samliddicott
2 Bronze

8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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Can I drive an 8K TV over HDMI from my XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060 nvidia graphics?

I have the WD19DCS dock, will that help or get in the way?

I'm looking at the LG NANO956NA or Samsung Q700T or Q950RBT

Or am I stuck with 4K TV (which at least lets me get OLED in the same price range, e.g. LG OLED55CX6LA)

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott  You've got a suboptimal dock for your system, but I'll come back to that.

In the PC world, 8K 30 Hz can be achieved via DisplayPort 1.4.  8K 60 Hz is achieved by running two DisplayPort 1.4 links to the same display.  Dell has an 8K display that works like this, and the XPS 17 9700 with an RTX GPU has the necessary BIOS option to allow it to take direct control of the display outputs (by default the Intel GPU controls them), and in that case it would support DisplayPort 1.4 and link aggregation.

But in the TV world, 8K is achieved via HDMI 2.1.  The WD19 dock family models don't support HDMI 2.1, and I haven't seen any USB-C/DisplayPort to HDMI 2.1 adapters.  What you'd basically need is an adapter that accepted dual DisplayPort outputs on its input side and gave you an HDMI 2.1 output, but I've never seen a product like that.

So I would not expect to be able to run an 8K TV at its native resolution and refresh rate from an XPS 17 9700.

In terms of the dock, the WD19DC and WD19DCS are designed for the Precision 7000 Series systems because its dual cable setup allows the "DC" dock variants to deliver much more power, which those systems require.  But using the DC in dual cable mode requires firmware support for that mode within the system, which the XPS 17 to my knowledge doesn't have.  Just being able to physically connect the two cables doesn't get the job done.  It's very likely that your DCS is operating in single cable mode even if you have both cables connected, and in that setup it operates like the regular and much less expensive WD19S.  The better dock for your system would be the WD19TBS, which uses Thunderbolt 3 rather than regular USB-C and therefore would be able to access much more video bandwidth -- though still not enough for 8K 60 Hz -- and would also support a Thunderbolt peripheral if you wanted to connect one to the dock.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott  You've got a suboptimal dock for your system, but I'll come back to that.

In the PC world, 8K 30 Hz can be achieved via DisplayPort 1.4.  8K 60 Hz is achieved by running two DisplayPort 1.4 links to the same display.  Dell has an 8K display that works like this, and the XPS 17 9700 with an RTX GPU has the necessary BIOS option to allow it to take direct control of the display outputs (by default the Intel GPU controls them), and in that case it would support DisplayPort 1.4 and link aggregation.

But in the TV world, 8K is achieved via HDMI 2.1.  The WD19 dock family models don't support HDMI 2.1, and I haven't seen any USB-C/DisplayPort to HDMI 2.1 adapters.  What you'd basically need is an adapter that accepted dual DisplayPort outputs on its input side and gave you an HDMI 2.1 output, but I've never seen a product like that.

So I would not expect to be able to run an 8K TV at its native resolution and refresh rate from an XPS 17 9700.

In terms of the dock, the WD19DC and WD19DCS are designed for the Precision 7000 Series systems because its dual cable setup allows the "DC" dock variants to deliver much more power, which those systems require.  But using the DC in dual cable mode requires firmware support for that mode within the system, which the XPS 17 to my knowledge doesn't have.  Just being able to physically connect the two cables doesn't get the job done.  It's very likely that your DCS is operating in single cable mode even if you have both cables connected, and in that setup it operates like the regular and much less expensive WD19S.  The better dock for your system would be the WD19TBS, which uses Thunderbolt 3 rather than regular USB-C and therefore would be able to access much more video bandwidth -- though still not enough for 8K 60 Hz -- and would also support a Thunderbolt peripheral if you wanted to connect one to the dock.

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samliddicott
2 Bronze

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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Thanks for the quick answer.

On initial insertion only one of the USB-C connectors lights up, but the other does shortly afterwards which makes me think it is providing power.

I go this dock because it was the only one making any 8K promise, the dock spec says:

For a HBR3 PC
3 x FHD @@ 60H
3 x QHD @ 60Hz
2 x 4K @ 60Hz
1 x 8K @ 30 Hz

but no doubt as you say it is for 2 x displayport only

I also had an older WD15 thunderbolt dock from my previous laptop, but the XPS 17 9700 didn't seem to do anything special with it, least of all pass-through graphics.

So in short, my only hope of 8K is with a display that takes 2 x displayport but not with this laptop regardless of the dock?

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott The dock is providing power, but the DC docks are meant to provide up to 210W for Precision 7000 Systems.  The XPS 17 only requires 130W, and that can be provided by the WD19S 180W w/ 130W PD model, or the WD19TBS.  So again, the DC cost you more money without adding any more functionality for your use case.  You could have gotten the same functionality with the less expensive WD19S, or gotten MORE functionality with the WD19TBS -- which might also have cost less.

The WD19DCS's reference to 8K support assumes you are using a Precision 7000 Series system and therefore are using both USB-C links for video -- which you won't be with an XPS 17.  And the WD19TBS that I said would offer more functionality with your system also mentions 8K in its User Guide here.

The WD15 was a USB-C dock, not a Thunderbolt dock.  I'm not sure what you expected in terms of "anything special", but pass-through graphics would work the same between the WD dock models.  They all rely on DisplayPort Alt Mode for video, and the GPU that controls the output is determined by the system, not the dock.  The amount of bandwidth that each dock can tap into will depend on the dock, the system, and in your case how the system's BIOS is configured, but the question of which GPU controls the dock-driven outputs would not change based on which of those docks you're using.

8K 30 Hz can be achieved from a single DisplayPort link, if you're ok with 30 Hz.  But 8K 60 Hz would require either HDMI 2.1, which neither your system nor the dock supports, or else that hypothetical adapter I described above, which I don't think exists and would not count on ever being introduced, since it would be a highly niche item.  But you never know.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott  If you're looking for productivity and currently have 3x displays, think carefully about whether you really want an ultra-wide like the U4919DW.  Those types of displays deliver the most value if you're doing something where one application will singlehandedly fill the entire display space, since in that scenario the lack of bezels can be nice.  Common use cases for that include video editing applications and of course gaming.  But if your work involves lots of different applications being open simultaneously, then having multiple physical displays can be better, since having a physically compartmentalized workspace helps you compartmentalize applications more efficiently, since you can quickly maximize or halve an application on each of your individual displays.  It also gives you more flexibility in terms of how you arrange your displays than a single huge display does, and you can get more total resolution at a lower cost with multiple smaller displays than a single larger one.  Plus the physical compartmentalization can aid mental compartmentalization, e.g. work apps on one display, email on another, chat apps on a third, whatever.

You might want to consider upgrading to 3x 27" 1440p displays.  That will give you 50% more space than the U4919DW, which is the equivalent of 2x 1440p displays, and the WD19TBS will run that no problem.  The WD19DCS when paired with your XPS 17 will not, however.  But if you don't want to replace the dock, you can connect two 1440p displays to the dock and run the third via direct connection to your system.  You can also recover a port by disconnecting one of the connectors from the DCS, since it's running in single connector mode anyway.  And as of this writing, Dell US has some 27" 1440p displays that are available with delivery dates in the very near future.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott Another option you could consider if you've been looking at TVs anyway is the Dell U4320Q.  It's a 43" 4K display, and 43" is about the physical size where 4K resolution becomes usable at regular 100% scaling, meaning all those pixels are being put toward having a larger workspace rather than having a sharper image.  It's a regular 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, not an ultra-wide, and the result is that the U4320Q is basically 4x 1080p displays arranged in a 2x2 grid all fused together into a single display.  And in fact you can even run the U4320Q as four separate 1080p displays.  That's normally meant to be done when you've got multiple source systems, but if you wanted Windows to treat it as four totally separate displays rather than a single 4K display you could run four cables from the dock to the display.

Note that the 3x 1440p solution I suggested above would give you more total workspace, but it would also be much wider overall and of course it's three physically separate displays.  So it all depends on what works best for the work you'll be doing and what sort of desk space you have.

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jphughan
7 Gold

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@samliddicott  One other thing.  I realize I may be stating the obvious here, but if you want to get an 8K TV, you can still run it from your XPS 17 at 4K resolution.  The TV will likely even perform upscaling.  You don't have to limit yourself to 4K TVs just to get something that the XPS 17 will be able to work with.  I personally would avoid 8K anyway right now though, for a couple reasons.  First, no physical disc format that supports 8K has even been announced yet, and I seriously doubt Netflix, Amazon, etc. will start offering 8K viewing anytime soon.  And second, whenever either of those happens, there is a distinctly non-zero chance that actually viewing their content in that format will require your device to support newer video codecs and HDMI copy protection mechanisms.  The first wave of 4K TVs that came out were rendered essentially useless because when commercial 4K content came out later, providers like Netflix and Amazon required Smart TVs with their apps to support a newer and more efficient video codec to receive a 4K stream, and those first TVs didn't support that codec, so their built-in apps couldn't be used for 4K viewing.  But if you tried to work around that by getting an Apple TV, Roku, or whatever, that was a problem too because those same providers as well as the studios who were publishing Ultra HD Blu-ray content required that the HDMI link between the source and TV support HDCP 2.2, which the first wave of 4K TVs didn't support either.  So you couldn't use their built-in apps or an external device to view commercial 4K content.  Those people ended up using their 4K TVs pretty much just for YouTube.  I would really recommend that you wait until 8K content is available before buying an 8K TV.

There's also the reality that unless you'll be using a large home theater screen or sitting millimeters from your TV, the difference in pixel density between 4K and 8K is unlikely to be noticeable to begin with, which I think will also delay the onset of 8K content.  All else being equal, it requires 4x as much bandwidth and storage from the content providers, and it won't look anywhere close to 4x as good.  Take a look at the chart on this page, and notice how close you have to be sitting to typically sized TVs even to get the full benefit of 4K, never mind 8K.

samliddicott
2 Bronze

Re: 8K TV with WD19DCS and XPS 17 9700 with RTX 2060

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@jphughan so if I'm sitting with my eye 1M from display, a 55" 4K display will not be very different from 8K?

I'm replacing 3 Dell 24" monitors, but the lead time for U4919DW is very long, 1 month down, 3 months to go.

I'll just be using it for work, not media.

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