Last reply by 12-06-2021 Unsolved
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Latitude 5480, WD15, Samsung monitor no 5120x1440


I have a Dell Latitude 5480 laptop and a WD15 docking station.

On Black Friday, I took the plunge and bought a Samsung G9 49" ultrawide monitor with 5120x1440 resolution.

I cannot get the new monitor set up with 5120x1440 resolution when it is connected through the WD15 dock. I can only get the 5120x1440 resolution to take effect when I bypass the dock and plug the monitor directly into the HDMI output on the laptop. Is there anyway that this combination of laptop and dock can achieve 5120x1440 while incorporating the HDMI output on the dock instead?

I also am running a 1920x1080p monitor with VGA connection set up through the WD15 dock.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Replies (3)
7 Plutonium

@shinepigeon  Thanks for the kind words!  It's always nice to hear that my posts have helped people beyond the person I was originally replying to.

It does indeed sound like you don't have Thunderbolt if the TB16 doesn't work at all, since it requires TB.  The WD19TBS has a newer chipset that is backward compatible with USB-C, but only at reduced functionality, so in that mode it would like a regular WD19, which with your system would be just like the WD15.

In terms of your question, if you disconnect your 1080p display, you should be able to run 5120x1440 30 Hz through the WD15 because your laptop and a WD15 would be able to run a single display at 2560x1440 60 Hz, and those two setups should be identical from a bandwidth standpoint.  But I say "should" because not everything that SHOULD work in the tech world always DOES work.  (That reality is one element of what keeps me so busy here -- particularly as these type of scenarios crop even when using Dell systems with Dell docks/displays, where something that should work doesn't.)  And then at that point if the extra display real estate was worth the extra cable, you could connect your 1080p display via the built-in HDMI output, since that output would certainly have enough bandwidth for 1080p 60 Hz.  I see that you're currently using VGA for that display, but if the display happens to have a DVI input, you could get an HDMI to DVI cable or adapter to make that work, and you'll even get superior image quality as a result since VGA is an ancient analog-based signal, whereas everything else is digital.  So that may actually be worth considering even if you don't rework the rest of your setup.

But 5120x1440 even at 30 Hz won't work if you've also got a 1080p 60 Hz display drawing bandwidth.  The total bandwidth requirements for that setup are just slightly above what's available over the USB-C link.

Good luck!



Before I go any further, I want to THANK YOU for all of the detailed, easy to understand posts that you have been making to these forums over the last several years. Since I pulled the trigger on the G9 monitor on Thanksgiving day, I have spent many hours researching related technologies, interfaces, protocols, etc. related to my work laptop (Latitude 5480), my personal laptop (XPS 15 9550), the WD15, and other potential Dell (or non-Dell) Thunderbolt docking station upgrades that could be in the works for my set up. Many dozens of Google searches have led me to your explanations on this forum on numerous topics. Some of your past posts have been quite illuminating! You are a treasure to this community.

The 5120x1440 that is being displayed on the G9 via direct HDMI from the Latitude 5480 is only 30 Hz, but I am OK with that as this is my work laptop. Being able to view an excel file with 50 to 60 columns on 1 display has me grinning from ear to ear.

I had my eye on the WDTBS19 (and the black Friday sale almost pulled me in) however, I talked to my local IT guru who happened to have a TB16 dock laying around that he said I could try it out to save some cash...

He stopped by on Friday and now I have the TB16 set up with my XPS 15 9550 displaying 5120x1440 (with 60 Hz refresh) through the DisplayPort output (from the TB16 to the new G9 monitor) and the 1920x1080p monitor displaying through the HDMI output from the TB16.

With much regret, it seems that I cannot incorporate my Latitude 5480 into the TB16 docking station set up as that system is incompatible with Thunderbolt. **MESSAGE "The docking station you have connected is not compatible with the current port" ** The Thunderbolt Adapter configuration options are greyed out when I try to look them up in the BIOS.

With that being said, I went ahead and reconnected the old WD15 -- which is now dedicated to the Latitude 5480 -- so I could take advantage of the expected docking station features/incorporation of: ethernet, mouse, VGA output for the 1920x1080 display, and connecting other HDD's or SSD's as necessary.

Of the two options you provided, the first one is a non-starter because my 5480 apparently doesn't have TB. The 2nd option you posited would give me the display at 60Hz (but would render the WD15 obsolete... as the only USB-C output from the 5480 can connect to the WD 15 or directly to the monitor with the USB-C to DP you described).

The needle I'm trying to thread here is to be able to maintain the use of the WD15, but only needing to plug in the USB-C cable interface into my laptop to get all the functionality, not ALSO having to plug the monitor in directly to HDMI (for 5120x1440 with 30 Hz).

Distilling this down, I believe the question I am trying to have answered is:

Does the WD15 bottleneck the bandwidth to the point that it could not drive a 5120x1440 even at only 30 Hz? (With or without the extra 1920x1080p display being driven via VGA output).

Many thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post so quickly!

Kind Regards,



7 Plutonium

@shinepigeon  Assuming you want to run at the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, a 5120x1440 display requires about twice as much video bandwidth as is available on the connection to the WD15 dock, without even considering the additional bandwidth consumed by your additional 1080p display.  As for your built-in HDMI output, I'm fairly certain that it only supports HDMI 1.4, which again only has about half the bandwidth required for this setup, so if you're seeing 5120x1440 there, then you're experiencing some combination of lower refresh rate, reduced color space, and/or reduced chroma.

If you want to run that display properly, you have up to two options:

  • If your 5480 has Thunderbolt 3, which was optional on that system, get a Thunderbolt dock such as the WD19TBS.  That dock when paired with your system would be able to tap into 4x more video bandwidth than your WD15, more than enough to run both your 5120x1440 display and your 1080p display -- although you might have to use specific outputs based on the bandwidth requirements here and how the dock allocates video bandwidth across its outputs.  If your particular 5480 doesn't have Thunderbolt 3, then see below.
  • Get a USB-C to DisplayPort cable, connecting it directly to your system's USB-C port.  This will allow you to run the full 5120x1440 60 Hz setup, but obviously you won't be able to use the dock anymore.  The difference in this setup compared to using the dock is that the dock is configuring the USB-C link to support both video and USB 3.x data simultaneously, and carrying the latter requires cutting bandwidth for the former in half.  A USB-C to DisplayPort cable won't be carrying regular USB data, so it will be able to carry twice as much video bandwidth as is available through the dock.

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