Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Could a slow graphics card cause slow performance in Windows? Obviously a graphics card is mostly used when playing video games, but do Windows and normal office apps (e.g. Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, email programs, etc) experience any benefits from having a fast card?

For example, the Dell Inspirion 546 seems to come with a reasonably fast CPU and 3GB of RAM but a very slow graphics card (the Radeon HD 3200), which also shares 256MB of system RAM. Could this cause slow downs in non-3D based applications?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In Windows 7/Vista, just at the desktop, if you have Aero enabled, then yes. If the UI seems slow, try disabling it. Aero has 3D effects and will be accelerated by the GPU.

I would actually run the System Score and see what it is. That should give you a good idea of what the bottleneck is.

share|improve this answer
    
Do you mean the Windows system score, or some other software? –  Django Reinhardt Jan 4 '13 at 2:12
    
If you mean Windows score, then everything is 5.8 or higher apart from Windows Aero performance, which is 3.6. –  Django Reinhardt Jan 4 '13 at 3:18
    
Yeah, that would indicate a graphics bottleneck. If Aero is enabled I would try running Windows with it off. However, I'd venture that the system will still be sluggish. Is this a fresh install and it's sluggish? –  Matt Jan 4 '13 at 19:43
    
More or less. It's a cleaned up Dell Windows image. Not great, but I've pretty much removed everything extraneous. –  Django Reinhardt Jan 4 '13 at 21:59
    
Update: We upgraded the graphics card and everything runs a lots smoother now! –  Django Reinhardt Mar 17 '13 at 12:09
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.