I am planning to get an 29" Ultrawide 21:9 monitor, running at a resolution of 2560 X 1080. My laptop is a Sony Vaio VPCEB24EN, almost 4 years old running with an ATI Mobility Radeon 5145 - 512 MB Graphics Card. Not sure if other specs matter but if you are curious - Intel i3 2.3GHz, 1 TB HDD, 6 GB Ram and 1366x768 native display resolution. It has a VGA port and an HDMI which I frequently use with a 1920x1080 display. My question is - will my laptop be able to utilize the full screen space of the 2560 pixels of the monitor and should HDMI be good for it. The laptop will not be used for gaming, mainly for movies and browsing, slight photoshop usage with maybe 20 layers at max. Thanks in advance for any help.


Technical specifications

The Sony VAIO VPCEB24EN comes with a ATI Mobility Radeon 5145 graphic card with 512 MB of dedicated RAM. You can confirm that by using a program such as GPU-Z.

Here's an excerpt from the official specifications:

  • One integrated LVDS display output

    • Integrated LVDS display outputs for embedded panels
    • Supports 18- and 24-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (Dual-Channel LVDS)

  • Two integrated DVI display outputs

    • Supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)2
    • Supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI only)2
    • Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content3

  • One integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs

    • Supporting analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x15362

  • DisplayPort™ output support

    • Supports 24- and 30-bit displays at all resolutions up to 2560x16002
    • Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 KHz stereo or multi-channel (7.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution4

  • HDMI output support

    • Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x10802
    • Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 KHz stereo or multi-channel (7.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution4

2. Some custom resolutions require user configuration.
3. Playing HDCP content requires additional HDCP ready components, including but not limited to an HDCP ready monitor, Blu-ray or HD DVD disc drive, multimedia application and computer operating system.
4. Subject to digital rights management limitations; maximum supported audio stream bandwidth is 6.144 Mbps.

Source: ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5145 GPU Specifications

Additional information

The AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 is a renamed Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with slightly higher clock rates. Therefore (despite the 5000 series name), the card supports only DirectX 10.1 and is still produced in 55nm.

Source: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 - NotebookCheck.net Tech

Quoting the fine print found on the AMD website (emphasis mine):

Performance, technologies and features listed above can vary with specific notebook implementations. Please consult with Notebook vendor for a complete list of supported features.

ATI Radeon™ HD graphics chips have numerous features integrated into the processor itself (e.g., HDCP, HDMI, etc.). Third parties manufacturing products based on, or incorporating ATI Radeon HD graphics chips, may choose to enable some or all of these features.

Display output

Despite the fact that the graphic card supports resolutions up to 2560x1600 through the DVI (dual link) or DisplayPort interface, the laptop only provides a HDMI port and a legacy VGA port. It's logical to assume Sony didn't implement the other ports at all, thus the motherboard lacks the necessary hardware logic.

If you were to use a passive HDMI to DVI dual link adapter, the entire HDMI signal would transmitted through a single link of the DVI connector, and not both. A single link DVI supports resolutions up to 1920x1200; in order to get higher resolutions you would need a powered, active solution to upscale the input signal.

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Your graphics card supports resolutions upto 2560x1600. However, I couldn't find a spec sheet for the product on AMD's website so I can't be sure.

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  • Thanks a lot for the reply. I checked the link you provided but in the table it says on the memory column as 1024 MB, I am 100% sure that what I have is a 512 MB card. Suggestions? – user330328 Jun 7 '14 at 16:02
  • I'm sorry I can't help you here because AMD seems to have deleted the product page for the Mobility Radeon HD 5145 and every other website I find say it has 1 GB DDR3 memory. I guess the only sure shot way to see if your graphics card can support 2560x1600 is to actually try it out with the external monitor. – Vinayak Jun 7 '14 at 16:10
  • This spec sheet reports that HD 5145 supports a max digital resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a VGA max resolution of 2048 x 1536 – Vinayak Jun 7 '14 at 16:16
  • I can't say I fully understand the term "max digital resolution" but the gist of it I guess is that you can go upto 2560x1600 resolution over digital interfaces (DVI) vs. analog (VGA). Also, if your notebook doesn't have a DVI port, cl-scott from TomsHardware says a HDMI to DVI cable should work. However, since DVI is video only, you might also need an audio cable to transmit audio to the monitor's speakers. – Vinayak Jun 7 '14 at 16:26
  • Aaah thanks a lot mate. I don't have a DVI port in my laptop. Just an HDMI and VGA. Seems I will have to use the HDMI to DVI adapter. Thanks again. – user330328 Jun 7 '14 at 18:11

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