Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Frequently I feel that my framerate of what I see on laptop's screen is slow. What I mean is if you have ever played games, you know that graphical performance is measured in FPS (framerates per second). So in my case, sometimes screen is going from 30FPS to 23FPS roughly speaking, until I click and start moving any window or just wait until it returns to normal state. This however fixes the problem for a short while until it starts again.

Here is what I mean

Since the video was captured with 15FPS, you won't notice anything but at least it would give you better understanding what i am talking about.

I don't know what causes this slowdown. Processor works fine so maybe it is integrated Intel graphic adapter? I doubt since all drivers are up to date here. Maybe it is because of Windows Aero Theme or every feature enabled in Visual Effects?

UPDATE: I think it has something to do with Intel Turbo Boost enabled. Maybe i should just update BIOS to latest version.

DELL Latitude E6420

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit

Intel HD / Nvidia NVS 4200M Dedicated



share|improve this question
Check your temps. – Breakthrough Aug 19 '11 at 19:02
32 bit or 64 bit? – rlb.usa Aug 25 '11 at 17:19
Updated question – Boris_yo Aug 29 '11 at 13:59

According to NoteBookCheck, you should be able to play most modern games at acceptable FPS.

There are a few things you can do :

1 - Check your driver. Make sure you have the updated version

2 - Check your temperatures with a temperature monitor like Diefer's 18k Fan GUI

  • I'd also recommend blowing out your case and all crevaces while the machine is off with some canned air. Dust build up is an easy and often unsuspected slowing factor
  • If your computer is too hot, you have some options:
    • You can use a GUI like the one above to manually control your fans
    • You can use a laptop cooler
    • You can put your laptop ontop of an upside-down cookie baking pan. Sounds crazy, but will net your a few hours of cooling

3 - I noticed you have a LOT of firefox tabs open, you may want to make sure that the issue at hand isn't a processor bottleneck. Close all your unneeded processes (everything that isn't crucial to run Windows), and all of your applications, and all of your Aero Glass effects, and see if the performance improves. You didn't specify what kind of processor you have, so I don't know.

4 - You may also be experiencing a system slow down, aka "windows rot", just a general suspicion from the amount of icons I saw on your desktop. Try to clean up your computer, uninstall programs you don't use, run registry cleaners, empty your trash can, and reboot your computer. See if that helps, and if so, it was system slow down that was the bottleneck

5 - How much memory do you have? You didn't say. You should be running on at least 2GB of memory but I think you'd benefit from 4, based on the number of firefox tabs you had in the background.

I realize most of these suggestions are general and not necessarily targeted after the GPU, however, I feel that the culprit here can be any number of things, and getting these questions out of the way is an easy way to start investigating.

share|improve this answer
Temperatures are fine. – Boris_yo Aug 25 '11 at 5:49

If you do some research in to random slow performance on this particular model, you'll find a bunch of people with speed issues. First, the SATA controller has been known to cause random slowdown issues on these machines, specifically with SSD storage. Second, it MAY be related specifically to the hard drive itself- I work for a company that bought a bunch of these laptops, and some of the hard drives were bad right off the bat.

I have had similar slowdowns on my machine (same model) but mine is so bad that I can't even listen to music because the audio sample rate drops to almost nothing and distorts badly. I also experience a jumpy/underresponsive mouse and keyboard and extremely slow disk performance (14 min. to unzip a 150 meg file).

Call Dell and complain to them- they need to fix this problem if it is as widespread as it seems.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .