Have an XPS15 9560 i7 and 4k screen and looking at getting an ultrawide monitor to use as primary screen and perhaps use the same monitor with a second laptop. I was looking at the Dell U3419W but I'm kind of leaning now towards this Asus model: https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Monitors/ProArt-PA34VC/specifications/
Have been reading up on various sites but could use experience/know how to confirm some things before I make the investment. Reasonably techie-minded but some of this stuff is beyond me at this point:
1. Will the Dell drive the Asus monitor to work at 3440x1440@100hz effectively?
2. Can I use the monitor to work with 10 bit colour effectively with the Dell laptop?
3. Which is/are the best cable connections for the above?
4. Can I use a second (Lenovo) laptop to hook up to the monitor (image quality/response not so important) and do I need a docking station or just a cable connection?
Thanks so much.
@DavidLl1 even without tapping into actual Thunderbolt, the XPS 15 9560's USB-C port can run a full DisplayPort 1.2 output, which is enough bandwidth to run a 4K 60 Hz display. The bandwidth requirements of 3440x1440 at 100 Hz are slightly lower than 3840x2160 at 60 Hz. And I've seen confirmation that the Intel GPU in that system (which has direct control of all video outputs, so its limitations come into play) can run at least up to 120 Hz in general. So while I haven't tested that specific setup, you should be able to run that display that way using a simple USB-C to DisplayPort cable.
The part I'm not sure about is 10-bit color. First, I don't know if the Intel GPU itself even supports 10-bit color, and if that's the case then you'd be stuck no matter what cable you use, but I'm pretty sure that it does. The next question is whether a DisplayPort 1.2 interface, which is what you'd be providing to the display over a USB-C to DP cable has enough bandwidth to run that resolution at 100 Hz and 10-bit color. And I don't know the answer to that. However, looking over the manual for the display, its DisplayPort input only seems to support up to 1.2. So if the display can be driven at full functionality over its DisplayPort input, then a USB-C to DP cable would work fine because that's exactly what you'll be sending to it -- again, as long as there are no other limitations on the GPU side that have nothing to do with connector bandwidth.
I do see that the display also has a Thunderbolt 3 input, but even if you connected to the system over a Thunderbolt 3 cable, I don't think that would change anything from a display capability standpoint. Thunderbolt 3 merely allows the system to send two full DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces over a single cable, but Intel GPUs don't support aggregating multiple GPU interfaces to drive a single display; they only support splitting a single interface to drive multiple displays (called DisplayPort MST). That said, you might still WANT to use a Thunderbolt 3 cable in order to carry USB data over that single cable if you intend to use the USB ports built into the display, though. But as for power, although the display can provide that, it only provides 65W, and the XPS 15 is designed for 130W, so you'll want to keep the system's own power adapter directly connected if you want your system to function optimally. Otherwise, if you give it a power source that's only half what it's designed to have available, you'll see very slow battery charging and very likely dramatically throttled CPU and GPU performance as the system attempts to operate within a severely reduced power budget.
As for the Lenovo system, if THAT system happens to have Thunderbolt 3 and can run on 65W, then you might want to connect that system to the display using a Thunderbolt 3 cable so that it can be adequately powered over the display cable, and then connect your XPS to the display using a USB-C to DP cable -- then just toggle the input on the display as needed to switch between systems. If the Lenovo system is non-Thunderbolt but has a USB-C port that supports video, then swap the cable suggestions I just made between the systems, and still keep your XPS 15's power supply attached. If the Lenovo system doesn't even have a video-capable USB-C port, then what DOES it have? As a general practice, if you want advice specific to how/whether a system will work in a proposed setup, it helps to provide the system model.
Thank you for the very prompt and detailed reply. Having seen a number of your other posts, I wasn't entirely surprised. 😉
The model number, so far as I know, in my subject title, is the 9560. The unit was produced in 2017, 16GB RAM, 4K screen, 512GB SSD and has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050.
So I've just spent quite a lot longer searching for 10-bit color and everything I read before 2019 spoke of support for DirectX and not OpenGL programs for the GeForce, while the Quadro cards did. And then I found reference to the following URL buried in a thread:
And also this one (that I missed when I used more accurate search words) that offers screenshots of how to change (if you have an appropriate monitor attached):
So, if my understanding is correct, the video card and software does support 10-bit. Hopefully that addresses the remain question.
Again, thank you for the very helpful reply.
@DavidLl1 happy to help! But just fyi, the capabilities of the NVIDIA GPU in this case won't be relevant. The Intel GPU is the one that has direct control of the display outputs in that system, so you have to look at its capabilities. The NVIDIA GPU exists purely as a "render-only" device that when activated will do the graphical heavy lifting and pass completed video frames to the Intel GPU for output to the display(s). This technology is called NVIDIA Optimus, and most laptops with discrete GPUs are set up this way. If you want to see another detailed post of mine about this, I wrote it over in this thread. But the bottom line is that while Optimus has its advantages, one of its drawbacks is that if the NVIDIA GPU supports some technology but the Intel GPU doesn't, then you don't get to use it, because the fact that the Intel GPU is always in the video path means that you're constrained to technologies that it can support.
That said, Intel Core 7th Gen CPUs and onward have support for HDR, which includes 10-bit color, so I don't think you'll have an issue here. The part I'm not sure about is whether you can run that resolution, 100 Hz refresh, and 10-bit color all at the same time. That's just not a common setup, so I'm not sure whether that would all fit within the bandwidth limits of a DisplayPort 1.2 interface. So here again, it might be worth you doing some research to see whether that display can be run at its maximum functional level from a DisplayPort 1.2 interface. If so, then you should be good to go. But otherwise, you might find that between max resolution, max refresh, and max color depth, you can only pick any 2 at any given time.
Thanks again for the prompt reply and the additional info and thread that I've read up on.
I'd be happy with 10-bit at 60Hz. I have the monitor on order so I'll try to work things out when I'm all set up.