Recently I’ve become forcedly aware of the existence of an on-going issue with my laptop. This issue, I believe is being caused by the power saving features in the drivers/software side. Or by Windows 10 but I find it hard to believe Windows 10 as an OS would meddle with the driver’s power saving decisions.

I could be wrong. The many times I have been wrong isn’t even funny sadly.

So, to begin with let’s look at the symptoms, they could be the following:

  • It could be a combination of my laptop starts exhibiting colorful noise or black screen while using Microsoft Edge.
  • Or Microsoft Edge video stream goes black while I’m watching a stream on Twitch or YouTube.
  • Or the stream freezes but the audio continue while using Microsoft Edge.
  • Or the while I’m playing a game the screen freezes, but the audio continues.

Honestly, Microsoft Edge has a weird thing going on with the GPU and power saving features more than any of the other browsers. Mozilla Firefox has never exhibited this behavior when it falls back into “Better Battery” profile. I very much doubt Google Chrome is impacted.

This leaves up with the following:

The Power Management features in the Intel and NVIDIA drivers are causing issues. If NVIDIA is set to Optimal Power, the software will do its best if it detects that program or game is idle. It re-uses the same frame, thus it causes the “screen freeze”.

Initially I thought it was just the NVIDIA GPU, but I noticed that the NVIDIA GPU wasn’t being used and it was the built-in GPU (Intel). Now, how these two are managed in modern time I do not know.

All I know is that the screen freezes and a stream going black or showing noise is itself a faulty driver issue. Something that either Intel or NVIDIA must investigate.

I do know that NVIDIA has these issues even on its desktop products. And I like to think that most of the problems are being caused by NVIDIA drivers. But at the same time, I cannot discard that maybe Intel GPU drivers are also wreaking havoc somewhere.

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