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SW to test how laptop performance varies when I change graphic adapter settings

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Rude_Dog, Apr 27, 2013.

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  1. Rude_Dog

    Rude_Dog Thread Starter

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    (Win 7, Toshiba Portege R705-P35, i3, 8GB RAM, SSHD)

    Hi,

    I'm curious to find out if there's any computer performance advantage to using an HDMI cable to drive an external monitor from my laptop VS driving the external monitor via VGA cable. Also, if I set the color depth setting to 16bit instead of some higher value, seems like that should speed things up, etc.

    Can you recommend a good software that can let me see what differences there are in computer performance as I vary these settings?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    If you are referring to performance as color reproduction, signal color, loss and other advantages of a digital signal then yes HDMI should/is be better than VGA, but sometimes you'd be hard pressed to find or see the difference and the result can be dependent on the quality of the screen. If you are referring to performance as in frames(fps) per second or something similar then none whatsoever unless you enable V-Sync and than the fps are capped to the refresh rate of the screens and VGA might allow setting a higher refresh rate. Dropping the color depth can increase fps by some small margin and you could test that with any benchmarking program such as 3DMark. As for testing the difference between VGA and HDMI, well for that you can use your eyes to see if you notice an quality difference otherwise you'd likely have to buy high-end testing equipment that looks at the signal coming out of the end of the cables and/or the examining what is showing on the screen, software can't see or measure things as they display on a screen.
     
  3. Rude_Dog

    Rude_Dog Thread Starter

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    Hi Triple6,

    Thanks for the speedy reply.

    When I wrote computer performance, I should have been more specific. I'm thinking of CPU performance. That is, what graphic settings and cabling options, etc. are going to make it easiest for my little i3 to get things done faster. Say I'm using a CAD program and I'm not so worried about fidelity of appearance of the items on the screen, does setting the color depth lower improve the CPU response? What about using HDMI connection to an external monitor instead of VGA?

    Is there a nice little utility that will let me see the CPU performance difference (if any) as I change these types of settings?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The CPU should be completely unaffected. It's the GPU that does all that work, and then any DAC's if there's any digital to analog conversion or vice versa.
     
  5. Rude_Dog

    Rude_Dog Thread Starter

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    OK, thanks. Good to know. Do you know of any software that I could use to verify this?

    Does anyone know of any SW I could use to verify this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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  7. Rude_Dog

    Rude_Dog Thread Starter

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    OK, cool. I'll try that out.

    BTW, just trying to get a feel for how this works. Here's what I was thinking:

    My laptop has some Intel (or is that iNTEL?) built-in-to-the-chipset graphics adapter (GA). I doubt it's anything special. Device manager says "Intel(R) HD Graphics. If the CPU is handling a lot of other tasks, it only has a certain percentage of time to spend on sending commands to/ receiving responses from the GA. If the GA can't get things done in that percentage of time, and the CPU has to wait for it, then the CPU is potentially taking up time from other tasks to accomplish doing whatever it does with the GA. I'm also guessing that when the CPU passes a command to the GA, the GA takes some little finite pico-second time to accomplish the command. If the CPU passes enough of the right commands to the GA, faster than the GA can accomplish them, then commands start queuing up. When the queue gets full, then the CPU must wait for the GA to get ready for more interaction. I imagine, ideally, the GA is so designed that it almost never keeps the CPU waiting.

    However, if whatever the user is doing is particularly difficult for the GA and only slightly difficult for the CPU, then the computer as a whole, might seem slow, but it's really only the CPU waiting for the GA to accomplish whatever it's doing. And so, would appear to have better performance if the tasks for the GA were less burdensome. For example, 16 bit color depth VS higher, or use of HDMI output instead of VGA, if the adapter's VGA analog circuitry isn't as fast as it's HDMI circuitry, or some such.

    But who knows if changing these things makes stuff less burdensome?

    Meanwhile, if there's no performance gain to be had by using various settings, I can't imagine why the GA designers would have them. If there's no penalty for using "the best setting", whatever that may be, then why bother with having any "poorer settings"?
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    GPU is the proper term not GA.

    I think you are barking up the wrong tree with the whole VGA vs HDMI thing. Where the GPU is affected is how fast it can render whatever you are doing but that's down to it's internal capabilities, I've never heard of it being limited but the interface it's outputting. The color depth can help but will affect the quality.

    If you want better performance for CAD style programs you may just need better hardware; be that a better i5 or i7 CPU, or more RAM, or a better GPU. Most design workstations use high-end nVidia Quadro or AMD FirePro cards rather than entry level Intel graphics due to the significant features, performance and precision differences that professional grade cards offer.

    It may also be useful to name this mystery CAD software you refer too but haven't mentioned by name at all.
     
  9. Rude_Dog

    Rude_Dog Thread Starter

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    OK, chief. Thanks. I was thinking GA: All of the parts that contribute as a graphics adapter, like what you might find on an expansion card in a desktop PC. VS GPU being just one of the parts in the whole graphics adapter scheme, i.e. GPU being just one of that parts you might find on a graphics adapter.

    I imagine faster hardware would be the quickest way to get more performance. Was just curious about getting the most from what I currently have.

    Thanks for the help, though.(y)
     
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