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up until recently I was using the U2711 with a Lenovo T410 via a DP output. This allowed me to use the max resolution of 2560x1440. The U2711 is used as my second extended monitor, my laptop screen is my main display.

I now switched laptops to a new Latitude E6520 (with an Nvidia NVS 4200M graphics card) that does not have a DP output nor a DVI output. I was wondering if the HDMI output would allow me to use the max resolution anyway, either via a custom resolution or a cable adapter.

I already tried setting a custom resolution in the Nvidia control panel to 2560x1440 through HDMI. This seemed to work the first time, but whenever I hook up the monitor now via HDMI, the whole laptop becomes unresponsive and the monitor goes into save mode.

So a couple of questions here:

  1. Can I use the custom resolution with HDMI? Would this have any negative impact on the monitor's lifetime/performance?

  2. Can I somehow reset the custom resolution to the native HDMI one in the control panel, as I think this would prevent my laptop from becoming unresponsive?

  3. As an alternative, is there a cable adapter that I could use to go from HDMI to DP or DVI?

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As already answered before, the NVS 4200m only supports 1920x1080 via HDMI. However, the docking station for the Latitude E6XX0 laptops has a DisplayPort output that should be capable of up to 2560x1600. –  user109421 Dec 13 '11 at 19:01
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3 Answers

As stated by Dell and confirmed by many users (me included), the HDMI port of the U2711 is passive, meaning it gets whatever the video card sends. It IS possible to run the U2711 at native (full) resolution over the HDMI port, provided that a) your video card supports 2560x1440 over the HDMI port, b) your cable is at least version 1.3 for a higher bandwidth capacity. Check out the HDMI version comparisons on wiki.

Since HDMI is supposed to be used for displaying multimedia video streams, and actual commercial video highest resolution is 1920x1080p, not many cards shows a higher resolution available when choosing, for example in control panel. To be able to use a higher resolution to the one showed it may be necessary to create a custom resolution, or edit some registry/EDID files, depending on your video card and OS.

In my case, with a Intel HD integrated video card, the only necessary thing was to create a custom resolution via the Intel Graphics control panel, reboot, and choose the new resolution from the control panel normally.

Note that altering the default resolutions and files may cause some other problems, like flickering, necessity to lower the refresh rate of the video card, or possibly worse. You should go with extreme care and read first the forums and sites other people suggested before.

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VERY useful answer. Exactly what I was looking for. I should also add that many video cards require Display Port cables to run at higher resolutions. –  aronchick Sep 25 '13 at 21:55
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HMDI is meant for video output and the U2711 supports 1080p which is 1920x1080 which is far off the 2560x1440 which the monitor supports.

But what you are actually doing is that your videocard downscales the image to 1920x1080 and your monitor is displaying the 1920x1080 on the 2560x1440 screen, thus rescaling it again.

See http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvs_techspecs.html for details on output capabilities of your videocard.

The VGA output will go up to 2048x1536, only the Displayport output will go up to the resolution of your external monitor; 2560x1440.

Downside is that your laptop doesn't have a Displayport output.

A lot more information on this issue can be found at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1479962. If using Linux, please check the reply of Ictogun.

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For Windows check the post on the Dell forums en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3519/t/… –  wimsymons Oct 27 '11 at 11:47
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in windows 7 I had the native resolution being sent through a HDMI with no issues on a GTX 460M graphics card. I had to create the custom res in the NVIDIA control panel which was easy. Now that I have upgraded to windows 8 however I am unable to do this. When I create the custom res it downgrades the res to 1920x1080 so the image is blurry and not the true res I enjoyed before. I think nvidia is to blame with the new drivers that were installed alongside windows 8 but I'm not sure.

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