Last reply by 06-01-2022 Unsolved
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Refresh rate stuck on 30 hz - external Dell monitor

Hello, I recently purchased a new Dell laptop Vostro 3500 (11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz and Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics). I use a Dell monitor U3421WE. I connect it with the HDMI cable that was included to the monitor.

I have an issue - when I switch to the highest resolution (3440x1440) the refresh rate is stuck on 30 HZ and it's laggy! I updated all the drivers - Intel Update app and Dell Update app and nothing happened.
I was using the monitor with my old MacBook Pro (2014) and everything was working fine. (It was connected on the same cable)

Why can't I use my monitor with 60 HZ? 
In the Intel Graphic Commander Center when I click on supported modes there is an availability for 3440x1440 and 60 HZ but in settings it's not visible to switch! How can I unlock the 60 HZ with 3440x1440 resolution? 
Thank you for your help.


Replies (13)
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@Bartkubisiak  The Vostro 3500's HDMI output only supports HDMI 1.4, which supports 2560x1440 60 Hz or 4K 30 Hz.  I don't think it supports 3440x1440 60 Hz, although given that HDMI 2.0 didn't arrive on laptops until about 2018 if memory serves, I'm also not sure how you managed to run that display at its native resolution and refresh rate from your 2014 MacBook Pro, assuming you're absolutely certain about the resolution and refresh rate it was using AND the era of your MacBook Pro AND you were using the MBP's HDMI output as you are here rather than its Mini-DisplayPort output, which had different capabilities.  As for HDMI 2.0 isn't on your brand new system even though it started arriving in 2018, Dell's 3000 Series systems are their entry level, so those systems sometimes hang onto legacy stuff.  At least until recently, some 3000 Series systems still had at least one USB 2.0 port rather than being purely USB 3.x, and some lower-end Inspiron systems are still using 10/100 Ethernet rather than Gigabit, which has been standard on Dell's business-oriented Latitude systems since at least 2003.

However, since the Vostro 3500 seems to be available with a USB-C port, if you've got that, then the easy fix here would be to use a USB-C to DisplayPort cable.  However, Dell's product page for the Vostro 3500 indicates that the USB-C port is optional, so if your particular system doesn't have it, then you may not be able to run that display properly from that system.


@jphughan thank you for you reply.

I'm sure about the refresh rate on my Macbook Pro 2014 (I connected it through the same HDMI cabel). That's why I was very dissapointed and surprised when I got the Dell laptop. I thought that with the new technology and same brand devices everything should go smoothly.

I believe my version doesn't have USB C port. Can't find it anyway.


Why in the "Supported Modes" in the Intel APP it shows it's possible? 


@Bartkubisiak  Ok, in that case I would be curious about the refresh rate on your MacBook Pro, and also the specific model, since there were two different sizes and a new generation launched in the middle of 2014, so just saying "2014 MacBook Pro" doesn't uniquely identify a system.  In terms of Supported Modes, I believe (but am not certain) that the contents of that list is populated by EDID/DisplayID information received from the display about what modes the display supports, and might not be filtered to include only the modes that your system also supports under its current connection.

If you have a USB-C port, it would be between the power adapter port and the HDMI port, as shown in the Ports & Slots photo of the system's product page here.  If you don't have that, then unfortunately you might be stuck unless you can return that system and get a different model that has HDMI 2.0 and/or a USB-C port that supports video output.


@jphughan It's Macbook Pro 15 Retina mid 2014. It's working perfectly fine. No delays at all....With my Dell it's slightly delayed (mouse cursor is slower).



@Bartkubisiak  Did you check the actual resolution and refresh rate the MBP is running to that display?


@jphughan I couldn't see anywhere that different resolution nor refresh rate is showing. Moreover, when it's running on Macbook the cursor and everything else is NOT laggy, only on Dell laptop. 

Games on Macbook are also running in 4K.


@Bartkubisiak  Sorry, missed the attachment since it didn't load initially.  Ok, in that case I'm not sure what's going on unless the MBP is sacrificing color bit depth and/or chroma in order to maintain resolution and refresh rate, while Windows won't allow that.  The Tech Specs of the mid-2014 MBP 15-inch here indicate that it is limited to 30 Hz on "consumer 4K" of 3840x2160, which is consistent with HDMI 1.4, and which I wouldn't have expected could run 3440x1440 60 Hz, at least at the default 8-bit color and 4:4:4 chroma.  If it can, then I'm not sure what's going on with Windows.  If on the other hand your MBP is in fact dropping to something like 6-bit color or 4:2:0 chroma, then I'm not sure if you can force Windows to do that.  Sorry I can't be of more help here.


@jphughan So there is no possibility that I could somehow scale it and optimise it? I don't really need a good graphic. I'm using it only for work. 


@Bartkubisiak  I'm not sure what you mean by scaling and optimizing.  I suppose you could try running a lower 21:9 ultra-wide resolution like 2560x1080.  That would run at 60 Hz over HDMI and the display might scale it up.  But then you're losing workspace and even though the proportions of those resolutions match, you'll still have some scaling issues inherent to any LCD display when running below its native resolution, so that really wouldn't be a great experience.  I wish I had a better answer for you here, but I can't entirely account for how your MBP is achieving 3440x1440 60 Hz while your Vostro can't, and since you don't have a USB-C port, the workaround I suggested isn't available.

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