Precision M5520: Nvidia 3D stereoscopic function is not available on this system

Precision M5520: Nvidia 3D stereoscopic function is not available on this system



The following article gives information on why Nvidia 3D stereoscopic function isn't available on the on the Precision M5520 Workstation.


Table of Contents:

  1. Are you trying to enable Nvidia 3D stereoscopic function on your Precision 5520 Mobile Workstation?
  2. Nvidia's Optimus has trouble with 3D vision
  3. Why 3D stereoscopic function isn't available on the Precision M5520

Are you trying to enable Nvidia 3D stereoscopic function on your Precision 5520 Mobile Workstation?

We have had several queries for help with 3D ready monitors connected to Precision M5520 systems in 3D stereoscopic mode. This mode does not work with 3D ready Monitors, Projectors or Glasses when connected to this system. No external port on the system (including Thunderbolt 3 over USB type-c) will allow the enablement of the 3D mode on the system.

Although this system does ship with the option of a discrete Nvidia Quadro GPU, (Graphics Processing Unit) the system hardware does not support the 3D function. This article supplies some further information on why this is the case on this particular system.


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Nvidia's Optimus has trouble with 3D vision

This system uses Nvidia's Optimus Technology because it can automatically switch on/off the more powerful discrete GPU when it best suits the performance of the system. The more powerful discrete GPU is only used when it is really needed. At all other times the on-board Intel GPU is used. This can give you great savings in your power use. Normally this gives you the best of both worlds - high performance in applications that need them and longer battery life when you are mobile.

The problem experienced on this system with enabling the 3D stereoscopic function is because of the way the Optimus technology functions. The Intel GPU is set to run all the time, with the discrete GPU only being used as needed and even then the Intel GPU renders the information from the Discrete GPU for visualisation. Because of this all the video connectors connect to the on-board Intel GPU. If you connect a 3D ready device to one of these connectors it is not detected properly because it's not physically connecting to the discrete GPU.

Currently the best recommendation that can be made is that if you require to use your system with 3D ready devices, you will either need to pick a system without the Nvidia Optimus Technology or pick one that has an HDMI port that connects directly to the discrete GPU.


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Why 3D stereoscopic function isn't available on the Precision M5520

The Precision M5520 was designed as a thin product that uses the Nvidia Optimus switching technology. Every graphics I/O port/connector on the system connects to the Intel UMA (Unified Memory Architecture). In the Nvidia control panel PhysX advises that these ports connect to the Intel on-board Video GPU. Stereo mode cannot be set using the Intel GPU and it cannot assign this to the Nvidia quadro GPU. There is no HDMI or Type-C connector that connects directly to the discrete GPU.

There is no way to change this, as it is the design and hardware working as they were intended.


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Article ID: SLN309031

Last Date Modified: 03/08/2019 06:59 AM


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