M4600 - Unable to use multiple monitors.

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M4600 - Unable to use multiple monitors.

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OK, take #2...hopefully the forum isn't hungry for posts anymore.

 

Recently, my district purchased 3 Precision M4600 laptops to replace three multi-monitor workstations.  We used three monitors on these workstations due to the amount of remote access sessions we generally had going.  The laptops were chosen because of this line on the dell website: 

AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to three simultaneous displays when undocked and five total displays when docked.

Now then, I've tried multiple configurations with the laptops and the E-port plus docking station and have had the same results.  While the laptops will see multiple displays, I can only use the laptop's display and one other.  I have tried using the DVI out ports on the docking station, also using the digital-video out (the smaller ports below the DVI ports, using active adapters), I've tried mixing in the VGA port with the DVI ports, I've also tried the ports on the laptop only...but my result is always the same.

At this point, I'm at a loss as to what to do.  I really need these laptops to be able to drive 3 monitors...is this actually possible?  And if it is, what do I need to buy/tweak/pray over to make it work?

 

Thanks for your time.

SH

All Replies
  • Same problem here. I don't get it working with 3 monitors (even in the docking station).

  • I also had this problem. I have managed to get 3 monitors + laptop screen working. When connnecting on the E-port 2 displays to DVI and 1 to VGA, you have 2 actual displays (shown in Nvidia control panel and 2 child displays (not shown in Nvidia control panel), effectively making 2 very wide monitors. However, it then treats them as individual monitors if you drag a program into each one and double click the title bar (or maximise).

    Trouble is, I can't seem to get the mouse to travel left to right across the displays in sequence. The centre display us the master so I can't go left, meaning I have to move right to get the the left screen, and then continue moving right to "bypass" the middle one and get to the display on the right, and then I can continue to the laptop display further on the right. I suppose I could physically move them around, but the centre display is the best one and needs to be in the middle. I'll have to play around with the connectors.

    I am trying to find out  out how to connect 5 displays, and I'm hoping its one to each DVI and one to each Display Port.

  • I am also having the same problem with the ATI card.

    I have 2 identical external monitors enabled on the HDMI and the DisplayPort but I cannot get the laptop monitor or another external monitor on the VGA  enabled unless I disable one of the other monitors first...for a grand total of 2, not 3 as stated in the product description.  I even lowered the resolution to see if it was a memory issue as the video card only has 1GB.

    When I try to extend the desktop to the 3rd monitor, I just get a "Unable to save settings" message and that's it.

    I'm wondering if the 3 display claim is only if you use eye-finity...which I have not tried since I don't have 3 identical monitors to try it with...also 1 big desktop is not as useful to me as 3 desktops.

    A co-worker with the same computer but with the nVidia card can drive 2 external AND have the laptop display on at the same time, but I cannot with ATI.

     

    I would at least like to find out under what circumstances it is possible to get 3 monitors working on the ATI card so that I can stop searching for a solution.

     

     

     

  • After speaking with a very helpful Dell tech support guy and looking around on my own, here's what I've found.

    In order to do this with the ATI card (no clue if this works with the nVidia card), you need to use Active Displayport to Whatever adapters.

    Let me drive this point home...IT WILL NOT WORK WITH ANYTHING ELSE.

    This is what I ended up using:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815129011 It's also available from the Dell online store.  I have three 23inch LCD monitors, they use DVI and VGA connections.  So, I bought two of those adapters and one vga cable, and hooked it all up to the docking station that way.

    This is what the tech from Dell originally sent me:

    Here is some additional info for you
    AMD (ATI) Eyefinity connectivity requirements and list of validated dongles
    ATI (AMD) Eyefinity Technology Display Configurations
    Visiontek® Active DisplayPort™ to DVI-D Adapter on Dell.com

    Good luck, I hope this information helps you out.

    SH

  • Unfortunately, this is not what I'm trying to set up, plus, I have native DisplayPort monitors which should not require an adapter.

    What I want to do is *not* use eyefinity(i.e. one big desktop), I want 3 desktops.

    I currently have 2: external monitor via HDMI, and an identical monitor via direct DisplayPort, giving me 2 distinct desktops each with their own taskbar(using DisplayFusion) where I can maximize 2 applications at the same time.

    I want to activate and extend my desktop to a third monitor, either the laptop monitor or another external via the VGA, giving me 3 distinct desktops/3 taskbars/3 simultaneously maximized applications.  This is what my co-worker has on the nVidia card.

    But, I cannot get the third monitor to activate without first deactivating one of the first 2.

    I even tried eyefinity just to see if I could get it to work, but it also won't let me activate/use the third monitor...probably since neither of the third monitors are identical to the other 2, although the laptop monitor is the same 1920x1080 resolution.

    I believe that if I had a third identical monitor, I could hook it up to the VGA and use eyefinity...but I don't and 1 big desktop is not what I want anyway.

    Thanks.

  • I was successfully using 4 displays on nVidia Quadro 1000M with the following setup:

    Windoes 7 ultimate

    1 to DVI on E-Port Plus

    1 to DVI on E-Port Plus

    2 to VGA on E-Port Plus

    Laptop's integrated screen

    The it stopped working and I could only have either laptop + VGA or both DVIs.

    After a lot of wasted time, I accidentally hit upon the option, with all displays on and laptop lid open, to right click the desktop and select "Screen resolution"

    This shows the topology of displays attached to the system. It showed 2 of them greyed out.

    I selected a greyed out display and with the 4th dropdown list selected "Extend desktop to this display". Then clicked "Apply". Did the same for the other one.

    The I sorted out the topology. Clicked "Apply".

    If you then close the laptop lid, it selects a different topology. No problem, just do the same again with the lid closed, and the system will select the right topology for lid open and lid closed.

    In meantime Iwent to the expense of ordering a DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Will report back, because this might allow connecting yet another display, or using digital connection via laptop's integrated DP instead of VGA.

  • I have the exact same problem on the M4600, except in my case selecting a "grayed out" monitor and trying to extend desktop to it will cause an error "Unable to save display settings" and obviously no change to the actual configuration.

    This should just work, and I'm surprised it's not.

  • The same behaviour here: "unable to save display settings"

  • Apologies, I just saw my post and it was rife with typos. I have also amended some parts of it for more clarity.

    Amended text  follows:

    I was successfully using 4 displays on nVidia Quadro 1000M with the following setup:

    Windows 7 ultimate

    1 display on DVI-1 on E-Port Plus

    1 display on DVI-1 on E-Port Plus

    1 display on VGA on E-Port Plus

    Laptop's integrated screen

    Then it stopped working and I could only have either laptop + VGA or both DVIs.

    After a lot of wasted time, I accidentally hit upon the option, with all displays on and laptop lid open, to right click the desktop and select "Screen resolution"

    This shows the topology of displays attached to the system. It showed 2 of them greyed out.

    I selected a greyed out display and with the 4th dropdown list selected "Extend desktop to this display". Then clicked "Apply". Did the same for the other one.

    Then I clicked on “Identify” and sorted out the topology by dragging the displays into their righful positions. Clicked "Apply".

    If you then close the laptop lid, it selects a different topology. No problem, just do the same again with the lid closed, and the system will select the right topology for lid open and lid closed.

    In the meantime I went to the expense of ordering a DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Will report back, because this might allow connecting yet another display, or using digital connection via laptop's integrated DP instead of VGA.

    UPDATE:

    Unfortunately Display adapter was no use as I got the message from nVidia Control Panel that the GPU only supports 2 displays. I.e., you can have 3 connected, but you can only select 2 at a time. Ah well, at least I can use the laptop with 1 external display without the E-Port when travelling.

  • For anyone using the NVidia card, make sure that NVidia Optimus is enabled in the bios, otherwise you will only be able to use one external monitor.

  • Thank you.  This fixed my problem.  When I was first given my laptop by work, I could have two external monitors plus the laptop display when connected to the docking station.  Then an update for the Nvidia driver didn't complete successfully and I could only use one monitor at a time.  After IT got that fixed I was only able to have two monitors working at a time.  Enabling Optimus in the the bios allows me to have the two external monitors and the laptop display again.

  • I'm still trying to get just a second monitor working. Optimus is enabled, but the secondary display recognized in Display Settings is labeled "Composite". IT gives me an astonising 1280 x 720 resolution limit, but still outputs nothing to the actual monitor.

    I guess I'll buy one of those DisplayPort dongles and see what happens. Am I the only one who thinks this is the stupidest thing ever? Why the hell can't I just plug in a damn monitor? And why, when I buy a $3200 laptop, am I not instructed to include this stupid dongle?

    Dell, are you listening?

  • I bought 2 DV2VDI port and still doesn't work. That's what the support advise to me. It doesn't make sense if they don't know their product well. My current setup is: I have 3 Monitor and a docking station. 1 monitor is connected to VGA (blue) and 2 monitor is connected to Display Port below the DVI (white). I can only have 2 display at the same time not 3. As advertised in DELL, it says that you can have multiple monitor that why I requested for M4600 with AMD (ATI) FirePro M5950 (FireGL) Mobility Pro Graphics and a 16GB memory in Windows 7. I agree with AG-CIO about this model. 

    I even contacted the support and even their suggestion doesn't work, I even purchased 2 Display Port to DVI because that's what they suggest unfortunately, IT DOES NOT WORK... 

    Note: I'm running Windows 7 Enterprise with 16GB of memory and ATI

  • Your problem might be with the DisplayPort to DVI adapters you bought.  If they're not listed to be "Active" then they're probably "Passive" which will not allow you to run more than 2 displays at once with the m4600.

    If you feel like throwing more money at your problem, here's the "Active" adapter that I recommend:

    Visiontek® Active DisplayPort™ to DVI-D Adapter on Dell.com

    http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=corp&sku=a4483253
    That is the adapter that I use with my 4600 docking station and I am able to run one VGA monitor and two DVI monitors simultaneously.  I can also use my laptop as a fourth screen without any loss in video on the other three.
    SH
  • Thanks for the advice. Anyway, the Dell Support mislead me. They've quote me to buy a Display Port adapter and didn't mentioned to buy an Active Display Port and that's unacceptable, it's like buying what's in a prescription and the prescription is wrong and that may cause bad. Now, I'm going to buy an active display port and hope this will work. Also, they should specs out that in their brochure that to be able to use multiple monitor, a customer should get an Active Display Port. I appreciate your response.