Frame rate faster with exterior monitor attached to my laptop

Aug 22, 2018
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Hello all.. Question for you... I have a dell 7577 gaming laptop with a 7700hq and 1060... for some reason my frame rate is higher and more stable when I'm using my full sized monitor than it is if I'm just playing on the laptop screen. This is all when the laptop is plugged in. Is this common?
 

2sidedpolygon

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Jul 1, 2018
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Are you sure you have it set so your laptop is using your 1060 graphics whenever plugged in rather than Intel's on-board graphics? In some less demanding games, it'll switch to integrated graphics in your processor to save power automatically, so that's why I'm double checking.
 

little_me

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May 9, 2015
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Also which display does your laptop have? it seems to ship both with 1080P and UHD displays?
and what resolution is the external one? If it is older, it might be something like 1344x720
just mentioning it since resolution can play a BIG part in frame rates.
 
Laptops with combo Intel + Nvidia GPUs (Optimus) are set up so the Intel GPU always drives the screen. The Nvidia GPU acts as a co-processor. The game renders a frame on the Nvidia GPU. The completed frame is then sent to the Intel GPU, which displays it. It's basically like vsync is always on, with the two GPUs acting as the two vsync framebuffers. This is why you can select in software whether a game will use the Intel or Nvidia GPU. If you select the Nvidia GPU, it does the above double buffering thing so the Intel GPU can display the completed frame. If you select the Intel GPU, the game renders on the Intel GPU which also displays the completed frame.

A few gaming laptops are set up in this way only for the laptop display. The external display hardware is hooked up directly to the Nvidia GPU, so you get a more "pure" (desktop-like) gaming experience when connected to an external monitor. I don't have a definitive list of which laptops are set up this way. But if your framerate is higher with an external monitor, your laptop is likely one of them. Battery life suffers when using an external display, but presumably that's not a problem since you can plug into AC power.

(A few older or poorly coded games don't work with Optimus. They're programmed assuming a computer only ever has one GPU. So they detect the Intel GPU first (since it's driving the screen), and never get around to detecting the Nvidia GPU. So these games will only run on the Intel GPU on an Optimus laptop. But if your laptop has the Nvidia GPU connected directly to the external display, you can get these games to use the Nvidia GPU by playing the game on the external monitor.)
 
Aug 22, 2018
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I'll look into the settings, but Solandri's answer makes sense. The monitor is a 1080p 144hz monitor and everything runs and looks great on it. The laptop screen is a 1080p IPS panel running at 60hz (the monitor speed isn't the limiting factor here... On games like Dark Souls III that are capped at 60 I basically stay locked at 60 on a monitor but fluctuate between 40-60 on the laptop screen.)

In the event that Solandri's answer is true, is it possible to set it up for the laptop screen to not do that?

Samoyeds are great.
 
Jan 15, 2019
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I have the exact same issue. This is literally the only thread I could find about this topic, it seems like no one is talking about this or mentioning it in any reviews?
When I play No Mans Sky on my laptop and I use the integrated laptop screen, i get about 40 FPS. When connecting an external montior and outputting exlusively to it I get 60-70 FPS (both cases 1080P). I understand it has to do with the fact that when gaming on the integrated screen, the geforce is copying its frame buffer to the iGPU which then displays the picture (= loss of FPS), while with external monitor output the intel GPU is skipped entirely.

I own a Gigabyte Aero 15 with a Geforce GTX 1060 6GB (non Max-Q version). Prior to that, I had the same issue with my old 2012 Dell XPS (geforce 555m), where I would equally get much higher fps when playing on an external monitor vs playing on the integtrated screen.

Yes I am sure the game is running off the Nvidia Card and not on the intel graphics, I set it manually to use the 1060 and I even watch the temps and GPU usage with RTSS in both scenarios (temps and GPU usage are btw identical, just the perfomance is crippled).

Do I just have to live with that or can I somehow improve this? 50% performance loss is kinda ridiculous, its literally the difference between playable and unplayble. If I have to connect and external monitor to game properly, whats the point of buying a gtx1060 equipped machine?

 
Apr 26, 2019
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Same problem with My predator g9-791 Gtx 980m i7 6700hq. I have low fps playing counter strike on laptop monitor than in a external one. Theres anyway to get the full power of my gamer laptop palying on its own monitor?
 
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