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Previously on "External monitor and DPI"

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  • VectraMan
    replied
    In case anyone is listening it's not all smooth sailing.

    One problem is VS2005 which I need to run for some old software. All the text comes out ridiculously large and so is completely unusable. VS2010 works, but the text is blurry on the external monitor. Obviously it's rendering at double the resolution and then scaling it back.

    The only ways I've found around these problems is to set the external monitor to be the primary, or reduce the resolution of the laptop screen. Doing the former means that in Chrome on the laptop you lose the sharpness of the text - obviously it's just taking it's cues from the primary display and not rendering according to the monitor it's on. The new IE does it right - yaay for Microsoft.

    And the other big offender I've found is Paint.NET. Which mostly works until you bring up a dialog and the text is either unreadable small, or double the size and it's a mess. It's almost like they're scaling it the wrong way.

    You can forgive legacy stuff like VS2005, but you expect better from Chrome.

    Leave a comment:


  • VectraMan
    replied
    Bump.

    So I now have a Dell M3800 with 3200x1800 screen. And very nice it is too.

    Predictably Windows 7 was hopeless; exactly as I thought: with the DPI set higher so you could read it on the laptop screen anything on the external monitor was ridiculously large, and vice versa. The only thing you could do is run the laptop screen at half the resolution, and then although it was usable the text quality wasn't great. At 3200x1800 it's so sharp it's almost unholy.

    Windows 10 does it 99% right. Dragging from one monitor to the other and the window is too large/small for a moment then it sorts itself out. The only flaw I've found is that tooltips in Explorer on the external monitor are twice the size they should be. It worked all this out by default too; I didn't have to do anything complicated to set it up.

    Leave a comment:


  • WTFH
    replied
    4K is so last year...


    http://www.canon.com/news/2015/sep08e2.html
    (yesterday they announced a 250MP camera, today it's an 8K screen & cinema camera)

    Leave a comment:


  • yasockie
    replied
    Get an external 4k Screen?
    the 40" Phillips is brilliant, but you can also get a 'small' 28" or 32" screen, which are too small to display text in 4k 1:1 but then you can apply the same lavel of DPI scaling on both screens.
    Personally my home screen is big enough and when plugged in in, I don't use laptop screen at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • MicrosoftBob
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    I think the 24"/27" 5k displays are possibly worth it, if you are a photographer - but only because it makes image editing easier. Otherwise, I don't massively see the point.
    Even then you're better off with a larger dedicated monitor that has a wider gamut of colours and wait for large 8k displays to become cheep

    Leave a comment:


  • WTFH
    replied
    Originally posted by VectraMan View Post
    Yes but that's for telly, which is a bit different, and those arguments were always put forward against 1080p TVs (mostly by people who'd bought 720p "HD" TVs and didn't want to admit they were wrong).

    With text and graphics it is potentially better, though I'm pretty sceptical that QHD on a 15" screen isn't totally OTT. It is the way the world is going though, and Fanbois rave about their Retina displays and it can't all be "emperor's new clothes".


    I think the 24"/27" 5k displays are possibly worth it, if you are a photographer - but only because it makes image editing easier. Otherwise, I don't massively see the point.


    The times you see the benefits are when you are pushing to the limits. If 95% of your life in front of the screen is posting on here or reading/writing emails, then 1600x900 will be more than adequate - even for the 5% when you're watching videos, as it will be marginally smaller than HD (and how many of the videos you watch are HD?)
    And anyway, you've got the big screen for HD.


    So, the question is, in what way will you benefit from the higher definition?

    Leave a comment:


  • VectraMan
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    I'd argue that at 15.6", you might see a marginal improvement in pixels going from 1920 up to 3840, but it would be minimal. In fact I decided to check what the recommended screen size/resolution/distance was for 4k:
    4K Calculator - Do You Benefit? - Reference Home Theater
    Yes but that's for telly, which is a bit different, and those arguments were always put forward against 1080p TVs (mostly by people who'd bought 720p "HD" TVs and didn't want to admit they were wrong).

    With text and graphics it is potentially better, though I'm pretty sceptical that QHD on a 15" screen isn't totally OTT. It is the way the world is going though, and Fanbois rave about their Retina displays and it can't all be "emperor's new clothes".

    Leave a comment:


  • sal
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    So, laptop pixel pitch is 10.97 pixels per mm, external is 4.17ppmm.


    It's so much easier when it's the external that is higher res!
    I'd suggest using the laptop for images/video and the external for text, that way you get the best from the laptop, otherwise you're paying for pixels you don't need.


    I'd argue that at 15.6", you might see a marginal improvement in pixels going from 1920 up to 3840, but it would be minimal. In fact I decided to check what the recommended screen size/resolution/distance was for 4k:
    4K Calculator - Do You Benefit? - Reference Home Theater

    A 15.6" screen running at "4k" i.e. 3840x2160 - to see the benefits you need to be 1" from the screen! Marketing teams do a great job in getting people to buy higher res than needed.
    All this is resolved by running each screen at native resolution and use UI scaling to increase the font size, windows borders etc. while maintaining the Native resolution for maximum picture quality. The problem is that in Win7 you can't scale the UI individually for each display, but only across the board, so you want to "zoom" on the high ppi display to 125% scale - it will zoom all of the displays. This is supposed to be fixed in Win 8.1 where you can assign scaling per display which should resolve the OP problem, unfortunately as I pointed out it's not working properly (shocker...). AFAIK this is properly handed by OSX, as expected, giving the fact Apple is pushing fro high ppi displays across the board.

    Leave a comment:


  • WTFH
    replied
    Originally posted by VectraMan View Post
    The Dell laptops are 3840x2160 16:9 15.6" and the external screen is 1920x1080 16:9 21". So clearly the same text size (in terms of pixels) on both and the laptop screen will be unreadably small, or the external screen will be ridiculously large. You seemed to be suggesting changing the resolution of the laptop display, but you can't do that without making it look ropey, or perhaps put black bars all round the side which would be stupid, and either would defeat the object of having a high resolution screen in the first place.


    So, laptop pixel pitch is 10.97 pixels per mm, external is 4.17ppmm.


    It's so much easier when it's the external that is higher res!
    I'd suggest using the laptop for images/video and the external for text, that way you get the best from the laptop, otherwise you're paying for pixels you don't need.


    I'd argue that at 15.6", you might see a marginal improvement in pixels going from 1920 up to 3840, but it would be minimal. In fact I decided to check what the recommended screen size/resolution/distance was for 4k:
    4K Calculator - Do You Benefit? - Reference Home Theater


    A 15.6" screen running at "4k" i.e. 3840x2160 - to see the benefits you need to be 1" from the screen! Marketing teams do a great job in getting people to buy higher res than needed.

    Leave a comment:


  • VectraMan
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    Now, I'm wondering if your idea of stretching and mine are different - to me stretching would imply it's done in one axis only, so you lose the original ratio.
    I wondered if that's what you meant. No, stretching as in anything where the resolutions don't match, so it has to map source pixels onto destination pixels which will always result in a loss of quality. It doesn't really matter that much about a small difference in aspect ratios, unless you're trying to draw a circle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_resolution

    Maybe rather than talking about this in terms of my monitors, what is the monitor you'll be connecting the laptop to? What is it's resolution and size (also that for the laptop)?
    The Dell laptops are 3840x2160 16:9 15.6" and the external screen is 1920x1080 16:9 21". So clearly the same text size (in terms of pixels) on both and the laptop screen will be unreadably small, or the external screen will be ridiculously large. You seemed to be suggesting changing the resolution of the laptop display, but you can't do that without making it look ropey, or perhaps put black bars all round the side which would be stupid, and either would defeat the object of having a high resolution screen in the first place.

    Leave a comment:


  • WTFH
    replied
    Originally posted by VectraMan View Post
    If it's anything other than the native resolution it's either got to stretch it or pillarbox/letterbox it. If you've dropped your monitor from 1680x1050 to 1440x900 then it's doing one or the other.

    If your laptop pillarboxes when you drop the resolution then that's not a lot of use. If I get a 3200x2100 laptop and I put it into 1920x1080 mode (or whatever is closest) then the text will be tiny and I'll only be getting a small area in the middle of the screen!




    OK, either I am not understanding you, or you are not understanding me...


    You don't need to put the laptop into the same resolution as the second screen and you don't need to have them at the same ratio.


    And, the letterbox bars are only to get the ratio right - it's not switching off pixels to get the resolution.
    (I've just tested that to check - take the laptop resolution down to 1280x768 = 15:9 and the image almost fills the whole screen. If I drop it to 1280x720 (16:9), hey presto the screen is full, no stretching)


    Now, I'm wondering if your idea of stretching and mine are different - to me stretching would imply it's done in one axis only, so you lose the original ratio.


    Maybe rather than talking about this in terms of my monitors, what is the monitor you'll be connecting the laptop to? What is it's resolution and size (also that for the laptop)?


    e.g. laptop with 15.4", 2560x1400, monitor = 24", 1920x1200

    Leave a comment:


  • VectraMan
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    Right now my laptop is running at it's recommend 1600x900 (16x9)
    My monitor is running at 1680x1050 (16x10)
    So, you might say I won't see the difference between 1600 and 1680. I'll drop the monitor down to 1440x900. No stretching.
    Next test - drop the laptop from 1600x900 to 1440x900 (i.e. change the ration from 16:9 to 16:10) - laptop now has black bars down either side. It does NOT stretch the output to fit the panel.
    If it's anything other than the native resolution it's either got to stretch it or pillarbox/letterbox it. If you've dropped your monitor from 1680x1050 to 1440x900 then it's doing one or the other.

    If your laptop pillarboxes when you drop the resolution then that's not a lot of use. If I get a 3200x2100 laptop and I put it into 1920x1080 mode (or whatever is closest) then the text will be tiny and I'll only be getting a small area in the middle of the screen!

    Leave a comment:


  • sal
    replied
    It doesn't work properly in Win 8.1 or rather it works, but gets screwed intermittently. In my case I have a 4k display on my desktop which is also connected to the TV which is 1080p. You can setup different scaling for the 2 displays and it works fro a while, then at some point it gets screwed, eventually i gave up trying to troubleshoot it. No idea how well it's handled in Win10

    Leave a comment:


  • WTFH
    replied
    Originally posted by VectraMan View Post
    Nothing to do with that. If you have a 1920x1080p LCD panel and you put it in 800x600 mode it's going to look crap as the pixels from the output don't correspond to the physical pixels in the panel. This is how it's always been with LCD. Text is stretched, because everything is stretched because the OS thinks it's in 800x600.
    Right now my laptop is running at it's recommend 1600x900 (16x9)
    My monitor is running at 1680x1050 (16x10)
    So, you might say I won't see the difference between 1600 and 1680. I'll drop the monitor down to 1440x900. No stretching.
    Next test - drop the laptop from 1600x900 to 1440x900 (i.e. change the ration from 16:9 to 16:10) - laptop now has black bars down either side. It does NOT stretch the output to fit the panel.


    Check your graphics card settings.


    (running Win7 on an Lenovo laptop with Intel graphics)

    Leave a comment:


  • VectraMan
    replied
    Originally posted by WTFH View Post
    OK, so if you want to keep both displays at their maximum (and the graphics card can cope), then do so, but you'll have differing "sizes" of text. You cannae change the laws of physics.
    Actually you can change the laws of physics. In this case anyway as the program running on one monitor can increase the size of its fonts based on the system DPI setting for that monitor. Also it seems under Windows 8.1/10 the system scales the output of a non-compliant application to suit the monitor it's running on.

    Read all about it:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/dn469266.aspx

    What I was trying to find out is if anyone is doing this in practice and can confirm how well it works. Obviously I'm just going to have to buy the thing and try it.


    As for the "irregular stretch", again, your graphics card should cope with that based on how you set it up. The text will not be stretched.
    Nothing to do with that. If you have a 1920x1080p LCD panel and you put it in 800x600 mode it's going to look crap as the pixels from the output don't correspond to the physical pixels in the panel. This is how it's always been with LCD. Text is stretched, because everything is stretched because the OS thinks it's in 800x600.

    Leave a comment:

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