Frame rate faster with exterior monitor attached to my laptop

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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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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.
 
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