I have just installed windows 7 on my old laptop. It's an Acer aspire 1710.

It seems real slow and everything is jerky, I can't do more than 1 thing at a time, such as watch youtube while compiling code!

Most streaming videro jitters also.

For a few reasons I suspected the graphics chip. When looking at the properties I see that it is using DirectX 8.1.

I don't even have Aero on, which needs DX9.

I looked in system 32 folder and there are dx 8,9 and 10 drivers there.

How do I enable DX9? Would this speed up my computer?


The entire FX chipset was utter crap at DirectX 9 (I say that as a former owner of a QuadroFX Go 1000 and GeForceFX 5600 256MB). The FX was designed during the creation of DX9, and when Microsoft and nVidia were at each other's throats over the pricing of video chips on the original Xbox. As part of the dispute, MS withheld the actual specs of DX9, so nVidia's first set of chips was awful. As always, Wikipedia has more on the disappointing elements of the FX chips.

As old as DX8.1 may be, it will be the best you can do without somehow upgrading your laptop. The presence of a FX-class chip says the laptop is pretty long in the tooth (mobile FX-chips went out of style in 2004/2005), so I wouldn't expect it to handle two tasks at once, especially two CPU-heavy operations like compiling and YouTube (Flash, which YouTube uses, doesn't yet suppot GPU rendering of video).

Beyond that, the FX class isn't even officially supported in Vista. Again, Wikipedia has more on the limitations.


You probably have DirectX9 already installed but there is no harm in getting the latest one here. Youtube and a lot of other websites use Flash which doesn't use your graphics card and is very reliant on CPU power. Do you have many items in your system tray? These could be using up RAM and causing disk thrashing.


I've heard more about DirectX changes helping against problems with Windows 7, so I think it would be a good idea.

Perhaps try installing the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer: The Microsoft DirectX® End-User Runtime provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC.

Something is preventing me from reading this page, but take a look at this

At least your video card should support DirectX 9 (from their site): Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Optimizations and Support Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all DirectX 9.0 applications.

Note: check how much system resources your using, else you'll have to turn down some more settings. You probably have 512 MB RAM (edit: 1 Gb, still not awesome for what we do nowadays), which won't make you're life much better...

  • I'm going to try and install the dx 9.c drivers and see if that helps. I have 1GB of ram and 128mb of that is allocated to the gpu. But this isn't showing up in system under control panel? The cpu is 3.4GHz but it is single core. – ddd Jul 23 '09 at 13:09

The Geforce FX series is certainly challenged running DX9 level shader code in games, but is fine running Aero in Vista/Win7. Driver support was indeed dropped, but you can mod Vista Forceware 158.18 or 163.11 with the dev id of your FX board to get it to work. Details here: http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/topic/25829-im-searching-for-a-geforce-fx-5200-go-windows-7-driver/

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