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Extending desktop to 3 monitors - trouble with resolution

Posted on 2014-10-24
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Last Modified: 2014-11-13
Hello Everyone,
Trying to extend the desktop on my HP Elitebook 850G1, using 2 HP Compaq LA2405x monitors. My original LA2405x can go up to 1920x1200 (connected through DisplayPort), yet the new one I just added wont go beyond 1920x1080 (connected through VGI)

At first I assumed VGA must be limiting the resolution but a quick search revealed that VGA can go much higher, so that doesn't seem to be the issue. I tried updating drivers and playing around with the settings, but I cant seem to figure it out for the life of me.

Any ideas?
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Question by:Sir Learnalot
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by:garycase
ID: 40403037
I suspect the graphics adapter simply doesn't support higher resolution on the VGA port.

Note that the manual has this note regarding the two:  "... The DisplayPort delivers higher performance than the VGA external monitor port ..."
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by:garycase
ID: 40403046
By the way, it's not at all unusual for a graphics adapter to have a lower max resolution on the analog output than on the digital output(s).
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by:Sir Learnalot
ID: 40406805
How do I check what the highest resolution output available on my port is - I thought VGA was a standard that supported up to a certain resolution and as long as you are using VGA you would have access to within these limits (the only limiter should be the monitor).
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by:garycase
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 40417812
"... How do I check what the highest resolution output available on my port is "  ==>  The video driver won't allow you to set the "slider" to a resolution higher than your specific graphics adapter supports in analog mode or than your monitor can support, whichever is lower.   To confirm which is the limiting factor you need to look at the detailed specifications for both devices.

"...  I thought VGA was a standard that supported up to a certain resolution and as long as you are using VGA you would have access to within these limits (the only limiter should be the monitor)."  ==>  VGA actually refers to the 640 x 480 resolution defined by IBM when they invested the "video graphics array" (VGA) many years ago.    It has come to also mean the 15-pin connector that was standard for that output ... and of course virtually all graphics adapters support resolutions well above 640 x 480 using that same connector.    But what resolution you can actually get depends on the analog output limits of the specific graphics adapter you're using, and the capabilities of the monitor you're using when in analog mode.

In your specific case, it's clear that the graphics adapter is limited to 1080 lines in analog output mode, thus your maximum available resolution of 1920 x 1080.    The manual is fairly clear about this:  "... The DisplayPort delivers higher performance than the VGA external monitor port ..."

If you want your two displays to have matching resolution, you simply need to set the display connected via DisplayPort to the same 1920 x 1080 that the analog output is set to.
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by:Merete
ID: 40417846
Display adapters come handy for this, mostly used for laptop but could be used for a dekstop?
Garycase do you know if this could work on a desktop?

Just as an example on Amazon
Kensington Universal Multi-Display Adapter (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Universal-Multi-Display-Adapter-Black/dp/B002F9NSMQ
Read the feedback from folks who  have posted  their experiences with it.
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by:garycase
ID: 40417854
Yes, the USB adapters work fine on a desktop.   But the adapter you noted is unlikely to provide the 1920 x 1200 resolution the author is looking for ... I don't think it can go beyond the 1152 lines noted in the specs for displays more than 1600 pixels wide [It can apparently do 1600 x 1200 in 4:3 aspect ratio; but nothing above 1152 lines in 16:9]
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Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 40417868
Thanks appreciate it.
Actually now that I think about it, Sir Learnalot wants to extend the desktop,
One idea is the displaylink Hub
DisplayLink USB graphics technology allows you to connect almost any kind of display via a standard USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 cable.
DisplayLink USB graphics technology allows for high resolution, full 32-bit color graphics, at resolutions up to 2560x1600 (depending on chip used). Here's how it works:
http://www.displaylink.com/technology/technology_overview.php
video on the display link hub?
http://www.displaylink.com/for-business/video_tutorials.php
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LDW9IpGgNU
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