New laptop can't reliably run web browsers
December 3, 2021 10:00 PM   Subscribe

New laptop (Razer Blade 14) mostly seems to work fine, but web browsers (Edge, Chrome, and Firefox) are all exhibiting the same problem. Very often (usually on first loading, or when scrolling for a couple of seconds) the currently displayed tab will crash and be replaced with an out of memory error.

In Edge it looks like this:

This page is having a problem
Try coming back to it later.

You could also:
. Open a new tab
. Refresh this page

Error code: Out of Memory.

Windows 10. 16GB RAM, Task Manager says about 4.6GB's used. One tab open, no other applications running. Refreshing the page will usually work for a little while before the same error recurs. Happens on all pages I've tried (even simple pages like Metafilter). I'm also finding that extensions are crashing about as often (same issue?), though the problem happens without any extensions installed. Everything else, including games, VR stuff, and other large applications, work without any issues.

Updating Windows and all the drivers.
Resetting Windows. Happens on a clean install before adding drivers or anything else.
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (no issues found).
The suggestions on where someone else encountered a similar problem.
posted by rhamphorhynchus to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: That laptop has a proper GPU in it, so I wonder if that's getting confused somehow. You can try disabling "Use hardware acceleration when available" in the chrome setting and see if that fixes it. If it does, there's a good chance you might need to upgrade your graphics drivers. If you have up to date graphics drives there might be a bug in the newest version, so I would search for the version number online to see if anyone else is having issues. I don't remember if Razer has their own GPU drivers or uses the standard nvidia/ATI ones.
posted by JZig at 10:08 PM on December 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'd suggest an additional memory checker first. They may be slightly fiddly to get running, since you boot to another os. memtest86+(open source) or memtest86 (commercial but free for individuals) are both forks of a much older version that I have used before. I'd leave them running for several hours to see what results you get. I have no advice for which is better, whichever is easier to get running is probably better to use.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:16 AM on December 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

They may be slightly fiddly to get running,

Memtest86+ is present on a couple of Linux distro install and live sticks, for instance for Linux Mint. Create such a stick and boot off it and you'll have Memtest as one of choices in the very first menu, before even having to install anything, no fiddling required.
posted by Stoneshop at 5:40 AM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Turning off hardware acceleration doesn't fix it, but running on battery power seems to(!), so I guess it is to do with the hardware acceleration since that gets dialed back on battery power.

Memtest86+ reports no issues.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:26 AM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

The driver for the discrete GPU is somehow seriously broken. You might have to go back to an earlier version. When it's on batterry, it is using the on-CPU mini GPU.
posted by nickggully at 8:03 AM on December 4, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Is there the option of returning it and getting the seller to replace it with a machine that works reliably, or give you a refund?
posted by are-coral-made at 12:47 PM on December 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

How did you update the GPU drivers? Windows 10 handles drivers for you, but it turns out Microsoft is very conservative with GPU driver updates (they are often old as hell)- you may have a much better experience if you go directly to the AMD or NVIDIA website and install the latest & greatest drivers.

(Partner has an older Razer and it was doing weird GPU related stuff until we forced updates to newer drivers)
posted by soylent00FF00 at 4:28 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I once had a problem with a laptop in which the power adapter was somehow undersized, and was not supplying enough power while the battery was charging, which led to some kind of automated hardware throttling and made everything run slower. Running from battery was okay. I fixed the problem by ordering a newer power supply with higher wattage.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Found a Factory Reset option in the BIOS, so flattened it right back to that. Problem persists. I guess there's an actual physical problem with this unit, so it's going back tomorrow. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:13 PM on December 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

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