Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 RTM was released on 12-APR-2010, 1 year completed as of now. The major change of VS2010 was that it is a completely reworked and is completely developed in WPF(Windows Presentation Foundation). 

Since it is based on WPF, Visual Studio 2010 performance is based on hardware rendering(using “3D Graphics”/VGA hardware). In order to feel the superior performance with VS2010, you need to have a latest hardware set (DirectX 10 and above based graphics/VGA card is required).

The older version of Windows, interestingly Windows XP Sp3 has support to install Visual Studio 2010 sp1. But the problems some people faced because of the Hardware Acceleration since they have older version of VGA hardware and drivers, which doesn’t work well in acceleration WPF Applications.

Microsoft has taken these limitations in to consideration and turned off default Hardware Rendering/Acceleration in Visual Studio 2010 sp1, this means that Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 – by default using “Software Rendering”. Users with latest/recommended hardware configuration can choose to turn it ON and OFF from Visual Studio 2010 -> Options -> General.

Most of you might have experienced slowness while using Visual Studio 2010(slow rending, slow content redraw etc) after installing Service Pack 1. This is because your visual studio 2010 is currently using software rendering. Software rendering is much slower in terms of performance. Turn Off  “default” Software Rending/Acceleration OFF from Visual Studio 2010 -> Options -> General -> “Visual Experience” -> uncheck “Automatically adjust visualization experience based on client performance” and check “Use Hardware Acceleration if Available” option.

This will make your Visual Studio 2010 – Service Pack 1 working efficiently than before.

If you need to read more about changes included in Visual Studio 2010 – Sp1, read through @Scottgu’s blog and Jason Zander’s Weblog about Performance Troubleshooting Article and VS2010 SP1 Change