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WMC performance issues with dual displays

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a powerful PC that I use as my primary PC and HTPC.

i7-2600
8GB RAM
ATI HD6770 1GB DDR5
1.5TB 7200 RPM HD
2.0TB 7200 RPM HD
Dual Blu-ray drives

This computer feeds two 23" 1080p displays. One of them is for web surfing and productivity and the other is exclusively used to view Digital cable in Windows Media Center from a Ceton InfiniTV card.

Because of the "feature" where WMC captures your mouse pointer on the secondary display (it cannot leave the WMC window) I use a utility called the Maxifier to free my mouse pointer. It works great except for one nagging problem: sluggish performance. If I run WMC on my external display in full screen without the Maxifier, the mouse is captured but the performance of WMC is flawless. There is no stutter and everything is buttery smooth. The minute I use the Maxifier WMC seems to struggle quite a bit. I know I can simply stop using the Maxifier but I love what it does. I have found a solution but it's not ideal. If I disable Windows Aero by selecting one of the basic themes, performance of WMC on my secondary display while using the Maxifier returns to normal. The problem with this is that disabling Aero eliminates many of the outstanding features of Windows 7.

So I guess what I am asking is, is there any way I can run WMC full screen on my secondary display without capturing the mouse and without experiencing sluggish performance?

Thanks.
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
For anyone else struggling with this, I have made some very positive progress. Instead of completely disabling Aero and losing all of the features that come along with it, I have found a better solution. If I disable transparency while still leaving Aero enabled, the sluggishness I have experienced goes away. The best part is that I don't miss transparency at all.
post #3 of 7
FYI, hitting the Windows key will release the mouse. But, if you minimize or quit the other program it can jump back. I tend to click on a Windows Explorer or something I just leave up in the background when doing that.

Do you have remote commands feeding through to WMC or anything like that?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

FYI, hitting the Windows key will release the mouse. But, if you minimize or quit the other program it can jump back. I tend to click on a Windows Explorer or something I just leave up in the background when doing that.

Do you have remote commands feeding through to WMC or anything like that?

Thanks, I am aware of the Windows key work around but it is not an acceptable solution IMO. I tend to access my Media Center window a lot to change channels and perform various tasks. It is very annoying to have to press the Windows key every time I need to free up my mouse. The Maxifier works perfectly to fix this but has resulted in slowdown up until now. Disabling transparency has really done the trick for me.
post #5 of 7
Thanks for the tip on disabling transparency. I've been using Maxifier so I wouldn't loose mouse focus for a few years on my triple-monitor desktop set-up.

Most TV programming was decent picture quality full screen using Maxifier. However, sports was almost un-watcheable because of the jitter. Now I know I can just disable transparency temporarily to watch sports
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by garnuts View Post

Thanks for the tip on disabling transparency. I've been using Maxifier so I wouldn't loose mouse focus for a few years on my triple-monitor desktop set-up.

Most TV programming was decent picture quality full screen using Maxifier. However, sports was almost un-watcheable because of the jitter. Now I know I can just disable transparency temporarily to watch sports

Just curious if you actually tried this yet? What was your experience?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Just curious if you actually tried this yet? What was your experience?

Yes, I've tried it a few times watching basketball. Disabling transparency is a very noticeable improvment with much less picture stutter/jitter in sports programming. Even the information crawl at the bottom of the screen is smooth now, where it was very jerky before. The picture is not completly smooth, but much improved.

Gary
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