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  1. #1
    Star Lounger MRCS's Avatar
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    DWM Font smoothing, Offloading to graphics card

    I have never been able to find a specific answer to a couple of questions about the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service. I only have Font Smoothing enabled under Visual Effects, I use Windows Classic for Desktop Color and have the Themes service disabled.

    1) Is the DWM service necessary these days for Font Smoothing?
    2) Does the DWM service offload more of the UI drawing, in general, to my graphics card, or is it only needed to offload some of the newer visual features, like Aero?

    I have plenty of memory so that is not an issue. And I have a pretty good graphics card, GTX 750 2GB.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I have DWM disabled and no Aero, no issues here with font smoothing, Terminal excluded .

  3. #3
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRCS View Post
    I have never been able to find a specific answer to a couple of questions about the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service. I only have Font Smoothing enabled under Visual Effects, I use Windows Classic for Desktop Color and have the Themes service disabled.

    1) Is the DWM service necessary these days for Font Smoothing?
    2) Does the DWM service offload more of the UI drawing, in general, to my graphics card, or is it only needed to offload some of the newer visual features, like Aero?

    I have plenty of memory so that is not an issue. And I have a pretty good graphics card, GTX 750 2GB.
    The easy way to find out is to create a System Restore point, uncheck Enable Desktop Composition in Visual Effects, and disable the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service, and benchmark it.

  4. #4
    Star Lounger MRCS's Avatar
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    satrow, thanks. I felt that was probably the case, but I couldn't find anything that said for sure it had not been folded into DWM. I could only find the general statements that visual effects need DWM or that some visual effects need DWM. It sort of looked okay to me, but if it were slightly below the perceptual level it still could cause eye strain/fatigue.

    jwoods, that's a big help. I didn't realize there was also a setting for Desktop Composition in visual effects. I had turned off everything except font smoothing ages ago. The only setting for Desktop Composition that I was aware of was in the per application Properties > Compatibility tab. I presume the checkbox in visual effects overrides all of those.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    JW, which benchmark(s) would you suggest for font-smoothing effects?

  6. #6
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRCS View Post
    I have never been able to find a specific answer to a couple of questions about the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service. I only have Font Smoothing enabled under Visual Effects, I use Windows Classic for Desktop Color and have the Themes service disabled.

    1) Is the DWM service necessary these days for Font Smoothing?
    2) Does the DWM service offload more of the UI drawing, in general, to my graphics card, or is it only needed to offload some of the newer visual features, like Aero?

    I have plenty of memory so that is not an issue. And I have a pretty good graphics card, GTX 750 2GB.
    Cross-posted on SevenForums...

    http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...hics-card.html

  7. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    Cross-posted on SevenForums... [/url]
    With zero replies...

    Any word on the suggested benchmark?

  8. #8
    jwoods
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    Doesn't matter how many replies, it's still cross-posted.

    I like PassMark's Performance Test...

    http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm

    The 2D Graphics Test Suite includes tests for font and text rendering.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger MRCS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    With zero replies...
    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    Doesn't matter how many replies
    That makes no sense.

  10. #10
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    The forum rules allow for banning of member who cross post.
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/faq...n#crossposting

    cheers, Paul

  11. #11
    jwoods
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    The OP is expected to notify the forum and post a link to any other site/forum that the same question has been asked, as a courtesy, so that others know that the issue is being worked on in more that one forum.

    I noticed that you had posted the same question in SevenForums, with no reference in this thread.

    You'll have to ask @satrow what the significance of "zero replies" is...

  12. #12
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Cross posters often get zero replies here. We seem to be fussy.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #13
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    Doesn't matter how many replies, it's still cross-posted.
    Allow the moderation team to make the calls, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    I like PassMark's Performance Test...

    The 2D Graphics Test Suite includes tests for font and text rendering.
    That doesn't test font smoothing.

  14. #14
    jwoods
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    Allow the moderation team to make the calls, please.
    I posted the link, as advised by moderators here in the past.

    That doesn't test font smoothing.
    I ran the 2D test on one system, with and without font smoothing. There was a measurable difference.

    Font smoothing "on" - Font and text rendering was 161.7 Operations Per Second.

    Font smoothing "off" - Font and text rendering was 261.5 Operations Per Second.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    jwoods, you posted the link and since made 3 further comments on it - enough.

    Oddly enough, font-smoothing isn't all about performance. Just because a visual element benchmarks faster doesn't mean it's better or worse; on modern machines, any speed difference is unlikely to be noticeable. Differences in font smoothing are more likely to be seen.

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