Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/181761/why-pc-games-struggle-with-alttab-and-how-to-fix-it/
You’re playing a game and you Alt+Tab to use another program, but there’s a problem. The Alt+Tab process may be extremely slow, the game may crash or freeze, or you may see graphical corruption.
Full screen windowed mode FTW. I use that whenever possible. Interestingly enough, my laptop with switchable graphics won't actually engage the high-performance 3D GPU when I play a game full screen. So I always run games in a window, either Full Screen Windowed, Windowed Maximized or just regular windowed mode (if nothing else is available.)
Haven't seen full screen windowed...
haven't really looked at most games though
If you have a Nvidia card as the second GPU, try right clicking on the game executable and selecting "High Performance Nvidia Processor"
That should let you run proper fullscreen using the better GPU. No idea how its for AMD switchable graphics though.
Mine is an ATI, but the system settings aren't the problem. The drivers are just plain bugged, and I have had nothing but trouble with the graphics system from day one.
The first version would only kick in the GPU half the time. The second version would LOSE the ATI drivers entirely after a while, so I had to re-install it once a week or so.
Then a third driver set came out that mostly worked, but this full screen issue came up.
I thought about locking out the Intel chip via a BIOS setting... but Dell left that out of their BIOS.
So long story short - if I don't run in Windowed mode, I don't get high speed graphics.
I am never buying an Intel Switchable Graphics system again.
Dont let a bad experience with AMD switchable graphics discourage you from ever having switchable graphics.
Its a well known fact in the tech-world (or at least the tech world I frequent) that AMD generally has buggy drivers. I run all Nvidia cards at home and they're all completely bug free.
As for switchable graphics, I have two Intel-based laptops with Nvidia switchable graphics, and I can safely say that they've never failed me once. Every time I run a game, it switches to the proper card immediately. Doesn't matter what mode I run it in, windowed, fullscreen, etc, it always switches properly. Never once has it failed run properly.
I honestly wouldn't give up on switchable graphics. Its incredible what they do for battery life. I very highly suggest you try Nvidia's implementation of it. It is pretty much seamless.
Thanks for that, @localhost. I probably will try again... in another couple of years, well after the current laptop is paid off.
A lot of games support Alt+Enter to switch between full screen and windowed. The bad thing about running some games in windowed mode is the game may not lock the mouse to its window when its the active window.
I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned but if Alt+tab takes a long time you may need more RAM.
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