I have a precision 7720 laptop (Win 10 pro) with Quadro P4000 GPU and switchable graphics. I use an external monitor connected via HDMI, and usually keep the laptop closed and away from the desk. Upon boot, I need to enter my encryption password when the dell splash screen shows up. However, this screen is only shown on the laptop screen, and not the external monitor. The external monitor does not turn on until after windows boots, but once windows boots the laptop switches to the external monitor automatically. I would prefer to be able to view the splash screen and enter my encryption password directly on the external monitor.
Switchable graphics is enabled in the BIOS, as is the direct output option. I have tried turning this off, but then could not switch to external monitor using the function keys (admittedly I didn't experiment with this much). I understand that likely what is happening is the CPU-internal GPU is used at boot and is not connected to the HDMI output, then it switches to the Nvidia GPU only once windows and the Nvidia drivers have booted. However, there has been one or two times that during a update restart, that the splash screen did show up on the external monitor, so I am hoping this is possible.
I found articles in the knowledgebase on this for the 7710 and 7730 series laptops, on one it is possible, on the other it is not. I was hoping someone might have a solution or be able to provide more info regarding the precision 7720. Thanks!
I haven't used that specific system, but in all of the Dell systems I've worked with, the external displays are only active at initial startup if the lid was closed from the moment the system boots, which means that if you're starting from a full shutdown state, the system has to be powered on from an external power button located on a docking station. Typically using the system's built-in power button and quickly closing the lid won't work. The reason the splash screen appears on your external display on a restart is because I'm guessing you had the lid closed, in which case the lid will be closed from the moment the system first starts up from that reboot, and therefore the system will output to the external display. That's especially worth considering because switching between resolutions based on the applications you're using won't even be a viable option, because for optimal display quality after a change, you'll actually need to log off and back onto Windows every time you change your resolution. The reason is that when you change your resolution, you'll need to change your display scale factor. If you change your scale factor within a user session, Windows continues to render at the scale factor that was active when you first logged in and then uses GPU scaling to upsize or downsize the rendered image to fit whatever you switched to, similar to blowing up or shrinking a photo. That method won't look nearly as good as actually rendering for the factor you're using -- but again, you have to log off and back on to get Windows to change the scale factor it actually renders with. Chances are that will become inconvenient for you quickly, so if an important/frequently used application requires you to use 1920x1080 resolution, you might end up just never using 3840x2160 because it's too inconvenient to switch -- and so again, at that point you might as well just get a 1080p display instead.