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My 27 inch Apple Cinema Display has a blue tint to it when connected to my laptop, which uses Optimus (NVIDIA + Intel). I believe the Intel actually handles the output signal in all cases, and the NVIDIA only does the processing.

When connected to my other laptop or my desktop - both having ATI cards, the video looks excellent with normal reds / greens / blues.

DisplayPort is the connection in question.

I've tried tweaking the settings through software (Windows, graphics drivers in NVIDIA and Intel), all to no avail.

The white balance seems horribly tinted blue. I'm VERY close to turning my laptop in and getting a different one because of this issue.

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Is it Display Port to both the laptop and desktop? – William Hilsum Jun 21 '11 at 14:09
DisplayPort to all. – Joshua Jun 21 '11 at 14:49

Are you using the same cable on both? Have you tried another output on the laptop? This sounds like there's actually a problem with one of the pinouts between the two, which could be a faulty cable or a faulty port; the easiest thing is to swap either of those variables. I think you're probably looking at the laptop, though.

One other good way to check that it's not a video issue is to do screen captures on the machine in question and view them on another - odds are the color balance will look fine, which leads you back to an issue other than the video card.

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+1, I wrote about cables in comment and depending on the reply, I was going to write exactly the same thing as you had! – William Hilsum Jun 21 '11 at 14:20
@Wil - I knew what you had in mind, but I decided to be presumptuous. Share some of the rep for a change! :) – Shinrai Jun 21 '11 at 14:21
haha! :) ...... – William Hilsum Jun 21 '11 at 14:41
There is only one cable - built into the Apple monitor itself. Going to the ATI cards I am using an adapter in both cases - a miniDP to regular DP. The Optimus laptop (a Dell XPS15) has a miniDP builtin so I go direct to that. – Joshua Jun 21 '11 at 14:50
@Josh - Oh, right, I forgot Apple likes to be stupid like that. In that case, you're probably looking at the laptop - especially because miniDP pots are notorious for not-being-quite-properly-wired. – Shinrai Jun 21 '11 at 14:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Sorry in advance for answering my own question, but no one else has been able to provide the correct answer. The result has been thus: NVIDIA Optimus + Intel is broken. Intel's graphics output is the primary driver on this laptop's displayport connector, and is not displaying the full range of colors correctly.

I have tested and confirmed this on multiple XPS 15 laptops and it is consistently failing.

This is a miserable design defect. Shame on Intel / NVIDIA / Dell for letting this go.

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I have noticed a difference in color reproduction on other Optimus laptops, but nothing as significant as your mentioned problem. I'm fairly surprised that it ended up being this, but oh well! Color calibration in Windows doesn't help? – Shinrai Sep 7 '11 at 18:05
I've tried color calibration in Windows, Intel graphics drivers, NVIDIA drivers, and even an Adobe tool. The problem seems to be that not enough color "bandwidth" is getting to the display. – Joshua Sep 7 '11 at 19:11

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