BigChinaMan
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Docking Station D6000-Very Bad Video performance for gaming

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Got new laptop and D6000 docking station with two 27" Dell UltraSharp 4K monitors, and installed latest DisplayLink diver, it works fine for regular stuff, however when I try to play games, it is very laggy, horrible video performance. I noticed that 'Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework Host Process' take lots CPU time. when game started.  All game plays great on the laptop, but with this Docking Station, games are unplayable! In fact, anytime I do any intense graphic stuff, same thing happens. Any idea and suggestions? Very disappointed with Dell stuff. My last set of Dell laptop and docking station worked great. Thank you for your input.  

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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Docking Station D6000-Very Bad Video performance for gam

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It’s because the Dxxxx series docks use DisplayLink rather than tapping into native GPU outputs. DisplayLink uses a driver to have the CPU and GPU compress video for transmission as regular USB traffic, and then a chip in the dock decompresses it and transmits it to the displays. That’s why you’re seeing all that CPU activity and horrible performance. DisplayLink is fine for basic productivity tasks, but when lots of the display area is changing at once, such as when gaming or watching full screen video, that’s a lot more work to do, so your CPU gets busy and you can end up with jerky/judder-y video. You can also see these types of issues if your USB bus is busy with other traffic, such as a large file transfer. And even without any of that, DisplayLink’s compression isn’t lossless, so you can end up with visible judder or blocky video for that reason alone. And on top of all that, you didn’t specify what system you’re using, but if it has both an Intel GPU and discrete GPU, due to a limitation within Windows, only the Intel GPU can be used with displays connected via DisplayLink. The discrete GPU wouldn’t get used at all unless it’s the only one in the system.

You need a dock that taps into native GPU outputs. If your system has Thunderbolt 3, then you’d want the TB16 dock if you have dual 4K displays. If your system only has USB-C, then the WD15 uses native GPU output, but you can only do dual 1080p displays. It can’t handle even one display at 4K unless you’re ok with a 30 Hz refresh rate. With either of those, make sure you get the version with the correct power supply size based on your system’s requirements.

The D6000 can handle more displays at higher resolution than those other docks precisely because of its compression behavior, and also because again it doesn’t use native GPU outputs, but as I’ve just described, that brings significant drawbacks. It’s really meant as a business dock for use cases involving email and spreadsheets. Its main value proposition is that it can be used with both USB-C and USB-A systems, which means companies that currently have a mixture of older systems with traditional docking connectors and newer systems with USB-C/TB3 can standardize on this one dock model. That’s especially useful for companies with “hotel desk” setups. But it’s absolutely not the right choice for gaming.

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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Docking Station D6000-Very Bad Video performance for gam

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It’s because the Dxxxx series docks use DisplayLink rather than tapping into native GPU outputs. DisplayLink uses a driver to have the CPU and GPU compress video for transmission as regular USB traffic, and then a chip in the dock decompresses it and transmits it to the displays. That’s why you’re seeing all that CPU activity and horrible performance. DisplayLink is fine for basic productivity tasks, but when lots of the display area is changing at once, such as when gaming or watching full screen video, that’s a lot more work to do, so your CPU gets busy and you can end up with jerky/judder-y video. You can also see these types of issues if your USB bus is busy with other traffic, such as a large file transfer. And even without any of that, DisplayLink’s compression isn’t lossless, so you can end up with visible judder or blocky video for that reason alone. And on top of all that, you didn’t specify what system you’re using, but if it has both an Intel GPU and discrete GPU, due to a limitation within Windows, only the Intel GPU can be used with displays connected via DisplayLink. The discrete GPU wouldn’t get used at all unless it’s the only one in the system.

You need a dock that taps into native GPU outputs. If your system has Thunderbolt 3, then you’d want the TB16 dock if you have dual 4K displays. If your system only has USB-C, then the WD15 uses native GPU output, but you can only do dual 1080p displays. It can’t handle even one display at 4K unless you’re ok with a 30 Hz refresh rate. With either of those, make sure you get the version with the correct power supply size based on your system’s requirements.

The D6000 can handle more displays at higher resolution than those other docks precisely because of its compression behavior, and also because again it doesn’t use native GPU outputs, but as I’ve just described, that brings significant drawbacks. It’s really meant as a business dock for use cases involving email and spreadsheets. Its main value proposition is that it can be used with both USB-C and USB-A systems, which means companies that currently have a mixture of older systems with traditional docking connectors and newer systems with USB-C/TB3 can standardize on this one dock model. That’s especially useful for companies with “hotel desk” setups. But it’s absolutely not the right choice for gaming.

jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Docking Station D6000-Very Bad Video performance for gam

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In addition to the post above, one other thing you may want to consider is getting rid of the 4K 27” displays in favor of 1440p 27” displays, for a few reasons:

- 4K at 27” gives you a pixel density that’s high enough that you’ll have to enable scaling for things to be legible (and Windows and various applications still don’t handle scaling consistently well) but not high enough to give you a truly sharp Apple Retina-style experience (you need 5K resolution at 27” for that). So in that regard, unless you specifically need 4K resolution for something like editing 4K video, 4K 27” is sort of the worst of both worlds. That’s why when I just bought a pair of 27” displays, I specifically avoided the U2718Q and instead bought the U2717D, which is 1440p.

- Lower resolution means your system will have an easier time rendering games at the native resolution of the displays, and you won’t even be able to tell the difference in pixel density.

- If you don’t have Thunderbolt 3 but do have USB-C, you can run dual 1440p displays if you connect the displays directly to the USB-C port with a USB-C to DisplayPort cable rather than running through a dock, for technical reasons I can explain if you’re curious. You can even do it through a single cable connection if your displays support DisplayPort daisy chaining. By comparison, running dual 4K displays using native GPU connectivity requires Thunderbolt 3, unless you have two separate display outputs on that system that are each capable of 4K 60 Hz and you’re ok using two cables for your displays.

BigChinaMan
1 Nickel

Re: Docking Station D6000-Very Bad Video performance for gam

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Thank you.

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