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Slow Screensavers...Sometimes

Hey everyone,

Right now I'm on my laptop (a Dell Inspiron 6000) which has an Intel graphics adapter in it. I tried to install a few OpenGL screensavers on this and found out that they run really, really, really slow and sometimes even crash my system. I wasn't too sure on how this was possible since this laptop has a Intel Centrino 1.7GHz processor, which is an equiviant to an Intel Pentium 4 1.9GHz processor for a regular desktop PC.

My desktop PC at my house is a Pentium 4 2.4GHz machine that has a nVIDIA graphics card in it. I have the OpenGL screensavers installed on that PC and they work without a problem. It has always questioned me on why my laptop would run so slow with these screensavers.

I always thought it was the processor that was in my laptop that was limiting the performance on it. From what I searched into Google for a bit, I found out that Intel disables Hardware Accelleration for OpenGL screensavers to run properly, where OpenGL is enabled for programs like games. I can understand on why they might have done this - to not overheat the graphics cards when on screensaver with high-end screensavers.

I've been searching around on Google on a way to fix this and I've not found anything that might help me at all. That makes me disappointed. I want my 3D OpenGL screensavers to work on this PC and it's just not possible due to Intel's limiting on it. The funny thing is that I have Microsoft's 3D Windows XP screensaver installed on here, which I believe uses ActiveX for the graphics rendering (not OpenGL), and it works without a problem.

Has anyone found a way to get around this, and possibly give me some hints on how to get this to work ?

Much thanks in advance.

- Mike.
You're right. This should not be happening. Try the Windows Flower Box screen saver too, as that should use OpenGl. If its choppy, then you don't have 3D for at least screensavers. Are you sure that this only happens for screensavers? Does Dell or Intel have a driver for his issue? Did you notice a setting in your screensaver dialogue (or perhaps under power saving) that shuts off OpenGl? Its dumb to shut it off, as then the CPU works like a champ, wasting battery.
It has been my experience, over many years, that all of the screensavers that come with Windows are unstable, and subject to freezing up. I've lost count of the number of Windows systems where, upon my recommendation, the user's replaced the Windows screensavers with webshots and never had any freezing or blue-screen-of-death problems relating to screensavers after that. Of course, that still didn't eliminate the inherent instability of Windows that would cause such problems at other times, but at least their computers would still be running properly when they got back from having the screensavers run during lunch, etc.

Of course, be careful with ANY third-party screensaver. Many of the screensavers you see advertised in banner ads or in Spam are loaded with spyware. Supposedly, there was even a time when someone encountered spyware in webshots, but I have never had any trouble with it.

On the other hand, it has been a while since I've tinkered with screensavers, and my personal preference is just to set up the system to blank out the screen.
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