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?
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.
@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?
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.
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.
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”?
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!
Running into this as I was having some very periodic , hard to nail down stuttering running Arch Linux Gnome, fully updated with the latest BIOS. Oddly, the moment I unplugged the Display Port adapter it worked perfectly. It could be coincidence so I’m going to keep prodding at it though…
Update: I was able to get a replacement card from Framework thanks to my warranty. Initially in the first couple of weeks, the new displayport card didn’t cause any issues when plugged in. Everything was running smoothly. However, after a while, the stuttering started returning again periodically.
I noticed that this stuttering occurs whenever I have the DP card plugged in but Windows doesn’t recognize the card (ie. there’s no option to eject the card using Safely Remove in the task bar). As long as I hear the “new disk” sound and as long as it shows up in the Safely Remove section, the laptop runs smoothly without stuttering when the card is plugged in.
This leads me to think that it’s less so I had a “faulty” DP card but perhaps it might be a software or even connection/driver issue causing the laptop to not detect the DP card despite it being plugged in. And in this state, for whatever reason, the stuttering appears.
I will have to test my theory again with the old DP card at some point to see if this is truly the case or if the new DP card just deteriorated super quickly and is acting like the old one…
Crazy idea - I know older low-end integrated GPUs could have performance issues just by running an external display set to be a clone of a laptop internal display.
Regardless, while I don’t have access to the DP expansion card, I personally would expect that it’s a completely unpowered, passive and even bidirectional adapter since DisplayPort video signals can natively be transferred over USB type-C; hence the existence of cables like this one:
In theory someone with a monitor that has USB type-C input could try plugging the expansion card into their monitor directly and see if they can connect a plain-old DisplayPort cable or not.
Oh and for reference, the HDMI expansion card is presumably an active, single-direction adapter that would then be basically a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter - you should be able to confirm this easily enough in Linux Mint Cinnamon (a live ISO session can work) and launching the “Display” program - despite the HDMI connection, it should show on the monitor as DisplayPort or DP (I also do not have access to the HDMI expansion card); alternatively, if you’re running X11 or Xwayland, you can just run the xrandr command in the Linux terminal.
Wanted to report that I had this same issue, on Linux (several distributions). Small stutter every 1 to 1.5 seconds, that I think started to appear after a few months of use. It seemed to be fine on Windows 10, though I hadn’t tested too much yet. But after finding this thread, I tried unplugging the DisplayPort expansion card, and sure enough the stutters disappear immediately. Thanks for figuring that out and posting!
Oddly I also have an HDMI expansion card and that doesn’t cause any problem when plugged in. I’ll do some more testing from some of the suggestions above and probably reach out to support to try replacing the DP card.