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Interesting way to speed up Windows Remote Desktop

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#1 psyko_x



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Posted 24 December 2012 - 19:59

I use remote desktop quite a bit and I spent some time today playing with a lot of combinations of settings to get the best performance. I found a couple interesting things so maybe it will help someone else out

1. Performance is significantly better when I enable both Desktop Composition and Visual Styles. This really took me by surprise, but here's where it's most evident.

With these settings disabled, if I remotely login and start Google Chrome as a fullscreen window, I can see multiple screen repaints. Each repaint starts from the top left corner of the screen and goes down to the bottom right. I can watch the repaint go from left to right as it's going down. The same is true if try to load a webpage. As things load up on the webpage, it triggers an additional screen refresh.

On the other hand, if I enable both of these settings there is only 1 repaint when I start Chrome. Not only that, it seems to happen in big square blocks rather than line by line. This is also the case when I load a webpage.

2. Performance is slightly better when I have my local and remote desktop color depth to match each other (32bit color). I thought if I reduced the session color depth to something lower like 15-bit, it'd be faster but that wasn't the case.

My local and remote machines both run Windows 7

#2 InsaneNutter


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 21:11

Indeed, i noticed on Server 2012 if you install the "Desktop Experience" feature and select the standard theme you got a massive performance increase when using Remote Desktop.

For the remote desktop "experience" settings when connecting i just select "LAN (10 Mbps or higher)" and disable the desktop background if the connection i'm on is really slow.

#3 The_Observer


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 21:38

Cheer guys will test out on my 2012 server.

#4 Detection


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 21:53

Interesting, I guess it makes sense if the machines use each others resources to draw identical things and just send the result vs having to redraw it themselves / wait for the image to transfer

#5 Aergan


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 16:10

I can concur then performance is greatly improved with using the Windows standard theme as opposed to the Windows basic theme.

Unfortunately though, if you remote from Windows 7 Pro it wont let you use the proper Windows standard theme on Server 2012/Windows 8 Pro. Not tested from Windows 7 Enterprise yet as that historically seemed to be different regarding RDP compatibility.