior to launching the game. In this case everything runs smooth.

                                   

                                  Although I personally can see the reduced framerate by looking at the video, I know it may be hard to see. Again, let me instead highlight the fact that there is a bottleneck. As shown at the end of the video 'GPU Copy' operations spike tremendously in full screen compared to windowed mode. In addition, the game does not always run as smooth as shown in the video, at some points 'responsiveness' of input was entirely gone and the framerate would (irregularly) drop to 10-15 fps or so.

                                   

                                  I don't play a lot of games, and mostly non-demanding ones like point-and-click games. Yet, I notice these heat up the laptop unnecessarily much. In case you want to replicate, I suspect trying the same with any game/application made in the Unity engine might have the same effect, regardless of what is rendered by the dedicated GPU.

                                   

                                  6. Random delays, quirks and rendering errors, particularly in Chrome

                                  Unfortunately not a reproducible issue, but to give one example of where all of these earlier listed issues culminate in a totally unusable system (and why this is not just me bitching about small reduced framerates), this is me trying to use Trello in Chrome: Chrome at its worst on Dell XPS 15 9550 - YouTube

                                   

                                  Please let me know in case you need more information. Hoping to hear back from you!

                                  • 14. Re: Poor Windows 10 UI and Chrome performance with Intel Graphics HD 530
                                    Whathecode

                                    As to solving this issue by 'rendering everything on discrete graphics' as I optimistically stated before. I am starting to discover more why this is impossible on this specific model (XPS 15). Here is another user reporting the same as me (7 years ago! so an earlier model obviously), and trying to solve it by disabling the integrated graphics altogether: laptop - How to disable NVIDIA Optimus on a Dell XPS 15? - Super User

                                     

                                    The provided answer is very telling, and is starting to indicate this could even be a hardware limitation and possibly not 'just' driver/software issues.

                                    From a hardware point of view the Intel IGP is always handling image output to the laptop's LCD screen. The NVIDIA GPU copies rendered graphics into the Intel IGP's frame buffer (which resides in system memory) when it is active. The Optimus software makes certain programs use the GPU based on the loaded profiles and user settings. It currently does not support running the OS desktop compositing on the GPU

                                    If this is still the case, this is very much in line with the symptoms I am observing. It could mean whichever piece of the puzzle does desktop compositing, and the hardware used for it, is simply incapable of dealing with high resolutions. It would also mean that it should be fairly straightforward to replicate this by Intel, so I am eager to await your response! In the meantime, I will try to get a hold of an external monitor to see whether these symptoms can be replicated when rendered there.

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