DisplayPort Exapnsion Card Causing Performance and Stuttering Issues

Hello,

My Framework Laptop running Windows 10 has been experiencing very noticeable performance (lagging/stuttering) issues lately. The microstutters are very regular (every 1 secord). I tried updating/reinstalling drivers and rebooting etc., to no avail.

However, I came across a topic on this forum attributing the stuttering to the DP Expansion Card. After removing the card, I immediately saw a world of difference, and everything ran incredibly smoothly right away, even without a reboot. I plugged and removed it a few times in a few different ports just to confirm, and I am now certain that this stutter is caused due to this expansion card regardless of which port it’s plugged into.

Do I have a faulty card? What can I do to fix this? I should mention that this is a work laptop I received and as such I don’t have access to any order/batch information currently, but I believe it is a DIY edition and it’s running 11th gen intel. I also don’t have the tools to open up the laptop, so I was very hoping I could fix this issue via some software adjustments. I am currently just running the laptop without the card plugged in (as I don’t require it), but it is very awkward using the laptop with a hole where the card sits.

Could I somehow plug it in and disable it on Windows? How can I disable that USB-C port entirely? Is there a way to disable expansion cards?

Any insights would be appreciated,
Cheers!

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Sadly I don’t have a DP card so can’t experiment.

Have you updated the drivers and the BIOS to 3.07?

Hi @amoun, thank you for your reply. Yes, my BIOS version is 3.07. I’ve installed the Windows 10 driver package from the Framework website and manually updated my display driver to the newest version from Intel’s website.

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If you don’t need the DP expansion module, why not order a USB-C module from the marketplace and put it there? Or a SNACK drawer?

There’s no way to disable a port. To disable an expansion card, simply remove it.

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@Fraoch, I see, perhaps I will have to order one - thanks!

Occasionally, when I had the DP expansion card plugged in, I see it pop up in the “Safely Remove Hardware” USB icon in the bottom right system tray, where I could “eject” it. Does this not mean the device could be recognized as an item under Device Manager, and that I could disable it from there? Is the port not a component of under the System Devices tab?

They are essentially like USB-C ports right?

I’m not a Windows expert, hopefully someone else will advise. But I can say the expansion cards act as dongles - adapters connected to USB-C (USB4 / Thunderbolt 4) and use the same ICs as adapters. If you can do something with an adapter, you can do the same with an expansion card.

The Framework motherboard has 4 USB-C (USB4/TB4) ports. The USB-C expansion card is really just an extension. The other expansion cards are adapters of various sorts.

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I also don’t have a DisplayPort Module, but I do have an HDMI one. I found that the HDMI card does show up in the Device Manager on Windows in the “Universal Serial Bus devices” section a few seconds after the expansion card is plugged in.


This would give you the ability to disable it if you wanted to, but I have no way of knowing if it would fix the issues with Windows stuttering.

My advice would be to get in touch with whoever purchased the laptop for you and have them get in contact with Framework Support. It is likely a faulty card, and support will be able to provide you with a replacement, but it can get complicated if you aren’t the original purchaser of the laptop.

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Thanks for the suggestions @Azure, it seems like I will have to reach out to my IT department.

Strangely, I don’t see a “Universal Serial Bus devices” section, but only controllers and Managers. It doesn’t pop up when I plug in the DP module either. I matched every single entry in Device Manger and didn’t notice anything new or missing when I plug in the DP module. Hence, I think it’s true that it might not be possible to disable the card, but perhaps the actual port? Would it be burried in one of the entries under “System devices”?

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I think this has to do with how the card adapts usb-c to displayport, probably because displayport is built into the thenderbolt 4 standard? I don’t know all the specifics, and I don’t have a displayport card to test, so hopefully your IT department can help you out!