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Connecting lower resolution monitor to high end laptop: blur

December 14, 2020 at 05:47:02
Specs: Windows 10 Pro 64, 32G
I just got the new and slick Lenovo ThinkPad T15g, with the fancy NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 2080 Super with Max-Q 8GB. Machine's native LCD panel is a UHD (3840x2160). Windows 10 Pro 64bit. Latest drivers for everything, including nVidia. There is also an internal Intel UHD display adapter, powering the laptop's own monitor.

T15g replaces my old 10-year old ThinkPad W530, which I used with two external monitors (Dell U2415 and Samsung 245T, both running 1920x1200).

I have attached just a Dell U2415, with its native resolution of 1920x1200 to T15g. I first connected it via HDMI, but have also tried a ThunderBolt->DP cable as well, both with the same result. The text is visible (100% scaling), but is not crisp. It was extremely crisp with the W530. I tried another monitor (Samsung 245T), with HDMI cable. The results were even worse. Not sharp at all.

I tried switching scale, resolution, refresh rate for Dell's monitor via nVidia Control Panel, via Windows 10's own mechanisms, but the result is not acceptable.

I am sure there are configuration options out there - and I spent hours of Googling, but no answer. Not sure what else to try.

Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated.

Thank you in advance.


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December 14, 2020 at 09:33:32
A "very" long shot...

Are the cables decent quality?

Have you tested with new(er) known good quality cables?

Also how sharp is the image on the built-in display?

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December 14, 2020 at 10:02:35
thanks for the try :)
The cables have been used in the past for a different laptop - so they are good. I also tried several different configurations (DP, HDMI), just to rule that part out.

Built-in display, which is UHD, running on the internal Intel Graphics adapter is super sharp.

If this is of any help - the external monitor's sharpness issue is less of the font/clearText, and more like... if looked at very closely, it looks as though each pixel is a tiny square. It lacks the smoothness of the built-in display (or the previously seen smoothness of the external monitor when it was attached to a different machine).

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December 14, 2020 at 16:14:38
It may be that the monitors in question just cannot display properly the UHD o/p from the new laptop?

Your description of the pixel appearance does tend to point me in that direction. The older monitors onboard processing may not be up to current (UHD( standards?

Can you try setting the laptop display o/p to that of the monitors? AlthoughI suspect you're tried that already.

I know in the past that some monitors haven't been happy with a given computer o/p; often a mismatched relationship between the graphics card and the monitor (usually an older one connecting to a new/more recent graphics card); and occasionally it's been a driver/OS issue...

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December 14, 2020 at 20:51:15
Thank you for the suggestions... Whatever the mode I try for the internal display - it is fine. It does not have "the boxes" for the pixels that are visible to the eye. When I set both displays to 1920x1200 with the same ratio of 100 or 125, they scale the same, but it is the external monitor (whether Dell or Samsung) that is having an issue..

I want to blame Microsoft. After all, it does not matter what the display is - I am extending the screen. Whatever the resolution of the monitor (optimal), it should be sharp...

in my previous configuration, my laptop's native display was 1920x1080. My two external monitors were 1920x1200 and life was good.... but it was also Windows 7.

I wonder if there is an app that fixes what MS is missing on... Any suggestions?


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December 15, 2020 at 00:17:51
Other than to test the laptop with another very current generation external display (to see if the situation is the same - or not), I have no other ideas. Perhaps a local store can/will allow you to do that, if you haven’t access to such a display via work or a local chum?

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December 15, 2020 at 09:41:01
I haven't said anything up to now because I don't know much about
the subject. But despite having the latest drivers for everything, it
seems pretty obvious that the wrong driver is being used. I think you
should explore driver options.

Also, the graphics system manufacturers always include a huge,
complex program with all kinds of settings that I played with a little
but didn't really use much because they didn't make an obvious
improvement for my needs.

On the other hand, I also had a Dell 1920 x 1200 monitor, with
settings for different kinds of input, including playing movies, and
image quality greatly depended on which setting I used for which
kind of input.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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December 16, 2020 at 06:26:16
Jeff, I tried the drivers from Dell, but here is also info from them as well, right from the manufacturer, specifically calling out to my monitor and others:

Display Driver not required in Windows 10
Unlike the graphics card driver, which requires a specific driver for full functionality, usually a dedicated Display Driver is not required.

For Dell plug and play monitors, a dedicated Windows 10 driver for the display that is connected to the system is not needed. The Windows 10 operating system will automatically read the monitor Extended display identification data (EDID). If your monitor calibration software or other software needs a specific monitor INF file, you may install the monitor Windows 8/8.1 driver into Windows 10.

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