Windows 8.1 vs 10 graphics

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Our main desktop computer came with a 500 GB mechanical hard drive and Windows 7. I upgraded it to Windows 8 then 8.1 many years ago. When Windows 10 became available, I bought an SSD, cloned the mechanical drive to the SSD, then did an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 on the SSD. I just swapped the SATA cables inside from the mechanical drive to the SSD and left the mechanical drive in it. Due to a number of reasons, I recently resurrected that 8.1 drive. I have since cloned it to a second SSD and am using it in the machine now (still have the 10 SSD set to the side). I have noticed that almost everything graphics-wise looks just a tad sharper with 8.1 vs. 10. I'm not talking about the window styles or anything like that. Even text...just seems crisper. Is this real, or am I imagining things? The machine has an Intel Pentium G2030 with integrated Intel graphics. Same monitor, same cable; nothing has changed except for the OS on a different drive.
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Thanks for the graphics driver idea. I think the installed version was .4425 and it updated it to a .4438 or something. I don't notice any difference in the graphics, unfortunately. I almost seems like the entire display is a little washed out. Like the contrast just isn't quite as good. Switching back and forth between Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, it almost looks like I swapped the display for a better quality unit. It just generally looks better on Windows 8.1 for some reason. 8.1 seems to run faster than 10 as well. I remember a speed boost with 10, but I also switched to the SSD at nearly the same time. Going back and forth between 8.1 and 10, both on SSDs, the 8.1 installation feels snappier. The 8.1 installation is also an in-place upgrade from the original Windows 7 installation from Dell when we bought the computer new in 2013, so you'd think it'd have plenty of "baggage". I do feel that I'm especially diligent in keeping my computer clean, though. Interesting to be able to compare the two OSes on exactly the same hardware.
 
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
3,919
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The driver is the first thing I'd look to: Specifically, if you're using a non-optimal driver, are you running at your monitor's native resolution; and if you're not, are you at least using the same aspect ratio? If there is scaling of any sort - and worst, scaling involving stretching - you'll see it when juxtaposed to a properly-set up setup!
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Thanks guys. Yes, Cleartype settings are enabled and the monitor is in its native resolution (1920x1080) with no abnormal scaling in either OS.
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
It's probably a moot point, as I think I'll stick with Windows 8.1, at least for a while. It may be because a lot of things in the 10 interface are artificially large for touch-enabled devices, and maybe the smaller UI elements in 8.1 subjectively look sharper to me. It sounds like there's not another reason that 8.1 should look sharper. I remember seeing this difference in Firefox vs. Chrome -- stuff in Firefox just looked more brilliant on the same computer. I read more about it, and I guess Firefox does (or did) use a different graphics engine than Chrome, accounting for the difference. I was wondering if there is a similar explanation with Windows, but perhaps not. Thanks again.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
4,262
Location
Virginia
What's the refresh rate set at? Looks like a lot of Intel driver packages set it to 59hz by default when the panel is designed for 60hz. Probably not the issue but worth a look anyway.
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
You know -- it's interesting. Both OSes do have it set to 59 Hz progressive (I have the choice of progressive and interlaced). I have the 8.1 drive in it now and I just changed it to 60 Hz progressive and I didn't perceive any change in the display. I'll think to do that the next time I have the 10 drive in it to see if it makes any difference.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
5,440
Location
KC
I know for my intel chipsets with onboard VGA, I had hardware acceleration in windows 7 but none in windows 10. Thanks microsoft. Maybe you are seeing something like this.
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
I have set both to 60p Hz and no apparent change. I bet it's the monitor itself, and maybe some hidden setting somewhere deep inside Windows 10 is just a bit different. I always thought the screen was okay (it's a 24" ASUS bought back in 2012 or thereabouts), but have come to realize that it's really serviceable at best compared with even BASIC displays today. The colors are generally washed out and it's like you have the contrast set too low on a good monitor...but it's at 100 on the ASUS. Why Windows 8.1 seems to look just a touch better, I'm not sure.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
552
Location
burlington ,ontario, canada
Windows 10 default pixel settings are limited RGB 15-255. That's fine if you're connected to a TV. Most monitors run off Full RGB 0-255. Right click the home screen > Intel display graphics > Display > Advanced > change to Full
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
552
Location
burlington ,ontario, canada
Originally Posted By: ndfergy
Windows 10 default pixel settings are limited RGB 16-235. That's fine if you're connected to a TV. Most monitors run off Full RGB 0-255. Right click the home screen > Intel display graphics > Display > Advanced > change to Full
Correction on limited values
 

Hokiefyd

Thread starter
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: ndfergy
Windows 10 default pixel settings are limited RGB 15-255. That's fine if you're connected to a TV. Most monitors run off Full RGB 0-255. Right click the home screen > Intel display graphics > Display > Advanced > change to Full
That's it! That's the setting I was missing. I don't have the 8.1 hard drive in the machine now to know whether 8.1 was on full or limited, but my installation of 10 was definitely on limited. The switch to full immediately saturated the colors and removed the "washed out" look. Thank you!
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
552
Location
burlington ,ontario, canada
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
I have set both to 60p Hz and no apparent change. I bet it's the monitor itself, and maybe some hidden setting somewhere deep inside Windows 10 is just a bit different. I always thought the screen was okay (it's a 24" ASUS bought back in 2012 or thereabouts), but have come to realize that it's really serviceable at best compared with even BASIC displays today. The colors are generally washed out and it's like you have the contrast set too low on a good monitor...but it's at 100 on the ASUS. Why Windows 8.1 seems to look just a touch better, I'm not sure.
You're welcome. Same applies to Nvidia or Radeon drivers but you have to go into their control panels to make the change.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top