I've recently purchased and installed a PNY Nvidia Quadro NVS 450 into my Dell Optiplex 755 desktop machine that's running XP SP3 and for the most part, the performance is abysmal for anything except OpenGL. The configuration I have is 4 x outputs, each running at 1280x1024 resolution and 60 Hz.

I started by using the newest Quadro/Tesla driver (297.03) and noticed that anything applications with 2D graphics (for instance Google Chrome playing a YouTube video) will grind framerates to a crawl once the size of the window approaches the size of filling one monitor or if I open two videos at the same time. Similarly, there's some noticeable issues when just trying to drag windows around on the screen too -- just the most basic of 2D causes trouble. Similarly, if I try to use something like Google Earth in DirectX mode the performance for 3D is awful as well. I So, it seems that a chunk of rendering might be being attempted in software for some strange reason, but I can't be sure. If I change Google Earth to use OpenGL instead, performance is fantastic and running it across all 4 monitors is flawless. 'm currently using the oldest driver, version 267.05, in the hopes that it would change something, but it's still the same.

It's worth noting that in my testing, I disabled DirectDraw entirely within Dxdiag and the performance issues appear to be resolved. Unfortunately, keeping it like this isn't an option as taking out DirectDraw takes out Direct3D and who knows what else. I shouldn't need to resort to this for such a new card. Furthermore, what's interesting is that my previous configuration - with a 64MB Quadro NVS 280 graphics card in the PCI (not PCI-e) slot - had far better performance by comparison.

Separately, when DirectDraw/Direct3D is enabled, I'm noticing that when trying to run the tests in Dxdiag, none of the full screen tests (eg bouncing box and 'spinning cube') will work. More curiously, the DX9 spinning cube test has run successfully 2 of the 5 times I've run the tests -- seemingly no consistency except for the fact that the DX7, DX8 and full screen DirectDraw tests all fail to complete.

I've already submitted a support request with Nvidia, but does anyone have any ideas?

Note: I've upgraded DirectX to the latest that would install (9.0c) via the web installer.

Note2: Tried running the card with Windows 7 x64 on the same machine model (Optiplex 755) with the same latest drivers, yielding the same results. Interestingly, Dxdiag on Windows 7 reports that DirectDraw and AGP Acceleration are both entirely unavailable.

3 Answers 3


I recommend contacting someone at nVidia. I know it's not the answer. But, I work in 3D Visualization in Oil & Gas software where they are rendering literally Trillions of data points into a 3D format with excellent speed.

Now, that is all OpenGL & you've said that OpenGL is fine. That's why I suggest contacting nVidia. They will know if there's some inherent bleed in the driver that's causing DirectX to not work properly. In some cases, they may just say "Install this different driver and install and you'll be fine". I've had that a couple of times.

This sounds like a driver problem, not necessarily a problem you've created or caused on your own.

  • I've submitted a help request to them before I asked here. Still waiting to hear back.
    – davidjb
    Aug 2, 2012 at 22:21
  • I'm going to be returning the card to either Nvidia or my retailer. After ages of testing, I've concluded the card is faulty through using a graphics test program that failed almost immediately.
    – davidjb
    Aug 23, 2012 at 6:43

After sitting on this for a while, I've come to needing this card again. Placing this graphics card into a new computer (a rack-mounted workstation running Windows 7 Ultimate x64) and configuring with the latest Nvidia Quadro drivers has the card working correctly. 3D rendering works fairly well (as expected from a low-end card), and there appear to be no issues at all, and the card has now been running for several weeks.

I thus conclude either the original computers I was using to test the card had some other hardware incompatibility (such as being electrically underpowered) or that Nvidia or Microsoft have fixed something along the way.

Either way, the issue is finally sorted.


To me this problem seems to be related to DirectX as OpenGL working implies the hardware itself is fine.

As you have Windows XP you may be able to nuke DirectX using DirectX Eradicator which might be able to clear it out enough for the DirectX installer to actually replace files and configuration rather than its default of just checking that they exist. I would not recommend trying the Eradicator on anything but Windows XP or earlier.

I would recommend the following (though please be aware this may cause more problems) :

  1. Uninstall graphics card drivers
  2. Use the Eradicator to remove DirectX
  3. Reboot if you do not get asked to.
  4. Reinstall DirectX normally or via the eradicator (if it gives the option)
  5. Reinstall Graphics card drivers.

If that does not fix it then try the card in a different Windows XP machine to see if it has the same problem. If it does not have a problem in the other machine then to me the only other option is to reinstall Windows as it seems something is seriously wrong with your install.

If the card does not work on another machine then the next thing to try is a Windows 7 machine, if that has problems then it may be that the card is faulty.

  • Another thing to check - boot into safe mode and verify what graphics adaptors are installed, uninstall anything you don't have. You could also disable the onboard and uninstall any software and drives for it/other cards too via Add/Remove Programs.
    – HaydnWVN
    Aug 1, 2012 at 9:49
  • Tested the card in the same model machine but Windows 7 x64. Dxdiag reports that DirectDraw is entirely unavailable. Seems the issue is either this computer model, this card being faulty, or nvidia's driver.
    – davidjb
    Aug 2, 2012 at 5:18

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