Diagnose graphics performance issues in Remote Desktop

To diagnose experience quality issues with your remote sessions, counters have been provided under the RemoteFX Graphics section of Performance Monitor. This article helps you pinpoint and fix graphics-related performance bottlenecks during Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions using these counters.

Find your remote session name

You'll need your remote session name to identify the graphics performance counters. Follow the instructions in this section to identify your instance of each counter.

  1. Open the Windows command prompt from your remote session.
  2. Run the qwinsta command and find your session name.
    • If your session is hosted in a multi-session virtual machine (VM): Your instance of each counter is suffixed by the same number that suffixes your session name, such as "rdp-tcp 37."
    • If your session is hosted in a VM that supports virtual Graphics Processing Units (vGPU): Your instance of each counter is stored on the server instead of in your VM. Your counter instances include the VM name instead of the number in the session name, such as "Win8 Enterprise VM."


While counters have RemoteFX in their names, they include remote desktop graphics in vGPU scenarios as well.

Access performance counters

After you've determined your remote session name, follow these instructions to collect the RemoteFX Graphics performance counters for your remote session.

  1. Select Start > Administrative Tools > Performance Monitor.
  2. In the Performance Monitor dialog box, expand Monitoring Tools, select Performance Monitor, and then select Add.
  3. In the Add Counters dialog box, from the Available Counters list, expand the section for RemoteFX Graphics.
  4. Select the counters to be monitored.
  5. In the Instances of selected object list, select the specific instances to be monitored for the selected counters and then select Add. To select all available counter instances, select All instances.
  6. After adding the counters, select OK.

The selected performance counters will appear on the Performance Monitor screen.


Each active session on a host has its own instance of each performance counter.

Diagnose issues

Graphics-related performance issues generally fall into four categories:

  • Low frame rate
  • Random stalls
  • High input latency
  • Poor frame quality

Addressing low frame rate, random stalls, and high input latency

First check the Output Frames/Second counter. It measures the number of frames made available to the client. If this value is less than the Input Frames/Second counter, frames are being skipped. To identify the bottleneck, use the Frames Skipped/Second counters.

There are three types of Frames Skipped/Second counters:

  • Frames Skipped/Second (Insufficient Server Resources)
  • Frames Skipped/Second (Insufficient Network Resources)
  • Frames Skipped/Second (Insufficient Client Resources)

A high value for any of the Frames Skipped/Second counters implies that the problem is related to the resource the counter tracks. For example, if the client doesn't decode and present frames at the same rate the server provides the frames, the Frames Skipped/Second (Insufficient Client Resources) counter will be high.

If the Output Frames/Second counter matches the Input Frames/Second counter, yet you still notice unusual lag or stalling, Average Encoding Time may be the culprit. Encoding is a synchronous process that occurs on the server in the single-session (vGPU) scenario and on the VM in the multi-session scenario. Average Encoding Time should be under 33 ms. If Average Encoding Time is under 33 ms but you still have performance issues, there may be an issue with the app or operating system you are using.

For more information about diagnosing app-related issues, see User Input Delay performance counters.

Because RDP supports an Average Encoding Time of 33 ms, it supports an input frame rate up to 30 frames/second. Note that 33 ms is the maximum supported frame rate. In many cases, the frame rate experienced by the user will be lower, depending on how often a frame is provided to RDP by the source. For example, tasks like watching a video require a full input frame rate of 30 frames/second, but less computationally intensive tasks like infrequently editing a document result in a much lower value for Input Frames/Second with no degradation in the user's experience quality.

Addressing poor frame quality

Use the Frame Quality counter to diagnose frame quality issues. This counter expresses the quality of the output frame as a percentage of the quality of the source frame. The quality loss may be due to RemoteFX, or it may be inherent to the graphics source. If RemoteFX caused the quality loss, the issue may be a lack of network or server resources to send higher-fidelity content.


If server resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve performance:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Increase the memory and compute resources on the server.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

If network resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve network availability per session:

  • Reduce the number of sessions per host.
  • Use a higher-bandwidth network.
  • Drop the resolution of the connection.

If client resources are causing the bottleneck, try one of the following approaches to improve performance:

  • Install the most recent Remote Desktop client.
  • Increase memory and compute resources on the client machine.


We currently don't support the Source Frames/Second counter. For now, the Source Frames/Second counter will always display 0.

Next steps