moatazhamde
2 Bronze

Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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I have a Precision 7510 machine connected to a D6000 docking station which is connected to two Dell U2720Q monitors.

Both monitors are connected to the docking station via DP cables.

While trying to use 3D modelling software, I noticed lines were unusually fuzzy and realised the display wasn't using the NVIDIA GPU but the default Intel HD GPU instead.

There was no way for me to make the switch while the laptop was connected via the dock.

When I connect my laptop to the monitor directly via HDMI, the NVIDIA GPU kicks in and works fine and all my problems are fixed but I can't connect both monitors that way (and nor do I want to). The dock was supposed to rid my desktop from cable clutter!!! Please help.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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@moatazhamde  Unfortunately that's normal for the D6000 when used on systems that have both Intel and NVIDIA GPUs.  See the post of mine marked as the answer in this thread for more background.  You basically have two options:

  • If your BIOS allows you to disable Switchable Graphics, you can do that so that the Intel GPU is completely deactivated.  But this will impose a battery life and possibly temperature and fan noise penalty since your NVIDIA GPU will be active all the time, even when you're only using the built-in display.
  • If you don't have that BIOS option or the consequences above aren't acceptable, get a dock that uses native GPU outputs rather than DisplayLink.  The WD19 or WD19TB would be good choices, depending on the resolutions of the displays you need to run through the dock.  Neither one will adequately power a Precision 7510 though, so for optimum performance make sure to keep the system's own power adapter connected.  Dell fixed this with the WD19DC by designing it to plug into two USB-C ports, which allowed it to push enough power to run Precision 7000 Series systems, but that only works on the Precision 7x30 models and newer, since older models don't have two USB-C ports to plug into.  And a single USB-C port can't carry the amount of power required to run a Precision 7000 Series model properly.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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@moatazhamde  Building on my earlier reply, I forgot to mention that even if you can and do disable Switchable Graphics so that the NVIDIA GPU can be used to accelerate DisplayLink displays, you'll still be left with potential compression artifacts that are inherent to how DisplayLink works, which means you might still see blurriness, blockiness, etc.  And you'll also have the additional CPU and GPU load imposed by the DisplayLink driver doing its work.  So if graphics performance is important to you, a native GPU dock is really the way to go.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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@moatazhamde  Sorry for the triple post here, but I just noticed you're trying to run dual 4K displays.  In that case if you want a native GPU dock that connects to your USB-C port, it will need to be a Thunderbolt dock like the WD19TB, not a regular USB-C dock like the regular WD19.  And according to this page, Thunderbolt 3 is optional on the Precision 7510, not standard.  But even if you don't have Thunderbolt, you do have another dock option -- which you might actually want to consider even if you DO have Thunderbolt.  Here goes:

If you DO have Thunderbolt 3 and want to use that port, then the WD19TB dock is what you want -- although you'll still need to keep the system's own power adapter connected.  The WD19TB can run dual 4K 60 Hz displays, but it does have some restrictions about how displays can be cabled when there's at least one 4K 60 Hz display in play.  This is due to how the dock allocates video bandwidth from the attached system, which varies based on the DisplayPort revision supported by the host system.  I'm not sure if your system's TB3 port is wired to the Intel or NVIDIA GPU or if it can be switched in the BIOS like some newer Precision 7000 Series models.  Note that even if it's the Intel GPU, the NVIDIA GPU will be able to run displays connected that way through NVIDIA Optimus.  Here's how it works:

  • In the Intel scenario, your system would be a DisplayPort 1.2/HBR2 system, in which case to run dual 4K displays both at 60 Hz rather than 30 Hz, one of them will need to be connected to the "downstream TB3" port at the edge of the dock -- not to be confused with the USB-C output near the HDMI port.  You can use a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter/cable to make that connection if needed.  The second display can be connected to any other output.
  • If on the other hand the NVIDIA GPU controls the TB3 output, then it MIGHT be a DP 1.4/HBR3 system, in which case you'd have to avoid using the downstream TB3 port and instead use any other two outputs, except HDMI+USB-C, since those ports can never be used together.  But using the two DP outputs as you're doing on the D6000 would be fine.
  • If you're not sure, only one of the cabling strategies I described above will result in both displays running at 4K 60 Hz, so try both options I just described.

Here's the other option, which is your ONLY choice if you DO NOT have Thunderbolt 3, but which you might want to consider anyway even if you do.  Without TB3, depending on whether the Intel or NVIDIA GPU has direct control of your USB-C port, you'd be limited to either a single 4K 60 Hz display or potentially just a single 4K 30 Hz display through a USB-C native GPU dock.  But the other way to run dual 4K 60 Hz displays through a dock would be to use an E-Port Plus dock, which connects to the E-Port connector on the underside of the system rather than the USB-C/TB3 port.  That dock when paired with your system will run dual 4K 60 Hz displays through its two DisplayPort outputs.  And unlike USB-C/TB3 docks, an E-Port dock can ALSO push enough power to your system to run it optimally, so you wouldn't need to connect a power adapter separately -- which is why I thought you might want to consider it even if you DO have Thunderbolt 3.  However, I believe that dock will need to have a 240W adapter plugged into in order to achieve that outcome.  Even if your system normally uses a 180W power supply, Dell docks typically use the "next size up" power supply so that the dock can maintain some reserve power to run its own electronics and provide power to USB peripherals.  Many sellers now offer E-Port Plus docks without power adapters, so you could get one of those and then get a Dell 240W adapter separately.  Also be aware that in addition to E-Port vs. E-Port Plus docks (you'll need the latter for dual DP outputs), you'll specifically need a second generation E-Port Plus dock for DisplayPort 1.2 support in order to run dual 4K 60 Hz displays.  The second generation also upgraded the two rear USB ports from 2.0 to 3.0, although the USB ports on the left side are still 2.0.  The way to tell the dock generations apart is that the USB ports on the rear of the dock are blue for the second generation dock (indicating USB 3.0 support), while they're black for the first generation dock.

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4 Replies
jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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@moatazhamde  Unfortunately that's normal for the D6000 when used on systems that have both Intel and NVIDIA GPUs.  See the post of mine marked as the answer in this thread for more background.  You basically have two options:

  • If your BIOS allows you to disable Switchable Graphics, you can do that so that the Intel GPU is completely deactivated.  But this will impose a battery life and possibly temperature and fan noise penalty since your NVIDIA GPU will be active all the time, even when you're only using the built-in display.
  • If you don't have that BIOS option or the consequences above aren't acceptable, get a dock that uses native GPU outputs rather than DisplayLink.  The WD19 or WD19TB would be good choices, depending on the resolutions of the displays you need to run through the dock.  Neither one will adequately power a Precision 7510 though, so for optimum performance make sure to keep the system's own power adapter connected.  Dell fixed this with the WD19DC by designing it to plug into two USB-C ports, which allowed it to push enough power to run Precision 7000 Series systems, but that only works on the Precision 7x30 models and newer, since older models don't have two USB-C ports to plug into.  And a single USB-C port can't carry the amount of power required to run a Precision 7000 Series model properly.

View solution in original post

jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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@moatazhamde  Building on my earlier reply, I forgot to mention that even if you can and do disable Switchable Graphics so that the NVIDIA GPU can be used to accelerate DisplayLink displays, you'll still be left with potential compression artifacts that are inherent to how DisplayLink works, which means you might still see blurriness, blockiness, etc.  And you'll also have the additional CPU and GPU load imposed by the DisplayLink driver doing its work.  So if graphics performance is important to you, a native GPU dock is really the way to go.

View solution in original post

jphughan
7 Gold

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

Jump to solution

@moatazhamde  Sorry for the triple post here, but I just noticed you're trying to run dual 4K displays.  In that case if you want a native GPU dock that connects to your USB-C port, it will need to be a Thunderbolt dock like the WD19TB, not a regular USB-C dock like the regular WD19.  And according to this page, Thunderbolt 3 is optional on the Precision 7510, not standard.  But even if you don't have Thunderbolt, you do have another dock option -- which you might actually want to consider even if you DO have Thunderbolt.  Here goes:

If you DO have Thunderbolt 3 and want to use that port, then the WD19TB dock is what you want -- although you'll still need to keep the system's own power adapter connected.  The WD19TB can run dual 4K 60 Hz displays, but it does have some restrictions about how displays can be cabled when there's at least one 4K 60 Hz display in play.  This is due to how the dock allocates video bandwidth from the attached system, which varies based on the DisplayPort revision supported by the host system.  I'm not sure if your system's TB3 port is wired to the Intel or NVIDIA GPU or if it can be switched in the BIOS like some newer Precision 7000 Series models.  Note that even if it's the Intel GPU, the NVIDIA GPU will be able to run displays connected that way through NVIDIA Optimus.  Here's how it works:

  • In the Intel scenario, your system would be a DisplayPort 1.2/HBR2 system, in which case to run dual 4K displays both at 60 Hz rather than 30 Hz, one of them will need to be connected to the "downstream TB3" port at the edge of the dock -- not to be confused with the USB-C output near the HDMI port.  You can use a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter/cable to make that connection if needed.  The second display can be connected to any other output.
  • If on the other hand the NVIDIA GPU controls the TB3 output, then it MIGHT be a DP 1.4/HBR3 system, in which case you'd have to avoid using the downstream TB3 port and instead use any other two outputs, except HDMI+USB-C, since those ports can never be used together.  But using the two DP outputs as you're doing on the D6000 would be fine.
  • If you're not sure, only one of the cabling strategies I described above will result in both displays running at 4K 60 Hz, so try both options I just described.

Here's the other option, which is your ONLY choice if you DO NOT have Thunderbolt 3, but which you might want to consider anyway even if you do.  Without TB3, depending on whether the Intel or NVIDIA GPU has direct control of your USB-C port, you'd be limited to either a single 4K 60 Hz display or potentially just a single 4K 30 Hz display through a USB-C native GPU dock.  But the other way to run dual 4K 60 Hz displays through a dock would be to use an E-Port Plus dock, which connects to the E-Port connector on the underside of the system rather than the USB-C/TB3 port.  That dock when paired with your system will run dual 4K 60 Hz displays through its two DisplayPort outputs.  And unlike USB-C/TB3 docks, an E-Port dock can ALSO push enough power to your system to run it optimally, so you wouldn't need to connect a power adapter separately -- which is why I thought you might want to consider it even if you DO have Thunderbolt 3.  However, I believe that dock will need to have a 240W adapter plugged into in order to achieve that outcome.  Even if your system normally uses a 180W power supply, Dell docks typically use the "next size up" power supply so that the dock can maintain some reserve power to run its own electronics and provide power to USB peripherals.  Many sellers now offer E-Port Plus docks without power adapters, so you could get one of those and then get a Dell 240W adapter separately.  Also be aware that in addition to E-Port vs. E-Port Plus docks (you'll need the latter for dual DP outputs), you'll specifically need a second generation E-Port Plus dock for DisplayPort 1.2 support in order to run dual 4K 60 Hz displays.  The second generation also upgraded the two rear USB ports from 2.0 to 3.0, although the USB ports on the left side are still 2.0.  The way to tell the dock generations apart is that the USB ports on the rear of the dock are blue for the second generation dock (indicating USB 3.0 support), while they're black for the first generation dock.

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moatazhamde
2 Bronze

Re: Precision 7510, not utilizing NVIDIA GPU, D6000 dock

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Thank you @jphughan. That was super helpful.

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