My problem is similar to the following question: How can I prevent Windows from disabling Aero?
I did not have enough rep to post a comment, but my question is somewhat different anyways.
It is different because of my setup and when the problem occurs. I have 8 gb ram. I use an HD 6990 to run a 30 inch panel. I also have two side panels hooked into the intel hd 3000 available from my processor. The side panels are 1920x1080 and the main monitor is 2560x1600.
Whenever I use one of the side panels, Windows 7 "detects slow performance" and disables aero. This occurs under just about any usage... even web browsing using firefox if flash is playing on the screen. However it is incorrectly determining slow performance. Task manager typically reports 27-33% physical memory usage (over 5 gb still available) when this happens. I checked and the intel graphics manager reports that it is using 112 mb of memory. It also reports that it has up to 3736 MB available. I know that it shares system memory but there is over 5 gb unused.
Is there any way to disable this obnoxious "feature"? I like aero and I don't ever want it to turn off. Is it possible to tell aero which graphics card to check for performance metrics? I am not interested in the speed of my side panels... otherwise I would hook them up to my primary graphics card. But it seems like a bug with aero since the intel driver is reporting 3 gigs of unused graphics memory available.