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How to get DOOM (2016) to run on a Core i7 Surface Book with Nvidia GPU

DOOM (2016) is turning out to be one of the biggest hits of the year earning a respectable 87 rating on Metacritic. It's one of my favorite games to play on the Xbox One right now, but sometimes I may want to take the FPS from hell with me.

Tonight, for some Friday fun I'll show you how to hit 40 FPS using a top-end Surface Book with a Core i7 and Nvidia dGPU.

The Problem

If you try to run DOOM on a Surface Book, you currently run into a scaling issue as you can see in the image above. Changing the in-game settings does nothing to alleviate that either, so you can never play in full screen.

Surely, however, this is just an early bug as you can lower a lot of the graphics in the game for older PCs. Of course, you lose detail, but a top end dual Core i7 processor and teeny Nvidia GPU should be able to do more.

The Solution

A quick fix was posted on Reddit earlier today by KrenTheKnome, and I was able to verify on my Surface Book that it does work. You'll knock the graphics down to just 1280x720, but you will get full-screen playability and 40 frames per second, which is more than playable. Here is how to do it.

The process involves two steps:

  • Disable display scaling
  • Force download latest Nvidia driver for laptops (link below)

The first step is simple, but it looks like you need to download a new Nvidia driver. Obviously, Microsoft only sanctions approved Nvidia drivers through Windows Update, so use at your own risk. The latest version that evidently works is 365.19 WHQL.

Download Nvidia 365.19 WHQL here (opens in new tab)

After you download the file run the setup to update your Nvidia GPU on the Surface Book.

Next up, you will want to disable display scaling for DOOM.

  1. Find Doome.exe - Using File Explore on your PC, head to the Doom install directory and find doom.exe.
  2. Right-click on Doom.exe and choose Properties
  3. Choose the Compatibility tab and enable (check) Disable display scaling on high DPI settings
  4. Hit OK to save

When you launch DOOM the default settings will now shift to 2560 x 1600 at a 16:10 aspect ratio. That is still too high for what we need, so you will need to change the video resolution under the game settings to this:

  • Aspect: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1280x720

You will also want the Advanced settings set for Low graphics.

The weird thing is playing the game at 16:9 aspect ratio as you will have black bars, however at these settings DOOM plays quite well with an Xbox One controller connected. The images posted below are samples taken during gameplay, and you can see the frame-rate in the upper corner. I won't lie compared to the Xbox One or a high-end gaming PC the graphics are not as sexy, but hey...you gotta play.

Besides, it gives a retro game that kind of retro look!

What about Surfaces with no dedicated Nvidia GPU? Your guess is as good as mine, but you will likely have it even worse. But hey, at least now I can play DOOM on the plane!

Do you have another way that is easier or better? Let me know in comments!

Related: Our full DOOM Eternal Xbox One review

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

60 Comments
  • Been finding that you have to disable display scaling a lot on Windows 10 for Win32 games on high res displays. Similar problem with Skyrim earlier.
  • How about an i5 Surface Book? Any chance there?
  • If your Surface Book is equipped with an Nvidia GPU, you should be able to play the game. The only things seperating the I7 from the I5 are: 1- 1 MB of extra cache on the I7 2- 200mhz higher based clocked speed, which shouldn't matter all that much for Doom.
  • Should experience the same performance.
  • if it can barely do 40fps at 720p with a gpu, my guess is it could even crash with an intel igpu :P
  • Nah. The HD 540 in the i7 is quite decent. I expect 30 fps at minimum settings on a lower rez than 720p.
  • It doesn't crash, it just doesn't launch in the first place. I have an i7 + Nvidia 680m laptop.
  • I think the biggest limitation in the Surface Book for gaming may be the 1GB VRAM. That's may be enough for professional software (and it's great that it is GDDR5 vs. DDR3 in the stock NVidia 940) but 1GB is a bit limiting with modern games. That said, I have had good luck with games a few years old which often provide a good experience at 900p or 1080p.
  • Aye, same experience here.
  • 2GB would have made more sense.
  • One thing you might try is using the Nvidia Control Panel (Classic Control Panel applet) to configure the game to run EXCLUSIVELY on the Nvidia processor instead of Intel. This may allow you to play the game at higher FPS. Of course, don't try to disconnect the base during game play, lol.
  • LOL
  • That or experience
  • If it's that bad on a 2015 i7 machine, guess I shouldn't even bother trying it on my old Core 2 Quad Q6600 with NVidia 550ti.
  • Same setup, but I have a gtx 750ti. Sent from my Lumia 830 running Windows 10 Mobile
  • Wrong. The 550 Ti should still be miles faster than the 940MX.
  • Really, that's encouraging, I'll give it a try. It does mostly ok with the newest Unreal Tournament pre-alpha, except for the occasional stutter.
  • the i7 doesnt say anything
  • Your comparing mobile cpu and GPU to full blown desktop cpu and GPU. I had a Q6700 for a long time. Overclocked over 3Ghz, those Q6XXX cards are still very solid. Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • Running Doom on an i5 2500k with GTX570. I get between 40-75 fps @720p with everything cranked down. Managed to complete the game and can't complain on performance. Clearly a sign I need an upgrade though!
  • Nope.... don't do it. You'll be soooo disappointed. You'll think in your head, "This doesn't look all that great..."
  • Does it share your progress through the game when played on Xbox and pc?
  • Does it share progress through the game across Xbox and pc? Sorry. Double post.
  • No. No reason it should.
  • Shame. Make perfect sense that it should. Why would I want to start over again just because I'm on the move? It's like sharing your app settings across devices.
  • That would be a lot of extra work for the developers, and they might have to release it as a W10 Store game rather than a PC game to even be allowed to do it. Most multiplatform games, including this one, aren't aiming for multiple purchases from single users.
  • True. It doesn't fit the older gaming model. But having played 5 levels on xbox, I'm not about to start over to play it on the train :-)
  • This isn't about multiple purchases from single users, it's about continuity of experience across multiple devices of single users. And it's dead simple. Cloud save the save files. Done. Clearly they don't care and neither do I because I won't be buying the game anyway, but it sure isn't what I consider hard work to implement and there's not much reason to omit the ability in this day and age. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • No, Xbox Live is a closed system, and to do cross-save functionality, the developers would need to go through a lot of extra procedures. It's not as simple as keeping a text file on the cloud or something.
  • Okay, true enough. I was thinking from PC to PC for some reason which wasn't part of the OP. Still a shame though. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Uh, there are no other games that do that on xbox one other than Windows 10 titles. And nothing on PS4 supports that. This isn't something other games do that doom didn't, this is a feature we currently don't have really at all on console gaming (except windows 10). Steam also does it but that doesn't help with the One.
  • So I gues playing on my Transformer T100 is out of question ;-)
  • You can always try
  • Wouldn't even try. However today I discovered that you can get reasonable performance on Rocket League when toned down and using a few tweaks when running an Atom CPU (ThinkPad 8)
  • Kinda sad how a$3000 laptop can't play doom
  • Did you read the article?
  • I mean, it should at least be able to play it at 60fps and at 1080p. I call anything at 720p unacceptable. So 3000, its a rip off. 
  • If you think running Crysis 3 in 1080p at a steady 30FPS is unacceptable, you must be one die-hard gamer, the Surface Book isn't for such people. http://www.dereferer.org/?http2F2Ely%2F1NJN5un If your only use of a computer is gaming 24/7, you shouldn't even be looking at the Surface Book in the first place, go for them mono Laptop gaming PCs. There's a whole lot more uses of a GPU than sitting in a basement gaming all day​.
  • Truth. Some people just don't get it. :) Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • Wow...what an idiot. The surface book is like a 'Lexus' of laptops, not for playing games, which a dedicated GPU would work better for like a RAZER, ALIENWARE, OR MSI Gaming laptop, which would be like a Ferari. I tell my friends this who try to play steam games on their macbooks, which have similar problems. Can it be done? yes, but there is a whole host of problems they always have, and it runs like crap. You need something with a dedicated GPU, It's that simple.
  • Did you try by simply doing Alt+Enter ? It helps to vary by Fullscreen mode or not for every app who can be in fullscreen. For Nvidia Drivers, simply install GeForce Experience, it helps really a lot for being much more up-to-date then Windows Update for graphics drivers.
  • I got doom to work fine on an AMD 5750m + 7670m granted it's 40fps on 800x600. I found processor was the problem not graphics as I'm able to take it to ultra at that res with no fps drop. On a laptop 800x 600 is not as bad as you think!
  • Why would a person choose to use an Xbox One controller playing a FPS on PC? The main purpose of doing this would be keyboard/mouse support.
  • I'd play it with a controller, because I'm more comfortable with them and don't enjoy playing most games with a mouse and keyboard. In fact, that's how I played it on the gaming PCs at QuakeCon last year.
  • That's surprising to say the least, a fast paced title like this lends itself to the increased precision of a mouse (especially online). It also asked for more control over what you can do and when, the elite controller alleviates this with its paddles, but with a regular controller there are certain things you just can't do at the same time. But hey, to each their own.
  • Yeah, I certainly realize that the mouse allows for faster aiming, etc. than analog sticks. The only time I ever played a non-competitive first-person game and really felt disadvantaged with the controller was with the first Portal. The developers failed to balance some of the harder stuff for controller play, making it super hard and frustrating towards the end of the game.
  • I generally don't mind people prefering one control scheme over another, but if they expect developers to balance the game around the inferior one, then I do.
  • Spot on. ANYONE, ever, that states that a controller is better than K+M for FPS games is... mind blowingly silly.
  • It is depending on the person
  • Not all of us gives a damn about controllers, we use what we are comfortable with. It's that's simple.
  • Driving games, a mix between Controller and keyboard. fps... k+m all day long. You simply cannot match it with a controller.  (Unless you're forced to do so with games on the xbox)
  • "DOOM plays quite well with an Xbox One controller connected." Would prefer to play with K+m as that's the appropriate way for FPS games. 
     
  • I'm a casual gamer, don't really care about that and frankly, it's just not comfortable for me to play like that on a laptop keyboard. Full desktop PC with mouse? Sure. When I'm on a plane or just chillaxing in a hotel room? Don't really care.
  • Oh god. That resolution is awful.
  • If you want some retro fun, the 2004 version of Doom can be found on oldgames.com. It will run on even the most budget PC.
  • Doom is my favorite as well
  • OMG, looking at those screenshots, its so painful.... All those jagged edge pixels....YUCK! The gun almost looks like its from the origninal doom like 20 years ago...
  • That's a very silly thing to say.
  • You didn't click on the screenshots I guess.....I just finished playing through Episode 1 of the original doom again, and running on its regular resolutions, without any SAI filtering or such.....it looks the same with jagged edges. I'm not trying to be annoying, but it really is painful looking at those jagged edges. Look at some of the reviews of Doom that just came out that has screenshots, and compare them.
  • The original Doom does not have polygonal enemies. It has 2D bitmapped sprites for bad guys. Saying that they look the same is just hyperbole, not a realistic comparison. And frankly, it's a feat just to get the game to run at all on a system without a proper gaming GPU like the Surface Book.