New monitor has bad display on one PC, but fine on another

Posted on 2014-08-21
Last Modified: 2014-09-01
This is a tricky one to describe.  I have recently upgraded my desktop PC and am having difficulty with the display, particularly for photographs.  The monitor I am using is a BenQ XL2411Z which looks really good when playing games, internet browsing and office applications.  When viewing photographs a majority of them have really terrible colours.  The same photographs are displaying fine on other devices.  I thought it could possibly be the graphics adaptor so I connected a different monitor and the photos displayed perfectly.  So I connected the BenQ monitor up to a notebook and viewed the same photos and again they displayed perfectly.  This is really puzzling.  On the one hand the monitor looks fine on other devices and other monitors look fine on my PC.
The graphics adaptor in question is an ASUS Radeon R9-290X DirectCUII-OC.  This is connected to the BenQ monitor via DVI.  I am running the graphics adaptor with default settings and the latest drivers and BIOS.  The BenQ monitor is also running in default settings, although there are different profiles I can set it to, but the photos display terribly on all.  I have tried adjusting the colours on both the monitor and within Catalyst Control Center, but this doesn't make a difference to how badly the photos look.
It is difficult to describe exactly how they look.  Where the photos are quite bright seems to look fine, but where there is a darkness such as shadows on a persons face the colours just tend to fall away, don't blend well so they look like early 90's 256 colour VGA.  This is the best way I can describe it.
Now here is the interesting part.  I borrowed an HP LE2202X monitor from work and connected up next to my new BenQ via DVI to the second DVI output of the graphics adaptor.  Windows detected the manufacturer and model of the second screen straight away as it did with the BenQ.  I ran them in extended desktop.  I opened up a photo on the BenQ side and it looked terrible, then I dragged it to the HP side and it looked perfect.
The next thing I did was to clone the desktop with the BenQ as the primary monitor and opened up the same photo so it was displaying on both screens at the same time.  The photo looked terrible on both screens.  It was like the HP adopted the same settings as the BenQ.
Then I kept the monitors in clone mode, but set the HP as the primary monitor.  The photo looked brilliant on both screens!!!  How can this be?  Once I take the HP away everything reverts back to the way it was with the photo looking terrible on the BenQ.
I'm really at a loss as to why this is.  Does anyone know why this is behaving in such a way and do they know what I can do to fix it?  Appreciate any help and advice.
Here are the details of my PC.

CPU - Intel Core i7-4790K
MB - ASUS Sabretooth II Z97
RAM - 16GB
Graphics - ASUS Radeon R9-290X DirectCUII-OC
Monitor: BenQ XL2411Z
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Question by:AbeFroman
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Please confirm drivers by running AMD auto detect. Install any newer display drivers or catylist.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    ypu can tru upgrading the firmware for the BENQ :

    Author Comment

    Thanks joinaunion, I'll take a look at that later today.  nobus, I've thought about that, but I'll need to take it to one of their service partners or buy/build a device that will upgrade the firmware.  Looking at the list of fixes in the version 2 of the firmware it didn't seem to address the issue I'm having.  One other thing I'll try is to change the monitor type in Windows to the generic one as I'm wondering if the monitor type in Windows has something to do with it otherwise why would I have these results-

    BenQ solo - bad
    HP solo - good

    BenQ + HP extended desktop - BenQ bad, HP good

    BenQ primary + HP clone - BenQ bad, HP bad

    HP primary + BenQ clone - HP good, BenQ good
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    >>  or buy/build a device that will upgrade the firmware  <<   do you have a special reason for thinking that?
    normally, it's just software that you run

    Accepted Solution

    Hi nobus, this link will explain how to upgrade the XL2411Z firmware -

    Anyhow, I have solved the issue.  In the Windows Resolution settings, Advanced Settings, Colour Management, I removed the BenQ XL2411Z colour profile (XL2411Z.icm) by running monitor calibration tool, where I just clicked Next through everything as it all looked good.  This created a new default colour profile and now everything looks perfect.

    I'm only disappointed that support from BenQ didn't mention this could be the source of the issue.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    tx for feedback !

    Author Closing Comment

    Other comments, whilst appreciated, did not provide an acceptable solution.

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