Top RDP Enhancement Tweak – MinSendInterval

[Skip the nonsense/story – Take me to the good stuff]

Before I start, click the link above to go straight to the enhancement.

One of the things that I hate about “VDI” marketing is when vendors use the term “native experience” or “as good as local”. This can be taken in many ways but I find most if not all to be complete b***ox!

Despite not using XenDesktop for many reasons I’m happy to admit that the out of the box ICA protocol wooops out of the box RDP. This was my largest pain when we moved away from our XenDesktop pilot (first version of XenDesktop) and moved to what was a recent purchase at the time, Quest’s vWorkspace. Don’t get me wrong vWorkspace is my preferred solution and out performs XenDesktop on many levels but it fundamentally uses RDP as it’s it display protocol.

When you move the mouse cursor up and down the start menu, the item on the menu is highlighted in pretty much real time. Do this over RDP and you will notice a slight delay. Do a freehand circle in MS paint with the brush tool over RDP and the movement is jerky. Insert the smiley face shape in Word, re-size and move it around the screen, again in RDP this is jerky.

ICA doesn’t suffer with this so why should RDP??. At the end of the day those tasks I described aren’t the tasks of power users or gamers. This is basic Windows functionality. Actually scrolling up and down a web page or document with standard RDP is NOT good.

The enhancement for this is actually an old fix by MS for a mouse lag issue with early versions of Terminal Services. This is MS’s blurb,

On a client computer, if you use Microsoft Terminal Services Advanced Client 5.1 or later to connect to a terminal server (that is, a server that has Terminal Server enabled), you may notice that the mouse pointer movement is not smooth; it may move in small jerks. This is most noticeable when you use a painting program, such as Microsoft Paint, or the drawing tools in a Microsoft Office program.

You know the phrase, “you can’t polish a turd”? Well that applies to RDP but with this enhancement you can roll it in glitter 🙂

Close down any open RDP sessions on the client computer and start Regedit. Navigate to the following registry subkey:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client

Create a new DWORD called, Min Send Interval (with spaces). Set the value to 10 and exit Regedit.Normally this is good enough but if it makes you feel better restart the computer.

I’ve tested this process for HKLM as an alternative to HKCU on Vista and Win7. I assume it works for XP clients too.

Open up an RDP session and you “should” notice a big difference in the visual performance.

At some point I’ll do a Hollywood Spielberg style video of a before and after registry change to prove it really works!

Happy glittering!

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