3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2014 7:31 AM by kevin_intel

    Issues with Windows 8.1 and Intel HD Graphics 4600; games run very slowly despite being set to use the NVIDIA GPU




      That is the laptop I use. It came preinstalled with Windows 8.1. To my horror, it was terribly slow for gaming. It performed significantly worse than my old laptop did before it died. Its death was due to the video card, so it makes little sense why a new, more powerful laptop would be so slow..


      I was no stranger to messing with video-card settings; my old laptop primarily died of video card problems. So I check the NVIDIA Control Panel and yes, the games are indeed flagged as using the High-performance NVIDIA GPU but they run very, very poorly.


      As a test, I disabled my NVIDIA card via my BIOS and ran it only to see the frame rate didn't change at all. I can only assume it isn't using the NVIDIA card for whatever reason, either that, or the Intel HD Graphics 4600 card is bogging it down. To my knowledge, no laptop will ever NOT run the integrated graphics card, under all activities it will use only integrated, or both integrated and dedicated, but never only the dedicated (in my case, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M).


      The problem game in particular is Final Fantasy XI. Despite my best efforts it runs at an utter crawl* with Windows 8.1 on this laptop.


      So I decided to partition my hard-drive and install Windows 7 on it. To my surprise, the game (and others) run flawlessly. No lag. Drivers are 100% up-to-date on both OSes. I have no better or worse performance by opting out of the newest drivers and instead using the OEM (Lenovo) ones. It's the same, VERY slow.


      I prefer Windows 7, but I don't want to be using an old OS. Support will end a lot sooner for 7 than 8.1 but I can't put up with how slow things are with 8.1. Is this a driver error with my specific chip (i5 4200H)? Is there anything I can do or just stick with 7? Is it specific to the games due to them being old and likely not supporting such new architecture like Haswell?


      * - By "slowing down to a crawl", the game has a frame rate limit of 29.4. In Windows 8.1, it runs at a terrible 11-15FPS when nothing is even happening in the game, when there is action on-screen more realistic FPS values are around 5-8. Frame rates get significantly worse and stay on lower-ends if I run the game full-screened and at my native resolution of 1920x1080. If I run it at 1600x900, it is more reflective of the values I posted above this.


      Whereas in Windows 7, it stays at a stable 29.4 at pretty much any point in time. Sometimes during action-heavy parts it might drop to 27 or 28, but that's rare and VERY minor. The game is actually smooth and playable in Windows 7, but not 8.1.