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Windows 7: WMP Stutters/Lags with full screen app on second screen

11 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
WMP Stutters/Lags with full screen app on second screen

I am having issues with videos stuttering/lagging when I have a full screen app open on another screen. For example, if I was watching a movie in the background while playing a game. The audio keeps up, but the video lags badly, sometimes it just freezes altogether for long periods of time. When I try the same files, and situation, with something like VLC, it works fine. I would be extremely surprised if it was a hardware issue, given my hardware and the fact that other media players don't have the same issues. Perhaps it is a codec issue?

Any suggestions?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I think the answer is pretty obvious. The GPU is unable to process the full screen video of both Windows Media Player (or Windows Media Center) and your game. VLC uses the CPU to decode the video, so that's why it works OK (because the game is using the GPU). Media Player and Media Center use the GPU.

Two possible solutions:
1) Get a faster GPU
2) Don't try to run full screen Media Center/Media Player while gaming.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

That's a possibility, but I wonder if it's not something else.
  • For a start, I have a HD7950 - not saying its the best card out there, but I would have thought it would cope.
  • Second, For over a year now I have been doing this with half windows on one screen with absolutely no issue.
  • For a while after getting two screens, I had no such issue, despite doing the exact same thing.
So far as I can tell, my GPU has all the power it needs to do both of these things, it just cant multi task well. Decoding the video requires finite resources, but for a video game, it will just keep pushing to get as many frames as possible. So if it could allocate a set amount of resources to the decoding process, that would work fine, and then it can give everything else to the game.

Because it only happened recently, I also wonder if it could be down to a WMP patch in a windows update, or possibly a graphics driver update, though I didn't do that myself, and it doesn't happen automatically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2013   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro + Windows 10

I would think your video card would handle it. Try using the onboard graphics for the second monitor
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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