Disabling Aero and such while running a full screen application.

SlackerITGuy

Member
Member
I've been using Windows 8 for the past couple of days and I gotta say, I've been loving every second of it, I do have one question though, is there a way to disable Aero and all similar graphical effects (transparency/glass effects, etc) when running a full screen application? (to save VRAM).

I used to do it in Windows 7 all the time, in the .exe I wanted to modify I checked "disable desktop composition" and "disable themes".

Thanks! :geek:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4
    Memory
    8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Vapor-X
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC898
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ XL2411T
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    1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    Plextor M3 Pro 128GB SSD
    WD Blue Caviar
    PSU
    Seasonic G Series 650W
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    Corsair Obsidian 650D
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    Corsair H60 and Cooler Master MegaFlow 200mm
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Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
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I think there were some changes made to desktop composition and you cannot turn all things off just like in Win7.

In Win7 the aero effects/transparency is automatically turned off when in full screen mode so you don't need do do it manually.
There is an instant switch so you don't need to monitor it by yourself.

In Win8 there is no "official" way to turn off the transparancy in the taskbar (if any) only by swithcing the themename.theme from using Aero.msstyles to Aerolite.msstyles (aerolite has no transparancy but after a reboot or two it's possible it has). But again the desktop composition is automatically managed when in fullscreen. It should be also turned off when not needed so don't worry about performance.

Notice:
In Win7 the UAC prompt is in Basic theme style when in Win8 is Aero theme style. Also dwm.exe has more importance in Win8 and the composition is slightly different. We now have Aero-only theming instead of Aero+Basic+Classic.

There is no Basic theme so you cannot turn off Aero. Even if you get some ugly-looking-non-transparent thing displayed it's still the Aero core + all the 3D acceleration available.

The transparency you see has no negative impact on performance. Also keep in mind that Win8 has no glass-effect so the trasparency here is a bit lighter than it was in Win7.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

SlackerITGuy

Member
Member
I think there were some changes made to desktop composition and you cannot turn all things off just like in Win7.

In Win7 the aero effects/transparency is automatically turned off when in full screen mode so you don't need do do it manually.
There is an instant switch so you don't need to monitor it by yourself.

That's interesting because disabling desktop composition and themes, etc... Freed up around ~130MB of VRAM when running Battlefield 3.

In Win8 there is no "official" way to turn off the transparancy in the taskbar (if any) only by swithcing the themename.theme from using Aero.msstyles to Aerolite.msstyles (aerolite has no transparancy but after a reboot or two it's possible it has). But again the desktop composition is automatically managed when in fullscreen. It should be also turned off when not needed so don't worry about performance.

Notice:
In Win7 the UAC prompt is in Basic theme style when in Win8 is Aero theme style. Also dwm.exe has more importance in Win8 and the composition is slightly different. We now have Aero-only theming instead of Aero+Basic+Classic.

There is no Basic theme so you cannot turn off Aero. Even if you get some ugly-looking-non-transparent thing displayed it's still the Aero core + all the 3D acceleration available.

The transparency you see has no negative impact on performance. Also keep in mind that Win8 has no glass-effect so the trasparency here is a bit lighter than it was in Win7.

That's a shame, maybe Windows 8 handles all that much better, since there are no such options when right clicking an .exe/properties and going over the compability tab.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4
    Memory
    8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Vapor-X
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC898
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ XL2411T
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    Plextor M3 Pro 128GB SSD
    WD Blue Caviar
    PSU
    Seasonic G Series 650W
    Case
    Corsair Obsidian 650D
    Cooling
    Corsair H60 and Cooler Master MegaFlow 200mm
    Keyboard
    CM Storm QuickFire Rapid (CHERRY MX Blue Switches)
    Mouse
    Corsair Raptor M45
    Browser
    Google Chrome (latest stable build)
    Antivirus
    None

Hopachi

Polyhedric Stellation
VIP Member
Pro User
SlackerITGuy:
...since there are no such options when right clicking an .exe/properties and going over the compatibility tab

Now that you mention this, there are other new options added in the compatibility which makes it better than Win7.

Some of the compatibility options are changed.

You now see a 16bit color mode available because all the 16bit graphics resolutions are gone (see graphic card list all modes).
In all Windows versions up to Win7 you could manually switch between the screen color modes in the advanced resolution tab.

Those 16bit color modes are only needed for older applications. If you saw this in Win7: after a 16bit color switch, Aero was automatically disabled (imagine how Aero would look if still on). So on Win8 since only Aero is available the 16bit color modes had to go.
There is still 16bit color mode in the compatibility tab and older apps still work. This is because the switch between screen modes happens automatically and Aero is turned off (hopefully) when not visible (a good thing).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy DV6 7250
    CPU
    Intel i7-3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
    Sound Card
    IDT HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6' built-in + Samsung S22D300 + 17.3' LG Phillips
    Screen Resolution
    multiple resolutions
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
    PSU
    120W adapter
    Case
    small
    Cooling
    laptop cooling pad
    Keyboard
    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
    Mouse
    SteelSeries Sensei
    Internet Speed
    slow and steady
    Browser
    Chromium, Pale Moon, Firefox Developer Edition
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    That's basically it.

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