Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NVidia ShadowPlay seems to be causing issues with Windows 10 (driver versions 353.30, 353.54, 353.62)

I have been using Windows 10 RTM for more than a week and I've already discovered some issues with it. These could be fixed by the 29th of July, which is the date of public release, however I am afraid to say that I have a feeling they will not. Because it is already 29th in Japan and the problems still persist.
One of them was with the Photos app. When I double click on a photo to open it up in Photos app, it would close immediately. However, the Photos app could be opened normally to browse the albums. Photos can be viewed from there as well. The problem occurs only when opening via the Explorer.
Another issue was with the Store app. When you try to watch a trailer from the “Video” store in Full Screen, the Store app would crash.
The culprit
Until today I thought they were problems with the OS.
They are not, at least not directly.
They were caused my NVidia ShadowPlay technology. If I turn off ShadowPlay, both the Photos app and the Store app would function properly. This issues are present in the official driver version hosted by NVidia servers: the version 353.30 and the two newer versions that are only available via Windows Update, version 353.54 and 353.62. Sadly, change logs are not available for the ones offered via Windows Update thus there is no way to know if this is a known issue or not.
That said, I cannot turn off ShadowPlay. I love it, for the functionality it offers. ShadowPlay is the technology where the user can record the gameplay videos using the inbuilt encoder of the NVidia Kepler (600 & 700 series) and Maxwell (900 series) graphics cards, with minimal impact on performance. Every since its inception, I have never looked at another capturing software. It indeed adds input lag to a certain degree – any sort of processing does – however this is as best as it can get performance wise.
Is a specific ShadowPlay setting causing this?
The ShadowPlay settings in GeForce Experience have nothing to do with the issue either. I run it with minimum settings and desktop capturing is turned off as well, and I still encounter the above issues.
If you want to record gameplay videos, the following is the minimum settings you can use.

The solution

Perhaps if it is possible to turn off hardware acceleration of the Windows 10 UI, this problem would go away (i.e. classing UI? Is it even available in Windows 10?). But that would negatively affect the performance and power consumption of the device. I would not take that route even if it was possible.

The solution I have for now is turning off ShadowPlay when I am not playing a game and turning it back on before I launch a game. Hopefully someone – Microsoft of NVidia – will be able to fix this soon.

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