Laptop? Black screen when capturing? Read here first.

Discussion in 'Windows Support' started by Jim, Jul 23, 2013.

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  1. Jim

    Jim Developer

    TLDR for nvidia laptops
    Go to the nvidia control panel in windows control panel, and go to 3D settings on the left. Then, on the right pane, add the OBS.exe path to the drop-down list, and select it to use the nvidia ("performance") adapter.

    Or alternatively, here's a bit easier step-by-step for Game Capture:
    Nvidia's control panel -> 3D settings on the left -> Global tab on the right -> Click the drop-down box below that, select the nvidia -> Click Apply and OK -> Restart OBS and game.

    If for some reason you need to Monitor/Display capture, you need to set OBS to run on the Intel GPU, as that's where the monitor display is rendered.

    Note: if using quicksync
    Set QSVHelper.exe of both to run on the the intel instead of the nvidia

    If you are using a laptop, you may run into capture issues (black screen). This is because most laptops have more than one graphics adapter. Why do they have more than one graphics adapter? Because one is used for saving power (desktop / windows), and the other is used for performance (gaming). This is done to minimize power usage on the laptop, as laptops are designed to run on batteries.

    Because of this fact, it can often cause capture issues. Your laptop may be drawing one image to the power saving GPU, and another to the performance GPU. However, in order for OBS to capture efficiently, OBS itself must be running on the same GPU as that you wish to capture. If OBS is running on adapter A, and an image is being drawn on adapter B, you will get a black screen when trying to capture it.

    Window capture and "compatibility mode":
    • If you cannot set the GPU (AMD laptops typically), or wish to cross-capture an image from the other GPU after that (example, league of legends lobby window), use window/monitor capture with the "compatibility mode" option enabled to force a capture. "Compatibility mode" requires a bit more CPU usage however.
    • Compatibility mode is not recommended for capturing games, but it basically guarantees a capture.
    • Game capture does not have a compatibility mode. Game capture must run on the same GPU as that you wish to capture.

    I know it's annoying. I'm not happy that this is the case either. Unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can really do about it. This is just the way laptops are designed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2015
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