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Thread: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

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    Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    I've currently got two Dell U2414H 1080 monitors. I'd like to have two 4K monitors eventually but for now, if i replace one of them with a 4K P2415Q, will they work ok or am I asking for trouble?

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    There are three things that come to mind that you should consider.

    The first is your machine's capability to drive two 4K displays. For example, does it have the necessary HDMI or DP support?

    The second is the potential issue with scaling. I'd image you'd want to run your 24" 4K display at 150-200% scaling, and that you wouldn't want to run your 24" 1080P at anything other than 100%.

    The problem arises when your system is incapable of using different scaling settings for individual monitors, i.e. all monitors have to run at the same scaling setting and for some that's fine, but for others it can be annoying or even unusable. This will be the case for Win 7 and 8, I'm not sure about Win 10 as I haven't tried it beyond the first version.

    The third thing to think about is the potential for getting displays from different batches which are slightly out, such as differences in picture and responsiveness, I've had this problem across three Dell U2715H displays bought several months apart, all of them have distinct pictures and display response, despite attempts at correcting colour through the OSD. This is one of the reasons I've given up on a multiple U2715H setup, the colour difference, to me, is jarring. Buying two monitors at the same time should improve your chances at getting two displays from the same batch with matching performance.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Thanks - should have mentioned system specs - now added to my profile.

    As to scaling, I'm into photography so the appeal of 4K was to view photos so am I right in assuming the 4k monitor at 150-200% scaling would show programs like word or photoshop or firefox/chrome etc as usual ie like 100% at 1080 whereas photos would display at 4K?

    I'm sure my PC is capable of driving two 4k monitors - I have an EVGA GTX980Ti SC card with 3 DP, 1 HDMI & 1 DVI-DL port.

    I presume I could use different scaling settings - the NVidia Control panel seems to suggest I can?

    Not too worried about colour difference - I bought my current monitors at different times & although they were a little different I've managed to get them almost identical. I've also got x-rite i1 dsiplay Pro calibration device I can use (just haven't plucked up the courange to use it yet for fear of making things worse!)

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Windows 10 allows different scaling on a per monitor basis so it will be no problem with that card. Have you considered a triple head setup with all 3 ?

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Scaling works pretty much as you describe.

    Hardware-wise, you're ok, the GTX980Ti can drive two 4K monitors just fine.

    As far as I know, the scaling limitation is inherent to Windows 7 and 8. I don't recall being able to set individual scaling options, via the nvidia control panel or otherwise, when I was in a similar situation with a GTX980.

    From what I gather, Windows 10 introduces the capability to run each display at their own individual scaling setting, the options to scale displays in Win 10 may extend to the nvidia control panel. I wasn't able to do it when I dabbled with the early version of Win 10, but I hear it's possible with the current editions of Win 10.

    You should be able to play around with the scaling options on your current setup just for the sake of it, albeit a 24" 1080p scaled display is going to look weird, but please let me know how you get on.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    I ran 4K plus 2 * 1080p for a while off a GTX 760 and it worked better than I would have imagined.

    Personally, I didn't use scaling because I didn't like it, but each to their own.

    The 760 could play games perfectly well on the 4K whilst the 1080p screens sat on desktop.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Thanks chaps; just tried the scaling (Windows Display Settings) & yes, works fine - made one monitor 150% and text obviously bigger. Then dragged the window to the other monitor where it reverted to correct size - 100%.

    Triple monitor setup would be nice but unfortunately, just not enough desk space!

    The only possible other issue I can foresee is with connections - I believe there have been many issues with Dell monitors not being recognised/going blank/not waking from sleep etc when connected via DP which I understand is required for 4k displays (at the moment I have them both connected to their HDMI sockets).

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    It depends if the monitor (and your gpu) has hdmi 2.0 if it does, you can get full 4K @ 60hz, it not then it will limit to 30hz on hdmi.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    buy a 1060, and use it for the second and third monitors, and have the main monitor running through your primary graphics card, and also use it for recording games with NVEnc as the encoder in OBS Studio, if you set the encoder to use the 1060, you should be able to record your screen in 4k with no FPS drops

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    If I use my laptop + a bunch of 1080P monitors; there are some fun bugs with stuff like firefox/chrome not respecting individual monitor scalings, and weird colour gamut on the external displays.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildman_33 View Post
    It depends if the monitor (and your gpu) has hdmi 2.0 if it does, you can get full 4K @ 60hz, it not then it will limit to 30hz on hdmi.
    If I remember correctly you need dual link dvi cables, single link cables (the cheaper and more common type) cannot cope with 4k resolution, but other than that you're fine.
    personally I've never had a major issue running different resolutions on two monitors heck I've happily run 16x10 next to 4x3 as long as I'm not trying to to span one program across two screens it's fine.

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    I AM WORKING ON THIS EXACT SETUP RIGHT NOW.

    It's not easy to be honest.

    Windows 10scales it well, and theres no real tech issues BUT... mouse alingment from one screen to another when both are PHYSICALLY similar sizes is a brain melter. Moving a mouse across the top of one screen and it ending up in the middle of the next is not bad,.. but moving back from 4k to 1080 is a right pain.

    How bad?

    I have the 4k set to 1080.... it's that bad!

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    I AM WORKING ON THIS EXACT SETUP RIGHT NOW.

    It's not easy to be honest.

    Windows 10scales it well, and theres no real tech issues BUT... mouse alingment from one screen to another when both are PHYSICALLY similar sizes is a brain melter. Moving a mouse across the top of one screen and it ending up in the middle of the next is not bad,.. but moving back from 4k to 1080 is a right pain.

    How bad?

    I have the 4k set to 1080.... it's that bad!
    Is that with 200% scaling?

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    Re: Dual monitors - mixing 1080 & 4K?

    good point, I honestly never thought about 2 monitors of the same size but different resolutions, I can see how bad that would screw with you.

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