Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Improving Video on the Dell Latitude D630

For several months I have been having video problems with my Dell Latitude D630, a Laptop. After fifteen minutes, streamed video would start to stutter, while sound remained good.

These laptops have had problems for some time with the GPU overheating (Google the problem and you'll find talk of class action suits), and this was causing video problems in many models. The A12 BIOS update claimed to fix that problem. I rolled my BIOS back to A12, but the problem resolved itself for only a few days before recurring.

In the end, the real problem is that the laptop, particularly if heavily used (as mine is), is just showing its age. Overburdening the video chips will cause them to overheat and malfunction.

The solution isn't ideal, but streaming video will no longer stutter. Go to the Control Panel and open the NVIDIA Control Panel. Select "Adjust Image Setting with Preview" and click the "Use My Preference emphasizing:" radio button. Pull the slider to the left so that Performance is emphasized, not quality.

That should take some pressure off the video circuitry. For "Display Resolution" pull the slider to the middle and select 1280 x 720. This will make the text on your screen a bit bigger and fuzzier.

For "Color Quality" pull the slider to the middle and select "Medium" (16-bit color). This will make your video image a little less than excellent, but fine for everyday viewing.

After I had done these things my video streamed as normal.

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